We recently had the opportunity to interview Robert R. Williams, drummer for proto-prind/pioneering hardcore band Siege. Arguably one of the most influential bands of the 1980s/ early 90s.
We touch upon their legacy & Williams perception on the political crisis in the west. Although he avoids any direct political affiliation he reaffirms a much needed but lost discourse in musical circles. The need for compassion and unity, with the arts as a driving motivator for that.
Although Siege may have called it a day, after an impressive history, Williams still dedicates himself to the uniting and the transgressive effects of music. Read on to see what happened when our guy JJ caught up with Robert at Siege’s last ever show in London.
How are you finding London?
What we’re curious about is that you’ve only had one EP, but such an extensive legacy.
It was the nine-track release wasn’t it?
This is the first time I’ve seen you play in the UK and it’s your last ever show. Considering all of your releases came out in the 1980’s and early 90’s, how have you found it touring with that material? Have you toured often?
Well, we played two sold-out shows in Leed’s earlier this year, but we had to come to London. Of course. It’s been incredibly timely and relevant, I’ve played ‘Break Down The Walls’ in many major cities around Europe and the U.S. It’s been a magnificent privilege to be able to send a message at this time.
Yes, of course, because of what is happening now with Donald Trump.
Which is what grindcore is all about. You guys, Siege, Repulsion and Napalm Death basically started grindcore. What do you find of the current scene now and how it’s progressed? Being massive influences of it over such power-violence bands as Drop Dead…
Who would you recommend?
You must have heard Die Choking by now, they have an impressive display of drumming.
Which you can appreciate, as a drummer.
My favourite grindcore band is Pig Destroyer because of their lyrics. Their lyrics really connected with me personally as a kid, I’m an anarchist now and its grindcore which got me into that.
I recommend a book for you, its called Germinal by Zola. There’s a character in it like you, he runs a bar room. You’ll recognize the character.
You’ll have to write it down for me.
We’re coming up to five minutes so one last question. With authoritarianism coming back to the west. Do you think there is going to become a resurgence of grindcore or left libertarians?
Since this is your last ever show, what’s next for you?
A grindcore/punk opera? What’s the name?
Words, Questions, and Photo: Joe-Julian Naitsri