The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Getting Hypnotised: John Robb Finds The Funk In Unusual Places
Julian Marszalek , July 12th, 2017 08:35

How did it take us nearly a decade to ask Brother John Robb for his Baker's Dozen choices? The Membranes frontman sits down with Julian Marszalek to discuss 13 favourite records where over the years he's dug out the most funk


Killing Joke – 'Change'
Killing Joke, to me, are a funk band that went through punk. They have the intensity of punk that's been welded the chassis of funk. They formed as a funk and reggae band. Youth's background was funk and soul, and he'd been through the punk thing. If your bassist has got some funk and soul then you're on to a head start.

There's a really interesting thing that went on in post-punk, especially in the more goth end, and the influence that black music had on it. And I know that Killing Joke wouldn't say that they're a goth band - even though 99% of their audience came out of that culture - but their music is so influenced by disco and funk and soul, but really heavied up. This was music that matched the intensity of the times.

As someone who was massively affected by punk, you can feel Killing Joke; you can feel the punk there but this is music with complex rhythms and 'Change' is laced with them. This is funk simplified. And they're not too far removed from Led Zeppelin and I can see why they're Jimmy Page's favourite band.