(From an interview given at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Melbourne, in 1985; further details unknown)
Jaz Coleman Interview
We use Killing Joke as a vehicle for our own freedom. The amount of contacts I have made round the world is unbelievable. For example I have used the name Killing Joke to go to South America because I'm interested in very early civilizations. I use Killing Joke to get contacts over there, and if I was just a normal person on the street I probably wouldn't get those contacts. We all use Killing Joke as a vehicle for freedom, and if an opportunity arises we take it, there is no scruples or morals about it, we just go for it. I want to get the maximum out of life I can, I'm 25 and I'm aware that I'm a quarter of a century old now. I have an underground but international reputation so far. Now I'm writing my book, and I've written my first symphony, which has taken 3 years. I want to branch out in all sorts of areas and I want to establish myself. I have a dream of a future, a very simple future, one that is maybe not initially so pleasant. My brother is a nuclear physicist and I'm very interested in world situations. I see nuclear war as inevitable. That is the foundation I start from, so I look at all the inevitable changes that are going to happen after that. I think about 1/20th of the population as it stands today, will survive through that time. So I like to awaken people. Maybe people cannot accept this as a future. Most of the people who come and see Killing Joke, in Europe, they don't believe they are going to survive the next ten years. They don't believe they are going to have the right to have 2.4 children, and a pretty wife and a cottage in the country .So they're racing round, with different values. It is that world I try to get an insight on some sort of future. I believe under-populated areas, like Australia, New Zealand: and South America, will ultimately survive a horrific awful annihilation. I believe nuclear war is a reality. So I cannot tolerate it when I come to Australia and I see people indulging in fantasy all the time. And their music is indulging in fantasy. People are living in a world of American oblivion. Everything is fine, there are plenty of drugs to numb our minds with, we can all eat ok, the future doesn't matter. This is a very selfish attitude, I think I think as artists we owe it to people, to paint a picture of the inevitable. For me the only true optimism lies in realism. I believe that man is at a low point at this stage of evolution but he will again develop something great. While we are all imperfect beings, we must have a vision of something quite perfect. I mean I'm a very imperfect being, but I have a vision of a very perfect human being. The lands we live in are full of nuclear power stations and industrial wastelands, but we must have a vision of perfect lands. So that ultimately, those who do survive can transform what is left.
I have studied geomance, which is the science of shaping the land, modifying the landscape to enhance the natural forces inherent within it. I have studied holy land. I believe the answer lies in the psychological impact the environment has in it's relationship with man. What I perceive in the preliterate civilizations is that man didn't need to use words like god or Allah, everything was there. Have you heard of Sir Alfred Watkins? He found by taking an ordinal survey, that most of the pre-reformation churches in England were on a perfect line with various other stone circles and sacred sites. The line was so accurate it would be out 2 foot after forty miles. And the whole landscape was shaped accordingly. You have this vision, that some time in England, something really great happened there. So I like to think the answer lies in geomancy combined with geopolitics to orientate our ideals.
I shall explain my interests with Wagner. I'm very interested in the period at the beginning of the 20th century, especially in Germany, because it was a new period of time where man saw himself in the deified state. He saw himself as god. The potential of man becoming the superman. There were many great artists over that period. Wagner is a very interesting one, he is a very clever composer. In my opinion he musically invoked the second world war. As far as I'm concerned, he was Hitler's main inspiration. The one thing that fascinates me about that period of time, and Wagner, is that they embraced a new school of thought that believed in the concept of Heaven on earth. Rather than relying on a utopia after death he believes his potential can be fulfilled in life. Let me tell you about some of the skills in Wagner's composition. He revolutionised the orchestra, he changed it so he had extra double basses, created a couple of extra brass instruments, and rearranged the whole orchestra formation. He rearranged it for his own sound. This extra large brass section was brought to the front. He then designed his own concert hall around his new orchestra. He had it designed by an architect from his concept to enhance his own dream. He was a man that on the material level, a physical level, was a magician. He brought his dreams into reality, making the small microcosm of a concert hall a dream reality. He accomplished a certain amount of heaven on earth. This is an example to the rest of humanity that this is possible. He showed us a very positive potential that we all have. Yet this ultimately inspired something terrible and drastic. Dreaming of his perfect reality, drawing on the spirit of Nietzsche's overman and the concept of purity of race, Hitler discovered his dream of ultimate power. Unlike Wagner's creation of magic, the reality of Hitler's dream escalated beyond humanity to a nightmare beyond comprehension.