Entries tagged with: Jaz Coleman
"We're sitting on a fucking monster, man," says legendary Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman from somewhere in Europe. While musicians tend to boast around new albums, Coleman and his bandmates (guitarist Geordie, bassist Youth and drummer Paul Ferguson) - the original lineup that recorded the first Killing Joke album - continue to back big proclamations with albums befitting of their nearly four-decade history. Pylon, due October 23, is no exception; it builds on the Killing Joke legacy of beauty meeting anger meeting mysticism. The band was so inspired that they wrote 15 tracks; five were moved to a bonus disc but Coleman insists they are part of the album, not an afterthought. Killing Joke plans to return to the United States for their first tour in three years this coming January. Coleman talked to us about Pylon, technocracy and the power of human connection.
BV: It's not that I didn't enjoy the last record (MMXII), but Pylon seems to have a greater sense of urgency like your comeback record more than 10 years ago. Did you feel a greater sense of urgency?
Coleman: That's an interesting analogy to the 2003 record. But yes, it felt like a similar sort of cycle, especially because we put Paul's drums on last like we did with Dave (Grohl's) drums. I've had a fucking bleak year. When you are in your 50s, people die around you. One of those deaths was a suicide close to my family. I don't know why Killing Joke recordings need to be traumatic, but they always are. The background to this record is a year of austerity. When you don't do concerts, you don't earn a great deal of money. I've also been going to Russia to work with the St. Petersburg Orchestra. That's a different kind of bleakness. So it's been a dark year, especially observing what's going on in the world. It's hard not to get depressed and sometimes the only thing that lifts me is seeing the guys from the band. We use music as a way to process everything in the world.
I do think we did this album the right way. Youth would come in every few weeks and work with Geordie and me. When I start a piece of work, I always share a theme with Paul and then he goes and writes. Then, I try to synthesize. Paul has this quality - this ability to write the same way I do.
In 2014, Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman released a self-published book titled Letters from Cythera, as well as an accompanying CD, The Island, which is an orchestral score he composed, performed by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra. (Stream The Island below.) Cythera, by the way, is what Coleman calls New Zealand. Here's the description of the book:
Letters From Cythera was written between years 2007 - 2008 in the South Pacific and outlines how the occult sciences have shaped JAZ COLEMAN's philosophical outlook expounding on his preferred system for a personalized renaissance (the supersynthesis), which consists of completing 13 separate projects or masterpieces over a five to six year period. In the following book, JAZ documents his endeavors in tackling this epic undertaking. In short, it is the antithesis of a conventional rock biography.Jaz is mounting on a spoken word tour in support which hits NYC on July 21 at Saint Vitus where he'll be "discussing his personal memoirs through KILLING JOKE, mysticism, and the occult sciences." There will also be an audience Q&A, and tickets are on sale now.
Thus Letters from Cythera is the first of two books giving a detailed account of his hidden history and involvement with Hermetics, Earth Sciences and the Rosicrucian tradition noting the various Kabalistic innovations that have evolved over the last 33 years (and perhaps more significantly how they have influenced his work with both Killing Joke and Orchestra). Letters from Cythera also covers the principles of self-education, symbolism, quantum mechanics, numerology and of course his ongoing obsession with the image of a hidden island at the ends of the earth.
One of Jaz's other continuing projects is his Orchestrated series where he takes the songs of a popular rock band and adapts them into classical arrangements. The series, which includes The Doors, Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd, will soon include a fourth, dedicated to a band that he's had an interesting relationship with: Nirvana. The grunge icons and Killing Joke had legal wrangles over "Come as You Are"'s resemblance to KJ's song "80s." Then Dave Grohl ended up playing drums with Killing Joke on their 2003 self-tiled album. The record is to be titled Orchestrated Nirvana: A Requiem to Kurt Cobain.. It was announced a year ago and no release date has been set, but you can follow the project's Facebook for updates.
Jaz Coleman tour dates are listed, with The Island stream and a video about Letters From Cythera, below..
Killing Joke at Irving Plaza, December 2010 (more by Greg Cristman)
The Death and Resurrection Show is a feature length music documentary charting the turbulent, dramatic and often unbelievable journey of the British post-punk industrial legends Killing Joke. The film brings together three decades of archive footage with two decades of never before seen new documentary footage and unprecedented access to the members of Killing Joke, their management, music producers, industry figures and associates.So far no release date for the doc that explores the world of these post-punk legends, though the filmmakers are still "aiming for" a 2012 release. Check out the trailer and a clip below.
The film explores the progression of the band and their music; the in-fights, splits, reformations, legal tussles and side projects into classical and trance music, but it also delves deep into the other side of Killing Joke and it's core members. Brought together by a ritual ceremony performed in London, the 30 year experience that followed saw them constantly experimenting with the ritual, esoteric and mystical in their lives and their music.
Killing Joke does, however, have a U.S. release date for MMXII, the band's new LP which hits shelves on Tuesday (10/30) via Spinefarm. You can stream "In Cythera" below.
So far no gigs are set for KJ, but word is that the band may hit US shores in 2013. Until then, stream the new track and check out videos from the upcoming documentary below.
Jaz Coleman @ Irving Plaza 2008 (more by Tim Griffin)