heavy metal

Killing Joke Bio

Killing Joke
Band members
Jaz Coleman Kevin "Geordie" Walker Martin "Youth" Glover Paul Ferguson


Coleman, Geordie and Youth reformed Killing Joke in 2002, and recorded their second self-titled album with producer Andy Gill, released to much acclaim in 2003 on the Zuma Recordings an imprint label on Sony music - a powerful addition to Extremities and other visceral 1990s albums, and considered one of their finest recordings. George Bush's "war on terror" and the invasion of Iraq were cited as major factors in their reforming and this is reflected in the lyrical content of much of the album, based on themes of war, government control and Armageddon. The album was their heaviest to date and spawned two singles, "Loose Cannon" and "Seeing Red". The songs are all credited to Coleman/Walker/Glover/Gill, although Raven's name is also on the list of musicians on the liner notes, marking his return to the band after more than a decade. Raven played on the subsequent tour however, with Youth appearing to have retired from the band by this point. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Probot), a longtime fan of the band, occupied the drum stool for all tracks. The original plan had been to use many different drummers on the album, including Grohl, but he was so enthusiastic about the material that he persuaded the band to let him do the whole thing. The album was accompanied by a tour of the United States, Europe and Australia in 2003/2004, with ex Prong drummer Ted Parsons on board.
In February 2005, now with young Twin Zero and Sack Trick drummer Ben Calvert, they played two consecutive shows at London's Shepherds Bush Empire to commemorate their 25th anniversary. DVD and CD recordings from these concerts were released in on Cooking Vinyl in the fall of 2005 as XXV Gathering: The Band That Preys Together Stays Together.
In June 2005 remastered and expanded editions of their two 1990s Butterfly Recordings albums, Pandemonium and Democracy, were released by Cooking Vinyl. These were followed in July by their first four albums (Killing Joke to Ha!) on EMI, who by then owned the E.G. Records catalogue. The second batch of EMI reissues has yet to appear (as of May 2007), although they are rumoured to include a completely remixed version of Fire Dances and the original Chris Kimsey mix of Brighter Than A Thousand Suns.
In March 2005, Reza Udhin, front man of the Industrial band Inertia joins Killing Joke as Keyboard player.
In summer 2005 they provided unlikely support on the British leg of Mötley Crüe's world tour and then began work on their next album in Prague. Coleman had been working there for a few years on classical and traditional music projects and it had come to be Killing Joke's de facto base.
Opting for simplicity and raw energy, the band recorded the new album in its basement rehearsal studio, going for live takes with the minimum of overdubs. The result was Hosannas from the Basements of Hell, released in April 2006 on Cooking Vinyl. Once again it was well received by the critics.
Killing Joke began a European tour in support of the album in April 2006. However, bass player Paul Raven abruptly departed on the eve of the 2006 European tour to tour with Ministry and was temporarily replaced by Kneill Brown. The tour included an appearance headlining the MySpace stage of the Download Festival on June 10, 2006, which received four K's from Kerrang! magazine. Other highlights of the summer included a memorable set in Japan at the Fuji Rock festival where there were joined on stage by Orb frontman Alex Paterson (once a Killing Joke drum roadie) and headlining the Beautiful Days festival in the UK. The band's momentum suffered another blow however, when health problems caused the autumn leg of the tour to be cancelled.
Early in 2007 Killing Joke released three archival collections via KJ Records/Candlelight Records. The first, "Inside Extremities", is a double CD of material taken from the band's preparations for the "Extremities" album: rehearsals, rare mixes, a previously unheard track "The Fanatic" and a full live show from the Extremities tour. This was followed by "Bootleg Vinyl Archive" Volumes 1 & 2, each of which is a 3 CD box set of live-in-concert bootleg recordings originally released on vinyl in the 1980s, plus a 1994 show from the "Pandemonium" tour.
In May 2007 it was announced that Candlelight Records will be reissuing the classic 1990 album Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions, which has long been out of print. This is planned for October 2007, and it is hoped that the long-delayed second batch of EMI reissues will be released at around the same time, completing the Killing Joke reissue series

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