No joke without fire

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IT could be said that Killing Joke have always picked their moments wisely.

Take new album MMXII, a record not just named after its year of release but fuelled by issues and events that could come to define it.



Out on April 2 – and motivation for the tour that sends them to Corporation tomorrow – it contains music as brutal, as dense and as dark as the encroaching madness in the world, a musical mirror of challenging times. 

And who better to explain the inspiration than iconic frontman Jaz Coleman.

“It’s in many different calendars – the great unveiling, the sky and the earth coming together,” he says of the timing.

“It’s a significant date. In the autumn there is a major planetary alignment, and on that day I’m doing this rock festival, A Party At The End of The Earth, in New Zealand.

Killing Joke

Killing Joke

“Everything is speeding up. It’s not just our minds shrinking. We are heading towards the Eschaton and no-one really knows what’s going to happen.”

Cheery thoughts.

While the record’s key is the end of times, an age of flux, a shift in consciousness, it does in some way seek to look beyond forecasts of doom, even sniff out optimism.

“I can’t see the point contemplating extreme life extinction, it’s good for nothing,” says Jaz.

“It’s nihilism in the absolute even considering it.”

Four years after the original line-up of Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Big Paul reconvened, having worked together intermittently, it has to be said that strange voodoo appears to have truly kicked in again.

And it is unlikely 2012 will produce another record quite like this: layered, thought-provoking, sonically-invasive and intense – although it’s maybe not surprising with such a cast of musicians.

With economies and regimes in a state of flux, there’s a suggestion most of what could befall us might be beyond our control and Jaz finds positive light in the dawning of the Age Of Aquarius…

 “This year is about getting our collective dreams in order, restoring the biosphere, the idea of well-being as opposed to economic growth, the idea of partnership and co-creation with fellow human beings, moving away from national boundaries and more towards what Schiller and Beethoven were saying in some of their work

“If we can concentrate on what it can be, the dream of clean streams, of re-forestation, of permaculture, of disengaging all the banks – identifying all the majority shareholders of the top 100 corporations and dismantling them.

“If we start dreaming of a fairer system and defining what an elite should be – an intellectual powerhouse and not international bankers.”

So how does this detail in the music?

As always, there’s never any fluff in KJ’s output.

“Fema Camp is about the concentration camps they have been building in America,” says Jaz.

 “On All Hallows Eve is about my belief in ancestor worship, backed up by quantum theories that there is no death.

“You only ever remember the time-line you are alive in – you can’t remember being dead because you never were. 

“Colony Collapse is about what’s happening, what’s going on out there.

“Poleshift is the first track on the album and about the potential polar shift of the earth’s magnetic field, its erratic behaviour, and also the polar shift that will be needed.

“Rapture is the way I perceive a Killing Joke concert – it’s a spiritual experience for myself to get into that state of grace… music is the theme of mantra.  

“I’m not into organised religion, but I’ve always liked what Fela Kuti did in Nigeria, playing music like it was a temple.

“Maybe we will evolve into a time where we will be performing for ritualistic and spiritual reasons alone and not for monetary reasons?”

Get an early taste of Rapture at