(From the NME, UK weekly, 10 April 1982.)
Plans for a 'barbaric' club
Now Geordie Joins Jaz In Iceland
The voice came to us as if swirling across chasms of time and space.
" 'ello," it said, "This is Jaz speaking from Iceland. I want to make a statement to the press."
By the ghost of Aleister Crowley! Could this be Jaz Coleman, the ex-Killing Joke singer who had mysteriously vanished after a Brighton gig several years [sic] ago only to reappear later in Iceland from where he told the NME, in an exclusive interview last week, to "fuck off"? Yes it could. And this is his message to the world.
"Another joke. Geordie from Killing Joke is reported to have joined Jaz in Iceland and they are currently together with two other, Icelandic, musicians. "Together we now have our own management and we are opening a new club in Reykjavik, specialising in somewhat barbaric music, in about two weeks time.
"Jaz and Geordie," the voice continued in doomy tones, "have made it clear that they want no further involvement or communication with the other half of Killing Joke and also, even more important, they also make it clear their intention to continue with the name Killing Joke as they feel it is their right."
The voice went on to reveal that Jaz will soon be releasing an EP of material with various Icelandic musicians, and a new "Killing Joke" LP, recorded in Reykjavik, will be available by June. Two English gigs - one at Hammersmith Palais, one up north, possibly Manchester - were also planned for June, to be followed by some American dates.
Jaz has also completed a book, Fortress, to be published in "about three and a half weeks", though the voice seemed unsure as to the publisher or the genre of the book. Is it fiction? we inquired. "What?" said the voice. Fiction, you know, like a novel? "Yeah, like a novel, you could say that," replied the voice, with a long, cackling laugh.
The message ends thus: "We're in fine form, and not only working in the musical field. Myself and Geordie and the other two musicians find more in common than just playing music.
"Myself and Geordie will not be returning to England for any period of time and we are now basing ourselves in Iceland. And also we wish to hasten to add that we despise the music scene, we only want their money, and we wish everybody else happy lives. Thank you very much and goodbye."
There followed a mysterious clicking sound, then dead silence. Quick as a bat out of Hades we contacted Killing Joke manager Brian Taylor. Had guitarist Geordie gone to Iceland?
"He hasn't yet but he intends to go," said Taylor, sounding as sick as the proverbial Tarot. "He's put his stuff on a boat in Felixstowe. But the band are still hoping to talk to him seriously about his future. It's utterly stupid. I can't see Iceland becoming the focal centre of the music business."
And Jaz's claim to the name Killing Joke?
"I think legally he's a bit out of order. He's got no right."
Are you going to try and stop him using the name?
"You don't stop people like that without literally stopping them with, like, a Heavy Harry. I haven't really thought about it."
Do you know why they've gone to Iceland?
"I think they're both nuts, not to put too fine a point on it. They're disturbed, stupid, crazy. It's all to do with this fucking magic Jaz is into. It's like he's almost taken over Geordie's mind or something. Now they're gonna set up in Iceland on some bloody leyline focus and wait for IT -- so afterwards they can be big in Iceland. I mean, great, great!
"The happiest day of their lives will be when the holocaust comes, just so they can say I told you so."
You're a bit annoyed then?
"What does one say in the circumstances? There's just a tremendous relief and release now they've gone. They're the biggest bastards under the sun. They never gave me a day's peace since the day I met them, two years ago. I'm glad they've gone."
"Yeah, I'm also glad Jaz has at last taken to doing his own publicity."
He does seem to have found his forte. This joke could run and run.