Siege Of Power are a band who mix the energy of raw punk and grindcore with the brutality of death metal to create a wall of intense noise. The band feature members who have served time in Autopsy, Asphyx and Hail Of Bullets to name a few so you can imagine the intensity of their music. With their debut album, the aptly titled Warning Blast, forthcoming on Metal Blade records, we had a chat with drummer (and former Asphyx member) Bob Bagchus to hear all about Warning Blast, their punk and hardcore influences, the death metal underground and he possibility of live Siege Of Power shows.
How and when did Siege Of Power start?
We started out in 2013 as First Class Elite. We wanted to do something for fun in the SOD, Discharge style so we recorded 5 tracks for a split EP with Violation Wound and Mike & The Boys. Right after Paul and me recorded 7 new tracks but then our singer left so First Class Elite was laid to rest. Last year Paul called me and said he had new riffs and wanted to do something with the other tracks as well, so I booked a small studio here in town and we recorded another seven tracks but we still needed a singer so we asked Chris and he was very much into it. Since we needed a new name I came up with Siege Of Power since I was listening to Napalm Deaths Scum at the moment we were discussing a new band name and everyone liked it. It fits our music too.
So the band are named after the Napalm Death song of the same name from Scum?
Yes we are.
Who have been the biggest influences on the Siege Of Power sound?
Those are SOD, Discharge, Carnivore and Amebix but we do it in our own style, of course. We are experienced enough to let it sound like ourselves.
The members of the band are have served time in the likes of Autopsy, Asphyx, Hail Of Bullets and Abcess among many others. Do you think that Siege Of Power benefit from all the years of experience all the members have?
I think so. We all are so long in the extreme metal scene playing in bands that we know what to do and how to do it. It helps that we all are/were in pretty known death metal bands but that should be seen apart from this band. Siege Of Power is a thirty years Death Metal friendship and a really cool and fun thing to do. We have all kinds of influences and we melt it into Siege Of Power.
How does being in Siege Of Power differ from those other bands?
Siege Of Power has a strong punkish vibe to it. It has the typical D-Beat atmosphere like Discharge or maybe even some Extreme Noise Terror mixed with Death Metal. While our other bands are 100% Death Metal , Siege Of Power has the more punk elements in it.
Your debut album Warning Blast is coming out soon. How did the studio process go when you were making the album?
Very fast. We had three sessions over some years (when we had time we went into a studio) but the studio sessions (drums and guide guitar) only took a couple of hours in total. Then Paul and Theo recorded the guitars and bass at Paul’s own studio and Chris did his part at the Earhammer Studio in Oakland USA. Then Chris send us the songs back with his vocals and we send them to our friend at Clintworks Germany and he did the mix. It was all low profile and spontaneous but it turned out really cool, we think.
The album has a big D-Beat and hardcore vibe. What was it about that style of music that made it so influential?
Yes it has. We always loved that style alot(amongst other metal styles as well). In Asphyx I also played the D-Beat alot already since that is,apart from total Doom, my fave tempo to play. The D-Beat is very aggressive and makes your feet tap (at least for me).
The band members are known for their death metal roots. Was hardcore and punk a big influence in the death metal scene?
Punk was a big influence I think. Venom, Hellhammer, Voivod and Slaughter had punk influences and early Napalm Death combined punk again with Death Metal on their debut album Scum with those great Hellhammer/Frost type of riffing. It worked vice versa a bit later on.
What are some of your favourite punk and hardcore albums of all time?
Discharge – Hear Nothing,See Nothing, Say Nothing, Agnostic Front – Cause For Alarm, DRI – Dealing With It, DRI – Crossover, Amebix – Monolith and Extreme Noise Terror – Peel Sessions.
There is also a big doom influence on the album. What was it about that doom sound that you you wanted to portray on the album?
Of course, haha! Can’t live without some bulldozing doom! We love Doom alot and it just comes out when we jam. There will be always doom. Songs like Warning Blast and The Cold Room are short doomdozers which came spontaneously like all the other tracks.
Chris comes from Autopsy and Paul and me from Asphyx so there is doom in our blood.
Was the mixture of styles something you wanted to come across in the music of Siege Of Power?
Yes for sure it was. We did what we wanted to do and that was a mix of our musical past,all the styles we loved as teenagers and have good memories to. I am a huge Black Metal fan too but we kept it punk/death metal/thrash with Siege Of Power.
Who did the album artwork for the album and what did they bring to the project?
Bob – The cover artwork was done by our Italian friend Roberto Toderico who did a great job on it. We absolutely love his artwork.
The lay-out is done by Martijn Peeters who melted it all together.
He did a great job too and thanks to those guys we have a killer lay – out.
You have done a great video for the song The Cold Room. Can you tell us a bit about the video?
Thanks, We shot that video in our rehearsal room. A friend is very good with his camera (Carl Assault) and he did more videos for several bands already and knows what we wanted. Chris shot his part of the video in the USA and Carl made it all into a cool straight forward video with a very doomy epic atmosphere. It fits The Cold Room really good, it’s bonefreezing.
Siege Of Power are signed to Metal Blade Records. How did the signing to the legendary label come about?
We send our rough not mixed recordings to Metal Blade Records first since we think that is the greatest metal label ever. They responded right away and the deal was done.
Were you fans of the Metal Blade roster beforehand?
Absolutely! Metal Blade Records is part of our youth and puberty.
When we were teenagers we bought records from Metal Blade from our pocket money. I remember buying Hallows Eve – Tales Of Terror as an import on Metal Blade.
Have Siege Of Power played live yet and have you got any live dates coming up?
No, we have not played live yet but we already got quite alot of very cool offers. But we see about that. We might do one or two shows a year. We’re still discussing that.
What can fans expect from a Siege Of Power live show?
If we play live they can expect brutality and noise.
Who would you love for Siege Of Power to share a stage with in the future?
Hmmm….difficult…Napalm Death would fit, haha!
Are you as still a fan of death metal today as when you first started as a musician?
Yes I am. I still love Death Metal just as much as back in the mid 80’s. That will never change. I still listen to Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Possessed, Slaughter, Necrophagia, Repulsion, Sodom, Incubus, Master, Necrovore, Poison and Nihilist. I will always be a Death Metal fan.
How did you get into metal and death metal in the first place?
I got into hard rock first, in the late 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s with Kiss, Van Halen, Alice Cooper. Later we discovered bands as Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Judas Priest at our local library who had alot of metal albums. Then we saw albums from Venom and Metallica (Kill ‘Em All),so we hired them too for one Dutch Guilder a week and we were very impressed and even scared too,haha! We thought “wow, that’s brutal evil music right there”. From that point on we started to get into more extreme music.
What are your favourite memories of the early days of the death metal scene?
The handwritten letters and knowing the most Death Metal bands personally and trading eachothers demo tapes. There was alot of respect and the scene was very close.