(From SPEX, published in Cologne, Germany, Dec 1986. Special
thanks to Karsten Roekens for supplying this piece)
by Ralf Niemczyk
Jaz Coleman plays the big teasing game. He gave up explaining himself. He can do without rational interpretations of his work. Take Killing Joke as they are, but don't ask questions for heaven's sake!
"With the release of the new LP 'Brighter Than A Thousand Suns' there's one
last try to give
interviews. It's the final attempt to speak with rationalists." After five minutes, Jaz Coleman's final attack against the vile world is already over. The end comes with the question why they put a quote from Aleister Crowley's "Book Of Lies" on the cover.
"I don't want to talk about it."
But there must have been a reason for it. Perhaps it's your favourite book?
"What do you want to hear? I refuse to answer that, because ... Killing Joke don't fit into categories, and if I give the wrong answer to your question you'll pin me down and judge me from just one single angle."
But with your refusal you just provoke misinterpretations?
"Well, again! There's no literal interpretation of Killing Joke, because the spirit of Killing Joke is anti-intellectual. We only give answers instinctively, and that's why so many average rationalists and intellectuals hate us."
Why do you think I would despise an instinctive answer on life, on the world?
"Because I believe the world and especially the northern hemisphere (he said 'northern', not 'western') is divided into two ways of thinking. There's the rational interpretation of existence or phenomena and there's the magical. I prefer the second one. I believe in conscience, in the instinct. In the magic of existence!"
Eight years of Killing Joke and the antics of singer Jaz are the only interesting thing left about the band. Even "Wardance" exists now as a baroque 86 mix, the once profound noise-makers have reached the rock opera stage. Jaz sees it this way: "Killing Joke have always been true to themselves. We have never been corrupted by the silver danger, as I call it, and never will be. We realised ourselves. I was 18 when I started the band; now I'm 26 and I think our work stands on a firm foundation and is much more important than everything we did in the past."
Coming back to the witchcraft philosophies of Aleister Crowley: In my opinion your records become more and more curious?
[Growl] "Not for a single moment in the last eight years have I believed that a large amount of people would understand what we're doing. We don't believe in majorities or masses. We believe in individualism. And if you ask me can Killing Joke change anything the answer is NO! That's the level from which we operate."
And now the great illumination follows which every journalist got preached into their tape recorders
pretty plainly: "U2,Simple Minds, they've got themselves tied up with Amnesty International and the Universal Peace Foundation. I'm sorry but I don't get it. I don't believe in peace anyway."
What do you mean?
"Peace is the time span between two wars. If there is peace there must be war; with the concept of peace we determine the existence of war. If you want a metaphorical definition of perfection then it's the daily struggle. The way we handle and master it shows intelligence and individuality. Man is aggressive by nature. He's bloodthirsty. He's rapacious. . . ."
And what is your role in all this tension?
"Think for yourself. Do you think I'm the Messiah?"