Interview With Killing Joke - 30th March 2011
Photo Of Killing JokePhil caught up with Jaz and Martin from Killing Joke to talk about Cheltenham, future albums and much more.

Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

Last time we met was a couple of years ago at Sonisphere festival.
Jaz: Ah yes I remember now. The Cheltenham guys. I'll have to go down in a couple of weeks.

Do you get chance to go back a lot?
J: I avoid it. Like the plague

J: I have mixed feeling about that place. I had an amazing childhood there. But pretty ugly in other respects. I don't mean from my family, but the level of racism in the town. I mean honestly, I was in a fight pretty much every fucking day at my school. Then when I had the revelation I don't want to go to music college and all that, I want to start a band. Then I quit work, fucked off to squats and ended up breaking into chemists and stuff. Nicking the dangerous drugs cabinets off the walls. I was getting into all sorts of trouble then. Luckily music kept me focused.

How long were you in Cheltenham?
J- I left there when I was 16, or 17. Then came to Notting Hill gate and met Paul (Raven). I mean, since my father passed. It's never really been the same (Cheltenham).

So do you get chance to come back.
J- I do go back, but I don't enjoy being in the family home. I mean I was born in that house. I always find myself getting out of there and going to a mates as quickly as possible. I mean I love it, but it's the past. I've created a new life for myself now.
I got so angry from that period to. I just used Killing Joke to get the fuck out of this country, and to adopt the passport of another country as soon as possible. And I'm glad my children were bought up in Switzerland and New Zealand and not here.

Is that where you're living at the moment?
J- That's where my girls live yeah. And it's great because, they fly me to places now. With their money( laughs) so yeah, it's good. Life's good.

Good, So what have you been up to this year?
J- It's mostly been Killing Joke stuff really. We've been touring all of Europe and the States. Now we're doing it all again.

J- Where about in Cheltenham do you live again?

(We discuss addresses and locations of various sites. Jaz explains how we remembers the large St james' train station)
J- Yeah I used to go around looking at all the old steam trains. Used to take trips down to Weston, Oxford etc. I'm glad I got to see Cheltenham in those days. And that is what makes it hard to go back in a way. I mean, compared to where I live now, I live on an Island in the pacific. The best thing about it, is it's not fucked up. I mean, it's not fucked up even now. It's still in good condition.

And I just can't be around development, and destruction of the environment. It just breaks my heart. So I take myself out of the equation.

I can see why. We were discussing even just coming into Nottingham with the big Power plant on the outskirts, something of that size really shows the impact of what we're doing.
J- Oh yeah, totally. It's horrible. But hey listen I was thinking of actually coming back to Cheltenham and doing some sort of spoken word at the town hall or something.

Really? I think that would be a brilliant idea. I mean, Cheltenham has a lot of love for Killing Joke.
J- Really? I didn't realise. Ah it's good to know support is still there. I'll defiantly pop over and see you guys when I'm down next. What kind of rent do you guys pay?
About £625 a month
J- (laughs) Fuck thats expensive! You can get a better deal than that can't you?
Yeah we probably could. It's got a nice view though
bassist Martin “Youth” Glover enters the room
Youth- yeah well me too. I pay £750 for mine, and I've got a view of the park! It's lovely.

J- Yeah, I've got some good memories of Cheltenham. The other thing is I knew Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) well and he came to my house as a kid, and grew up with my uncle. So it's been a weird kind of thing to go from that, and one time I was dating one of the Stone's ex's for a while. It was kind of weird. How I was associated with the Stones from the age of 5 or 6 and how it's gone on.

Y- A friend of ours, from Cheltenham. I remember telling Atkins this (ex KJ drummer) he always said – 'it's not the money that gets em, it's not the drugs, it's the women that gets em' (laughs)

J- do you know 1 in 8 musicians die before 35?

Y- Is that right? 1 in 8?

J- Yep, a higher mortality rate than Afghanistan.

Y- Oh, well I guess we're all doing all right then! (laughs)

Anything you guys like to do before heading on stage?
J- Yeah, Hug.

Y- Yeah we hug it out.

J- Then I gargle, just keep moving about really. And don't wish us well by the way. The band's really superstitious about people wishing us well.

Cool. I won't then. What do you do to keep yourselves busy on the road. How do you pass the time?
Y- I like to fly into Poundland shops (laughs)

J- When we finished our last tour, he had it all on a trailer. I remember going into his room, it was just a room full of junk. (laughs)

Y- Especially American bookshops. It's dirt cheap for second hand books over there. But I've gotta start getting rid of some of this stuff.

So the Island you are living on at the moment. Is this one of the Eco Islands you set up years ago?

J- Yeah it is. We got one in Chile, one in Peru, and it's Killing Joke fans who basically run them. They move there and become part of it. They run it.

There's two shops but it's all so expensive and because it's so far from the mainland. It's all self sustaining though so we'll never need that. Everyone hunts and fishes. It's a nature reserve.

But you've got different dangers out there. You've got to watch out for tsunamis. I mean, we've got mountains on the island, and once we hear that tsunami warning, you've got 10 minutes to get up there. I mean hey- if you lived 1000 years ago, you'd be getting an axe in your head. Probably never live past 30. So don't worry about too much (laughs)

How much of the year do you spend out there?
J- Been there 4 months now. It's winter over there now. But never gets cold. Just rains more.

Cool. What about this documentary you've got coming out soon?
J- Well actually, it was just to con people. It's not a documentary it's a movie. We've been going through it recently with the guys, and we've been working like 10 years of it. It's a story of both Killing Joke and of my life too. But it's also following what happens to a journalist who researched me, from a classic music perspective. It's what happens to them.

And what did happen?
J- And it's real. No acting. You have to have an open calendar. Just see what happens. I mean, I do a lot outside of Killing Joke and classical music. Try and keep busy. I do all sorts of work. I work on symbolism with many different people, and study the earth sciences. I do a lot of hands on work on that.

M- Masturbation.

J- Yeah, that too (laughs)

So what's next after the tour?
J- Writing. We've been writing and recording for this album that we're going to do in two halves.

Is this the 2012 album?
J- yeah, that the one. And I wanna start playing in some more weird places. I wanna start doing more sort of expeditionary gigs. Like just head out to the jungle and put on a show at a temple or something. I'd like to be a bit more adventurous of where we play.

I mean, I love these places. I've been playing this place for the last 25 years, but it's nice playing really different places. Like Sri Lanka doing a gig there and just more imaginative ideas.

Many thanks to Jaz Coleman and Geordie from Killing Joke for their time. And thank you to tour manager John for being so flexible with us.

Interview By Phil Davies
 Band Members

Jaz Coleman
Kevin "Geordie" Walker
Martin "Youth" Glover
Paul Ferguson
Reza Udhin
 Latest Releases
Killing Joke - Absoulte Dissent
Release date - 27th September 2010

1. Absolute Dissent
2. The Great Cul
3. Fresh Fever from the Skies
4. In Excelsis
5. European Super State
6. This World Hell
7. Endgame
8. The Raven King
9. Honour the Fire
10. Depthcharge
11. Here Comes the Singularity
12. Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove
 Band Related Links
Killing Joke Myspace