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Jaz Coleman's Guide To Killing Joke's Absolute Dissent
Rob Haynes , August 12th, 2010 09:51

Killing Joke make an emphatic return this autumn with new album Absolute Dissent. Jaz Coleman guides Rob Haynes through the LP, discussing the apocalypse, geopolitics, population, societal control and why "random acts of kindness" are the only things that matter. Plus an exclusive stream of new track 'Endgame'

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To predict anything about the activities of Killing Joke would require powers of divination beyond those imagined even by the mystically-inclined singer Jaz Coleman. Reconvened following the death of long-time bassist Paul Raven, the four members of the iconic original line-up – Coleman, guitarist Geordie Walker, bassist Youth and drummer Big Paul Ferguson - have recorded Absolute Dissent, their first work together for nearly 30 years. A postponement of both album and tour earlier this year led to fears of a repeat of the legendary Icelandic diaspora which brought an end to the line-up first time round, but it turns out merely to have been a bout of inter-band arguments over tracklisting and mixes.

Volatility intact, the record is now with us. However, anyone expecting a re-run of any of the first three albums (1980's Killing Joke, 1981's What's THIS For...? and 1982's Revelations) is in for a disappointment as, once again, the band have moved on to wherever their unpredictable muse leads. The 2010 version has the sludgy sonic quality of their previous release Hosannas From The Basements of Hell (2006), much of the same metal-influenced ferocity of the digitally honed KJ2003, while also frequently possessing the same epic melodic grandeur of 1986's Brighter Than A Thousand Suns. The avalanche of tribal tom-tom patterns and thrumming dub bass that characterized their initial incarnation is, for the most part, nowhere to be found. But Killing Joke's strength is that however they sound, they still sound like Killing Joke, and if 21st century audiences aren't going to get a new update of 'Requiem' or 'Empire Song' then they'll get something equally potent in a different way.

As charismatic and forceful a personality as ever, Jaz Coleman took The Quietus on a track by track tour of the new album. Strap yourselves in, it's quite a ride...

'Absolute Dissent'

The Quietus says: Epic opening chords give way a verse which seems to consciously mimic their classic 1980 single 'Pssyche' with its chopping guitar and frantic dance beat, giving a brief and misleading impression that the earlier albums are about to be revisited wholesale. The chorus is hymn-like, the content apocalyptic.

Jaz Coleman: The album was going to be called Feast of Fools, but everything changes doesn't it? And we didn't use that track – it was argued off the album. A great track it is too. 'Absolute Dissent' just felt right. There's definitely a double meaning. We did over twenty songs and then we've been arguing over which ones go on the fucking record for the last six months! (laughs) and which mixes, and then which artwork goes on the fucking album, so 'Absolute Dissent' sums it all up but consensus has been reached...

But there are also the obvious things. You know the obvious things. You can see the way the world's going. I've just come back from China. There's all these fucking microwave towers there. They can monitor everything on every person at all times. When you see the artwork that Jimmy from KLF has done, you'll see this towers that Mr Nicholas Rockefeller says that a microchipped population will be run from. They're already up and running in China (laughs). These are areas that I like to write about. It needn't be that way. I disagree with David Rockefeller's assertion that the future of the world will be a supernational elite comprised of bankers. No. No! Absolute Dissent, there you go. Check on a couple of things, have a look in America, Mason Chip International. It's happening. The thing is with nanotechnology, it's in vaccines now. That might account for the fact that I know ten doctors who won't have any vaccines. I don't agree. Big time. Underlined in red. I renounce it!

TQ: Even though it's the original line-up back together again, I suppose it was never going to be a simple re-run of the first three albums...

JC: I wouldn't have done it. Geordie wouldn't have done it. That was never the idea. As soon as we got back for the tour we knew that an album was to follow, but then it's always so chaotic that you never know how it's going to manifest itself.

We were part of the second wave of punk which drew its roots from the punky Reggae party courtesy of Don Letts, where New York Dolls and this sort of rhythm section was rejected and we listened to Chic and dub. The second wave of punk was much more interesting, and mysticism came with it. It was there from the first EP. And now here we are.

'The Great Cull'

TQ: A brutally heavy song in the style of KJ2003, a medium paced riff battered out with minimal frills by all concerned. Recorded in a very live-sounding, everything-louder-than-everything-else style, the speakers barely sound like they could contain the noise.

JC: The great cull. It's a reality. I urge everybody to research Codex Alimentarius. Under the new food code all the vitamins and nutrients are being taken out of our food that goes on supermarket shelves. We're creating a sick population. It's Malthusian. These things are happening. Look - the Global 2000 report that (then US President) Carter signed comes to the conclusion that we should maintain the population preferably around the 500 million mark. We're in excess of six billion or whatever it is. What they don't mention is how we're going to get there. Of course there's been the predictable players like Kissinger Associates, who have always recommended instigating wars in population density centres, which is logical – if you want to look at rationalism I can see this, if you follow Malthusian thinking.

The thing is, once you start going down this path you start losing our humanity. That's why we must reject all forms of Malthusianism. We must educate people about population. I don't know, it's a difficult one. Forced sterilisation? No, it should be voluntary. Neither should there be a premium put on raising children anymore. We can reduce the population effectively without slaughter. When we start extending life through biotechnology and nanotechnology, we'll all eventually lose our ability to feel as human beings and our souls will leave. We're entering a period where human and artificial intelligence will be inseparable. The repercussions of this will be catastrophic and unthinkable. It's happening. There's no spirit of revolution or rebellion left. The people are tired. Fluoride in the water and dopamine increased in the brain, to chem-trails and other evil machinations, so people have no will left. They're kept busy, busy, busy, courtesy of shock techniques that were perfected by the Tavistock Institute, part of Sussex University – if you keep putting the human condition through a series of shocks you have a malleable population. That's what's happening to us, and that's why the music of Killing Joke is so significant in rewiring. It's homeopathic. To be immune to the sickness, we have to take homeopathic doses of the sickness and that's what we do at Killing Joke concerts.

'Fresh Fever From the Skies'

TQ: Another song which could have come from KJ2003, this is slightly less intense than the preceding track, propelled by Geordie's Chop Chop-like riff with Jaz intoning deadpan over the verse before launching into another massive chorus.

JC: That's about an experience that happened to me and about a hundred other people, just before I got together with the original line-up. We saw seven luminous glowing objects in the sky. This was in Ladbroke Grove, and everyone was outside the pubs. And then one of the objects seemed to flip over in the sky and revealed this symbol underneath it. There were helicopters around observing this phenomena, and it was very weird. I don't know what it was. I have no explanation.

TQ: For the last two albums your vocals have predominately been an apocalyptic bellow, but your style varies on this one.

JC: At different stages in my career I sing. And at different points in a song, sometimes I sing. If you think of 2003 I sing at moments there. But this seemed appropriate to sing. So that's what I did. I don't really think about Killing Joke, I just do what feels right.

'In Excelsis'

TQ: The first track to be released on the taster EP, this is a very simple song, hypnotically so, eventually attaining the sort of melodic power to be found these days in Justin Broadrick's Jesu. Keyboards feature prominently for the first time on the album.

JC: It's such a great track. Youth said 'let's do one with just two chords - let's go!' (laughs). We just did a chant, a mantra to get ourselves into a different reality. That's what we went for and what we got.

TQ: Paul's drums are brutally simple – throughout the album there is very little of the tribal patterns that characterised the band in the 1980s.

JC: You'd have to ask Paul. He gets free rein on what he puts down on the drums. I think it must just be how he felt. It depends where were, what we were doing I suppose. It's the way it landed.

'European Super State'

TQ: The most straightforwardly commercial track on the album. From a trance-techno introduction this builds into a crisp and restrained song, Geordie dampening his guitar strings to a discreet chug while Jaz calmly intones a pro-European agenda – "it's a civilising force that demands respect" - leading to an improbable sing-a-long chorus. Fans of the original line-up will naturally be put in mind, however distantly, of 'Follow The Leaders', but this is perhaps closer to the glacial apex of their early contemporaries Simple Minds circa Sister Feelings Call.

JC: That was a jam that we did in the studio. Youth's dad was there and he said 'this is great!' He started dancing with a glass of white wine and a cigarette in his hand. It ran very quickly from this.

If you look at the song 'Europe' on our fifth album [Night Time 1985_] – Geordie's a passionate admirer of Rifkind and the European Dream, and we're all supporters of the European Ideal, I know Big Paul is and Geordie is passionately, so it's just a continuation of our convictions. The origins of the European Union are Jan Huss from Prague in the 1600s. His original idea is worth studying because it's based on the arts, it's based on spirituality. At that time Prague was a bastion of hermeticism and Rosicrucianism and alchemy against the Roman Catholic church, so it's worth looking at our roots there, and that's what we did with this track. It's quite prophetic when you look at the second verse – "why are the proud descendents of Plato paying off more debts accommodating NATO?" It's what we call the triple-headed head-dress of the jester – the 'Shin', as we call it – which is a prophetic current that runs through Killing Joke lyrics when they are accurate transmissions.

'This World Hell'

TQ: Along with 'The Great Cull', this is the heaviest song on the record, recalling Rammstein in its brutal, monomaniac simplicity. Jaz's vocals are at their most bile-filled.

JC: I remember we were visited by John Hicklenton, the artist who had worked on 2000AD and other things. He had booked into Dignitas and was about to leave the studio in his wheelchair and we launched into 'This World Hell'. The chorus goes "This World Hell / Die Longpigs". The last work he did was called 100 Months [Hicklenton completed the work immediately prior to his death in March after a decade-long fight with Multiple Sclerosis] and he described the human condition as Longpig, which is a Melanesian term for cooked human flesh. As long as it takes you hear that track, that's how long it took to do it. It came in one run – it's all played without a click track, in one take, unadulterated Killing Joke, and Geordie refused to do double tracking on it.

Lyrically it was inspired by my eldest daughter who turned me on to the work of Jean Ziegler. She goes to these G8 demonstrations, and showed me what was going on with groups like Black Blood, very militant kinds of people. I'm more concerned with food supply. Yes, there must be change. But staples are going up so fast. Food prices are predicted to go up 40% in the next couple of years. People's wages are being slashed. Where is it leading to? You don't have to be Einstein to work it out. It mustn't be allowed to get to that. What is required is a sweeping green communism.

TQ: Do you feel you need Killing Joke as a vehicle to express all this?

JC: I don't feel the need for anything. The only thing that's important is random acts of kindness, loving life and I guess spending time with people and being concerned with other people's problems other than your own. I had a big transformation when I went to India to take Raven's ashes as it came to me in a vision. I had this very strange experience when we played in Japan. All the Japanese ladies kept sitting in the lobby of our hotel. This woman was there for three days and we were told that she was a priestess. Then she said to me "Paul wants you to take his ashes and do a fire ritual at the hill you're going to". I'd already planned to go to India on a pilgrimage. Raven's got a monument erected to him three hours outside Tokyo, and we went there, then I went to India and took Raven's ashes with me just to help him cross the river, and I'm glad to say he's on the other side and pouring out the drinks as we speak, waiting for us to come through. I'd expect any friend to do the same. I believe very much in Professor Christopher Knight's ideas of that human activity must be governed by our ancestral spirits. This really touches in to the 'Raven King'.

'The Raven King'

TQ: The album's emotional centerpiece. An atmospheric keyboard opening sets a backdrop for Jaz's plaintive, heartfelt lament. Guitars and bass roar in for a soaring, epic chorus. Musically this could fit seamlessly onto Brighter Than A Thousand Suns.

JC: It's not a song about Paul Raven, it's about Raven's anger and things he felt passionately about. It's a song for Englishmen. It starts – "the raven has flown and left the tower / and Albion feels all abandoned / a desecrated cenotaph, surveillance state and waning choices / guided by warriors we knew, guided by ancestral voices". And then there is Raven's belief in the original idea of anarchy – "let flags of black and red unfurl / echoes of distant laughter / confederation of the dispossessed / fearing neither god nor master". Raven was a street guy. He believed in a confederation of like-minded individuals, so we tried to be as true to his ideas as we could. The last thing Raven said to me when he left Prague was "carpe nocturno", which is the last line. It touched me when I sang it and heard it back, and I was lost for words.

TQ: Was it a difficult song to record for all those reasons?

JC: It was a difficult song to listen back to. When you're singing, you don't think. That was my first mistake, and Conny Plank brought that to my attention. I used to think about the lyrics I was singing about, but you don't, you just switch off. The heart has to take over.

TQ: Was there any discussion about the song beforehand?

JC: No, no. It started like this – we were in a jam session and Youth goes "Right – let's do one for Raven! Let's go!" (laughs) and it went like that!


temp by theQuietus

TQ: A taste of the old Killing Joke groove underlies this one. Jaz fires off a shopping list of the Last Days - "Sit back and enjoy a three-dimensional screening of the end of the world". Rarely has the apocalypse been more danceable. In its feel, it's not a million miles away from 1984's classic 'Wilful Days'.

JC: It reminds me of 'Wilful Days' too, yeah. There are some interesting lyrics – "Baxter's caught out sending spores". This is a pharmaceutical company that was caught sending the H1N1 virus to their sister company. "One million people marched against a traitor's war" – this resonates for me, coming from this country. Two million people dead and the toll rising for an illegal war, and the British public have no confidence that this war criminal Blair will ever be brought to justice. So basically you have a disillusioned nation that has no faith in itself. If you look back at England's history you see that it had no history of revolution. Cromwell was a limp dick who saw the king reinstated after his fucking useless revolution. It's not in the people! France is another matter altogether.

'Honour the Fire'

TQ: Driven by a harsh, chopping guitar and Youth growling bass undertow, Jaz's mournful voice addresses the elements. Under the heavy production there's a pop song buried here.

JC: We see Killing Joke as a separate, autonomous entity that creates itself, begets itself, gives birth to itself, and it has its own agenda regardless of us – we are part of it sometimes. It doesn't like money. It burns people. We know exactly what it is. Once you bring money into the equation it will burn you, this force, if you play with it. And we live in this force. Every member of Killing Joke has been burned by this force. That's why money never comes into it. Geordie has given 31 years concentrating on the task and never the prize. He knows well that once you bring that in with this force that we're working with, it will just wipe you out. So there's our funny perception of the fire.

'Depth Charge'

TQ: Pandemonium-style industrial sequencers kick off a juddering dance track, while Jaz delivers another venomous sermon on impending environmental catastrophe.

JC: The earth's crust is breaking up. Strange things are happening to the planet. The magnetic north has left Canadian territory and is moving towards Siberia. The earth's magnetic field is decreasing rapidly. When we have a magnetic field that is increasing time slows down, and when a magnetic field is decreased, time accelerates and that is why we are all experiencing this notion that time is speeding up – because it is, the universe is speeding up, it was proved by astronomers recently. It's the time of Kali Yuga – we have butchered and raped the divine mother earth and she will now turn into the dark mother. At the end of the recording Youth felt that we were touching such dangerous territory that we did this chant of non-attachment at the end because we take responsibility for our listeners.

TQ: How much do the lyrics get discussed among the band?

JC: Whoever gives a fuck, basically. Very much, on this album. I managed to synthesise Geordie's ideas on certain songs, and Paul's as we're very intellectually compatible, and Youth's with more than two. More than most bands, I guess you can say we speak with one voice. More than any other KillingJoke album, certainly, for this one. I still take in excess of 50% responsibility for everything that I sing. The way we do it is when we have a certain track and it sounds like something, I give everybody a theme of what the song is about, and they can go away and write as many lines as they like and we can synthesise it.

'Here Comes the Singularity'

TQ: If Nirvana can recycle the riff to 'Eighties' why can't the band who wrote it? Jaz' dreamy vocal – once again detailing the end of the world as we know it - also places this around Night Time-era of influence.

JC: Terrance McKenna, the thinker behind Time Wave Zero, indeed all the 2012 hypothesis thinkers – remember, these are tribes as well as Western intellects – they say that this speeding-up process that we've just been discussing speeds up to a certain point and that point is called singularity. Information is doubling, quadrupling, up to this point. It's a Koch curve where it's spiraling down a plughole. All the things that you imagine shall be. So get your dreams straight! We don't have long to wait. Youth's proposal is that we have 2012 parties at the ends of the earth on grid points, and he wants to do forty countries. I said that was a little ambitious perhaps, but we'll have festivities for this time. I'd like to party at the end of the earth. But we will either way – if we don't die, great, and if we die we go out rocking (laughs)

'Ghosts on Ladbroke Grove'

TQ: A moody, space-echoing lope, harking back to the dub roots of the first EP, and Youth's bass is foregrounded for the first time. Eerie and sparse, a 'Ghost Town' for the ongoing new Millennium.

JC: Well it's our tribal area, apart from we hate the way it's been developed. We miss all our old friends. That's where we started this, where generations of my family have lived, it was the first cosmopolitan experiment in this country. It's sacred land. It's where the second wave of punk started, from the punky reggae party where Don Letts brought punk together with Bob Marley, and the whole spring in punk's rhythm section changed from that point in that area. We used to rehearse there, the Clash would be upstairs rehearsing – we didn't used to speak to each other at that stage, but later I became great friends with Joe. We used to live in squats then. It was the only way you could afford to do your music. It was an area of dissenters and thinkers, and now it's just full of bankers and wankers.

It really does sound like everything it was, that track, and everything it should be again. The music came first and then I went in the studio the day after and did the vocals. The whsipering vocal is Youth. It gives us the creeps (laughs)

TQ: On the reunion tour you played a new song called 'Time Wave'. What happened to that one?

JC: We recorded it, but it's one of the tracks you haven't heard. They're great. We'll bring them out in different editions. There's one called 'I Am War', one called 'A Sick Sun'. There's also 'Time Wave', 'Feast of Fools', there's 'Suicide Tribe' which everyone loves except Geordie, but he's putting a new guitar on it - there's more than that! (laughs) The first album, there was only about thirty minutes. We've just done a sixty-five minute record and I love every track...

TQ: And how is the mood in the band now?

JC: Well nothing's changed. We still want to kill our manager. I mean really kill (laughs). But it's good. Everyone's thrilled to bits. It's a complete upheaval, doing a Killing Joke album. It brings anarchy and chaos and not necessarily happiness to your life, but in the end it does. I don't know why it has to be so traumatic, but it always is. We could go off to some beautiful studio like Compass Point or some Caribbean studio, but we always knew that was wrong for Killing Joke because the whole thing is about agony and tension. It needs an urban environment, so we went to Brick Row and it's fucking horrible around there. You don't want to go out, you get the job done. The funny thing was, when we actually met up in London to do the recording, the fucking management had booked us into this brothel of a hole and it was right next door to where we used to live. We refused to stay there. I was stood outside in the pissing rain with Big Paul looking at this place that we'd fucking burnt down where it all started from, and it was just like a horrible dream (laughs).

But it was great. We all exploded, as we always do. There was no violence though. That's the thing about now and then. It was an amazing session. I don't think anyone slept much. It was just non-stop every day for two weeks. That's with no preparation – you can see there's a chemistry. It's a weird chemistry – it's not perfect, but that's not the point is it?

TQ: That's why it's so great you have Big Paul back. You could argue that Dave Grohl is a better drummer, but he's not a better Killing Joke drummer.

JC: There's an excellent example. When I worked with Dave on 2003 he recorded each one of those drums separately, and Paul just played all his live in the studio. Geordie hates 2003 because it's not live in the studio, it's not Real Killing Joke in the way that was used to get the vibe, you know? Well we got it on this one!

Ah – Killing Joke is such a blessing to my life, just to know there's a whole lot of people out there – you're not alone, you go though the same mental anguish processing what's happening in our world. We're an army, a network, a brotherhood.

TQ: Well it's amazing to have you back

JC: Look up GWEN microwave towers. Remember this – Mr Rockefeller says that we're all going to be microchipped and run from microwave towers. Well it's already happening in China. I've just come back from playing a festival there. It's the first time I've done a festival where they're cutting the throats of dogs and chopping them up into kebabs for punters. When we left China I had the feeling that we should start World War Three immediately (laughs uproariously)...

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Aug 12, 2010 3:00pm


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Aug 12, 2010 3:24pm

that is the best interview I have ever read. he knows what he`s talking about

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Aug 12, 2010 8:39pm

Jaz speaks as "Merlin", the enchanting wizard, telling the XIII's volume of Killing Joke's's ravishing, passionating...just one short thing i'd like to speak about with him: "first european conceptual state" is supposed to be born in the mind of FREDERIC DE HOHENSTOFFEN, one of the last "Germanic Roman Emperor"....jan Huss ?...we can discuss this point....happy to read all this.

Nicolas from Boiscommun/France

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John Calvert
Aug 13, 2010 1:51am

Just a brilliant interview. There isn't another title in the world that could or would publish this. All hail online zines

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Aug 13, 2010 1:40pm

I fucking love KJ. And I fucking love The Quietus for publishing this interview.

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min king
Aug 13, 2010 9:29pm

....absolutely gaspin to hear this album!.... Great interview, QUIETUS- keep it up!

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Aug 13, 2010 9:44pm

Well like everyone else I am really looking forward to the new album. The tracks Ive heard so far are fantastic.

BUT am I the only one who gets pissed off that there are seemingly a dozen tracks that are going to be "released on different editions" or not released at all? Especially as I like many of you will have bought the EP that contains 3, count em, tracks on the CD listed!!!

Come on guys, just release a double CD with all the songs on, after all we fans want to hear them!!!!

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jaz yuill
Aug 14, 2010 8:02pm

just love the man hes either a genius or a lunatic but but god he gets his message across and KILLING JOKE are a sublime band

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Howard Decker
Aug 15, 2010 12:28am

I've been listening to Killing Joke's music for nearly 30 years now. Good thing I can distinguish between the art and the artist, because Jaz sure talks a lot of nonsense.

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Aug 16, 2010 1:28am

I adore Killing Joke, but you have to take half of what Jaz says with a grain of salt. I think he swallowed too many paranoid pills in his youth or something. Still, he has the spark of genius that impels this amazing group continually forward, for which I am eternally grateful. Each member of the group brings a unique brilliance to the sparkle.
Excellent interview!

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Aug 16, 2010 1:51pm

The interview mentions that the band are fans of "Rifkind and the European Dream". This should be changed to Rifkin (no "d" at the end). They're talking about Jeremy Rifkin, author of "The European Dream". Rifkind would suggest that they're talking about Malcolm Rifkind, a Tory politician.

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Aug 19, 2010 3:50pm

In reply to Howard Decker:

Jaz has had a tendency to overcommit to various conspiracy and apocalyptic theories, but he is definitely not spewing nonsense. The 'fire' and the energy drawn from the social. political, economic and spiritual contexts are the music of KJ and the music cannot be separated from them. There has always been a tendency to write Jaz off as a nutter or nonsense-spewer but this may be a way of protecting oneself from the full force of the message. If the music has touched you, don't tune out to the message. If you go back and take in what Jaz has had to say over the last thirty years there is a coherent stream of sensitivity to the state of our collective existence. He may have missed out on some predictions but not nearly as many as the 'real-world' politicians, economists, scientists, or social engineers.

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Nick Barber
Aug 23, 2010 10:00am

Stunning interview, can't wait for the for the album.

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Sep 7, 2010 8:52pm

a great interview,with a deeply intelligent man,just amazing.
can't wait for the album!

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Sep 7, 2010 8:53pm

In reply to BoloMan:

...take a deep breath.......

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Sep 10, 2010 10:11pm

The most interesting thing I've read in years, probably. Jaz Coleman is one of a kind and that's a very sad thing. The world needs more people that continually question and examine. Things are going to shit - Jaz knows it and Jaz exposes it. Best interview I've ever read. Thank you Quietus and thank you Killing Joke.

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Sep 14, 2010 10:24pm

Great interview. But unfortunately Ive heard a prevue of this album as Ive a friend in the music industry. And I sad to report this ia a weak album, by my favourite band.

The EP had Engame and In Excelsis which were good songs both are on this album. So Im now wondering whether some classics were jettisoned as Jaz talks about here, like "feast of fools" which Ive not heard for the totally ordinary opener "absolute decent"

Dont get me wrong, there are some strong tracks on it, the "great cull" is pretty good, but abolutely nothing like KJ2003 as descrubed by the interviewer. "The raven king" is excellent" as so is the commercial excellence of "european superstate".

But come on interviewer, as a fan, even I cant find any tune, cleverness or freshness is dull plodders like "this world hell" which is appalling.

At least when recording an unhinged track like, say, "asteroid" from KJ2003 it had at its core a great rock song and chorus. And you can add "fresh fever", "depthcharge" and "here comes the singularity" (a song that the interviewer references as recycling the eighties riff...I wish! It sounded to me like a b-side of a single that might have come of Nightime, nothing more!)to that list as well. I noted that the interviewer. They all seem to have been just churned out rather than written. Very dissappointing.

So Im wondering if a truly great album is sitting on a shelf in Jaz's library of tracks left off the album? I mean Classic Rock gave away a freebie CD with a new KJ track on it sang by Tim Burgess and it was damn excellent, way better than anything on this record.

And yes, Im a KJ fan, and of course im going to buy the alsum on its release day. Im hoping some of the songs are growers, but I didnt hear too many! Im disappointed I have to say.

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Sep 17, 2010 4:11am

In reply to James:

Though I don't agree with your assessment of the album, I certainly have to credit you with a balanced critique. Many times, especially with KJ fans, you have the loyalists, or the "glory dayz" preachers (the ones who swear that everything after Revelations is shite), so I appreciate the "let's call a spade "a spade"" rundown. I, on the other hand, enjoy about 90% of the album. Some of it suffers from poor production, but unfortunately recording 2003 put them off excessive production.
And I agree with another that the whole putting 3 of 4 songs from the ep on the album when there was so much surplus of material is crap-- compounded by the fact that a tracklist of the European Superstate Single listed only 1 new song (a Sixth (Sick?) Sun) pared with Kali Yuga and GoLB (Dub). What makes it stranger is the Japanese edition of the album has 2 exclusive ESS remixes as bonus tracks! Why not put the remixes of ESS on the ESS single? Also, early reports of Suicide Tribe claimed it was one of their best in years, so why that hasn't surfaced... I hate to think the Geordie, one-half of what makes KJ so amazing, is actually keeping the good stuff from the fans because he can't settle on a mix (and his anti-production idealism may be resulting in these rather muddy mixes). In the end, I can't complain much. I'm happy with the album as a whole, but it certainly is not without flaw.

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Sep 27, 2010 8:29pm

I can only hope that what you do @ 50 years of age is going to be a bit different than what you do @ 20. It should be a culmination of all that plus what's in your heart.
As the great uncle of the modern lo-fi resurgence, I say hats off to one-off's and live recordings! The 2003 album was too rehearsed, and unfortunately a lot of effort went into something that will sound lyrically and sonically dated by the time 2012 rolls around.
"say little-make every word count"

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jacob toms
Oct 4, 2010 7:27am

Thanks, Great Read! go KJ

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Oct 4, 2010 1:02pm

In reply to Nezmerized:


Cant agree with you there, I take completely the opposite view.

If Im lashing out 12 dollars or more to buy an album I dont think we should expect to have the music sound like it was played underwater and the drums sound like a kid banging a biscuit tin. Not only does it become an amorphous mess, things like lyrics which are important are lost.

IMO your asssertion that "lo-fi" (read: havent got the money for a decent recording) and many "live" performances are amongst the worst sounding and dated music of all. You can cherry pick, but listen to most punk output recorded by bands outside the very few classic ones. They sound damn awful.

Trying to claim that not giving a damn how the thing sounds and recording bascially sonic noise somehow makes music timeless is nuts. Everyone from the Beatles, Nirvana (yes even Albini recorded properly but still managed to capture the rawness), Sex Pistols, Stones, The Fall etc, knew this.

Even "lo-fi" artists record their music properly when they get some success or further on in their career change. Heck even the early Killing Joke were recorded well, its only on Hosannas that they went to radio mics and the result as most comment, was godwawful.

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Oct 5, 2010 1:15am

IN-fucking-Credible! I am going to read this again tomorrow. Had no idea Killing Joke had a new album,or videos,and mostly listen to the old stuff on Y-tube often.

Oh those Microwave Towers!!! ... they cook alright: the weather,your brain,everyone's brain,disease and much much more.Not even hidden but everywhere and in within sight.Check out the massive cables leading to the power source too.

This is an amazing interview Thank You.

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Oct 5, 2010 4:27am

You can do something about those microwave towers with orgonite ... here's a short history:

If you're skeptical, I don't blame you. But it works.

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Oct 5, 2010 10:32am

His endless bogus theories remind me the Eminem song "Is he nut? No: he's insane!" lol (for the record-s I prefer KJ musically, but Eminem rules lyrically!)

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Oct 6, 2010 4:25pm

Malthus wasn't supportive of any particular form of population control, aside from personal discipline such as celibacy. He was simply pointing out the dangers of our species growing beyond its resource availability, and he was dead right. We are Soooooooooooo in the red with this now, it isn't even funny!
"Most of us must die..." --from The Great Cull
Take heed, and get out of the population zones is good advice.

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Oct 8, 2010 3:04pm

In reply to Sharon:

Love it Sharon ! And,Thank You I am grateful.

Oh it WORKS.

I am a gifter here in Texas and I have been making it and buying it since 2004.My hood is currently getting new towers as I write this and lots of em(circling the wagon you might say).And I thought I was not doing enough.Synchronistic -currently saving $ to buy a Power Wand from George in Africa in fact and the sale is still on too (-:

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Oct 14, 2010 10:41pm

32 years and STILL valid? Name ONE band who even come close?

There is NO band like KJ, and there never will be.

Killing Joke ARE the GREATEST band in the world.

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Oct 17, 2010 11:45pm

Indeed, a very good album and a great interview. The Great Cull is such a monster of a track. Artwork is very striking, too. Long sinced ditched the mobile phone. Never trusted those masts. Try 'gifting'!

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a brother of Raven...
Oct 21, 2010 6:29pm

Your music and words... stunning. R.I.P. Paul.

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Oct 28, 2010 9:40am

In excelsis will outlive us. it's a fucking great song. Kick the pricks Jaz

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Pauly T
Nov 10, 2010 12:05am

Someone once said that a genius is simply a lunatic who's ideas turn out to be right. I adore Killing Joke, first band I saw live back in '81 & they thrill me now just as much as they did then.

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Jupiter's Moon
Nov 12, 2010 4:44am

In reply to James:

I actually agree, it sounds a little lighter than other stronger albums like the predecesor "Hosannas in the Basements of Hell"...Still, I do admire Mr. Coleman's guts and wit... I'm still a fan, but I guess I got used to their hard rockin' earth shaking songs...

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Ernie Pap
Dec 3, 2010 8:45am

I should have seen KJ in Toronto in May but the band cancelled. I was/am devasted as it was probably the only chance I had of seeing them live. I still have a xerox copy of my ticket...
Jaz, you owe me dude!

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Stewart Tiley
Dec 4, 2010 2:00am

Killing Joke NEVER disappoint! Every album is a unique sound of thunderous reality-real reality NOT the implanted fake sheen painted by the corporations which embody the physical world, who are petrified of the emotional undertow. Killing Joke is the sound track for the masses who understand and perceive the deception of the fiscal world. All Hail the Gathering!

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Dec 8, 2010 11:27pm

In reply to James:

I'm finding that as I listen to the new record, I'm hearing some GREAT fucking songs, but I can't help but listen & think, shit, I wish I could be hearing this but with 2003 production. Just kind of frustrating more than anything. I think there's a few classics on AD, but it does sound a muddy. When I first heard "Hosannas" I just started skipping thru songs because the production was throwing me off; I just couldn't really enjoy the songs. The vocals sounded buried & it was muddy as hell. KJ2003, I love listening to that record. It just sounds tight & powerful, but not overproduced. I'm getting used to AD but I still think, awwww man, why'd you go & do that?! But, then again, KJ is a band does change & morph & sometimes it's more guitars & sometimes it's more keyboards & get different production values. You just never know. Some of these songs are so good though it just feels like a shame to hear them less than stellar. I mean, there's plenty of KJ material that you just wouldn't change a thing, & I could listen to that stuff over & over. Classics.

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Dec 31, 2010 12:55am

In reply to J:

What's with the reference to doctors against vaccines? Why put misinformation about important medical things in a review about a cd? Why? You do untold damage to the public in doing so.

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stephen muhl
Jan 14, 2011 10:53am


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Apr 20, 2011 9:12pm

We have organised a massive 2012 party already, i hope u all come along..........stay connected

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nicky noo
Sep 15, 2011 7:45pm

Great read thank's... Its nice to be nice !

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Nov 13, 2011 10:53pm

very very beautyful,as this man represent all the negative aspects
of this world....

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Benjamin Diedericks, but Ben does fine
Jan 24, 2012 1:22pm

Killing Joke is a torch, a monument to all things beyond the self.
Living in Cape Town S.A. as a child, i've ( <-note>
Appreciating any player of an instrument, albeit vocals, is basic selfrespect. Love thy neighbour as one would love one's self. Truth.

I love Killing Joke.
They are my raised fist in every corner of human existence.
Wherever there are people, there will be Killing Joke. Us as a species unwittingly depend on them for air, water, fire and earth.
Without truth, there can be no life.
This is the primary reason why we self-inflicted our demise, and why we are responsible for the plunder of all we behold.
We sustain our world, living in modified or ommitted facts and truths, making us dead-heads, fed by lies openly throughout society by the media, the devil's cage with political bars. The price of one's soul will get you the key of it's lock, and earthly success will reward you, like a carrot before the ass's face.
I've never needed television, but it saddens me that the masses are unwilling to snap their gaze from it, even for a moment, and the result is that we're being locked down in our houses, brainwashed and afraid of ourselves.
The Truth is quite scary to look at these days, but the ugly truth will still set you free.
Killing Joke represents this truth, as the listener can hear the members and instruments bathed in light, blessed and protected.
Truth is, creative people must at all times portray the truth, and the light, and the way, for we are and everything before us, created by The Creator.
Nobody's perfect, but we know one-another by knowing ourselves, and knowing the self teaches us about one-another.
We are all different parts of the same body.
We're all looking at the same thing, from different angles, thus needing each other, to discover what it is that we all seem to know so much about.
Wise is the one whom knows he/she does not know, because it facilitates learning and discovering and growth.
A lot of ideas have been mentioned, but the truth remains.
Killing Joke must never stop, ever.

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Feb 4, 2012 1:26am

In reply to Benjamin Diedericks, but Ben does fine:

It has been over 30 years I have heard their first track and since then they make a such impact on my music experience that i dare to say no other band ever made me being so deeply touched by their music, lyrics and the whole philosophy of life which share with them.
There is no band which could redfine an ancient Greek phrase saying :you can not step into ssme river twice. But they did. By the album issued in 2003. And now the new one leaving me again speachless. Jaz's ever great elloquence and altruistic thoughts about life we live at present and about madnees of souless modern world spokem with such direct vividity and carying attidute towards all people make me believe that there are still some people left in Britain who make feel this country to be proud of.

For all that i would like to say to Killing Joke: Ένα μεγάλο ευχαριστώ


P.S. Raven - ATHANATOS !

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