Category: 2019

photos by Cristina Massei

We’re back to Jaz Coleman’s habitual London residence for a chat about his new album “Magna Invocatio” after the official launch a couple of days ago. With so much happening in the world of KJ – and in the world in general – John just can’t wait to catch up with the man. Here it goes…


Today’s obviously a very special day, the release of the new album Magna Invocatio – A Gnostic Mass For Choir And Orchestra Inspired by the Sublime Music of Killing Joke, now it’s a double vinyl/double CD and I wanted to ask you what sort of emotions you get on a day like this because obviously it’s a record that you lived with for a while and you’ve put a lot of work into it and now finally we’re at the day where you can walk into a record store anywhere in the world, what are your hopes and aspirations for people that are picking up a copy of the album?

The journey from the time you start conceiving the idea – never mind the fucking funding – to the when it’s in a record store, that’s a journey in itself on a project like this! What can I say? It’s magic that it’s happened, the effect it’s having is magic on people, on my life, everywhere.

Magna Invocatio is the only recording I’ve ever done where I’ve listened to it multiple times everyday since the recording, I can’t stop listening to it because it lifts my spirit, the idea of gnostic mass is that wherever you are you can put the headphones on and I can commune directly with the hierarchy or angelic forces at a time when there’s darkness on the planet.

Next year’s going to be the most frightening year for humanity.

It’s not looking great at the moment.

Next year and it starts in early January. The thing is myself, Killing Joke, the governing elites of the planet, we use astrology. The astrology we’re coming into this next year is worse than 1963 in similar terms so the first thing we’re going to have to do is prepare for the day when banks don’t work and there’s no money from cash point machines and start thinking about where we get our food from and how and let’s start thinking about that with our friends – I’ve said this for a while! [laughs]

Your thoughts seem to be coming true.

I wish they weren’t coming true! We’re so close to a nuclear war because it’s not like the Cold War, we’re close to something called Complex Systems Failure which is when you’ve got cyber warfare going on with this and that but we’re already in a shadow war with Russia so my work in Russia which has been going on for seven years now I see as all important – as a bridge between America, the United Kingdom and Russia.

Do you think recording the album in Russia added something that wouldn’t have been there if you recorded anywhere else?

When I was recording it all the British diplomats were being expelled in the tit for tat thing with the alleged poisoning case, I remain probably the last Westerner classical recording artist on a western label that works with Russia and I’m composer in residence for St Petersburg for a while.

How was it working with them – it must have been a dream come true?

Although I live on a desert island I’m probably going to move to Russia.

Really?

Yeah. So when nuclear war breaks out as I’m getting obliterated I can think of you getting obliterated in the complete madness of it all! 

Russia and Jaz Coleman – I never saw that coming.

Well I intend to work there more often – the temperature’s often thirty-five below zero. [laughs]

How did it feel getting an endorsement from the United Nations with the project?

I was a guest at the UN this week – isn’t it remarkable? The music of Killing Joke is now the music of the spiritual arm of the UN and that’ll be played at official functions. It gives meaning to the work of Killing Joke.

Is it something you could ever have envisioned happening?

Yes because we took holy vows, the holy vows you will hear in the text on the third movement of Magna Invocatio, that is a shortened text of the Rosicrucian Prayer that Paul [Ferguson] and myself recited when we were teenagers so when I listen to it I feel the magical past of time, my god literally, it makes me go wow and that’s it – when I listen to this work it connects me with these forces. When you’re listening it will lift you up too. 

I also designed it as a Feast of The Gods which is to say I noticed when every time I listened to Killing Joke it gave me indigestion when I was eating so I wanted to rescore Killing Joke so I could have it with a Sunday roast – appetizer, Sunday roast and pudding then you lighten a spliff or a cigar up and it’s still playing. Will you remember that when you have your next roast?

I will!

Put it on and by the time you get to dessert it’s coming to the end, you can listen to Killing Joke properly on Sundays now.

I’m looking forward to it! I remember listening to Extremities back in the day and that made me physically ill, I’d never heard anything that brutal and I’ve expected that from every Killing Joke release and to be honest it’s hit the bar every time recently.

Have you heard Invocation and Intravenous/ I loved doing that one.

Where did you record it because the space sounds like it was in an amphitheatre?

I recorded it in a radio station in St Petersburg – the old Soviet recording studios.

I’ve always imagined Killing Joke to be like a gang when writing and recording things – a lot of input from everyone. When you’re taking on a project like this where you’re responsible for everything do you find that it’s very easy to get too carried away – do you know when a song is finished?

Sure I do – I have a system where I pass music through my body and I can hear the score literally through my body, not just the ears, I can feel it and it tells you what’s right and what’s wrong. I know where every instrument is, every bar inside my entire being – it’s like kinesiology, the body tells me everything.

Do you go in with that action structure for every single piece of music in a movement or is there a scope of some sort because I imagine with bands you’re in a room someone will jam something off the cuff…

There’s no scope for that at all, if it ain’t on the page it ain’t on the stage, if it’s not written down you won’t get that so it’s as you write it but you can do radical things on session by dropping things out or muting things, you don’t normally start getting creative by rescoring or rewriting something – at £300 a minute it’s not a good idea.

I saw an interview where you were talking about the costs of it – it turned out to be quite an expensive project to actually get done. Was there a time you feared it might never happen?

Yes. I have to tell you that first of all the manager that put this together is long gone. To my shame I have murderous thoughts towards them because this whole thing was a setup by somebody who had it in for me who didn’t even allow me access to Killing Joke’s Facebook which is just one of a thousand things so we had a very bad relationship and he said to me first of all ‘I’ll put up ten grand and put in your pocket’ and I had nothing at all to do this project. It’s been a nightmare – there was no preliminary budget done, it’s been mismanaged, there wasn’t enough money anyway but what there was the dubious management I had took that and then Pledge [Music] went under. The management then said let’s do Songs from The Victorious City (Jaz’s album with Anne Dudley) which means I need the best Arabic players and when I did the budget, they wouldn’t have any to fly the players over! It was a setup!

It was a setup and I was really angry about it, the truth is when you hear the fifth movement – five is a great number for me – this piece of music ‘Invocation’  if you want to know the truth it’s hidden in the archives of the Royal Opera House because music has a magical function and I use this song when people betray me, it’s a war song. I did three versions of it – one at the Royal Opera House, once with Killing Joke and this is the third version where I’ve used a Sumerian war chant that’s 14,000 years old.

I was angry before I wrote that piece, someone found my daughter’s phone number and thought it’d be funny to say to my daughter that her grandmothers just died. We went through AT&T and I know who that is so when you hear that track remember – this is for them.

That’s one of those situations that people can’t relate to until it happens to them – why would someone do that?

Until we did those phone calls, my daughter and my family thought my Mum was dead and my daughter’s screaming on the other end – there’s only one person that knows that number and those are the kind of people we’re dealing with and if you think all these things I’ve been talking about are interconnected…

It’s been a dark journey but a victorious one because we got there in spite of everything and at the same time I feel I’ve made more strides towards making peace between the West and Russia than anybody else in one go because they want war. They want war because most of them are mad, the people that do military planning – they think that by bringing back a world war Jesus will turn up.

{All but Jaz chuckle]

We may well laugh but I was having a conversation with people that know people in the Pentagon – one being Jello Biafra – and this is the case! When you consider over 60 percent of Americans believe in the Rapture they’re going to be beamed up to new Jerusalem with their cars. [Jaz laughs]

Do you think there’s enough good people in the world to avoid catastrophe?

Yes – we need to have a conversation this time next year. If we get that far we’re going to be OK. That’s why we’re here – Killing Joke musically we’re to hold everyone’s hand! [Jaz laughs uproariously]

Speaking of Killing Joke you’ve done a few… small gigs recently!

Three American tours in 12 months – Killing Joke are hard fuckers! They take a lot of punishment, we live a Spartan existence.

Were you treated well?

Yes but we don’t like stadiums and the corporate kind of setup, we won’t be doing the corporate stadium thing ever again but we were treated very well, we had a wicked time with the guys from Tool, they’re musical children and mates of ours.

Tool are one of those uber big bands so I presume huge venues…

Massive! Some of them were 20,000, a couple were 50,000 seaters, makes your head swim and you don’t wanna look up, you’ll get dizzy.

What’s it like doing gigs where the crowd don’t really know you?

Killing Joke love a challenge, they love playing before another band and smelt blood always. It helps when Maynard’s telling people about our music every night and then people know through social media he’s saying that so we’re endorsed as it were and we’re playing fucking great, we were getting standing ovations almost every night. I feel like we made serious in roads into stealing as many Tool fans as possible in a positive way, I can tell you that’s happening because you can have a look at our website and you can see it’s made a massive impact!

Tool have got a number one record at the moment in America and it’s great to come out on tour with them.

It seems the band just keep growing.

At the same time I’ve been releasing Magna Invocatio I’ve made two visits to the United Nations in one year and it remains to be seen whether there will be an United Nations because America won’t pay its dues so they’ve got two more weeks of wages…

Do you think that’s the right thing to do?

It’s a terrible thing. It’s the only structure we’ve got whereby warring tribes can communicate because you see at the moment it’s not like the good old days where it was bilateral – a hotline between Moscow and Washington – now in a fragmented world with warheads pointing at every direction we’re in danger of complex systems failure.

How did you find the American perspective on it? People tend to be distorted I find by the way their governments are…

I think the people are very kind – but in America 80% of the population are two pay cheques away from homelessness, it has the highest illiteracy rate in the western world, there’s more people in prison than colleges there – it’s not a good model for the world, it’s a dangerous beast and I’m glad I’ve left this country because the leaders of this country have sucked up to America always. There’s not been one that’s stood up and said I’m sorry that’s unacceptable for the people of the United Kingdom, your bullying ways. This disgusting country’s got air bases in everyone else’s nation on planet Earth and they started this Russiaphobia thing, James Baker promised Gorbachev we would not expand NATO so when World War III breaks out – everyone can thank themselves for fucking not protesting, not making statements about our governments who have doing these things in our name expanding NATO eastwards breaking that law promised, NATO has encircled Russia, it’s been fermenting wars on its border with Ukraine.

Russia is not an imperial nation, it does not seek to invade the United Kingdom or America whereas America is taking over all our nations, it’s not a force for good – it’s failed in its mission to unite the world in freedom.

My prediction is when the dollar gives way it is no longer the trading currency in petroleum the United States will fragment into different sections, this and extreme climate change and demographics – Mexico will enlarge its borders.

Speaking of demographics in regards to music you must be reaching new territories you never dreamed to have reached…

Who works as hard as us? I mean Tool – there’s been thirteen years between their last release and this one, we’ve done three albums in that time and been touring HARD in a Spartan manner the way it should be because when you have too much comfort your music sounds soft! [laughs]

Speaking of music – one album that went under the radar was the Live at The Astoria release.

Not surprising as it was one of the worst tours of our lives, I haven’t seen it but everyone says it was good! I saw the opening and was surprised how good the sound was – it was one of the best live recordings ever. I miss all that, look at the shithole now, concrete and glass everywhere. I don’t even recognise Tottenham Court Road – it’s a different place, everything’s resembling a termite mound.

No one’s batting an eyelid, driving past an empty space – next thing there’s a silver building but no one knows what it’s for.

It’s all backhanders with planners and corrupt councils. You can’t trust human beings and that’s why governments should resemble jury service so there’s no vested interests. Until there’s further augmentations to the human condition we can’t trust human beings, they’re greedy, war-like and that’s because they’ve got the genes of primates mixed with genes of exo-intelligence and they go in opposite directions. Part of us doesn’t want to be on this planet – it yearns for somewhere else. Our bodies only want cooked food, they don’t like food in its natural state, part of our DNA makeup is not from here.

That’s why we’re at war with ourselves.

You’ve always moved around a lot living a subterranean lifestyle but you’ve bene in South America a lot recently – how’s life there?

Fantastic. I’m doing it for you, I’m living in rent free luxury – what we must all aspire to. Think about it – how much do we waste on rent and fucking mortgages and stuff? We can do better things with that money right? It’s one thing you have to concentrate hard on – living a rent free existence, well I’m good at that! I just keep moving – I don’t mind hardship, I don’t even mind moving to a country with no money in my pocket, I trust myself.

From my twenties – from Revelations onwards – I would move country and make a point of taking no more than £10 with me, I would stay in South America for six weeks on that. I’d meet someone and find a way to survive. I made that point so I wasn’t tyrannised by money or poverty, I’ve moved countries like this loads of times – the Middle East I would do like this – I go to mosques because you can feed yourself every Friday in the mosque as a stranger. I’m crazy mate! [Uproarious laugh]

So whereabouts in South America are you?

I’m in Lima, I go between there, Sao Paolo and san Jose in Costa Rica because I’m working with Buh Records and that’s where they’ve got bases.

You’ve done work with a band I really like in DEAFKIDS…

This new record is fucking on fire, I’ve worked with them on one record that’s not out yet, I’ve fundraised for them and we’ve done an awesome recording, mind-blowing! Revolutionary.

Does it restore your faith in music?

No one’s got any money so I help fundraise the recordings that I do with them, it’s part of the whole thing I do with the UN which is classical music as well and then I did Deflore recently, all these bands are supporting Killing Joke at some point and they’re the ones that totally inspired me. DEAFKIDS – when you see their little society they’ve created in a country where the president [Bolsonaro] is trying to stop bands from existing, has cut funding to orchestras , is burning down the Amazon and has death squads and they’re a band who exists and create heaven on earth – fuck yeah I’ll work for them.

There’s another band in Sao Paolo they always play with, a girl industrial band – Rakta – and they co-headline together, I’ll be heading with the duo to Lebanon to record with them.

I’m setting up a travelling club which I’ll take around South America next year which will be a masquerade party – bands and visual artists, different stage sets and it’ll start at five o’clock and go on late!

What’s next for Killing Joke?

A first-class flight with Singapore airlines home to a beach for a break… break a few necks more like! [laughs] Look, I like being on the frontlines but I need to recharge my batteries too so when I go to New Zealand I’m aiming to train hard on my body with this guy called Richie Hardcore and he’s good friends with the only politician I like in the world – the prime minister of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) My commitment to counter culture in rock music – revolutionary rock music because counter culture’s really important because I can see a time when if there’s no money from the cash point machines and cities have only got three minutes of food we can’t even think about music if we’re getting hungry or the arts until our primary needs are met so the art centres of the future are farms which I’m planning in South America and New Zealand.

The first edition of Rock The Coast Festival is set to take place in Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain on 14th and 15th June, 2019 at the spectacular site of Mare Nostrum. Featuring two main stages plus a third located in the Sohail Castle, this new festival aims to bring together the Costa del Sol’s warm weather and the great comforts and surroundings of a holiday paradise with rock music in all its forms.

The full line-up for Rock The Coast 2019 is:
RAINBOW, SCORPIONS, EUROPE, OPETH, UFO, THE DARKNESS, CARCASS, TARJA, MICHAEL MONROE, MAGNUM, WINTERSUN, SEVENTH WONDER, ABORTED, TWELVE FOOT NINJA, MAYHEM, DARK TRANQUILLITY, VON HERTZEN BROTHERS, JINJER, TRIBULATION, GRAVEYARD, ANGELUS APATRIDA, CONCEPTION, U.D.O, FREEDOM CALL, ARKONA, BLAZE BAYLEY, LEO JIMENEZ, ALKALOID, ANGEL WITCH, ABSOLVA, HYPNO5E, CRISÁLIDA, DÉBLER, TAKEN, THE BROKEN HORIZON, THYRANT, DRY RIVER, SIDDHARTA, BLOODHUNTER, HITTEN, THE HOLEUM, CHAOS BEFORE GEA, THE HOLEUM
Today the festival have now shared the stage times which can be viewed here.

Photo

Camden Rocks have announced the first bands for 2019:

Ash
Ratboy
New Model Army
Wheatus
Carl Barat
Ginger Wildheart
Milk Teeth
Pretty Vicious
Raging Speedhorn
Angelic Upstarts
The Virginmarys
The Last Internationale
Bang Bang Romeo
REWS
Annabel Allum
Big Boy Bloater and the LiMiTs
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
Loathe
Soeur
Rascalton
St Agnes
Indian Queens
Asylums
Lock
Press To Meco
Hands Off Gretel
Flesh Tetris
Exist Immortal
KING CREATURE
The Wood Burning Savages
Death Remains
The Skinner Brothers
The Hyena Kill
Riskee & The Ridicule
Fine Creatures
Phoxjaw
Black Futures
Funeral Shakes
FLIGHT BRIGADE
Soap Girls
Deux Furieuses
The Wild Things
Bitch Falcon
Faers
WACO
Coast To Coast
The Five Hundred
No Violet
Wild Front
THECITYISOURS
JOANovARC
Black Orchid Empire
Colt 48
Oxygen Thief
Alexis Kings
Sick Love
Lebrock
Knocksville
Healthy Junkies
Lots Holloway
Janus Stark
Colt 45
Apollo Junction
Mellor
Luke Rainsford
Tokyo Taboo
The Dirty Strangers
Living On Universal Denial
RYUKETSU BLIZZARD
Thunder on The Left
Pet Needs
Rich Ragany & the Digressions
Bexatron
David Stevens And The Beguiled
This Years Ghost
Mick O’Toole
Unknown Chapters
The Muffin Heads
The Idol Dead
Glossii
toffees
River Hounds
Flavour Nurse
Bugeye
Rhyn
Black Sixteen
10 Gauge
Plain Sails
Man The Lifeboats
Matty James Cassidy
Weekend Recovery
THE SILVER BAYONETS
Brightlight City
TWO YEAR BREAK
DAM_FINO
Arcane Militia
Repair to Ruin
Lighthouse
At The Sun
Jonny Weathers And Cosmic Scream
Panic Island
L Sicario
Lunar Echoes
Playmaker
Juicebox
Youth Illusion
As Sirens Fall
The Black Roses
Cavalcade
Maxx Palmer
LEE PA++ERSON
The Gulps
Dead At eleven
Albany
Angerland
Late Night Legacy
Indya
The Good Tenants

Seeing off 2018 with two sold out hometown shows in Doncaster this week, Bang Bang Romeo have now set their sights onto the new year, today announcing a headline tour for February 2019.

The band will perform at five locations throughout the country with one special additional show still to be unveiled. On February 22nd the band will perform a show at the location of their fans choosing. Fans who collectively call themselves the BBRMY will get to nominate their town as the location for this show with votes being collected via the band’s engaged social media.

The band commented:
WE’RE GOING ON OUR FIRST HEADLINE TOUR!
We hit the road February 2019 and we can’t see you all! We want you guys to always be as involved in our journey as you can be, which is why YOU will decide where we visit on the 22nd… Who’s in? 🖤

Tickets are available to buy here:
https://www.musicglue.com/bangbangromeo

Full dates as follows:
Monday 18th February – Phase One, Liverpool
Tuesday 19th February – 78 Sackville Street, Manchester
Wednesday 20th February – Heartbreakers, Southampton
Thursday 21st February – Black Heart, London
Friday 22nd February – YOU DECIDE!!!!
Saturday 23rd February – Headrow House, Leeds

Holding Absence have announced that their self titled debut album will be released through SharpTone Records on 8th March 2019. The post-hardcore quintet have also confirmed that they will be embarking on a UK headline tour in support of the record throughout March with special guests Capsize.

Holding Absence March UK Tour Dates (w/ Capsize)
21st – Southampton, Joiners
22nd – Birmingham, Flapper
23rd – Leeds, Key Club
24th – Hull, O Reilly’s
25th – Glasgow Garage
27th – Manchester Rebellion
28th – Cardiff Globe
29th – London Underworld 

Tickets go on sale 10am this Friday the 14th of December 2018.  

SLAYER will play their last EVER UK show at the hallowed grounds of Donington Park in 2019… at Download Festival!

Also revealed are rising stars Alien Weaponry, Lamb Of God, Man With A Mission and many more:

ANNOUNCED TODAY

Alien Weaponry

Anthrax

Badflower
Black Futures

Blackberry Smoke

Dream Theater

Eagles Of Death Metal

I Prevail

The Interrupters

Jinjer

Lamb Of God

Man With A Mission

nothing,nowhere.

Our Last Night
Riding The Low

Royal Republic

Slayer

The Smashing Pumpkins

State Champs

Underside

Whitechapel
Yours Truly

Zebrahead

DIDO has announced her return in 2019 with her first album in five years and her first tour in fifteen years!

Still On My Mind will be released on March 8th while her tour will start on 26th May:

May 2019
Sun 26th  – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
Mon 27th  – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
Wed 29th – Manchester, Albert Hall
Thur 30th – London, The Roundhouse

Bon Jovi have announced June 2019 tour dates in Liverpool, London and Coventry with support from Manic Street Preachers.

Tickets go on sale 9am Friday November 2.

June 19 – Liverpool, Anfield Stadium
June 21 – London, Wembley Stadium
June 23 – Coventry, Ricoh Arena

So the wait is over… the headliners for Download festival 2019 are: Def Leppard in their ONLY UK SHOW OF 2019 and performing HYSTERIA in its entirety, SLIPKNOT and in their first appearance since 2006… TOOL!

Also announced today are:

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators

Whitesnake

Rob Zombie

Trivium

Amon Amarth

Carcass

Delain

Die Antwoord

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

Opeth

Power Trip

Reel Big Fish

Skindred

Starset

Tesla

The Amity Affliction

Underoath

Tickets will be on sale 2pm on Thursday 25th October at 2018 prices until Tuesday 6th Novemberdownloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.