Track-by-track: Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman talks MMXII
If ever there was a year for a Killing Joke album, this is it. Fearless front man Jaz Coleman gives The Skinny an in-depth guide to the post-punk godfathers' second studio LP in 18 months. Fire up the kettle and strap yourself in...
I think most people will be familiar with the concept of what a pole shift is, which has happened on our planet so many times. If you look at the historian Herodotus who went to
The earth’s geomagnetic current is diminishing in power; the worry is that this is a prelude to a complete pole flip. Magnetic north, you see, is meant to be moving at a rate of two inches every ten years, right now it’s moving at 70km a year. It has left
The outcome of a flip would mean that the earth would stop going one way, the stars would stand still, then it would move the other way – causing massive earth displacement, which is like the rocks moving underneath the carpet really fast. If you could imagine the kind of tidal waves that would probably take out most of the coastal cities, meaning that the only real safe places on the planet would be somewhere high above sea level, presumably.
The thing about a diminishing magnetic field is that, we’re at 0.005 gauss, and if it gets to 0 gauss on planet Earth – they’ve done tests on what happens to cosmonauts and astronauts under these conditions and it produces random aggression and madness basically. So if you think about places like
Besides all this, what’s happening at the moment is you’re getting whole groups of people waking up to the reality of our economic and banking systems that we’ve had in place for hundreds of years. Like this Occupy Wall Street movement – the dissent that’s growing across the globe, you can see a polarization of values. I think that speculation on extreme life extinction is a waste of time, but what’s really happening is a major shift in our values. The things that are dear to us these days – this ‘me’ generation, everybody wanting iPhones, material things and more wages – we need a revolution of the heart.
To move away from this mode we need to activate the right side of the cerebral hemisphere. We’ve got materialist mode on at the moment, and if we continue going down this path, within seven years we’ll need a new planet that we can rape for resources. So the whole idea of economic growth – it’s a redundant concept. We should be looking at sustainability and the wellbeing of the human condition above anything. I’m absolutely not a capitalist, I’m not a Marxist either. But I am a communist when it comes down to equal opportunities, divisions of the spoils, I believe that food and water is a human right. It’s not just for the rich.
Your duty to yourself is to click onto YouTube, Google away and do everything you do these days to educate yourself on this. It’s a very disturbing trend. Basically, what’s happening in
Everybody in the
I never thought I’d see such disturbing trends in my lifetime. My father was passionate about being active and fighting the Nazis. I was brought up in the shadow of the last war; for me to see a whole business of concentration camps being built, and very few people speaking out about it except the odd person here and there, well mankind’s taking a dangerous direction.
If you didn’t speak out about such things I think you’d be a traitor to yourself. I don’t know whether I could live with myself without speaking out – my father instilled it into me that the biggest evil was the silence of the German people when they knew such dreadful things were happening. This is being repeated again. So, that’s the second track!
Rapture is the whole reason we don’t go to church and we go to Killing Joke concerts – the spiritual succor that we get from the intensity of it. Speaking for myself, this is why I go to a Killing Joke concert, even though I’m on the wrong side of the stage as it were. After a show, I feel an incredible sense of wellbeing. This gives me a greater spiritual strength than any of the options our society provides with organised religion. Rapture’s really about the ecstatic state we seek in our ceremonies at our church that some would call a rock concert.
This sounds Wagnerian to me. It’s about the direction that we’re moving in with the rise of nanotechnology and biotechnology. Basically, in a short time, human life will be inseparable from artificial life, and what we’ll have is a situation whereby elite members of human society can live to an age of 300-400 years old, but of course they’ll have no emotional faculties. You’ll have loads of people begging for death in bodies that have no sense of feeling left. Humanity is defined by our ability to have compassion – to empathise with one another.
The direction we’re taking with technology will lead us into a condition where there’s nothing about humanity that can be associated with it – downloading consciousness into reared body parts, or whatever their grisly little vision is. That’s why on each of the verses you have this line ‘Beloved mother intervene’ and I use Professor Hawking’s quote, saying that ‘a virus should count as life.’ This is really illustrative of the dreadful, dominant left of cerebral hemisphere attitude – that a virus should count as life in our modern world. What I conclude at the end of every verse is ‘cataclysm, please intervene before this gets out of hand.’ The way we’re going is wrong, and the only thing that can right it is cataclysm itself.
I think this is self-explanatory, isn’t it? In a world where Mr Murdoch can walk in the backdoor at Number 10, and he’s just the tip of the iceberg. Consider this: There are only three countries in the world that don’t have a Rothchild bank –
It’s too painful for me to listen to this track, in a funny way. For people that don’t know, there are two canvases by an artist called Antoine Watteau, one’s in
It’s not like going from
This song is about the guys in the band and our relationship with each other. Everything in the band is based on a laugh and very, very black humour – I’ve said it many times before: when you laugh, when you go through the physiology of laughing, there’s no fear in you at that moment. That’s why the act of laughing and especially black humour is so dear to Killing Joke, so that’s why the chorus goes ‘Holy is the laughter that overcomes all your fears.’ It’s a metaphor for how we’ve survived the madness really.
The second verse of that song concentrates on where we are now – we’re not dead yet – and what we must do as a band before we go into the next world. It says ‘Did you overcome the shadow, confront the rage,’ because we’ve all got this fury in us; when we were younger men, society had deemed us worthless and we were angry. There must be a lot of people out there who have left school with no exams and feel as worthless and angry as we did.
The challenge of what lies in front of us is written in the second verse. ‘Will we till the soil and plant a forest for the human race?’ It speaks in terms of human activity developing through a non-parasitic mode; that’s why cataclysm is inevitable, because mankind is in a parasitic mode. The earth is not only alive but it’s intelligent, and if you’ve got a load of fleas on you then what the fuck do you do? You want to have a look at a picture of all the space debris round earth – it looks like ticks or fleas or something, and that’s really quite symbolic of how I see human activity in its current mode.
So what I’m saying in the second verse is there’s a cut-off point, where the spirit of going on tours and supporting the entertainment industry and all that, that’s gonna change. Instead of having concert halls we’ll have temples. It’ll no longer be for entertainment, it’ll be part of a new socio-religious activity, in the way that Fela Kuti dreamed it, where he set up a temple in
Looking at this dreadful situation with the food supply being in shortage, I have a farm, and so the idea of ‘digging for victory’ as Geordie calls it – that every parkland, every back garden could be used for food cultivation because we can no longer afford supermarket food and supermarket food is no longer healthy for us because it’s had all the nutrients and vitamins extracted in line with the CODEX program. So it’s this dream of increasing food production and finding another way of living – not the way I’m living now, not the way I’m touring and going on planes – not this. This is over. This is finished. There’s a cut-off point.
Glitch was written in anticipation of the solar storms. We’re so dependant on our computers and satellites – when the solar storms kick in they’re just fucked, like that. We can’t be so dependant on our current technological system. The song says ‘Solar storms have come and chaos rules outside, the freezer’s broke, the foods are off, the GPS has died.’ It’s about the madness and stupidity of our current mode. It’s highly temporal and we shouldn’t trust in it. I saw a thing the other day about some kid who was shown a book and was looking for the computer pad. The motherfuckers. The state of this world; we’re so far from past the tipping point. The only thing left is destruction, we can’t go on anymore like this – I don’t believe it.
We’re going to have a few shocks, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see what the first one’s going to be – with
What we know is it’s worse than the situation with the old
When I’m not doing music I’m interested in the magnetic convergence points on the planet – they have very peculiar properties. I borrow a gauss machine sometimes and research these convergence points that stone circles mark. This song is really about the idea of putting on concerts within them, or raising energy in these places.
It’s more about finding a solution than looking at our fears and horrors. It’s a cultural decision. We did one concert in a very strange place, that’s to say one of these areas, in our career. In the Killing Joke documentary you’ll see everybody talking about what happened to us individually when we played it. This initiated my interest in these magnetic grid points that crisscross the planet. I’ve studied these things with Uri Geller and all sorts of people and taken great interest in them. It’s really about trance in the fields of light, it’s about getting to a state of grace in these magnetic convergence points, period.
On All Hallow's Eve
This was written about all the people we’ve known who’ve died, and how we’re going to join them. In the same way that the Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead, it’s remembering all the people along the way. When we remember them, they come alive in us. It’s animism and ancestor worship, that’s really what this last song is about.
I love this track so much, because on All Hallow’s Eve – culturally, in this country, it’s in the Christian church they say prayers for the deceased on this day. This is the time where we would call on our ancestors to guide us through the cold winter to give us advice from the other world.
In lieu of the fact that all of our fathers are gone now and many of our friends have passed – including Raven – this is a song to remember them all. It’s a joyous song, and I find there’s much to live for. But first, one of the biggest problems we face on this planet is having 435 nuclear power stations. In my dreams every last one of them is decommissioned and dismantled. Every last one of them.