Originally formed as a side project from SHARP legends The Oppressed before branching out as a band in their own right; Fatal Blow are an unashamedly Anti-fascist 3 piece Oi band from South Wales. As the saying goes – “No Mess, No Fuss, Just Pure Impact!”
Interview by Ian Pickens
MM: Introduce Yourselves…
FB: Paul – I play guitar and sing. Nidge – I do bass and backing vocals Kizz – I play drums.
MM: For those late to the game give us a quick history lesson in FB…
Paul: The band started as a side project when Kizz and I were in the The Oppressed. Recording a number of songs under the name Fatal Blow. When Roddy (Moreno) called it a day, we felt it was time to take Fatal Blow to the next level.
Nidge: I was asked to join and couldn’t turn it down.
MM: You’ve covered several Oppressed songs (amongst others) live. Will you carry on playing them?
Paul: Who knows? We cover songs we grew up with and that share the same values we have.
MM: What influences you?
Paul: I have been into the music for as long as I can remember, and coming from a Welsh mining community, I have grown up with strong labour values
Nidge: Music has always been one of my biggest influences.
MM: Give us a quick discography of FB…
Paul: We released a Split single with Oi Polloi . Then our first album ‘Hope Not Hate’ releases in the USA through Violated records. Then the two next albums were released through Mad Butcher records.
MM: How did you start working with Mad Butcher records and will you continue working with them in the future; is it an exclusive deal or will you work with other labels?
Paul: We have known Mike for number of years and we class him more a friend than a record label. He share the same values and music taste as the band.
MM: Two albums in and you released a Live Album; was this a homage to the ‘Live & Loud’ releases by Cocksparrer amongst others, or a throwback to those classic Live Albums from the 70s such as ‘Who Live At Leeds’?
Paul: We have supported the 0161 Festival since the very first festival, which we played a number of times with The Oppressed and then with Fatal Blow. Its values are something we all totally believe in. So to release a live album from the 0161 festival showing our support was something we couldn’t pass by.
MM: You set your credentials out as an Ant-Fascist Oi band from the get-go; did you feel it was important to take away any possibility of being misinterpreted as Skinheads?
Paul: We were all Anti-fascist before the band started, and we will all be Anti-fascist when it ends.
MM: Quite a few of yours songs (‘Spirit of 69’ from ‘Victimised’ and ‘Last Skinhead in Town’ and ‘Skinhead Time Bomb’ off the new album ‘Generals & Soldiers’ for example) talk about being a Skinhead – what got you into the Oi/Skinhead scenes and why are you still part of it? What does being a Skin mean to you?
Paul: I was drawn into Skinhead because of music, which I felt was a more honest form of Punk which reflected in the life I lived. It’s something that as always stayed with me
Nidge: I had an older brother and cousin who turned me on to it early (1981) but the fashion side came from my mate Adrian (Bill) Richards.
MM: On the new album you’ve incorporated a more diverse range of lyrics and musical influences, taking in a more personal topics such as homelessness and going to the football on the lyrical front and bands such as Stiff Little Fingers and the Pistols musically; were these intentional changes or just natural evolutions for the band?
Paul: Politics is all around you in everything you do. And coming from a strong working class background it’s always going to influence the music. As for bands whether the music was handed down from family etc. or found by yourself. Punk and all its subculture is going to influence your writing
MM: As we’re on the topic of lyrics – is ‘Bill The Peacock’ based on an individual you know?
Nidge: I mentioned him earlier Adrian “Bill” Richards! He was the top skin around my way and his dress sense was impeccable to the point that my dad said one day, “Look, there goes Bill the Peacock!” In reference to his immaculate dress!
MM: The band has played a fair bit in Europe; how do you think Brexit will impact bands like FB travelling over to the mainland and conversely bands from the mainland countries touring the UK?
Paul: I think everyone is still in dark with Brexit. We just have to wait and see and hope for the best
MM: The band played the Rebellion Festival after just a couple of years being together; a lot of bands say they struggle to get on the bill after being around for years – did you have an inside contact or is it a case of quality over quantity?
Paul: They just seem to like us!
MM: You haven’t played many gigs in South Wales; why is that?
Paul: Never really been asked, is there still a punk scene outside the bigger bands like the Damned or SLF?
MM: I’ve seen you guys at a mixture of shows – Punk/Bootboy Glam/Oi – do you think a lot of people in individual scenes only go out to check bands of one particular style. Do you find people open minded towards FB? Is it different to how things were in the 70s/80s/90s?
Paul: I find it much more mixed with musical taste than the 80’s when I first started watching bands. Personally I think it’s a good thing
MM: You’re in charge of putting together a 10 band gig line-up – who would you put on?
Paul: Anyone who shares the same values as us
MM: What’s next for Fatal Blow?
Paul: New album and trying to reach more people.
MM: Last Comments/Parting Shots?
FB: We are the new breed.
Find out more about, and keep up to date with, Fatal Blow here