RIP Paco Carreno drummer with Conflict and Inner Terrestrials

Punks around the world were saddened at the news yesterday of the death at the age of 49 of Francisco “Paco” Carreno.

Paco was a man who redefined punk rock drumming with the band’s Conflict and Inner Terrestrials. Paco joined Conflict in 1981 and played with them across the world and on a slew of records including arguably one of the fiercest punk albums to ever be released: The Ungovernable Force.

To say Conflict were influential is an understatement. His drumming style was powerful and technical – sometimes throwing in extra beats where you wouldn’t have thought there was room for any – but to watch him live was always amazing as he made the powerful onslaught seem so effortless – as if he was brushing away mosquitoes.  When Paco played the drums he wasn’t just hitting things, he was playing an instrument that could provide melody as well as rhythm and several Conflict songs were based around individually recognisable drum patterns.  In 1994 he formed Inner Terrestrials with whom he again released two fine albums gaining a steady reputation on the squat and festival circuit.  His involvement with both bands in recent years had been affected by ill health.  Other bands he lent his talents to included Riot/Clone and Experiment.

Paco was more than a drummer in successful bands – he ran a studio in Brixton, had been involved in the organisation of gigs, and was a face to be seen when other bands were playing in London.  I met him 20 years ago, having grown up listening to his music, and from that point on he was always up for a brief chat if I saw him.  With thousands of friends across the globe he still always had time to stop and chat to people he knew.  Reactions to the news on Facebook from the punk community frequently described his personal attributes as much as his role in seminal bands – there’s a lot of love out there for him.

We suggest you grab a copy of one of the albums he played on, crank the volume up and listen to those beats.

Our thoughts go out to his family and close friends.

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Nathan got bitten by the punk rock bug at the tender age of 7, when The Kids Were United and Sid Was Innocent. Since then, inspired by the anarcho-punk movement he has played in numerous bands including Armoured Flu Unit, Liberty, Abrazos, Whole In The Head & Haywire; written for zines, promoted gigs and was one half of DJ outfit Aggro-Culture Sound System. He has No Gods, No Masters and since meeting many of them has No More Heroes.


  1. On a perdu un grand homme, humaniste, d’une gentillesse rare. On ne se connaissait pas, mais nous avons pu nous croiser plusieurs fois, où l’on a pu partager quelques mots, quelques sourires, rires.. . Toujours agréable, sympa, il manquera à toute la culture punk, et j’ai une pensée émue pour sa famille, et tous ses proches. Etant musicienne, je n’ai jamais vu jouer quelqu’un aussi bien de la batterie avec tant de facilité! Il m’a subjuguée!… quel rythme!!! supers souvenirs, Merci Paco.

  2. Hi Nathan, Massive thank you for the superb tribute to my brother Paco Carreno, much loved, will be very much missed! From Pax sister Maria

    • Hi Maria
      I don’t know if you remember me I worked in the salon in Well Hall with your family. Just wanted to pass on my condolences to you and your family – I have followed Paco’s career over the years, and was very sad to hear the news.
      Please pass on my regards
      Ginney x

  3. Paco, definately a heavy drummer who dealt with people in the true south london manner- wish you could have stayed longer, pleasure knowing you. the angels rhythm speed you on your way…

  4. sorry Maria, last post reads shitty and weren’t meant to be posted, just that quicker he flies quicker he’s back. i hope the guys find a way to keep on- and above all keep the. music travelling

  5. A fine tribute to a close friend of mine. As I read it EXPERIMENT playing loudly. That was always one of his favorite projects…
    RIP my friend

  6. Only just heard….. my heart goes out to you all. Have so many fond memories of Paco and so sorry we never kept in touch…. xxxxx

  7. Paco was someone I wish I had known better than I did. We shared some unforgetable gigs together and I will be forever grateful for that.His drumming style had a huge influence on mine and despite not keeping in touch I still feel a huge debt of gratitude to him just for being who he was. An immense man and an immense talent. I LOVE YOU MAN xxxxxxx

  8. R.I.R. (REST IN RACKET) fanx for leaving behind so much music ~ a pleasure to have known you , to live on in hearts is never to die , UP THE PUNX !

  9. I knew Paco from the early days of Conflict. He became a mate beyond being the powerhouse drummer that he was. He was funny as fuck and I remember him and all the laughs we had with just a huge smile.


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