Killing Joke captured the apocalyptic feel of Crowley's most important work, 'The Book Of The Law', in their stunning 'The Fall Of The Because' (an expression taken from that book). Singer Jaz and drummer Paul influenced the Joke Crowley-wise, but without name dropping at every opportunity. The sleeve of 'Follow The Leaders' depicted a procession holding aloft Crowley's self-designed Tarot pack. Eventually Jaz went to Iceland to seek the company of Peyr (Fear), a group with similar dark interests.
-- David Tibet, Flexipop 666
Please use this thread to post your news and comments regarding Killing Joke...
Owner and Editor
Please use this thread to post your news and comments regarding Killing Joke...
Please remember when commenting that Jaz Coleman once visited the offices of the NME after they gave KJ a bad review , with a big bag of raw meat and offal which he emptied all over the hacks desk, and allegedly on another occasion marched in with a big knife, rolled up his sleeve, and after slashing his forearm, bled all over someones desk, then left ....
I haven't seen them live in some time, last time was at the Glasgow Barrowlands around the time of Nighttime. I had tinnitus for 4 days afterwards. Their gigs were like huge invocations of chaotic energies, Jaz was certainly going through some dark times.
The only Pink Floyd music I own is the Jaz Coleman arranged orchestral Floyd thing he did, I guess he needed the money. I think he did Zep as well......I'd like to hear his own symphonic works, but have never come across them, any pointers would be appreciated.
They were certainly loud the other night!
Kashmir: Symphonic Led Zeppelin http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000568RM/qid=1146731243/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl/203-4769803-163112 9"> http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000568RM/qid=1146731243/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl/203-4769803-1631129 ...
Very impressive work, apparently produced with Jimmy Page's personal approval and with Philip Glass's involvement. Images from Psychonaut and some genuinely interesting notes on the CD insert. Highly recommended...
Owner and Editor
There's a good article here at MTV News:
Their music has amassed disciples ranging from Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden to the LCD Soundsystem. Their songs have been covered by everyone from Metallica to Sarah McLachlan — and there was even a mash-up combining one of their singles with Christina Aguilera's "Make Over" making the rounds not too long ago.
Despite this, Killing Joke, one of the more notorious bands to arise from the pyre of late-'70s British punk, is hardly a household name here in the States. Lead singer Jaz Coleman, laughing down the phone from Cologne, Germany, where the band is touring to promote its latest album, Hosannas From the Basement of Hell, doesn't care. "I get a f---ing CD every week with a Killing Joke cover song — and they all go in the bin [garbage].
"We don't have anything to do with fashion!" he bellowed. "We're a sound and a lifestyle. Hahahahaha!" Coleman, a self-described "black jester," has a disconcerting tendency to punctuate his declarations with a robust laugh that suggests a tenuous grasp on sanity. For nearly three decades, he, along with guitarist Geordie Walker, has fused the stealth of punk to the wallop of heavy metal and a relentless tribal beat, resulting in a sound that has managed to elude classification over 12 studio albums. Their quest, in the words of original drummer "Big Paul" Ferguson, is to emulate "the sound of the earth vomiting."
Hosannas, recorded in the Czech capital of Prague, "for me, is really special," Coleman explained. "We all went collectively to Prague and hammered out loads of demons and had a great time with the beautiful excesses that a beautiful city like Prague provides. We recorded in an inferior studio with a wine cellar below it — where we actually put the drums down. I think it was probably one of the most honest Killing Joke albums, if you're looking at the band's collected input. Everyone hammered out their demons. It was a huge pressure on everyone. Hahahahaha!"
The result finds the band in feral form, anchored by Walker's signature guitar maelstrom. "Killing Joke's never been better," Coleman enthused. "Working with Geordie Walker — he's a magic player. It's my deepest pleasure to have spent more years with him and more time with him than my own blood [-related] brother."
Indeed, while Walker has been Coleman's foil through nearly all of the band's colorful career, the rhythm section has had a near-Spinal Tap-level rate of attrition. Since original drummer Ferguson left the band in 1987, the band has played host to Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Pigface), Ted Parsons (Swans, Prong) and even a guest stint from Dave Grohl. Grohl loaned his talents to the band's eponymous 2003 album, putting to rest the hostility between Killing Joke and Nirvana following a lawsuit over the similarity between Nirvana's "Come As You Are" and Joke's "Eighties" (the suit was dropped after Kurt Cobain's death).
Boasting a history fraught with bouts of madness, infighting, flirtation with the occult, several informal breakups and flights to the far corners of the earth (Coleman briefly abandoned the band in the early '80s, retreating to Iceland when he became convinced that the world was about to end), Killing Joke may not have achieved global dominance — but they have left a lasting legacy. Last year, they won popular British heavy metal magazine Kerrang's Lifetime Achievement award. "I was only 45 when I got it," Coleman laughed. "That's probably the youngest lifetime-achievement award you're going to get! [But] everyone knows who we are, from Jimmy Page right on through. You don't have to shout out about it."
When not onstage with the band (where he's usually dressed in war paint), Coleman is an accomplished composer who has written operas and worked with some of the world's greatest symphony orchestras, is an expert in Maori music (the indigenous people of New Zealand) and contributed to the score of Disney's "Mulan" film, among others. But it's his work with the Joke — he's currently planning a summer North American tour as well as another LP — that gives him balance.
"For me, Killing Joke will always be how I deal with my anger," he said, "how I deal with waking up to this world where we're basically destroying everything. It's how I deal with my sleep deprivation — because I can't ever seem to sleep without sedatives. It's my exorcism, it's my catharsis and it is a tradition, and not just for me — there's actually quite a lot of people out there who love the ceremony of it also."
— Alexander Smith
Owner and Editor
FORGIVE ME ALL-THE CAPS LOCK ON MY KEYBOARD IS STUCK! cURIOUS IF ANYONE HAS ANY REPORTS OF MAGICKAL ILLUMINATION IN CONNECTION WITH KJ! I RECENTLY EXPERIENCED A SERIES OF VISIONS, CYPHERED INFORMATION AND THE LOT AFTER RECOVERING A DREAM, SPURRED ON BY A MORNING LISTEN TO THE SONG "LIGHTBRINGER" FROM THE LATEST ALBUM. KJ IS, OF COURSE, A TREMENDOUSLY PASSIONATE BAND AND HAS DRIVEN ME FOR YEARS BUT MOST RECENTLY HAS EMANATED SOME SERIOUS MAGICKAL ENERGIES. NOT IN THE SENSE OF USING THE MUSIC IN CONJUNCTION WITH WORKINGS (ALTHOUGH "INVOCATION OF THE WHORE BITCH GODDESS BABALON SEEMS VERY SUITED FOR THIS PURPOSE!) BUT IN AN UNASKED FOR CONSCIOUSNESS-ALTERING FASHION...ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH THE SPOKEN WORD PIECE, THE COURTALD TALKS? JAZ ELUCIDATES A BIT THEREON REGARDING THE TRIBAL "FORMULAE" USED BY THE BAND TO ACHIEVE THIS EFFECT/GOAL...NOT UNLIKE KENNETH GRANTS REFERENCES TO THE OFF BEATS IN VOODOO DRUMMING. I OFTEN HEAR MUSIC THAT SEEMS TO EXIST IN THE "IN-BETWEEN" SPACES IN KJ MUSIC.
ANYHOW, SO MUCH FOR MY FIRST POST. A HEARTY HELLO TO ALL AT LASHTAL. MAYHAP OTHERS HAVE FOUND KJ TO BE A POWERFUL SOUNDTRACK TO THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES?
Killing Joke were fantastic at The Roundhouse, London a few weeks ago! A new album MMXII is out on 2nd April 2012, and there will be another UK tour in September 2012.
It seems some sections of the press are still smearing KJ as 'fascist', 'homophobic' etc *YAWN* with 'human rights activist' Peter Tatchell jumping on the anti-Joke bandwagon:
One of Alan Moores best Batman Graphic Novels in my opinion. 😉
Seriously tho, it must be down to personal preference but I really don't think that much of Killing Joke.
The association with Rock and Thelema is not entirely bizarre to me tho and I do like a lot of rock/punk etc, just not these guys for some reason.
Can someone enlighten me as to their own insights into the actual quality in the vocals, melodies, etc now and not about past albums and modern day influences?
PS I hope I do not sound antagonistic, would just like to understand the attraction other than that they are thelemic.
Paul T - I am a fan, but feel their music can be hit or miss. When it hits, it hits hard. They employ a number of different styles, but on the tracks I enjoy, the rhythm section is hypnotic, the guitars loud and aggressive and the vocals maniacal. I really don't care about the Thelemic connection. Lyrically, I would put them more tribal-spiritual with some conspiracy theory, political ranting and a touch of Kenneth Grant thrown in.
And yes Alan Moore's Batman work was fantastic.
Killing Joke rivets me. I press play and expect this experience. I’m never disappointed.
I’ve been listening to their catalogue since 1990 and never tire of it.
Yes, Jaz Coleman is very versed in Crowley and there are plenty of allusions to the work of the Great Beast throughout all their albums-but my devotion is not because they are “Thelemic.” It is my feeling that Killing Joke outdoes every other band that can claim this (ahem) “distinction.”
Like some genres of music, Killing Joke did not immediately set me grooving. My first album was Brighter Than A Thousand Suns. There was a certain “dissonance” in these songs which both repelled and fascinated me. The lyrics were intriguing and I felt that I was touching-but not quite entering-a profundity. I was drawn into this enough to want more.
And then I bought Dirt, Extremities and Various Repressed Emotions. Was this the SAME BAND???
Forget the purchases that followed.
Dirt blew me away.
But what’s more-these songs stayed with me. As I grew from a young man into whoever I am now, I found these tracks continuing to speak to the most vital aspect of what I am. To this day, “Struggle” is one of my favorite songs. It is the quintessence of Thelema and it is the most powerful personal challenge in the deepest darkness of discouragement and despair.
As I continued listening (again-again-again!), I found that the seemingly simplistic repetition of some of these songs evoked a type of reverberation within me. There was the song that was playing and another “invisible” song called up within my mind-body.
It’s funny to look at this “resurrected” thread and read a post I wrote so long ago. I can honestly say that I am different man. But “Lightbringer” still cut into my mind to bring me into the place where I am today. This one song…it triggered dream recall-which triggered a vital connection to what we call the “93 Current.”
I can’t use words to persuade anyone that KJ is magical. I “get” that some listen and shrug their shoulders. Perhaps it is as simple as “either you like it-or you don’t.” But the homeopathic philosophy that Jaz speaks of on “The Courthauld Talks” broke through into me. Music was no longer the “pleasure principle” but a “poison.” A Poison that could (and does) inoculate.
I don’t view albums by KJ as songs on a CD. I see each album as a type of Prophecy bathed in blood. In each release we find the highest aspirations of the human spirit occupying the same space as the demons who oppress it. Both of these are naked and it’s a deathmatch.
The only way to really behold this battle is by becoming one with either party.
I would finally see KJ in Chicago, IL on the Absolute Dissent tour. It was something of a religious experience. But all of KJ’s music points towards the genuine religious experience. It is the soundtrack to a film which is worked out in flesh. A song of rage, love and authentic being.
I can’t wait for the new album.
Who would’ve thought we’d all be tumbling into 2012?
“Lift up your Spirits!”
Lack of major success has ensured that KJ remain true to their original conception and retain their integrity.
One of the founders of the West Wycombe Chapter of the Hell Fire Club, Kneill X, is/was a former member of Killing Joke. Great bloke to party with.
All the threads on this site merge into one for me eventually. The best thing about this world we live in is the fact that no matter how much we experience and no matter how much we think we know, there is always something new around every corner. Having never listened to nor heard of Killing Joke until this thread came up, I have to wonder how that happened? Music has the power to alter perspective and change our moods faster than anything else that I know of (including drugs). It was something I realized as a little waif when I was given my first transistor radio. There where certian songs that would just raise the hairs and glaze the eyes over.
Thank you Kyle for the introduction in the form of In Cythera. Now I will go somewhere else today.
I found Killing Joke's 'The Courtauld Talks' spoken word CD to be of much interest, and Jaz does mention Thelema during his speech.
Later commentary on the meeting by Jaz:
"In the demonstration part of the Geometria System at The Courtauld Institute, I explained how during a ritual working, I identified a hostile current (or extraneous force) emanating from the Middle East. I attempted to portray this force in the development section of the title track of the last LP 'Outside The Gate' by employing an unusual rythmn and musical sequence, that I heard within this ritualised 'altered' state of mind. With the metronome I spontaneously pin-pointed the natural tempo at 103 beats per minute. In the Geometria (an ancient system of numerology) this number is the number of the prophets."
I did enquire and received informational literature from Killing Joke's Order of the Distant Island Charter (ODIC - named after Baron Karl Von Reichenbach's Odic Force), in the early 1990s and regret not having joined at the time, which would have given me the opportunity of attending Jaz's lectures in London.
KJ are now restored to their original classic 1978 line-up of Jeremy 'Jaz' Coleman (vocals, keyboards), Kevin 'Geordie' Walker (lead guitar), Martin 'Youth' Glover (bass guitar) and 'Big' Paul Ferguson (drums and percussion). I am glad Jaz and Paul have made up again.
Paul Raven was a great bass player who died young and will be sorely missed.
Killing Joke hit the national newspaper headlines in the 'Daily Express':
Our best wishes go out to Jaz.
Owner and Editor
The last magician-musician we need to see vanish from our age of aural cant...
Here's hoping Jaz returns safe and well.
Just caught this from the Official KJ Facebook Page:
Jaz Coleman, alive and kicking in the Western Sahara
To the relief of family and friends, Killing Joke Frontman Jaz Coleman appeared today from his retreat in the Western Sahara bemused by all the fuss of his disappearance. “I’ve been finishing my book and writing the score for my new project – (The Nirvana Symphonic) – (laughs), what’s all the fuss about then?”
Coleman had apparently been living a nomadic existence for the last month in the desert in order to concentrate on finishing his two current projects. Nirvana looks like becoming a TV show and a concert in Seattle in 2013 and the book and an exclusive Coleman album will be packaged together and available for order as early as next week.
International media picked up on the story last week, sending it global, from the press release announced by the band on the Killing Joke Official Facebook site questioning his whereabouts. Fans from around the world have been more than proactive in their opinions - from random sightings in Christchurch New Zealand, to past recollections of his elusive behaviors in Iceland.
Yet mystery still surrounds the message on Facebook regarding The Cult and The Mission Shows of which Coleman claims no knowledge. 'Looks like this has caused a right ding dong and feel its impossible to continue this tour under the circumstances'. His comments were to wish both The Cult and The Mission the best of luck on the tour, and to find out who has been impersonating him.
Now to find that one-armed man...
Glad Jaz is back. Great publicity stunt! HA!
I thought the same, but I am glad he is back. There being more dire and worrysome alternatives.
Great way to back out of a tour with umm... lol ..."The Cult"
In recent years, Jaz has become increasingly interested in Gnosticism and Christianity, and has become an Ordained Minister.
Sermon by Reverend Jeremy Coleman at St John's Community Church, Parish of Medlands, Great Barrier Island:
'On All Hallow's Eve' by Killing Joke (live in Gent in 2012):
Interview with Jaz in 1994, when he was first considering becoming an Anglican Priest:
'Letters From Cythera' is the new 400 page autobiography by Killing Joke vocalist Jaz Coleman, dealing with his involvement with the Occult Sciences, Hermetics and Kabbalah (publication date: February 28th 2013).
It's not published yet. 😉
Believe it when it's in my hands.
(If this one was written between 2007-2008 whatever happened to the original book he's been allegedly working on since before the Courtauld talks??)
Interesting article on Killing Joke's Paganism and Occultism:
The Courtauld Talks - Occult lecture by Jaz with guitar by Geordie:
This rather paranoid article criticising Killing Joke's 'Satanic elitism', affinity with Crowley and the band's immersion in the Occult and Magick is interesting in that Jaz dismisses a lot of 'conspiracy culture' as 'fantasist', and has said that David Icke's claim that Jaz's friend Laurence Gardner was a 'reptilian' who 'sacrificed babies' was 'complete crap'. Jaz advocates a World Government to be divided into 4 blocks: European Union, Americas, African Union and Asia-Pacific Union.
Sounds remarkably similar to our old friend George Orwell’s division of the world in Nineteen Eighty Four into three superpower blocs: the first two blocks mentioned correspond roughly to Oceania (if one takes the European Union more Faragishly to be Airstrip One), with Eurasia & Eastasia partaking of parts of the fourth. (If I remember right something rather unpleasant happened to the African continent which made most of it come outside the divvying-up.).
Didn’t O’Brien seem like such a nice man to begin with, by the way? Ditto Mr Charrington. Tsk! Just goes to show.
2 + 2 = what was that again?
Norma N. Joy Conquest
A rare radio interview with Jaz from 1985, when he talks about Pantheism, Nordic mythology, Yukio Mishima, Samurai ethics, Japanese Imperialism, and dismisses the media label that Killing Joke push "black magic":
The latest update on the Killing Joke Official Facebook page ( August 7th 2013) has the news that Youth of Killling Joke and David Tibet of Current 93, have recorded a side project album together.
That's extraordinary news but I can't see any reference to it on the link you provided.
Owner and Editor
Paul, go to the latest news article post on the top left hand side of the page (dated: '7 August via mobile' and click on 'See more' after: 'KJ have be...'), hope you can find it.
Oops! That'll teach me to read things properly!
Youth is working on the new Echo & The Bunnymen album as well as Peter Murphy's 10th offering. He's also just completed an album with David Tibet of Current 93 which looks like being released on a new label set up by him and KJ manager David Bianchi.
Owner and Editor
Youth is having some serious health problems at the moment...let's hope it turns out to be not too bad.
We had some drinks together after their last show in Amsterdam.
'The Death and Resurrection Show' - Killing Joke documentary film is now completed and recently premiered in New Zealand, with Jaz attending the screening in person. I hope it is screened in a London cinema too. It is planned to release it on DVD.
The trailers look great! Jimmy Page makes an appearance:
I received my copy of Jaz's book 'Letters From Cythera' this morning, personally signed by him. The finished work is actually 485 pages.
From the inside cover:
"Letters From Cythera traces the author's various metaphysical and philosophical ideas and their influence on his music. Also outlined in the work is the Supersynthesis, a Renaissance principle that has enabled and facilitated Jaz Coleman's many accomplishments, spanning acting, conducting, singing, composing, geomancy, architecture, music production, occult history and Hermetic systems.
Letters From Cythera was written from the isolated perspective of the author's residence on a South Pacific Island."
Received my copy today and have read a few dozen pages so far: very impressive.
Owner and Editor
I'll buy that for a $1...or whatever it costs. The first album I bought buy Killing Joke was "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns", when in 1986 I was just getting turned on to Chris & Cosey, Scrapping Foetus Off The Wheel, Skinny Puppy, My Life With The Thrill Kull Kult, etc and so on. However, I was truly unimpressed with that album. Nevertheless, a goth chic I adored swore to God, The Devil and anyone in between that "What's THIS For...", by Killing Joke was possibly the best album ever recorded. We were all pretty heavy into sniffing Ether those days, and she was right...except that Siouxsie & The Banshees "Nocturne" was just a notch better.
Thanks for the tip.
Jaz's appearance in the popular award winning Czech film 'Rok Dabla - Year of the Devil' (Now on DVD with English subtitles):
Having read Jaz's new book I was pleased to see many references to Crowley and Kenneth Grant. Interesting is Jaz relating that Geordie, a Qabalist, goes so far as to wear a different coloured pair of underpants, for each day of the week! Also the London flat fire incident after KJ members performed a ritual. Jaz quotes the lyrics to 'Madness' - "When you know that God is dead, and you are God" which he says is echoed by "Christ's perplexing remark that you are all Gods." (John 10: 34).
What particularly struck me is Jaz and Geordie referring to "Lucky" T.P. as a walking, talking "Talisman of doom and misery", and that if you stand next to him a lightning strike will probably hit you! I can confirm this as soon after I met "Lucky", I developed a serious health condition ( I am fully recovered now I am glad to say, as Nietzsche said "That which does not destroy us only makes us stronger"). Jaz points out that "Lucky is a nice chap, but that he seems to attract bad luck to those he comes into contact with. Coincidence? I don't think so!
What are other Lashtalians thoughts and impressions of Jaz's book, if you have now had the opportunity of reading it?
I hope Jaz comes to London on his proposed Spoken Word Tour, to elaborate further on the themes contained in his Great Work.
'Rubicon' - Killing Joke newsletter from November 1986, which quotes Crowley's 'The Book of Lies', including drummer Paul Ferguson's comments:
This Spanish review of the KJ documentary mentions the Crowley influence:
KJ were influenced yes but this thing Coleman had about persistently predicting the nuclear apocalypse, getting it wrong because it never happened and then doing it again is not "Crowleyan" it's BS. He was always so adamant about it. The Jehova's Witnesses have been doing it since 1900;
Failed predictions that were either explicitly stated or strongly implied, particularly linked to dates in 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975, have led to the alteration or abandonment of some teachings. The Society's publications have at times suggested that members had previously "read into the Watch Tower statements that were never intended" or that the beliefs of members were "based on wrong premises." Critic Edmond Gruss claims that other failed predictions were ignored, and replaced with new predictions; for example, in the book, The Finished Mystery (1917), events were applied to the years 1918 to 1925 that earlier had been held to occur prior to 1914. When the new interpretations also did not transpire, the 1926 edition of the book changed the statements and removed the dates.
By the way Coleman's latest conspiracy theory is that the W.H.O. met up with industrlalists and formulated a secret plan to deal with the overpopulation problem. It consists of secretly placing deadly chemicals in supermarket foodstuffs to kill masses of their consumers. There you have it; supermarkets don't want to make profits any more, lol. Reminds of a Bill Hicks sketch about Judas Priest wanting to kill off their fans with subliminal backwards suicide messages because they were sick of shagging groupies and not having to work in a 9-5.
Jaz recently revealed that the story he put out of his "fleeing to Iceland to escape the Apocalypse" was a ruse, to cover his Abra-Melin magickal operation.
This article features KJ, AC and politics:
I think many of us guessed that.
Although david is right about Jaz Coleman did seeming to have a thing about his predicting the apocalypse early, i.e. at the end of the 80s, I’m sure he or his fellow band member ‘Youth’ did go to Iceland too at some point during that decade (even if it wasn’t to avoid the apocalypse, though I don’t quite see why Iceland, or even a South Pacific island, would be immune to anything affecting the whole planet).
Maybe the book goes into some more details - is anything further revealed about this Abramelin operation performed and how it went, for example? That would also be of more interest to readers here other than mere "Jokeophiles".
The latest instance of the imminence of the apocalypse – and a big one - was the kerfuffle at the end of the Mayan calendar nearly a year ago now. Everything still seems to be bumbling along towards some omega point in much the same old way, however... Perhaps the principle of Abrogation also includes everything related to the matter of timelines and therefore prophecies in general, or at least until proper paradigms for the new Aeon have become better embedded into the present.
Still time left for push & struggle?
- Ha! ;D n JoY