Killing Joke Biography
Killing Joke started in late 1978, in London, ENGLAND, when singer + keyboardist Jeremy 'Jaz' Coleman and drummer Paul Ferguson decided to create their ideal band. Mixing Punk and Hard-Rock, the two hired guitarist Kevin 'Geordie' Walker and bass player Martin 'Youth' Glover to complete the unit. Since then, the band has gone through numerous internal conflicts and line-up changes, the only two constant members being Jaz Coleman and Geordie Walker.
Their first album, a self-titled affair, was released in mid-1980 through E.G. Records, it rocketed into the U.K. top 40 highlighted by one of Killing Joke's most powerful song, "Wardance", which broke into the top 50 of the American Dance chart. Although this album is now over three decades old, it's been cited as a pivotal release in the Industrial music scene by Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, in addition Metal masters Metallica covered "The Wait" on their 1987's platinum 5-song disc "The $5.98 E.P. Garage Days Re-Revisited".
One year later the quartet put out a new album titled "What's THIS For...!" which included another seminal tune, "Follow The Leaders", that hit the #25 position on the U.S. Club Play Singles chart and would influence a generation of hardcore musicians.
Killing Joke issued its third outing in the summer of 1982. "Revelations" charmed its way into a respectable berth just outside the top 10 in their native England.
Shortly after Coleman fled to Iceland believing that the apocalypse was imminent.
The band returned to action in mid-1983 with "Fire Dances"; this album marked the recording debut of the band's new bass player Paul Raven and was also their last effort to feature highly abrasive sound with scratchy guitars and tribal rhythms.
Released in early 1985, "Night Time", was arguably the most popular album of the band's career, it peaked at #11 in U.K. and yelded the smash hit "Love Like Blood".
Some eight years later, after noting similarities between the album's closer, "Eighties" and Nirvana's "Come As You Are", Killing Joke started legal action but dropped it after Kurt Cobain's death.
The quartet's next record, "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns", was released in the fall of 1986 and appeared on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Albums chart the following spring. However, in England, it wasn't as successful as its predecessor and the band imploded soon after.
In 1988 Jaz Coleman recorded a sort of solo album, "Outside The Gate", but E.G. Records wanted to print the band's name on the cover in an attempt to make some money off this misguided experiment.
A new bizarre Killing Joke album was released a year later, "The Courtald Talks", on which Coleman discussed his personal beliefs backed by constant percussion while Geordie repetitiously strummed the same guitar chords.
The more conventional "Extremities Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions", followed in late 1990; this album featured Coleman, Geordie, Raven and new drummer Martin Atkins and would mark the beginning of an extended hiatus for Killing Joke.
Coleman and Geordie, reunited with Youth, resurfaced in August 1994 issuing "Pandemonium"; the CD made a respectable chart debut, climbing into the U.K. top 20 and spawned two top 40 singles with the the title-track and "Millennium".
Two years later the trio released "Democracy". The Killing Joke's eleventh studio album just squeaked into the British chart but generated a new top 40 hit with the disc's title-cut.
With the release of their second eponymous effort in July 2003, Killing Joke ended the band's longest gap between studio albums. Dave Grohl was drummer on the record, which was produced by Gang Of Four's Andy Gill and eventually reached #30 on the Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart while the lead-off single, "Loose Cannon", managed to crack the top 30 in Britain.
April 2006 saw the band deliver new studio material in the form of "Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell", but the album failed to attract significant attention.
Prior to this release, bassist Paul Raven began a collaboration with the veteran Industrial metallists Ministry.
On October 20, 2007, Raven was found dead in a private home in a small French village on the Swiss border after suffering an apparent heart attack.
Until meeting at the funeral of Paul Raven, Jaz Coleman and Paul Ferguson had not spoken for nearly twenty years. Their reconciliation meant plans were hatched for a new album as well as for a worldwide tour.
Released in September 2010 "Absolute Dissent", marked the first album in 28 years by original members Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Paul Ferguson.
Killing Joke issued its fifteenth studio effort, "MMXII", in April 2012; the album was met with positive acclaim by critics and eventually charted in the upper half of the U.K. top 100, it includes the excellent single "In Cythera".