(From Kerrang, April 2006.)
Blood. Insanity. Apocalyptic Despair.
Killing Joke's rabid post-punk sermons have influenced everyone from Nirvana to Nine Inch Nails. This is the gospel according to frontman Jaz Coleman.
There was blood everywhere while we were recording our new album. We had three physical fights. I'm not saying that to impress you. We reach our limit and just bash the fuck out of each other. I'll take the heaviest thing I can and smash it over their heads and keep going. They do too. It's therapy. You try to fucking keep a band together for 28 years. Marriage is hell, but we've got more than one person to think about. That's even harder.
The idea of the 'rock star' is bullshit. We tried to get rid of rock stars with punk. When Killing Joke started, it was possible to be talented yet still be a normal person. I like to meet a lot of people when I'm doing concerts, but I'm a recluse outside of that. I just make music and I really love this band. The one band I'd love to see live would be Killing Joke. I've never seen them.
Kurt Cobain used to listen to Killing Joke all the time. Dave Grohl told me that. Kurt thought I was going to get my friends to smash his face in because he stole riffs from Geordie (White [sic], guitarist). We'd never do that. We could have taken £26 million from Nirvana but when that guy shot himself all my band could think was 'That little kid hasn't got a father.' I'm privileged to be in a band that can think beyond that. Rich man, poor man -- we all eat shit and die.
I despise Courtney Love. Kurt [Cobain] chose a smelly woman. I had this friend who was in a record company who had the experience of working with Hole and couldn't stand the physical smell of her. When you take smack you sweat faeces. I don't like that woman. She's the enemy of my friends like Dave Grohl. My ex-wife remembers that girl from the LA scene and she was just trying to hook a big fish. That's the American way. Darling -- I haven't got any money so don't even fucking think about suing me.
Jimmy Page is a friend and mentor. He's been a provider of friendship and spiritual nourishment and access to his marvellous library. The fact that he sold more records in America than The Beatles should give you pause for thought but forget that wealth bollocks. He's someone who's loved music all his life and he's survived.
None of Killing Joke ever did smack. We only started properly drinking when we were 28. We never used to drink. Now I'll take four days off a week for drinking but if you think I'm going to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, fuck off. I salute Lemmy (Motorhead) there. That guy's fucking hard as nails and the damage he's done to himself is unbelievable. Give us a kiss, Lem'.
Punk rock changed everything. Without John Peel or John Lydon we wouldn't have had that acceleration within weeks where music changed forever. Those two sure put us on the fucking map. Not that we wanted to be commercial, but we had accidental hits. I went for five records without even knowing what a fucking single was. We'd just make an album and whack it out there. I always have the BBC World Service on at home in Prague and I heard myself on the fucking radio. It was funny.
I don't understand Americans. I remember seeing Black Flag and it was just this absolute noise and idiots jumping on the stage and off. Then I saw an interview with -- What's his name? Henry Rollins. He said, 'We've just done a song about Charles Manson and all the royalties are going to Charles Manson.' I don't identify with that. Charles Manson? I'd shoot him through the fucking head. I don't like creeps like that and I don't glorify them. The fact that Henry Rollins said that shows the divide between the Brit tradition and the American tradition.
We only toured with Motley Crue for the money. We started Killing Joke for the experience and to give ourselves freedom. But we toured with Motley Crue and I told our fans it was for the money. My boys needed it, so fuck it -- I'll be honest about being a whore. I'd never even heard them before we toured and I thought, 'What an awful fucking piece of shit this is.' Whatever.