Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman says the “call to arms” for the long-lived hard rock group’s original lineup came with the 2007 death of longtime bassist Paul Raven. But there was not a great deal of drama in that decision, he adds.
“I don’t remember any major discussion about getting the original lineup back together,” says Coleman, 50, who formed Killing Joke during 1978 in London with guitarist and Detroit-area resident Geordie Walker, bassist Martin “Youth” Glover and drummer Paul Ferguson. “It just came together. Like most things in this band, it just goes its own way.”
But when the quartet came together again in 2008, Coleman acknowledges, there was no question that the reunion would yield a new album — in this case “Absolute Dissent,” the first by the original Killing Joke in nearly 25 years.
“Let me tell you that any time you go into the studio with Killing Joke and you’ve got any sort of creative vision, it all gets smashed to pieces,” Coleman says with a laugh. “I think for this (album) we strung together seven what we felt were powerful songs before we went into the studio, and two of those made it onto the album. The other 10 tracks, as you’re listening to them they’re being written, quite literally.
“The amazing thing about the original lineup is, unlike the other incarnations, when we jam, it’s absolutely amazing and there’s this strange, psychic thing that, when it locks in, it’s scary.”
Coleman says he envisions this quartet staying together for the foreseeable future, with plans to record another album next summer for release in 2012. But he also expects the group to stay flexible within that game plan, too.
“When we have a situation where either Youth or Paul can’t do it, we switch into our B-team and continue, which is understood and everyone’s happy with it,” Coleman explains. “And, let’s face it, we have our pick of the best (players) in the world, so by now we’ve got it down.”
Killing Joke, Child Bite and Project 44 perform Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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