Jaz ColemanLead vocals, keyboards
Geordie (Kevin Walker)Guitar
Youth (Martin Glover)Bass
Jaz Coleman is a tortured soul. He claims to suffer from constant panic attacks and to get about three hours of sleep every night. Killing Joke music is his outlet, providing relief from his pain.
In 2012, the band was slated to tour with The Cult and The Mission, but they begged off in a very public way: announcing on Facebook that they weren't going, and never wanted to in the first place. The post, signed by "Black Jester" (assumed to be Coleman), stated: "The only reason we allowed ourselves to be talked into it was to blow both bands off the stage and to steal their respective audiences."
It continued: "Then there would be a problem with the dressing room and witnessing The Cult charge the fans $200 per head for a Meet & Greet. Lastly, all their songs suck!"
The band has an interest in the occult and supports various conspiracy theories. In 1982, Coleman moved to Iceland, claiming the apocalypse was coming and he would be safe there. His bandmates followed, but they all returned to England when they were satisfied that the world was not ending.
Killing Joke claims to have little interest in hit songs or commercial success. Coleman says the goal has always been "complete control over our environment."
In our 2015 interview with Jaz Coleman
, he cited some of Beethoven's symphonies as a musical influence, but said there was no contemporary music he liked. Said Coleman: "Half the motivation for being in a band is making music you can't find anywhere else."
Early in the career, the band kept their surnames secret, just going by Jaz, Paul, Geordie and Youth.
Jaz is from Cheltenham. His parents were both teachers, and of blended ancestry. He says that he doesn't claim any culture as his own, as he is a mix. "I don't relate to anybody and I'm really proud of that," he said.
The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl is such a huge fan of Killing Joke, he did all of the drumming on their self-titled 2003 album free of charge.