From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shihad live in concert
Background information
Also known as Pacifier
Origin Wellington, New Zealand
Genres Alternative rock, industrial rock, hard rock, thrash metal (early)
Years active 1988–present
Labels Wildside (former), Polydor (former), Festival (former), Noise Records (former) Warner Music Group, Roadrunner
Associated acts Head Like a Hole, The Datsuns, The Adults
Members Jon Toogood
Phil Knight
Karl Kippenberger
Tom Larkin
Past members Hamish Laing
Geoff Duncan
Geoff Daniels

Shihad is a New Zealand alternative rock band, currently based in Melbourne, Australia. During Shihad's recording career, they have produced four number-one studio albums and three top-ten singles in their home country of New Zealand. Following the September 11 tragedy, the band was known as Pacifier for a brief period of time before reverting to Shihad.

At the release time of their seventh studio album Beautiful Machine, Shihad are ranked as first equal for most Top 40 charting singles for a New Zealand artist in the New Zealand charts with 19[1] (although Dave Dobbyn has 22 with Th'Dudes, DD Smash and as a solo artist). Of these singles, "Home Again", "Pacifier" and "Bitter" are listed at numbers 30, 60 and 83 respectively in the Nature's Best compilation, an official collection of New Zealand's top 100 songs.


Shihad was formed by vocalist/guitarist Jon Toogood and drummer Tom Larkin in 1988. The band's musical style was originally indebted to San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth, although the band found wider popularity over the following decade playing a mixture of modern rock, post-grunge and pop-rock that gained the band opening slots with professional US rock acts, as well as favourable reviews. Now entering their 26th year together, the band are still a major drawcard on the NZ and Australian live circuit, and continue to be offered top headline and support billing. In 1990 management was picked up in Wellington by Gerald Dwyer - former front man of local punk legends Flesh-D-Vice. Gerald was also the manager of local band Head Like a Hole. Gerald Dwyer died of a drug overdose before Shihad's performance at Big Day Out Auckland 1996.[2]

Shihad opened their Love Is the New Hate album tour with a free concert in Auckland's Aotea Square, and an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand, including a spot on the main stage at Splendour In The Grass in front of an audience of approximately 20,000. The band has also toured with Cog, the Datsuns, and opened for Evanescence on part of their 2006/2007 world tour.

Phil Knight, Shakespeare Hotel, Napier, NZ.

The band embarked in February and March 2008 on a headlining national tour entitled 'One Will Hear The Tour' playing for 300-400 capacity crowds along the East coast. They band played 28 dates in 6 weeks.

Shihad played at Big Day Out 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand on the blue stage with an hour slot from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. They also headlined the rock stage of Vodafone Homegrown on 26 April at the Wellington waterfront.

In the second half of 2008, Shihad toured New Zealand on the "Beautiful Machine Tour", playing medium-size venues such as the Wellington Town Hall, with support from The Mint Chicks and Luger Boa. Shihad also toured with Gyroscope around Australia for Gyroscope's "Australia Tour".

The summer of 2008/2009 saw Shihad play New Year's Eve in Gisborne, as well as the Coroglen Tavern and the Lake Hawea Motor Inn over the summer holiday period.

Shihad proposed a series of seven shows in New Zealand in which they will be playing one of their seven studio albums in its entirety. The shows were said to be taking place in November 2009, however have been postponed until sometime in 2010. Jon Toogood suggested having a vote for which album fans would most like to hear, so whether or not these shows will take place is at this stage not confirmed.

Shihad supported AC/DC for the New Zealand leg of the AC/DC Black Ice World Tour in January/February 2010.[3]

In January 2010, a new track by Shihad titled 'Cold Heart' was added to the Homegrown festival website for free streaming.

The single 'Sleepeater' was released in April 2010, followed by 'Lead or Follow' in July. The album, 'IGNITE' was released on 24 September 2010, and it debuted at Number One on the New Zealand music charts, eventually achieving gold sales there.[4]

The band toured New Zealand in August 2010 performing their albums Killjoy and The General Electric in full. During this time the band featured on the cover of Rip It Up Magazine.Rip It Up also published a review (Jan 1997 No. 233)of the ACDC Ballbreaker concert held on 27 November 1996 where Shihad were the support group.[5]

At the 2010 New Zealand Music Awards Shihad won the Legacy Award, and were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.[6]

In November 2011, Shihad released a two-disc greatest hits compilation called "The Meanest Hits", which debuted at #7 on the New Zealand charts. On the second disc of the Australian release of this album (which was not released until August 2012), Down Dance was replaced with Right Outta Nowhere, a new 2012 single. This song does not appear on the NZ versions of the album, as it had not yet been released at that time.

Naming conflict[edit]

The name Shihad was chosen after members of the band saw David Lynch's 1984 film, Dune, based on Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel of the same name, which uses the term "Jihad", in an approximation of the term used by Muslims which roughly translates to "the struggle", or as a reference to the "Holy War".

Quote from an interview in Opus Issue 7 - 2003 (Newcastle University student magazine) Interview: Pacifier - By John Grayson.

John Grayson: How did the name Shihad come about anyway?

Tom Larkin: Well, see that's the biggest cock-up out. When we were 15 we were all into this sci-fi movie Dune. See, Dune uses all these Arabic words throughout the movie and the end battle is a Jihad. We were stupid and thought it'd be a great name for a band so we called ourselves Shihad cause we couldn't even spell it.

Following the 11 September terrorist attacks, the band decided to change their name due to the similarity between the band's name Shihad and the Arabic word jihad. At the 2002 Big Day Out music festival in Auckland, New Zealand they released t-shirts with 'Shihad' on them, and 'Remote' printed below, indicating that 'Remote' was to be the new name. However, due to this name being taken already, they settled on "Pacifier", which was a successful single from their album The General Electric. They released an album, Pacifier, under this name in 2002. The American release of the album featured a different track listing to the Australian and New Zealand release, and included the song My Mind's Sedate from the The General Electric.

On 17 September 2004, the band announced to the world that they would change their name back to Shihad. To quote the band, "The events surrounding the name change and our choice to be known as Pacifier are well documented. As much as we believed in what we were doing, and the reasons for doing it at the time – the truth is we were wrong." On an appearance on the ABC TV show Spicks and Specks, Jon Toogood talked about how band members do not usually have to consider holy war when thinking of a band name.

In an interview,[7] Jon Toogood spoke about an event that contributed to their decision:

We were in America while it invaded Iraq and had to play at festivals that were supposedly 'support the troops festivals' when we didn't believe in the war at all. That's what the song "All the Young Fascists" is about – the day we played Miami in front of 30,000 kids at this festival that was originally just a rock festival. A week out, just because of the timing, it was turned into the support the troops show and it was being simulcast live to Iraq. We were on this bill with these really ugly – what we call WWF – metal bands, and we were shitting ourselves.

I just wanted to get out of there. Beside the stage was a paintball gun alley where kids were lining up to shoot effigies of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and (French president) Jacques Chirac. That was the weirdest one. The amount of times I actually pointed out to Americans the fact that their Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and they were supposed to be mates.

The band name "Pacifier" was raffled on the Australian radio station Triple J by Jay and the Doctor and was claimed by a little known band from Tasmania, Theory of Everything.

Band members[edit]


  • Jon Toogood – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Phil Knight – lead guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Karl Kippenberger – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Tom Larkin – drums, backing vocals, samplers


  • Hamish Laing – bass (left 1991)
  • Geoff Duncan – bass (left 1989)
  • Geoff Daniels– bass (left 1989)



List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Churn 9
  • NZ: Gold
  • Released: May 1995
  • Label: Wildside Records
  • NZ: Gold
  • Released: September 1996
  • Label: Wildside Records
  • Also known as The Fish Album
  • NZ: Gold
The General Electric
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Wildside Records
23 1
  • AUS: Gold
  • NZ: 2× Platinum
Pacifier 8 1
  • AUS: Gold
  • NZ: 2× Platinum
Pacifier: Live
  • Released: 23 November 2003
  • Label: WEA Records, Warner Music Group
  • Released under band name Pacifier
  • NZ: Gold
Love Is the New Hate
  • Released: 2 May 2005
  • Label: WEA Records, Warner Music Group
11 2
  • NZ: Platinum
Beautiful Machine
  • Released: 21 April 2008
  • Label: WEA Records, Warner Music Group
11 1
  • NZ: Gold
Ignite 44 1
  • NZ: Gold
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of EPs, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak Chart Positions
Devolve EP
  • Released: 1990
  • Format: LP (1990), CD (1991)
Happy Families Tour
  • Released: 1995
  • Released: 1996
Flaming Soul/Gates of Steel
  • Released: 1997
The Blue Light Disco EP
  • Released: 1998
Suck On This EP
  • Released: 2002
ZM Live Lounge EP
  • Released: 2008
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album Notes
US Rock
"I Only Said" 1993 3 Churn
"Stations" 1994 35
"Derail" 33
"You Again" 1995 20 Killjoy
"Bitter" 20
"Gimme Gimme" 39
"Deb's Night Out" 1996 41
"La La Land" 39 Shihad
"It's a Go" European release only
"A Day Away" 1997 44
"Home Again" 42
"Yr Head Is a Rock" 1998 45
"Ghost From the Past" Australian release only
"My Mind's Sedate" 1999 90 6 The General Electric
"The General Electric" 2000 22
"Pacifier" 83 48
"Sport and Religion"
"Comfort Me" 2002 40 34 Pacifier Released as band Pacifier
"Run" 64 36
"Bullitproof" 2003 48 27
"Everything" 36
"Alive" 2005 38 5 Love Is the New Hate
"All the Young Fascists"
"Shot in the Head"
"Dark Times"
"None of the Above" 2006
"One Will Hear the Other" 2008 21 Beautiful Machine
"Vampires" 31
"Beautiful Machine"
"Rule the World"
"Sleepeater" 2010 36 Ignite
"Lead or Follow"
"Right Outta Nowhere" 2012 The Meanest Hits Australian release only.
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Chartbitz | June 8, 2008 - RadioScope New Zealand". 10 June 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Gnanalingam, Brannavan (20 February 2006). "Home Again". Salient. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Concert Event Of The Summer | Scoop News". 10 December 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Shihad: Ignite tour has been announced!". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Live". Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Kara, Scott (1 September 2010). "Shihad win NZ Herald legacy award and enter hall of fame". The New Zealand Herald (APN News & Media). Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ a b " - Discography Shihad". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c " - Discography Shihad". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Pacifier Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 

External links[edit]