Fighting Dread to Host the Dub Stage at Zombie Apocalypse 2019

Fighting Dread behind the decks

Sitting down in Tigullio club, I catch up with Matthew and James of Fighting Dread. They are a Maltese collaboration of reggae and dub music, to talk about their upcoming set at this year’s Zombie Apocalypse on November 2, 2019.

Fighting Dread: Reggae and dub selectors

Playing a wide variety of reggae and dub selections, Fighting Dread represent the scene in Malta quite well. They promote not only the genre, but the culture of the Jamaican sound.

Joining as a duo in 2018, they bring together both of their experience in reggae and dub in bars, clubs, festivals in Malta and abroad.

Fighting Dread is comprised of Freedom Fighters (Matthew) and Salted Dread (James), sharing both of their names and their passion for their music.

Humble origins

Starting his music career back in 2012, Matthew plays reggae on winter nights in Beggar’s Inn in Paceville. At the time he seeks to fill the gap when there was no reggae to be heard. 

Since then he is expanding greatly. Namely with his events including immersive workshops involving alternative healing, animal rights, dread lock care and other facets of reggae culture.

Matthew and James know each other now for over a decade. However their collaboration only started when Matthew was on the verge of leaving the industry altogether. Matthew’s partner in Freedom Fighters had left Malta and James approached Matthew to play music together. 

Matthew, Freedom Fighters of Fighting Dread
Matthew, Freedom Fighters of Fighting Dread

James took the name Salted Dread after the ritual of putting on records post-swim, his dreads still salty from the sea. Three years ago he put aside digital to go full analog, playing only vinyl records. His motivation behind it is to support artists coming out with original tracks on dub plates, to ensure he is playing unique tracks and to keep the original sound alive.

Fighting Dread, a single unit

Playing reggae, dub and UK dub, there is quite a collection behind the Salted Dread name. He is also a founder of One Drop Festival held over the last two years.

After Matthew and James held a test gig at the now defunct Funky Monkey, the response was all they needed to move forward as one unit: Fighting Dread.

The result? A reggae and dub combo that flows with a wide variety of musical styles. Expect them to play reggae revival, new roots, moving towards the heavier UK dub and steppa. Fighting Dread have invited Mist aka Joat to join them for a more steppa and dubstep styled mix.

We can’t forget to mention the presence of our favorite MC, Rasta (from Pon Di Corner) leading us through the night on the mic. 

See them play on the Dub of the Dead stage from 11PM onwards.

Zombie Apocalypse 2019
Zombie Apocalypse 2019

Zombie Apocalypse

ZA is Malta’s biggest celebration of the undead, setting the record for Malta’s biggest zombie gathering. Take part in another record attempt by coming to Tigullio in full zombie attire November 2nd 2019. COSTUMES OBLIGATORY.


Photos courtesy of Fighting Dread

Written by Luc

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