heavy metal

Pacifier Bio

Band members
Phil Knight
Johnny Toogood
Karl Kippenberger
Tom Larkin


Early September 2001. New Zealand's greatest rock n' roll band arrived in L.A. to fulfill a dream, to make their definitive fifth LP in the USA. Over 12 years of relentless progress had passed them by at this point, from a Wellington high school to Australia's biggest arenas and then the world.

"Comfort Me" is the first single from Pacifier – the Kiwi rock group previously known as Shihad. In ballistic sound and nakedly personal content, it represents a quantum leap for a band already renowned for taking the world in giant strides, gig by explosive gig. Recorded at L.A.'s Pulse Studios with producer Josh Abrahams, Pacifier is the album Shihad always threatened to make – a glorious, melodic, metallic rock n' roll beast with its heart in its hands and its hair standing on end. Jon, Tom, Phil and bassist Karl K connected with LA's hottest rock producer way before his success with Orgy, Korn, Limp Bizkit and Staind. He remixed a number of tracks from Shihad's second album Killjoy in 1996. He then, like everyone who crosses the bands path, was blown away.

The Label is the new record label formed by monster, a US management company. It only took one gig and the band soon to be known as Pacifier was signed. All concerned knew that Shihad's stunning fourth album, The General Electric, had taken Australasia by storm that resulted in two of Pacifier's stand out tracks, "Walls" and "Coming Down." From the plain frantic "Semi-Normal" to the keening desperation of "Run" to the bare-boned emotion of "Home", Jon's urgent vocal delivery is the icing on an immaculately crafted cake, a work of flawlessly constructed, utterly committed hard rock substance and disarmingly heartfelt lyrics. The 12 songs on Pacifier are the cream of a huge cache of tunes accumulated over the past two years, from the road-tested "Trademark" and "Nothing" to L.A.-refined "Everything," the result of several songs rammed together at Josh Abrahams' suggestion.

As Wellington teenagers, Tom and Jon misheard the name Shihad in David Lynch's film, Dune. Post 9-11, the warlike connotations of the word ‘jihad' were impossible to ignore. Pacifier was the title of the third single from The General Electric. They wanted their album to make peace, not war. Like the best rock ever made, Pacifier is the perfect release valve, made of the finest riffs and the sturdiest hooks by world-class craftsmen. In 2003, the band was more than ready to make their American debut. Signed to Arista, Pacifier released their self-titled album in February 2003.

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