(From the Liverpool Post & Echo, 6 September 2003.)
They're Back and It's No Joke: Killing Joke are Launching a New Album and Tour
by Chris Finds
WHAT do you do when your
band is taking a break?
Vocalist and guitarist Jaz Coleman from rock band Killing Joke didn't waste a second in the seven years between their last release and their new album.
After a massive break, the band have returned with one of their best albums to date.
Not that Jaz was bored in the meantime.
He says: "During that time so much has happened. I've done my first Opera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. "I've changed the New Zealand national anthem so it includes the Maori language. I've got my doctorate in theology.
"I'm composing for the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Designed my home and built it and it's nearly complete, it's still standing as well.
"I've had my first role in a movie. Do you want any more?"
Jaz now not only has a reputation in the rock scene but also is a major name in classical circles as well.
He has even played with Nigel Kennedy.
Jaz says: "Most people don't realise that when I was young my introduction to music was classical.
"Then I heard all this music and became a horrible punk rocker and it just changed my life."
Formed in Notting Hill in 1978 by Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Paul Ferguson, they became instantly renowned with borderline psychotic performances.
Often misunderstood for both their doom-laden lyrics and their black humour, Killing Joke nonetheless hold an apparent uncon-trollable rage at authority to match their political ideals. Not that this is visible by the speaking to the man who is resident composer of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.
But there is the fact that they have just released a new album -their first since Democracy seven years ago.
"I'm very excited about going back on the road again. The idea of a new Killing Joke album was always in our mind it was just a matter of when we could all get around to do it.
"We were all so busy and the thing is, a band's got to be a band. You have all got to hang out together so that's what we did for a while."
Recorded in London and LA, Killing Joke's brand new self-titled album features a line-up including all of their original members plus none other than long-term fan Dave Grohl on drums. Grohl is known for fronting the band the Foo Fighters as well being the drummer for Nirvana.
"We have been in touch with Dave Grohl over the years and when I was living in New Zealand they came over quite a lot and played Killing Joke covers.
"It's almost like he knows I'm there. We met Dave Grohl and took it from there really.
"The initi al idea was to have some of our favourite drummers on the record but as time went on Dave just said: I want to do the whole thing!' "He is a powerhouse of a drummer and I have loved a lot of his stuff with the Foo Fighters but he's really a drummer." With the new album and Dave Grohl bringing in a younger audience, Killing Joke have a mixed fan base of young and old, as Jaz explains.
"A lot of people are getting into us through the album but I think we have fans that are into it because their parents have played it to them.
"Every night you've got to pull it off and give it your all and make it happen.
"It's a lot to give and we've got 150 dates but after that I'm going to spend time relaxing in the most beautiful country in the world (New Zealand) so it can't be bad.
THIS is the first time that we are taking so many new tracks from the album when we play live. "We will be taking a few tracks from the first five albums and the rest will be from the new album. "There are plenty of songs that the fans want to hear though. Stuff that wasn't on any albums that a lot of people love. My God we could go on for hours."
The band are still confident about their abilities and despite being around for 25 years, think that they can wipe the floor with any of the competition.
"I think that even now there isn't a band 20 years younger with a tenth, a twentieth, of the energy that we have."
KILLING Joke play Carling Academy Liverpool on Friday October 3. The new album Killing Joke is out now.