(This is an electronic interview conducted with former Killing Joke bassist Taif by The Gathering's Alex Wise. Special thanks to Alex for sharing this).
How long have you played bass for?
Over 30 years !! (does that make me old?)
Whom do you define as your musical influences?
Zeppelin, Weather report, Elvis Costello, Coltrane, ++++
What bands have you played in up to 1988?
Jools Holland, Barbara Thompsons Paraphernalia (jazz), Jon Martyn (v. cool) David Knopfler, How We Live, -----------++What did ‘How We Are’ sound like?
Is that How We Live?? English pop? rockish I loved 'em...Steve Hoggarth is now with Marrilion!!!!!! eh? good band + vibe; album, Dry Land.
How and when did you score the role of Killing Joke bassist?
How long have you got?
Well, it all started in a little town in South Wales called Barry, ////---++++ my good friend (Bryn Merrick) from the same town was playing bass with the Damned, and we were sharing a flat at the time. He knew the band and told me about it, whilst Spike who was running ODIC also put my name forward cause he knew me as well.
Prior to your arrival, Andy Rourke was with KJ for 5 days. Was there anything said about Andy and his supposed drug habit?
It was just after Outside The Gate when you joined. Did the band ever rehearse material from OTG with the intention of playing it live and if so what happened?
When and where was your first gig and last gig with KJ?
Good question, first was at an ODIC fan club bash in London, Portland Sq. London, early 1988--+++++ I found a couple of tickets the other day, funnily enough.
-----Last gig somewhere in the US (Florida?? haha!!) summer 1989 ish.
Which were you most memorable KJ live performances?
Easy, NYC, The Ritz, One of the the great gigs of all time, I had an out of body experience, Jaz had his talisman for various reasons, it was much more than insane, all the forces came together. We even played Love like Blood!
LA, outdoors under the Hollywood sign was also amazing, I think it's called the Anson Ford Stadium; there is a video of it!!
What did you think of Strange Boutique when they toured with the Joke?
Were they from ...? can't remember; Was it Frank, the guitarist, from Washington? ----+++ Yeah, I'm sure it was, good fun, the 9.30 club in Washington brings back some memories.
Did you co-write any KJ material such as ‘The Fanatic’, The Beautiful Dead’, ‘Intravenous’, ‘Age Of Greed’, and ‘Extremities’?
Jaz +Geordie had the general ideas Martin & I gave our ten-penneth whenever given our heads etc..... as you can imagine.
Did you play on ‘The Beautiful Dead’ flexi that came out in ‘89?
Who knows? we recoded loads of shit at Connie's studio in Neukirchen (Germany) by Cologne, it was pretty crazy at the time, it all got shelved till later, by which time I was playing with Lloyd Cole and was glad of the lack of stress we n++++++++++++++++
Did you record any demos with KJ?
See above +++
Does a studio or demo version of ‘The Fanatic’ exist?
How was Jaz's mental state like back then, if you don’t mind me asking?
What was the mood like with Atkins in the camp in those days? You joined around the same time he did - was there any tension at the start?
If there was any tension I didn't clock it. As far as I know it was pretty cool, well as cool as it gets with Jaz etc....
Were you in KJ when the relationship between Jaz and Atkins began to sour?
Not as far as I know!
Musically, how was your chemistry with Atkins onstage?
Grooving as fuck, tight + hard, always good.
What made you decide to leave KJ?
Great music, just too much insanity inbetween the amazingness of the hour on stage every night.
What type of bass and rig did you use when touring with joke?
What type of bass and rig do you use now?
Did Dave Kovecevic leave at the same time as you? Do you have any idea what Dave has been doing since leaving KJ?
[Click here to visit Taif's web site.]