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Robo with Misfits (2001)
|Birth name||Julio Roberto Valverde Valencia|
|Born||1955 (age 63–64)|
|Genres||Horror punk, punk rock, heavy metal, hardcore punk|
|Associated acts||Misfits, Black Flag|
Julio Roberto Valverde Valencia (born 1955), better known by his stage name Robo, is a Colombian–American drummer. He came to prominence in the early 1980s with punk band Black Flag, and more recently has been a member of Misfits.
Life and career
Robo (at the time known by his birth name, Roberto Valverde), was a Colombian army defector, born in Cali, who came to the United States on a student visa in early 1975. He stayed after the visa expired.
Robo began playing drums in 1976, while living in El Segundo, California and working in a plastics factory. In 1978, he joined Black Flag as the band's second drummer, replacing Brian Migdol. He toured and recorded with them through 1981, performing on the EPs Jealous Again and Six Pack, and their first full-length album, Damaged. He later toured and recorded with the Misfits on the Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood album.
Robo's drum style is brash and brutal, relying heavily on open high-hat to generate the frenetic sounds on Black Flag's records. His signature drum kit during that era was transparent to match Greg Ginn's see-through Dan Armstrong guitar, and was unique in that all of the drums and cymbals were parallel to the ground rather than tilted towards him as is more typical of drummers. He was also known for wearing plastic and metal bracelets during concerts and recording sessions; they can sometimes be heard faintly clattering on recordings. His stage name was given to him by his Black Flag bandmates, and is both a play on his name (Roberto) and a reference to his drumming style. Whereas many drummers utilize a style which uses quick movements originating from the wrist, Robo's style consists of stiff, robotic movements of the entire arm.
In 2003, Robo drummed for Black Flag during their reunion shows. He was joined by Dez Cadena on vocals and rhythm guitar, Ginn on lead guitar, and C'el Revuelta on bass. In 2005, he rejoined the Misfits, then featuring Jerry Only on bass and vocals and fellow former Black Flag member Cadena on guitar. When touring, the band played Misfits songs as well as Black Flag songs, with Cadena singing the Black Flag songs. Robo appeared on the "Land of the Dead" single.
Robo has been married once, to Barbara Mazzone Valverde, and they have one son, Vincent Valverde (formerly of the band TALP), who was born on December 6, 1985. Robo and Barbara subsequently divorced.
In 2010, Robo dropped out of the Misfits due to passport troubles.
On January 25, 2013, it was announced that Robo would be participating in Black Flag's upcoming reunion show at Hevy Music Festival in Folkestone, their first UK show in 30 years, in August. A few days later, it was announced that Gregory Moore would be the drummer for Black Flag, not Robo.
- Jealous Again EP (SST Records, 1980)
- "Six Pack" EP (SST Records, 1981)
- "Louie Louie" single (Posh Boy Records, 1981)
- Damaged (SST Records, 1981)
- Everything Went Black compilation (SST Records, 1983) – selected tracks
- The First Four Years compilation (SST Records, 1983) – selected tracks
- Wasted...Again compilation (SST Records, 1987) – selected tracks
Note: Robo was credited as the drummer on early pressings of Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown EP but did not play on the actual recording.
- Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (Plan 9 Records, 1983)
- "Die, Die My Darling" single (Plan 9 Records, 1984) – selected tracks
- Misfits compilation (Plan 9/Caroline Records, 1986) – selected tracks
- Collection II compilation (Caroline Records, 1995) – selected tracks
- The Misfits Box Set (Caroline Records, 1996) – selected tracks
- Cuts from the Crypt compilation (Roadrunner Records, 2001) – on the song "Rise Above"
- "Land of the Dead" single (Misfits Records, 2009)
- His year of birth is found in the timeline of MisfitsCentral.com
- Blush, Steven (2010). American Hardcore: A Tribal History (Second Edition). Port Townsend, WA: Feral House. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-922915-71-2.
- "Black Flag Is Back". Blabbermouth.net. January 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-25.