Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Siege (band)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Siege (band) CVLT Nation Interviews Robert Williams of SIEGE

Years active  1981–1985, 1991–1992, 2016–present
Associated acts  Nightstick, Anal Cunt, The Spoils
Past members  Hank McNameeKevin MahoneySeth Putnam
Origin  Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States (1981)
Albums  Drop Dead, Because I Said So, The Art of Ignorance
Members  Seth Putnam, Kevin Mahoney, Kurt Habelt, Robert Williams
Record labels  Relapse Records, Deranged Records
Genres  Hardcore punk, Grindcore, Powerviolence
Similar  Dropdead, Lärm, Anal Cunt, Electro Hippies, SOB

Siege is an American hardcore punk band from Weymouth, Massachusetts. Formed in 1981, they were active in the Boston hardcore scene from 1984 to 1985, and reunited briefly in 1991. Guitarist Kurt Habelt and drummer Rob Williams reformed the band in 2016.


Siege (band) Sophie39s Floorboard Siege

In its original incarnation, Siege paired extremely fast tempos with vocalist Kevin Mahoney's screeches and growls in their intense style of hardcore. Though little known at the time, the band has posthumously become revered by punk and heavy metal fans worldwide and is now regarded as one of the pioneers of the grindcore and powerviolence subgenres. Subsequent musicians have cited the group as a major influence, including the British grindcore band Napalm Death and the American thrashcore band Dropdead, whose band name was the title of Siege's six-song demo tape.

Siege (band) MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL Monday Photo Blog Siege

Formation, early years (1981–1984)

Siege (band) SIEGE

Then teenagers, the members of what would become Siege began playing together in 1981 in Weymouth. Guitarist Kurt Habelt, bassist Hank McNamee, and drummer Rob Williams rehearsed together informally during this time. They completed Siege's original lineup in 1983, recruiting vocalist and occasional saxophonist Kevin Mahoney from nearby Braintree.

Siege (band) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Self-described as a "second wave" punk band, they cited hardcore punk and new wave of British heavy metal bands, as well as the desire to play faster than their predecessors, as formative influences on their sound. Siege's first official show was at a Battle of the Bands in early 1984 at Weymouth North High School. They were disqualified for obscenities and McNamee's smashing of his bass onstage.

Radiobeat sessions, breakup (1984–1985)

Siege (band) Siege Walls YouTube

Siege recorded a six-song demo tape at Radiobeat Records in Kenmore Square on February 6, 1984. The demo was produced by Lou Giordano, the producer of records by Hüsker Dü, Negative FX, SS Decontrol, Goo Goo Dolls, and many others. It would later be extensively bootlegged. In October 1984 the band recorded three more songs at Radiobeat with Giordano for Pushead's classic 1985 hardcore compilation Cleanse the Bacteria. Those 3 songs were Siege's only official original release.

Giordano later recalled those sessions:

Siege (band) Siege 2 Discography at Discogs

Despite their proximity to Boston, Siege did not fit into Boston's crew-dominated straight edge hardcore scene, and performed most of their gigs farther away in Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. They played in Greenfield with local hardcore bands DYS, Cancerous Growth, The Freeze, B.I.U, Outpatients, and Deep Wound, out of state at the Living Room in Providence, and at Anthrax in Stamford.

In 1985, Siege was scheduled to play their first show in New York City at CBGBs with The Necros. Mahoney did not show up for the gig, and Siege disbanded shortly thereafter.

Reunion (1991–1992)

Siege reformed briefly in 1991 with Anal Cunt vocalist Seth Putnam replacing Mahoney. They recorded a four-song demo and played a small handful of local gigs before again disbanding early the following year. Williams later called the 1990s lineup a "false-start" reunion.

Post-breakup and legacy

Despite writing a mere 20 minutes' worth of music and failing to play outside of New England, Siege became highly influential. Their tracks on Cleanse the Bacteria exposed them to wide audiences, including Lars Ulrich of Metallica, who described them as the fastest band he had ever heard. Numerous pioneering bands establishing the death metal and grindcore subgenres in the mid-1980s cited Siege as a formative influence, including British groups like Carcass and Napalm Death. Their demo became a highly sought-after bootleg in collector circuits.

Relapse Records gave Siege's three songs from the Cleanse the Bacteria compilation and six-song demo official release in 1994 as the Drop Dead CD. The same material was released on 12" vinyl in 2004 by Deep Six Records. Two separate additional reissues of the original Siege material issued on LP in 2006 and 2009 by the Deep Six record label contained an additional three tracks, "Two-Faced", "Trained To Kill", and "Questions Behind The Wall", recorded during Radiobeat sessions.

The 1991 recording went largely unreleased for many years. The track "Cameras" was eventually issued on the 13 Bands Who Think You're Gay compilation LP released by Putnam in 2004. The additional three tracks – "Death & Taxes," "New World Order", and "Disregard" – were thought to be lost before being rediscovered on cassette in 2014. They were released on PATAC Records as the "Lost Session '91" 7" later that year.

Williams remained musically active and later formed the band Nightstick, which additionally featured Putnam and Habelt at times. Williams and Mahoney also played together in The Spoils, who released the ...To the Victor LP in 2007. Putnam died of a suspected heart attack on July 11, 2011 while Mahoney died months later on October 14 after an extended battle with diabetes.

Williams occasionally performed Siege material live with the Providence band Dropdead. A performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 2015 was billed as their final live collaboration.

Reformation (2016–present)

In 2016, Williams and Habelt reformed the group. The band was completed by vocalist Mark Fields, second guitarist Chris Leamy (a member of Japanese Torture Comedy Hour with Pig Destroyer guitarist Scott Hull), and bassist Paulie Kraynak. Their first show was scheduled in Providence with headliners Infest.


  • Napalm Death covered "Walls" on their second John Peel session as well as "Conform" on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2.
  • Witch Hunt covered "Conform" on their Crucial Chaos Sessions.
  • Lycanthrophy covered "Conform" on their split with Say Why.
  • Anal Cunt included a section of "New World Order" in the Siege medley on their album Morbid Florist in 1993.
  • Exhumed covered "Drop Dead" on their covers album Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated.
  • Williams's sludge metal band Nightstick covered "New World Order" as "The Pentagon" in 1998.
  • Mr. Bungle covered "Cold War" on their 1995 tour.
  • Ripcord covered "Starvation" on their Harvest Hardcore EP as well as a live cover of "Walls" featuring vocals by Lee Dorian on their Live At Parkhof Alkmaar Holland - 18/09/1988 album.
  • Intense Degree covered "Conform" on the Manic Ears 'The North Atlantic Noise Attack' compilation.
  • Heresy covered "Conform" when recording the "Face Up To It!" LP. The take wasn't used on the album but, it later appeared on the "Voice Your Opinion" discography CD.
  • Water Torture covered "Walls" on their split with Corrupt Bastards.
  • Pillage covered "Starvation" on their 2013 demo 7"
  • Voltifobia covered "Drop Dead" on their split tape with Agathocles
  • Band members

    Current members
  • Kurt Habelt – guitar (1981–1985, 1991–1992, 2016–present)
  • Rob Williams – drums (1981–1985, 1991–1992, 2016–present)
  • Chris Leamy – guitar (2016–present)
  • Mark Fields – vocals (2016–present)
  • Paulie Kraynak – bass (2016–present)
  • Former members
  • Hank McNamee – bass (1981–1985, 1991–1992)
  • Kevin Mahoney – vocals, saxophone (1983–1985; died 2011)
  • Seth Putnam – vocals (1991–1992; died 2011)
  • Timeline


  • Drop Dead (1984) (cassette, self-released)
  • Albums
  • Drop Dead (1994) (CD, Relapse Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria compilation tracks)
  • EPs
  • "Lost Session '91" (2014) (7", PATAC Records)
  • Compilation appearances
  • Cleanse the Bacteria (1985) (12", Pusmort Records) (3 Tracks - "Sad But True", "Cold War", and "Walls")
  • 13 Bands Who Think You're Gay (2004) (12", Menace To Sobriety Records) (1 Track - "Cameras")
  • Songs

    Khari Neem2015
    In My Ways2017
    Aisi Ki TaisiBest of Seige · 2014


    Siege (band) Wikipedia