Killing Joke performing at the 2009 Ilosaarirock Festival. From left to right: Ferguson (background), Walker, Coleman, Glover
|Origin||Notting Hill, London, England|
Kevin "Geordie" Walker
Martin "Youth" Glover
|Past members||Paul Raven
Dave 'Taif' Ball
Killing Joke are an English rock band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England. The original line-up included Jeremy "Jaz" Coleman (vocals, keyboards), "Big" Paul Ferguson (drums), Kevin "Geordie" Walker (guitars) and Martin "Youth" Glover (bass).
Their first album Killing Joke was released in 1980. After the release of Revelations in 1982, bassist Youth was replaced by Paul Raven. The band achieved mainstream success in 1985 with both the album Night Time and the single "Love Like Blood".
A key influence on industrial rock, their early music was described by critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and John Dougan as "quasi-metal [...] dancing to a tune of doom and gloom", which gradually evolved over the years, incorporating elements of electronic music, synthpop and gothic rock, though always emphasising Coleman's "savagely strident vocals". Killing Joke have influenced many later bands and artists, such as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. Coleman and Geordie have been the only constant members of the band.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Formation and first three albums (1978–1982)
- 1.2 Shift towards a commercial sound (1983–1988)
- 1.3 Revised lineup and Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions (1989–1991)
- 1.4 Reunion with Youth and Butterfly era (1992–1996)
- 1.5 Reformation, next two albums and death of Paul Raven (2002–2007)
- 1.6 Reunion of original lineup (2008–present)
- 2 Style
- 3 Legacy and Influence
- 4 Film
- 5 Side projects
- 6 Members
- 7 Discography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Formation and first three albums (1978–1982)
"Big" Paul Ferguson was drummer in the band of Mataya Clifford (a.k.a. Mat Stagger) when he met Jaz Coleman (from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) in Notting Hill, London. In October 1978, after Coleman was briefly keyboard player in that band, he and Ferguson left to form Killing Joke. They placed an advertisement in the Melody Maker which attracted guitarist Kevin "Geordie" Walker and bassist Martin "Youth" Glover. According to Coleman, their manifesto was at the time to "define the exquisite beauty of the atomic age in terms of style, sound and form". Coleman gave an explanation concerning their name: "the killing joke is like when people watch something like Monty Python on the television and laugh, when really they're laughing at themselves. It's like a soldier in the first world war. He's in the trench, he knows his life is gone and that within the next ten minutes he's gonna be dead ... and then suddenly he realises that some cunt back in Westminster's got him sussed - 'What am I doing this for? I don't want to kill anyone, I'm just being controlled'." The band played a debut gig on 4 August 1979 at Cheltenham Witcombe Lodge supporting The Ruts and The Selecter.
By September 1979, shortly before the release of their debut EP, Turn to Red, they began the Malicious Damage record label with graphic artist Mike Coles as a way to press and sell their music; Island Records distributed the records, until Malicious Damage switched to E.G. Records with a distribution through Polydor from 1980. The songs on Killing Joke's early singles were primitive punk rock sometimes mixed with electronic. Turn to Red came to the attention of legendary DJ John Peel, who was keen to champion the band's urgent new sound and gave them extensive airplay. The production on that first EP was sparse with dub features. NME stated in a concert review that "their sound is a bit like early [Siouxsie and the] Banshees without the thrilling, amoral imagination." Concerning their live performances, it was said that "the only animation on stage is provided by Jaz who crouches behind his synthesizer, making forays like a Neanderthal man gripped by a gesturing, giberring fury". Their music released from the "Wardance/Pssyche" single was pictured as "heavy dance music" by the press. The band had changed their sound into something denser, more aggressive, and more akin to heavy metal. Their debut album Killing Joke was released in September: the band had thought for a while to call it "Tomorrow's World". The press started to criticize them for the lack of new material appearing on the b-sides of singles which often featured different mixes. The group preferred to carry on working into the studio and released What's THIS For...! just nine months after Killing Joke in June 1981. For What's THIS for...!, they hired sound engineer Nick Launay who had previously recorded with PiL. They toured extensively throughout the UK during this time, and both fans of post-punk and heavy metal took interest in Killing Joke through singles such as "Follow the Leaders" (1981).
Killing Joke also became notorious largely due to the controversies that arose from their imagery. Typically the images that appeared on their records and on-stage while performing live were bizarre and potentially shocking and inflammatory. Critics noted the black humour and the use of shock tactics both musically and visually to create a reaction. The sleeve of one of their first singles, 1980's "Wardance"/"Pssyche", had already shown Fred Astaire dancing in a war field. One promotion poster featured an original photo, erroneously believed to be of Pope Pius XI. The picture was of German abbot Alban Schachleiter walking among rows of Nazi soldiers offering Hitler salutes and appearing to return the salute, and was later used for the cover of the band's compilation album Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!.
Revelations was recorded in 1982 in Germany near Cologne with producer Conny Plank who had previously worked for Neu! and Kraftwerk. The album was supported by a pair of performances on BBC Radio's "The John Peel Show" and a slot on UK TV show Top of The Pops for "Empire Song". It was the first time that one of their LPs entered in the top 20 UK albums chart: Revelations peaked at number 12 a few weeks after its release. Members of the band, especially Coleman, had become immersed in the occult, particularly the works of occultist Aleister Crowley. In February of that year, Coleman, with Geordie following shortly after, moved to Iceland to survive the Apocalypse, which Coleman predicted was coming soon. While in Iceland, Coleman and Geordie worked with musicians from the band Þeyr in the project Niceland. Youth who had stayed in England, left the band after a few months. He then began the band Brilliant with Ferguson, but the latter defected and travelled to Iceland to rejoin Killing Joke with new bassist Paul Raven.
The new Killing Joke's line-up soon recorded again with Conny Plank: the single "Birds of a Feather / Sun Goes Down / Flock the B-Side" and Ha!, a six-track 10" EP of a live performance recorded live at Larry's Hideaway in Toronto in August.
Shift towards a commercial sound (1983–1988)
Fire Dances (1983), contained music that, like that heard on the "Birds of a Feather" single, was slightly artier and relatively calmer than before but with still tribal drums. This was continued with the non LP singles "Me or You?", "Eighties", "A New Day" (1984), the latter promoted with a music video. "Eighties" marked a change of direction with the arrival of producer Chris Kimsey who had previously worked with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
Mixing their sound with a slightly pop style, and with Coleman singing and not growling, Killing Joke had developed a variation of new wave on their fifth album, Night Time (1985). They achieved mainstream success with "Love Like Blood" which covered all ground from goth to dance: it peaked at number 16 in the UK singles chart. In Europe, it even reached the number 5 position in the Netherlands and number 8 in Belgium. Night Time followed the same path, reaching number 11 in the UK albums chart and stays so far their highest charting position in their country. The album also became an international success staying in the charts during 9 weeks in the Netherlands, reaching the top ten: it even peaked at number 8 in New Zealand, charting during 14 weeks. The band, still on the E.G. label, then quit Polydor to sign a contract with Virgin.
The music on Brighter than a Thousand Suns (1986), was mostly similar in sound and mood to "Love like Blood". Following the success of Night Time, the band had decided to recruit once again Kimsey for the production side. While no less aggressive and heavy than their older work, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns diverged musically in ways that led to controversy among listeners. In this case, disagreements between fans and critics alike included opinions on whether the band was conforming with pressures from EG Records to develop a more commercial sound, to whether the songs were relevant for those listeners more comfortable with their proto post-punk beginnings. The record was a commercial failure compared to the previous effort, it didn't reach the top 50 in the UK charts. However, two singles were released from the album - "Adorations" (which fractionally missed the UK Top 40) and "Sanity" - and the band continued touring successfully until the end of the year.
In 1987, the band started to work on a new album which was presented by Coleman and Geordie as a studio project to the rest of the band. Raven took part in the sessions but he was unsatisfied by the result, finally asking for his name to be removed from the album credits. Ferguson recorded drums in Berlin but according to Coleman he was fired because he wasn't able to record the precise timings, a version that Raven later rejected. "I know Paul and when he does something he does it properly. If it wasn't right he would have stayed there 'til it was." Tensions ultimately led to both musicians being dismissed from the band. Session player Jimmy Copley was then brought in to provide the drumming on the songs, along with percussion player Jeff Scantlebury.
The resulting album, Outside the Gate (1988), is Killing Joke's most controversial album, due to its synth-led sonics and disagreement over the quality of the material. Sounds said of the album: "It's a stodgy, inconclusive LP that fails in all but the most basic of senses to achieve its end, leaving us feeling soured and unimpressed." NME shared the same point of view and depicted it as "a private breakfast of ideas, depicting poor old Jaz wading through quicksand with his jeans rolled down yet again. Worse ... he seems to be wandering off in exactly the same direction." Outside The Gate is not signature-sound Killing Joke, being built around Coleman's orchestral keyboards instead of Geordie's distinctive guitar riffs, which were all but drowned out in the final mix. Two singles, "America" and "My Love of This Land", were released from the album but did little to improve its fortunes, although the b-sides were live versions of old material. The video for the former features Coleman and Geordie with drummer Jimmy Copley and session bassist Jerome Rimson, who never actually recorded with the band. Virgin dropped the group two months after the release of the album; that also would be the end of their collaboration with the E.G. label.
On 19 September 1987, Coleman had delivered a lecture at London's Courtauld Institute outlining the thinking behind the then-unreleased Outside the Gate album, touching on numerology and the occult. Geordie and percussionist Jeff Scantlebury provided a minimal musical backing at the event. A recording of the lecture was eventually released under the title The Courtauld Talks on Martin Atkins' Invisible Records in 1989.
Revised lineup and Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions (1989–1991)
Towards the end of 1988, Coleman and Geordie looked for full-time bass players and drummers. First on board was drummer Martin Atkins, who had gained notability in Pil. A suitable bass player proved more difficult. Former Smiths man Andy Rourke was hired, then dismissed after only three days. Eventually the band settled on Welsh bass player Dave "Taif" Ball, and played their first gigs in almost two years in December 1988. These featured the best of their 1980 to 1985 work, alongside powerful new material which alluded to the band's earlier, harsher sound. Touring continued across the UK, Europe and the US until August 1989, when the band took a break to record its new material in Germany, and to allow Coleman time to record 1991's Songs from the Victorious City with Anne Dudley of Art of Noise.
For reasons which remain unclear, the German Killing Joke sessions were shelved and bass player Taif left the band to be replaced by old hand Raven. The revised line-up began recording again, this time in London, and the result was Killing Joke's eighth album, the ferocious Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions, released on the German Noise International label in 1990. It included some of the heaviest, noisiest and harshest music ever to appear on a Killing Joke record, although the progressive musical spirit of the previous two albums remained as well. "Money Is Not Our God" was the lead single. Once again, the band toured Europe and North America, but by the middle of 1991 this promising new line-up had imploded. Coleman emigrated to New Zealand to live on a remote Pacific island, and Killing Joke entered a hiatus period.
The musicians bar Coleman Geordie and the band's live keyboard player John Bechdel worked with Scottish vocalist Chris Connelly and continued as the short-lived Murder, Inc., releasing a self-titled album in 1992.
Reunion with Youth and Butterfly era (1992–1996)
A Killing Joke anthology, Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!, was released in 1992; during its production, Geordie re-acquainted with Youth, who suggested that they reform the band with himself back on bass. That same year, two singles (on cassette and CD) appeared featuring the early songs "Change" and "Wardance" in several new versions remixed by Youth, by then a very successful producer.
Coleman produced the 1993 debut album Churn by the New Zealand Band Shihad and Shihad drummer Tom Larkin played drums on some of the songs on Pandemonium. Relations later soured between Coleman and Shihad due to a dispute over Coleman's production fee for Churn.
Killing Joke also sued Nirvana during this phase, alleging that the riff for the latter's song "Come as You Are" was copied from the riff for their song "Eighties". The lawsuit was dropped after the suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
The reactivated Killing Joke released two strong and well-received albums on Youth's Butterfly Recordings label, Pandemonium and Democracy, which saw the band shift back to the simpler arrangements of their early albums whilst also (on 12 inch remixes) employ young talent, the likes of Waxworth Industries in order to provide an alternative inroad to the band's new and evolving sound. Pandemonium (1994) wove a metallesque ritualistic sound with mosh beats and loops and provided Killing Joke with a memorable Top of the Pops performance for the single 'Millennium', which was a UK Top 40 hit (the album itself made the Top 20). The title track was also released as a single and made the UK Top 30. In 1995, the band recorded the song "Hollywood Babylon" for the soundtrack of Paul Verhoeven's movie Showgirls. Democracy (1996) successfully introduced acoustic guitar into the mix, as well as adopting more of a "live band" sound again. The title track was again released as a single and made the UK Top 40. Much of Pandemonium and all of Democracy featured session drummer Geoff Dugmore. He also played live with the band throughout this era. Nick Holywell-Walker joined the band on keyboards and programming for 11 years from 1994 to 2005, notably on Democracy and XXV Gathering. Youth bowed out of live performance early in the Democracy tour and was replaced by Troy Gregory previously of Prong.
After the Democracy tour, the band went on an extended hiatus. Coleman and Youth produced a string of well-received orchestral rock albums based on the music of legends such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors. Coleman became composer-in-residence for New Zealand and Czech symphony orchestras. He seems to have become something of a celebrity in the Czech Republic and made his acting debut with the main role in the film Rok ďábla (Year of the Devil) by Czech filmmaker Petr Zelenka.
Reformation, next two albums and death of Paul Raven (2002–2007)
In 2002, Coleman, Geordie and Youth recorded their second self-titled album with special guest Dave Grohl on drums. Produced by Andy Gill and released to much acclaim in 2003, it was heralded as a powerful addition to Extremities and other visceral 1990s albums, and considered one of their finest recordings. In 2003 the band played at the biggest open-air festival in Europe (400,000 - 500,000 rock fans every year) - Przystanek Woodstock in Poland. The War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq were cited as major factors in their reforming, and this is reflected in the lyrical content of much of the album, based on themes of war, government control and Armageddon. The album, which fell just short of the UK Top 40, was their heaviest to date and spawned two singles, "Loose Cannon" (a UK Top 25 hit) and "Seeing Red". The songs are all credited to Coleman/Geordie/Youth/Gill, although Raven's name is also on the list of musicians on the liner notes, marking his return to the band after more than a decade. The album was accompanied by a tour of the United States, Europe and Australia in 2003/2004, with ex-Prong drummer Ted Parsons on board.
In February 2005, now with young Twin Zero and Sack Trick drummer Ben Calvert, Killing Joke played two consecutive shows at London's Shepherds Bush Empire to commemorate their 25th anniversary. DVD and CD recordings from these concerts were released in the fall of the same year as XXV Gathering: The Band That Preys Together Stays Together. In June, remastered and expanded editions of Pandemonium and Democracy, were released by Cooking Vinyl. These were followed in July by their first four albums (Killing Joke to Ha!) on EMI, who by then owned the E.G. Records catalogue. The second batch of EMI remasters would not appear until January 2008.) That year, Reza Udhin joined the band on Keyboards when they supported Mötley Crüe during their British tour and then they began work on their next album in Prague. It was at this time the contribution to the world of rock was recognised when they were awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 2005 Kerrang Awards. Opting for simplicity and raw energy, the band recorded the new album in "Hell", the basement rehearsal space of Studio Faust Records in Prague, going for live takes with the minimum of overdubs. The result was Hosannas from the Basements of Hell, released in April 2006, which made the UK Top 75.
During a European tour, in April 2006, Raven abruptly departed after a few dates to tour with Ministry and was temporarily replaced by Kneill Brown. In October, it was announced that Coleman had been chosen as composer in residence for the European Union. As Composer in Residence he will be commissioned to write music for special occasions.
Early in 2007, Killing Joke released three archival collections. The first, Inside Extremities, is a double CD of material taken from the band's preparations for the Extremities album: rehearsals, rare mixes, a previously unheard track, "The Fanatic", and a full live show from the Extremities tour. This was followed by Bootleg Vinyl Archive Volumes 1 & 2, each of which is a 3-CD box set of live-in-concert bootleg recordings originally released on vinyl in the 1980s, plus the Astoria gig from the Pandemonium tour which was voted one of the greatest gigs of all time by Kerrang. The 1990 album Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions, which had long been out of print, was reissued in remastered form.
On 20 October, Paul Raven died of heart failure prior to a recording session in Geneva, Switzerland. In his honour, Coleman composed a lament for a 21st-century Englishman (The Night Raven, the Tower and the Cenotaph). In 2008, the second batch of albums from Fire Dances to Outside the Gate was re-issued in remastered form with bonus tracks.
Reunion of original lineup (2008–present)
After the death of Raven, the original line up of Coleman, Youth, Geordie and Ferguson reunited. Coleman told Terrorizer magazine how the return of Ferguson came up after 20 years of absence:
"Everything came together when we all met at...Raven's funeral. It was funny the unifying effect it had on all of us. It made us realise our mortality and how important Killing Joke is to all of us."
They assembled in Granada, Spain, to prepare a world tour consisting of two nights in various capital cities of the world, playing a programme of four complete albums. The rehearsals will be immortalised on Duende - The Spanish Sessions. The first night was dedicated to their first two albums, Killing Joke and What's THIS For...!, while the second night featured large parts of Pandemonium plus some early singles released on Island records. The world tour began in September in Tokyo and concluded in Chicago in October.
An album of radio session recordings, The Peel Sessions 1979–1981, was released in September 2008. This is the second time all 17 tracks were released in their live session form.
The band then was on the bill of several festivals including, All Tomorrow's Parties, Sonisphere in Knebworth, and headlined the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool. They also performed in The Big Top Tent at the 2009 Isle Of Wight Festival after being hand picked by Tim Burgess, frontman for The Charlatans.
During October and November 2009, they recorded a new album 2010's Absolute Dissent, marking the 30th Anniversary for Killing Joke. It was preceded by the In Excelsis EP in June 2010. In November, the band received the "Innovator Award" at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour 2010; they were awarded by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin who stated "I go back a long way with Jaz Coleman and the band. I used to go and see the band, and it was a band that really impressed me because Geordie’s guitar sound was just really, really strong. And they were really tribal, the band, and it was really intense. It was just really good to hear something like that during the 80s, which sort of caved in a bit with haircuts and synthesizers." The band were also honoured by Metal Hammer at their annual awards, receiving "The Album of the Year award" for Absolute Dissent.
In 2012, the group released MMXII. It reached No. 44 upon its first week of release, the band's highest UK chart-placing since their eponymous album of 2003 as well as charting across Europe.
In April 2015, two limited edition Record Store Day double LPs called, Live At The Hammersmith Apollo 16.10.2010 Volume 1 & Live At The Hammersmith Apollo 16.10.2010 Volume 2 were issued for independent record stores in the UK.
The band released their fifteenth studio album Pylon on October 23 : the track listing features ten songs and a deluxe edition contains five more tracks. A nine-date British tour followed to promote the record. Pylon entered in the UK albums chart at number 16, becoming the band's first UK Top 20 album since 1994. On 4 November 2016, the band will be playing a one-off gig at the Brixton Academy in London.
The band called it "tension music". Co-founder Ferguson described it as "the sound of the earth vomiting. I’m never quite sure whether to be offended by the question of 'are we Punk' or not, because, I loved Punk music, but we weren't. And I think our influences were beyond Punk. Obviously before Punk, there was Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and there was Yes even and King Crimson, and those had all influenced me as a player, and the other guys would say other things, but I’m sure they were all part of their history as well."
Coleman's way of singing has been linked to Motörhead's Lemmy as he sometimes expresses a "terrifying growl". There is also a menace that shows in his voice. In the first part of their career, Coleman also played synth while singing, adding electronic atonal sounds to create a disturbing atmosphere.
Geordie's style is metallic and cold. According to critic Simon Reynolds, Geordie took the Keith Levene sound from PiL and led it into something of another level, almost inhuman and extreme. Ferguson plays tribal drums that have been compared to early Siouxsie and the Banshees's. Coleman had stated in early 1980 that Ferguson listened to them.
Legacy and Influence
Killing Joke have inspired artists of different genres. They have been namechecked by several heavy rock bands such as Metallica and Soundgarden. Metallica covered "The Wait" and James Hetfield picked Coleman as one of his favourite singers. Soundgarden cited them as one of their main influences when they started playing. Helmet covered "Primitive" in 1993. Faith No More stated that all their members liked the group, qualifying them as a "great band". Geordie's style inspired Kurt Cobain's of Nirvana, according to Bill Janovitz of "Allmusic", with the use of a metallic sound mixed with a shimmering Chorused effect. The Foo Fighters, the second band of Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, covered "Requiem" in 1997. Metal band Fear Factory recorded "Millenium" in 2005. Jane's Addiction said that the group was one of their influences: singer Perry Farrell was inspired by the percussive and tribal aspect of their music as their drummer Matt was with their "groove".
The band have inspired many industrial bands including Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. They have been cited by Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails 's leader, who mentioned his interest for their early material, saying that he studied their music. Al Jourgensen of Ministry has presented himself as a "big fan" of the group. Godflesh's Justin Broadrick was particularly influenced by their early releases containing dub versions.
The group has also been cited by alternative music acts such as My Bloody Valentine and LCD Soundsystem. Marilyn Manson has also cited Killing Joke as an influence.  Shoegazing guitarist and composer Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine mentioned the band and praised more specifically Geordie's touch that he described as "this effortless playing producing a monstruous sound". In 2002, James Murphy of dance punk band LCD Soundsystem sampled the music of "Change" on his debut single "Losing My Edge".
Killing Joke are the subject of a feature-length documentary film The Death and Resurrection Show scheduled for release in 2015. The film has already been shown in various festivals between 2013 and 2014. Two preview trailers have been released combining archive footage of Killing Joke over the last 31 years with new and unseen footage of recent live tours, recording sessions including the Great Pyramid and interview subjects including Coleman, Geordie, Youth, Jimmy Page, Peter Hook, Chris Kimsey, Mike Coles, Dave Grohl, Alex Paterson and Laurence Gardner discussing Killing Joke, UFOs, mysticism, religion and the end of the world. The film is produced by New Zealand's ILC Productions, UK indie Coffee Films and Jaz Coleman, with filmmaker, photographer and lifelong Gatherer Shaun Pettigrew directing.
- Current members
- Jaz Coleman – lead vocals, keyboards (1978–1996, 2002–present)
- Kevin "Geordie" Walker – guitars (1978–1996, 2002–present)
- Martin "Youth" Glover – bass guitar (1978–1982, 1994–1996, 2002–2003, 2008–present)
- Paul Ferguson – drums, vocals (1978–1987, 2008–present)
- Reza Uhdin – keyboards (2005–present)
- Former members
- Paul Raven – bass guitar (1982–1987, 1990–1991, 2003–2007; died 2007)
- Martin Atkins – drums (1988–1991)
- Dave 'Taif' Ball – bass guitar (1988–1990)
- Geoff Dugmore – drums (1994–1996)
- Ben Calvert – drums (2005–2008)
- Additional musicians
- Dave Kovacevic – keyboards (1984–1990)
- Jimmy Copley – drums (1987–88)
- John Bechdel – keyboards, programming (1990–1991)
- Nick Holywell-Walker – keyboards, programming (1994–1996, 2002–2005)
- Troy Gregory – bass guitar (1996)
- Dave Grohl – drums (2002–2003)
- Ted Parsons – drums (2003–2004)
- Studio albums
- Killing Joke (1980)
- What's THIS For...! (1981)
- Revelations (1982)
- Fire Dances (1983)
- Night Time (1985)
- Brighter than a Thousand Suns (1986)
- Outside The Gate (1988)
- Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions (1990)
- Pandemonium (1994)
- Democracy (1996)
- Killing Joke (2003)
- Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell (2006)
- Absolute Dissent (2010)
- MMXII (2012)
- Pylon (2015)
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- NME. "Release The Bats - It's The 20 Greatest Goth Tracks" By Luke Lewis « 11. Killing Joke – Love Like Blood Aligning love and sex with blood is a standard goth trope, but Jaz Coleman's lyrics always cut deeper than the usual 'doomed romance' cliches. On this 1985 single, one of the few times KJ ever troubled 'Top Of The Pops', he uses martial imagery to create a sense of apocalyptic struggle.
Most gothic moment: "Strength and beauty destined to decay".»
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The latest album - 'Outside The Gate'- carries on the new, less honed tradition. It is a private breakfast of ideas, depicting poor old Jaz wading through quicksand with his jeans rolled down yet again. Worse ... he seems to be wandering off in exactly the same direction.
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Twelve years after Nirvana borrowed heavily from Killing Joke's "Eighties" to create "Come as You Are", the reunited U.K. band is borrowing the defunct Seattle band's drummer to make its first studio album in seven years.
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Coleman is a Composer in Residence to the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the nation of New Zealand and, as of October 2006, the entire European Union.
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Killing Joke just released the double album "Inside Extremities" via Candlelight Records. On this double CD you find Killing Joke material taken from the band's preparation for the "Extremities" album, rare mixes, a previously unheard track "The Fanatic" and a full live show from the Extremities tour. The track list displays a journey through the making of this album and beyond. The release contains 100% previously unreleased material with the exception of one track which was previously on a flexi disc only.
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70. Killing Joke ~ The Astoria, London 20 April 1994
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Kim: "When we started the band we were all listening to hardcore and new wave: The Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Hüsker Dü, Joy Division, Wire, Killing Joke, Bauhaus. At that time, in Seattle, The Melvins were slowing down their music. Malfunkshun, Green River and Soundgarden, all the bands that had started playing fast, started to slow down. This is, like, 1984 and everyone was sick of trying to be Minor Threat. "
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The name Soundgarden ("Not intentionally meant to throw people off", laughs Kim) is supposed to represent the many roots of the group's style, a virtual plethora of cutting edge rock that spans Sabbath, Velvet Underground, Meat Puppets and Killing Joke. There's some Zep and some Metallica; Gothicism and sublime poetry. The almost ethereal flavour of the name betrays the brutality of the music but never pins Soundgarden in one corner.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Killing Joke.|
- Official website
- The Death and Resurrection Show Killing Joke documentary
- Killing Joke - Cooking Vinyl Press Room