Killing Joke

From Academic Kids

Lead singer Jaz Coleman dominates the cover of Killing Joke's  release .
Lead singer Jaz Coleman dominates the cover of Killing Joke's 1986 release Brighter Than A Thousand Suns.

Killing Joke are an influential UK punk/goth/rock/industrial band. Jaz Coleman - who sings, performs keyboards, and composes and conducts strings and orchestral parts when used - fronts the band. Kenneth "Geordie" Walker, who plays guitar (usually with all strings detuned a step), and Coleman have been the constant members. They and bassist Martin "Youth" Glover - who always produces when involved in the band - and drummer "Big Paul" Ferguson formed Killing Joke sometime in late 1978 or early 1979. Paul Raven has played bass in Killing Joke for times that Youth has been absence. In 1990, Martin Atkins replaced Ferguson as the drummer; Killing Joke has performed with various other non-members drumming since Atkins departed the band.

According to Coleman, their manifesto was to "define the exquisite beauty of the atomic age in terms of style, sound and form". Ferguson once described their music as "the sound of the earth vomiting".




See also: list of musicians with multiple self-titled albums




  • In 1987, Metallica covered Killing Joke's The Wait for the former's E.P. Garage Days Re-Revisited.
  • In some early interviews (Sounds, 1989 May 13 (; Kerrang!, 1989 Apr. 8) (, the members of Soundgarden cited Killing Joke as one of the bands they listen to most.
  • Nirvana's Come As You Are (which first appeared on their album Nevermind in 1991) has a melody very similar to that of Killing Joke's Eighties. Some transcripts of Nirvana's songs (including commercially sold sheet music for Nevermind) have indicated that Nirvana's guitarist Kurt Cobain recorded the songs with his guitar detuned a whole step, which is the same tuning that Geordie is known to prefer. Nirvana's drummer, Dave Grohl, would later perform Killing Joke's Requiem as a member of the Foo Fighters and would play drums for Killing Joke in 2003. Nirvana's former guitarist, Jason Everman, was once a bassist for Soundergarden, a band whose members often listened to Killing Joke.
  • In 1993, Helmet covered Killing Joke's Primitive for the B-side to the second single for the former's song Born Annoying.
  • In 1997, the Foo Fighters covered Killing Joke's Requiem for the B-side to the single for the former's song Everlong. A member of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, was Killing Joke's drummer for the recorded sessions of the latter's second selft-titled album.
  • In 2001, Amen covered Killing Joke's Europe during a session on BBC Radio One in 2001. The recording of this song was later the B-side for the single for the former's Too Hard To Be Free.
  • Other professed fans of Killing Joke including Ministry, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and Primus.

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