(This article originally appeared on the The News Letter, Belfast daily newspaper, 10 October 2003).

Get In On The Joke

By Jeff Magill & Gary Gilliland


AFTER two decades of pulverising hard rock, black humour and raging at authority, Killing Joke still have plenty to say about politics and the state of the world on their latest release, all backed up with the thunderous drumming of none other than Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

Killing Joke

The self-titled album carries an intensity of sound and eloquency of lyrics on many world subjects that are hard to match. Being an avid watcher of global events, frontman Jaz Coleman is certainly uncompromising in his lyrics, such as on Total Invasion, with: "This is our mission/Destroy your customs/You'll have no say/We'll clothe your women/The western way."

Certainly not one to hold back, then.

"They [the lyrics] come from personal experiences of the collective within the band. As you get older, loved ones die, all sorts of tragedies happen. Then, of course, you see your own people, the British people, just as complete sheep, who accept this filthy corruption, this excuse of democracy, during that absolutely illegal war [in Iraq]. How we even tolerate this is beyond me."

It was this sort of hard-hitting approach that has gained the English band legions of fans and a legacy that can be seen today in groups such as Nine Inch Nails and Metallica. In fact, Dave Grohl's a fan and, according to Jaz, fitted in nicely to the Killing Joke set up.

"It was completely natural. I'd kind of known him for a long time. A painless, wonderful, marvellous man.

"Killing Joke drums are Celtic in style and, whatever drummer we are working with, we tell them what we want. We didn't have to say anything to him, he fitted in to the Killing Joke style of drums straight away."

Jaz's talents also extend into the realm of orchestral music, having composed for the Royal Opera House and having two number ones in America with classical compositions. He even worked for the Walt Disney film Mulan.

However, all that is on the backburner for the moment while the band tour once again, and a raucous night is promised for the group's gig in Belfast's Limelight next week.

"We'll go for it," he says, "We're going to play a big concert for you and it'll be like an atom bomb going off in your home town."

The Limelight Wednesday 15, October Doors 9pm Tickets: 14.00