(From Night Times, an alternative newspaper from St. Louis, Missouri, May 1996)
Killing Joke by Mike Glader
For the uninitiated, Killing Joke have been cited as the first industrial band, and have influenced nearly every major band to come out of the nineties (Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, etc...). The group made news when it filed a lawsuit against Nirvana for blatantly copying the riff from "Eighties" in "Come As You Are."
Two years ago, the original members of Killing Joke reunited to release Pandemonium, the first effort all three founding members had been involved with in twelve years. The band had just released their latest album, Democracy, which is full of the band's trademark social commentary.
NT: You recorded part of your last album, Pandemonium, inside the Great Pyramid. What was that like?
Geordie: I don't know. I didn't go. They spent fifteen thousand dollars to go there and Youth, Jaz, and the engineer did one vocal track and the verses to another track! (Laughs)
NT: How soon are you going to tour for this album?
Geordie: When they give me the money.
NT: Are you going to do a full US tour like you did the last time?
Geordie: If they give me the money - I'm f*cking halfway into the next record!
NT: Now the band is going to be playing at some temple in India, what bought this about?
Geordie: We're trying to sort it out. It's about time we did a live recording. We wanted to go and do a whole day in something like Bombay. Film the whole thing, with the beggars in the streets and everything else going on.
NT: What is it like to be cited as a major influence by so many bands?
Geordie: Well, as Peter O'Toole once said, "It's not that I'm so good, it's that everybody else is so f*cking awful!" I mean, I'm not surprised that bands who started listening to music in the 80's cite us as an influence - we were the only decent thing going!
NT: When Killing Joke started the sound was very new...
Geordie: ... Well, punk was dead in '78. We were basically going music that hadn't been done before. And that's sort of what the punk scene was about. That's why the punk that's coming out now is crap. It's just f*cking retro, an imitation.
NT: What became of your lawsuit against Nirvana?
Geordie: He blew his head off. It was pathetic, a friend of mine phoned me up saying he'd heard that ["Come As You Are"], and I said "Fine, I'll do the proper thing." I informed our publishers, who went to Nirvana's publisher saying that they infringed on copyright and Nirvana's publisher turned around and said "Never heard of you. F*ck off," and BMG just dropped it. There was some talk that we didn't want this press just yet because there was this one guy at Geffen who's leaving and we don't want him to leave on a bad note. I don't really know what f*cking went on at all. There's probably a couple of million dollars lying around, but I don't want it. I don't want a dead man's money. Keep it. Spend it on the kid.
NT: What would you like Killing Joke to do that you haven't had the opportunity to do yet?
Geordie: I'd like to do a proper live album. I'd love for Stanley Kubrick to put some more films out, I'd love to do the music.
NT: What do you think the definitive moment for Killing Joke has been?
Geordie: I'm still looking for it!