Killing Joke

Killing Joke

Hometown: London (UK)


Killing Joke is an influential English post–punk rock band formed in 1979. Founding members Jeremy "Jaz" Coleman (vocal, keyboards and arrangements) and Geordie Walker (guitars) have been the only constant members.

Regarded as one of the most significant bands to have emerged from the post–punk/New Wave era of the late–1970s/early–1980s, Killing Joke strongly influenced bands such as Nirvana, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Big Black, Prong, Metallica, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Econoline Crush, Faith No More and Korn, all of whom have at some point cited a substantial debt of gratitude to 'The Joke'.

Original drummer "Big Paul" Ferguson once described their music as "the sound of the earth vomiting". Killing Joke's music typically consists of hypnotic, metallic guitars and heavy, tribal, and danceable rhythms. Coleman's vocals are sometimes in a talk–sing style, sometimes a malevolent–sounding growl and sometimes emotional and melodic. Dark, ominous synthesizer loops and even sweeping, gothic keyboards appear to varying degrees, and indeed were a song–driving element on their mid 80s albums. Geordie never plays solos but his unique style has earned him praise from the likes of Edward Van Halen and Jimmy Page.

Their albums have evolved stylistically from one release to the next, whilst always retaining the band's distinctive flavour. From post–punk and dub reggae beginnings (late 70s) they developed a unique tribal, proto–industrial metal (early 80s), gradually added more hooks and keyboards, got increasingly "progressive" (late 80s), then dumped that to embrace 90s dance elements.


Killing Joke / Amen live in Los Angeles

Killing Joke / Amen

live in Los Angeles (2003)

live show

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