ALM. Hi, can you give us a brief of the Fatal Blow story and current line-up please? Did you start as a side project of The Oppressed or was it born just after Roddy Moreno’s farewell announcement?
Cobley. When I was in The Oppressed, I was writing a number of songs and Roddy suggested recording them as a side project, we came up with the name Fatal Blow, named after The Oppressed's 2nd album. When Roddy called it a day, due to to health reasons, Kizmus and I decided to carry on playing together and turn Fatal Blow into a full time band.
The current line-up is Cobley, Guitar and Vocals; Nidge, Bass and Vocals; and Kizmus on Drums.
ALM. According to the credits of your Hope Not Hate record, Roddy Moreno played in some songs apart from appearing on the cover. What exactly was his involvement (writing, singing, playing…) and what musical differences did you find between The Oppressed and Fatal Blow?
Cobley. I did all the writing and when I had enough money, we would go into Morefront studio in Cardiff and record a few songs at a time. Roddy played rhythm guitar and we all did backing vocals. I played all the Bass and Lead guitar. For me I saw Fatal Blow as a natural progression to The Oppressed, same Ideals and a strong antifascist agenda.
ALM. How long have you spent preparing the songs of the Hope Not Hate CD? Are you happy with the final result? You recorded Hope Not Hate in Cardiff but I think that it was mixed by American producers, no?
Cobley. The album was written and recorded 2 songs at time over a two year period. It was all written by me, we would book the studio, the first hour I would show the boys the songs and then we would record them. Once we had enough songs I contacted a few friends I made during my time in The Oppressed, and Patryk from Violent Society loved the songs and wanted to release the album. I am very happy with the end result which captured the band at this period. Although I do feel the current line up is a much better band and the songs are now written as a band.
ALM. How did you end up recording for Violated Records? Did you get any other offers from Uk labels or from European companies? I really thought you would end up recording with the likes of Mad Butcher, Insurgence, Aggrobeat and similar…
Cobley. Aggrobeat were the first to release our stuff, we released a split 7 inch single with Oi Polloi which has sold mainly in Europe.
ALM. Can you explain to us what the “Hero To Zero” and “Nation Of Hate” songs are about? I saw you covering “Warriors” of The Blitz; Do you do other covers when playing live (apart from The Oppressed ones)?
Cobley. “Hero To Zero” was a song that written about bands like Skrewdriver who had a Punk and Skinhead following in the 70's, but then showed their real colors later on by turning full on right wing. "Nation of Hate" is what I feel Donald Trump is turning the US into. When someone wants to build borders and walls it's time to take action.
All the boys in the band love old school Oi! music and we do the odd cover for fun, It's mainly song's we love.
Nidge. We do a great cover of Rear Gunners "We Don’t Want No Nazi Skins"! Our mate Simon uses a stopwatch every time we rehearse that song to see if we play it quicker than the last one! But we don't!
ALM. I think that all of you are “veterans” on the scene; can you explain to us when and how you got involved in the skinhead movement and what were your first records and concerts? What other bands have you been playing with?
Cobley. I first got into the scene as a young teen, following all the Two Tone bands, and then getting into Oi! and Punk. I've been an Oppressed fan right from the beginning, so when Roddy asked me to join the band. It was the easiest answer I have ever given.
Nidge. I am lucky to have an older brother with very diverse musical tastes. One day he was listening to a brand new album he bought by collecting tokens from Sounds magazine. The record was Oi The album! Also around the same time I remember watching Top of the Pops (music tv show) when I heard "Gangsters" by The Specials and was instantly hooked to the Ska sound! It wasn't long before I was saving my pocket money and buying Madness, Bad Manners, Cockney Rejects LP's and begging my parents for Dr Marten boots and Sta Prest trousers!
ALM. How have the gigs been that you have played lately (I mean, the response of the people, etc)? I see that you are going to play in Germany, any other plans for playing in other countries or in the USA? What about in Spain/Catalonia/Basque Country?
Cobley. We have had a really good response and people who have bought the CD have been really positive. We have been asked to play the USA which is still in the talking stages, but the boys are more than up for playing and spreading the Antifascist word.
Nidge. I personally think the gigs couldn't have gone any better. Being the new guy it's difficult, but we've had such good feedback from bands we've played with and the crowd that it makes the next one even better and it goes from strength to strength.
ALM. Can you give us now a Top Ten of your favourite Classic bands (70’s-80’s) and of the Present ones (90’s to nowadays):
Cobley. I like all the early 77 Punk bands, UK82 and early Oi! bands . New bands I like Giuda, Cynide Pills, Takers and Users, United Bottles and Bishops Green.
Nidge. In no particular order: The Business, Blitz, Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects, The Damned, Abrasive Wheels, Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, The Partisans, The Opressed.
Present days in no particular order: Curb Stomp, The Civilains, The Prowlers, Bishop Green, Stage Bottles, Fatal Blow, Dropkick Murphys, United Bottles, Street Dogs, Emergency.
ALM. Short opinions about:
- John Lydon:
Cobley. Someone who got me into Punk
Nidge. He was a force of nature in the early days but reality TV and butter adverts have ruined his reputation.
- Gary Bushell:
Cobley. He championed Punk when the music papers said it was dead.
Nidge. He tried to fool people he had no idea the Strength Thru Oi! Album was a play on words; he knew what he was doing.
- The Macc Lads:
Cobley. I never heard them, not my kind of thing to be honest.
Nidge. Great music spoilt by homophobic, xenophobic and outdated lyrical ideas.
- The Templars:
Cobley. Didn't they do Skrewdriver cover versions?
Nidge. If you mean the band, a bit naive maybe, covering Skrewdriver songs but quoting Anti fascist slogans during interviews. I haven’t heard a lot by them.
- Soul Crew:
Cobley. Big influence in my teens, bit to old these day's lol.
Nidge. As a card carrying Cardiff City supporter I can honestly say they're lovely lads!
- Nicky Crane:
Cobley. Sad mixed up Man full of hate.
Nidge. I don't think of him much at all!
- Condemned 84:
Cobley. Hero to Zero.
Nidge. I never listen to them.
- Independence of Wales:
Cobley. We sadly haven't got the infrastructure to be Independent.
Nidge. Mixed views as I don't think we have the infrastructure to self govern successfully.
Cobley. Bad move for us as a nation, No Borders.
Nidge. We live in a democracy and a democratic process occurred and we have to live with the consequences.
- Jeremy Corbin:
Cobley. For the many, not the few.
Nidge. To be honest, I don't know enough about his policies to give an honest opinion.
- Anti-Fascist Action:
Cobley. True Heroes, keeping the streets safe for everyone.
Nidge. Easy, must continue and get stronger each day!
ALM. Any future plans of recording or what else will you be doing? Thanks.
Cobley. The band is at its best, with some really strong songs coming from all three members of the band. We are heading back into studio at the end of the month, to record the follow up to Hope Not Hate with gigs coming up in Germany, Poland, and Dublin. Fatal Blow: "Sometimes Anti-social, Always Anti-fascist!”
Nidge. We're going into the studio end of October to record the follow up to Hope not Hate. Watch this space.
- Fatal Blow Facebook