BLONDIE’S CHRIS STEIN ON GUN CLUB

The Life and Times Of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club

Debbie and I met Jeff in the late Seventies somewhere in Los Angeles. He was a big Blondie fan and a very moody kid… within a few years of meeting him he started working on his own music. At first I was just pleased that he had an outlet but when I started to hear what he was working on I was genuinely impressed at how sophisticated the stuff was.

I guess another few years passed and by then Jeff had established himself and The Gun Club in the growing world of new music. Then in the early Eighties Jeff and I talked about my producing a recording with the Gun Club – when did we do the thing? ’81-’82 somewhere in there. Over the years I have seen comments by surviving Gun Club members to the effect that the album wasn’t raw enough, too clean, etc. I am genuinely sorry that any of these guys feel misrepresented but… Jeff and I talked at length about the quality and style of the record and I really feel that we were faithful to his vision. I know for certain that he wasn’t interested in making a punk style recording, that he wanted to mix genres, and that was where part of the genius derives from; his pulling in elements of Tex-Mex, Country, Punk, etc., etc… (besides that, while we were working I really don’t recall anyone saying anything about the texture of the guitars, etc. and that would have been the time to speak up not more than twenty five years later…) Memory is objective and hindsight is as they say crystal clear. I was just looking at record reviews on Amazon.com, just ones put there by average people who bought the record and I was really pleased to see all of the positive comments; ‘haunting’ is a word that kept reappearing; I think that Jeff would have been pleased as well.

One evening in Amsterdam, Blondie was playing the Paradiso. I don’t remember for sure if it was before or after we did Miami, probably after. Sometime during the proceedings, like after our sound check, there arrived Jeffrey, and he was an impressive presence: he was followed by a camera and sound crew, was wearing a tough leather trench coat, looked like maybe George Raft had he been a rock star, his demeanour was very understated and intense… I have always loved that particular moment because even then it told me that he had ‘arrived’, at some place that he was looking towards; he was respected and idolized and was in charge… that’s a memory that may be distorted over time but one I like to hold on to when I think about Jeff… those thoughts of him are frequent…

Chris Stein
Blondie guitarist and producer of Gun Club Records Miami and Death Party for Animal Records

To say The Gun Club’s musical journey was a roller coaster ride would be an understatement! The Gun Club were a true fire of love and hate and power and force and good old fashioned Rock’n’Roll. Preaching and screaming da Blues!

Jeffrey Lee Pierce went to that there crossroads and stuck two fingers up at the Devil and told him he was going to do it his way and take the highway and follow his path, his vision and his relentless goal.

No prisoners were taken and many fell by the wayside. In the end what remains is a legacy of a man’s vision and quest to either create or destroy the very music that he made.

Hero, Villain, Joker, Anarchist, Misunderstood, plum loco or just down right crazy? Who really knew the real Jeffrey Lee Pierce?
This box set is a tribute, a way of preaching The Gun Club’s Blues, a way of saying ‘hey screw you, all this was the real deal and if you missed it… you missed it!’ And, boy oh, boy, did you miss something special.

From the many different line up changes featured in this audio document of studio and live recordings it is easy to hear the different styles of music through the short time The Gun Club were around. Their chemistry produced a wonderful selection of music: from the early rumblings of punk blues created on the wonderful and highly acclaimed first album Fire Of Love (originally released on Slash Records’ subsidiary label Ruby), through to the mid-period white noise Stooges-esque thunder of the glorious Death Party E.P. recorded on Chris Stein’s Animal Records label, rolling on to the evolving brilliance of The Las Vegas Story right up to the comeback album Mother Juno LP produced by Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie and culminating in some wholesome traditional blues on Jeffrey’s second solo record Ramblin with Jeffrey Lee.

The Gun Club originally took form in 1979/80 as Creeping Ritual (a lurid moniker later used by Jeffrey as a calling card for The Gun Club’s publishing company). It is well documented that Jeffrey was originally a writer for the long-defunct L.A. music paper Slash magazine which later evolved into Slash Records.

Writing aside, Jeffrey was no stranger to performing and had been in various bands such as Phast Phreddie’s Precisions and groups of his own called the E Types and Red Lights, early pop outfits apparently inspired by Blondie whom Jeffrey had met in Los Angeles and for whom he ran an early fan club.

To understand The Gun Club phenomenon it’s important to understand from whence Jeffrey and the band drew inspiration. Blues legends such as Skip James, Howlin’ Wolf, Blind Willie McTell through to later bands and artists such as Creedance Clearwater Revival, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Jim Morrison, The Stooges and Debbie Harry all played a part in helping steer the band’s musical direction.

Jeffrey also had a love of Reggae music and had ventured to Jamaica on one occasion to hang out. Indeed many of his Reggae record reviews were finished off with the signature…Ranking Jeffrey Lee. Writing for Slash also opened the door to recording when Jeffrey left a cassette tape of Gun Club demos on constant play in the Slash office cassette machine, leading to the band’s first release on Ruby Records.

Late 1979 saw Creeping Ritual play live shows featuring the early guitar work of Jeffrey’s best friend Brian Tristan aka Kid Congo Powers. Brian would shortly defect to The Cramps, whose guitarist Brian Gregory had just left, creating an opening for their new musical fuzz/Garage direction. However, this did not happen until Creeping Ritual had played a few shows and had been re-named by Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks as The Gun Club.

CD 2 Shake Me Up Some Punk Blues of this box set features live performances by this early line up of Jeffrey Lee on vocals, Brian Tristan on guitar, Terry Graham on drums and Rob Ritter on bass.

Or do these recordings in fact feature the original Creeping Ritual band members Don Snowden and Brad Dunning who made up the original rhythm section in those early days? It’s unlikely, as the recordings featured on the band’s ABC Records release Birth, Death and The Ghost came from the collection of Terry Graham.

The newly re-Christened Gun Club promptly attempted to destroy the music with live shows featuring Jeffrey Lee as a demented preacher man taking a bible on stage and throwing it to the floor only to then jump up and down on it to get a greater reaction from the crowd!

Most clubs just did not get it but to understand The Gun Club you have to appreciate the love/hate relationship between the band members and the music they wanted to play and destroy at the same time! Arguably it’s this volatile chemistry that provided the explosive energy for making The Gun Club breathe their fire!

Or to put it another way: Out of chaos and da blues came genius!

Another contradiction is the band’s apparent hatred of Rockabilly music but here you have a band taking the classic Rock’n’Roll song ‘Fire Of Love’ by Jody Reynolds and turning it into their own, even managing to go one better on the MC5’s cover version of said same song!

For many the classic line up is deemed to be Jeffrey Lee, Terry Graham, Ward Dotson and Rob Ritter, the line up that was to go on to record the band’s first full-length LP Fire Of Love, a punk blues behemoth featuring such classics as ‘Ghost On the Highway’ and ‘She’s Like Heroin To Me’ – a love song to end all love songs.

Terry Graham and Rob Ritter came from legendary L.A. Punk band The Bags while Ward Dotson had done stints in bands such as Der Stab and Sexually Frustrated. Another Bags band member would later join The Gun Club. Patricia Morrison featured on bass guitar and would later go onto play bass in Fur Bible (formed following the break up of The Gun Club in December 1984), The Sisters Of Mercy and later The Damned, as well as releasing one solo album.

Go Tell The Mountain (CD1) can to all intents and purposes be viewed as a long overdue ‘Best Of’ featuring classic cuts from The Gun Club as well as songs from Jeffrey Lee’s two solo records Wildweed and Ramblin Jeffrey Lee.

Once asked what his future plans were back in 1982 Jeffrey replied “No Future man. I’ve never been so bored in my whole life. I’ll go anywhere anyone wants to take us and do anything. To be a piece of dust and just float. I’ve got the Bo Diddley attitude of hey, let’s make some records, there’s nothing else to do. I’ll blindly trudge on. I don’t care if we make it or not. I just want to have some fun for a while”.

Following The Gun Club’s first record, Chris Stein of Blondie was given his own label by Chrysalis Records called Animal Records to which The Gun Club would find themselves signed for their second studio LP Miami. Recorded in New York with a very tight budget, it was during these sessions Rob Ritter decided he’d had enough and wanted to quit the band.

Rob left and formed 45 Grave with whom he played bass for many years until his death from a heroin overdose in 1991. Rob was replaced by Patricia Morrison and she was to stay until The Gun Club’s disbanding which would see Jeffrey Lee Pierce start his solo career, spawning the Wildweed solo record.

October 1982 saw the new Gun Club undertake their first major European tour with the new line up of Jeffrey Lee, Terry Graham, Ward Dotson and Patricia Morrison. This was to be a short-lived line up and, depending on who you believe, both Ward Dotson and Terry Graham decided to leave or Jeffrey Lee had them replaced.

Jeffrey Lee called on new friend Jim Duckworth of Panther Burns fame after the bands crossed paths whilst on tours in the U.S. Christmas 1982 saw Jeffrey and Jim spend time together drinking and talking about making music together within The Gun Club set up, as Jeffrey once again found himself in New York with soon-to-be new member and drummer Dee Pop of the Bush Tetras.

In January of 1983 Jim was asked to fly to Manhattan to record the next Gun Club venture on vinyl which was The Death Party E.P. once again for Animal Records. Patricia Morrison did not feature on the recording but was later to re-join and this line up would go on to tour before further band departures occurred.

Both CD 2 Shake Me Up Some Punk Blues and CD 3 Some Killing Floor Blues feature a healthy dose of this Gun Club white noise experience. A band full of sex drugs and Rock’n’Roll!

After a gruelling European tour, burnt out and without any money for their efforts Dee Pop was long gone like a turkey in the corn! Terry Graham re-joined the band for a handful of American dates.

However Terry Graham’s return to the drum kit was again short-lived. Prior to a tour of Australia both he and Jim Duckworth decided to quit as the thought of no money again to show for their efforts was a bridge too far.

Jeffrey Lee jetted out to Australia alone and performed the first planned Gun Club show solo. Tracks 18 and 19 on the close of CD2 feature two rare recordings of the yet to be recorded track ‘Moonlight Motel’ and ‘Mother Earth’ from the LP Miami.

Jeffrey put a band together while out in the land down under and Patricia Morrison flew out for the tour dates along with old friend and original Gun Club guitarist Kid Congo Powers, following his departure from The Cramps. Johnny and Spencer from Australian band The Johnny’s were drafted in to complete this Oz-only line up of The Gun Club.

On the band’s return to the L.A. Terry Graham would once more be drafted in to sit behind the drum kit (the only thing having stopped him from going to Australia besides the money was a possible visa problem). This line up – Jeffrey Lee Pierce on vocals, guitar, trumpet (a brief dalliance as the instrument was mysteriously lost in the Las Vegas desert on route to more U.S. tour dates), Pat Bag Morrison on bass, Kid Congo Powers on lead guitar and Terry Graham on drums – was to record the last Gun Club album The Las Vegas Story for Animal Records in March /April 1984 prior to the 1984 split and disbanding. The record was produced by Jeff Eyrich.

A U.S. and European tour followed which saw Terry Graham depart the band once and for all with girlfriend Amy in Paris. Terry had been filming all the shows and backstage antics for a future video release but unfortunately the tour bus was broken into in and all the tapes and cameras were stolen. One filmed show apparently saw Brian Gregory, the first guitarist in the Cramps, and Ike Knox who later replaced Kid Congo in the Cramps for some London shows, jump on stage for an encore of Bo Diddley’s ‘Gunslinger’.

Sadly, to date these tapes and all the rest have never surfaced and this may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Terry who upped and danced his way out of town mid tour, landing on my doorstep for a week prior to flying back to LA and out of the music business!
A cat called Desperate was drafted in for the remainder of the tour to play drums and his handy work can be found on the last two tracks on CD3 Some Killing Floor Blues.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was it: the last salute……the gunfight at the OK Corral. Jeffrey and the band decided to do two shows at Dingwalls in Camden Lock in the weeks leading up to Christmas 1984. Australian band The Scientists fronted by Kim Salmon supported the two very packed, sold out shows. The guns were loaded and the shows were a blast. Full force and both barrels delivered by a band about to explode.

Following a short trip to Egypt, a solo Jeffrey Lee quickly recorded a new album for Static records in the UK. Inspired by his trip and a feeling of being free of L.A., a now London-based Jeffrey Lee produced his first solo album Wildweed.

The next two years continued to be a solo effort with Jeffrey pooling in various musicians from the London scene, members of bands like The Cure, Spear Of Destiny and Killing Joke helping out. A follow-up 12-inch EP Flamingos featured two classic cover versions of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Fire’ and U.S. noise terrorists Flipper’s ‘Get Away‘.

A solo tour was to follow by which time Jeffrey had met a young Japanese lady Romi Mori who would become both girlfriend and guitar/bass player in the next incarnation of The Gun Club. Nick Sanderson would also make his first appearance on drums. The Jeffrey Lee Quartet hit venues in Europe to push the solo records.

London 1985 was a happening place with a thriving music scene throwing up various styles of music from the hard rock antics of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Cult, Lords Of The New Church, and Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction through to the psychedelic monstrosity of Dr & The Medics and Voodoo Child! Clubs like The Bat Cave, Gossips and The Embassy were the place to see and be seen.
The Ramones were also in town for what was to be five sold out nights at the world famous London Lyceum, a venue The Gun Club had played on earlier occasions.

It was at one of these shows that Jeffrey was recognised and approached by Liz Frazer of the Cocteau Twins, a meeting that would eventually lead to the production of the classic 1987 Mother Juno album. The album was recorded in Berlin over six days in the Hansa studio where David Bowie had also recorded. Mother Juno featured the return of Kid Congo Powers following his stint as a Bad Seed for Nick Cave along with Romi on bass and Nick on drums. Nick would later go on to form Earl Brutus and sadly passed away recently.
Following a triumphant return and a blistering live show at the Astoria in London which saw Jeffrey hanging from the venue’s velvet curtains spouting lines from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, a further album Pastoral Hide And Seek followed.

1990-91 saw Jeffrey record his second solo album Ramblin Jeffrey Lee with Cypress Grove and Willie Love, a return to Blues music with cover versions of classic cuts from Son House (‘Pony Blues’),Skip James (‘Hardtime Killin’ Floor Blues’) as well as a few originals for good measure.

1993 saw the departure of Kid Congo Powers back to L.A. and the recording of Lucky Jim. By this time things had started to fall apart within Jeffrey’s personal life and in effect this meant the end of The Gun Club.

I’m not here to tell you the woes of Jeffrey Lee, the allegations of drink and drugs nor the relationship problems which may or may not have affected him.

What I will tell you is that I saw some of the highs and lows while working and being on tour with the band.
We all have our demons and we are all affected by life in different ways.

One highlight was introducing The Gun Club on stage to 10,000 people while they supported a known English punk band at the Santa Monica Civic in L.A. (Patricia Morrison in a hacked up wedding dress and Chris D playing roadie). Another was seeing the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Quartet live at the Croydon Underground club in leafy Surrey, England.

I last saw Jeffrey for a drink in Kensington, London in late 1989. I met him that night at a rehearsal room in Hammersmith and he looked well. He was jamming with various musicians, working on getting a band back on the road. We took the tube to a pub (the Kensington Inn) close to where he was living.

My memories of Jeffrey are all good.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce died on 31st March 1996 from a blood clot on his brain in Utah, Colorado U.S.A.

I salute all the members of The Gun Club and I thank them for the music and the memories. If I could turn back time I’d do it all again…
The Gun Club…best punk blues band EVER.

Mike Mastrangelo
President of the International Gun Club Fan Club 1981-1984

Disc 1 GO TELL THE MOUNTAIN (Studio cuts)
1. Bad America 4.55 (from The Las Vegas Story)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
2. She’s Like Heroin To Me 2.36 (from Fire Of Love)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
3. Ghost On The Highway 2.45 (from Fire Of Love)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
4. A Devil In The Woods 3.06 (from Miami)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
5. The Fire Of Love 2.08 (from Miami)
(Jody Reynolds) Ridgetop Music (GB)
6. House On Highland Avenue 3.29 (from Death Party EP)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
7. Death Party 5.52 (from Death Party EP)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
8. My Man’s Gone Now 3.16 (from The Las Vegas Story)
(Gershwin / Gershwin/ Heyward / Heyward) Warner/Chappell North America
9. Hey Juana 3.12 (from JLP solo LP Wildweed)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
10. Eternity Is Here 2.58 (from The Las Vegas Story)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
11. Love and Desperation 5.10 (from Wildweed)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
12. Wildweed 2.41 (from Wildweed)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
13. Moonlight Motel 3.09 (from The Las Vegas Story)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
14. Bill Bailey 3.40 (from Mother Juno)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
15. Hearts 3.58 (from Mother Juno)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
16. Going Down 4.37 (from Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee)
(Don Nix) Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
17. Go Tell The Mountain 6.23 (from Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)

DISC 2 SHAKE ME UP SOME PUNK BLUES
1. Sexbeat 3.26 (Madam Wong’s 1980)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
2. Not That Much 2.38 (Hong Kong Café 1980)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
3. She’s Like Heroin To Me 3.08 (Club 88, L.A. 7th March 1981)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
4. Cool Drink Of water 3.31(Accoustilog Studio, N.Y. 5th May 1982)
(Tommy Johnson) peermusic UK Ltd.
5. Fire Of Love 2.07 (Accoustilog Studio, N.Y. 5th May 1982)
(Jody Reynolds) Ridgetop Music (GB)
6. John Hardy 3.26 (Accoustilog Studio, N.Y. 5th May 1982)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
7. Sexbeat 2.52 (Accoustilog Studio, N.Y. 5th May 1982)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
8. Preaching The Blues 4.53 (Accoustilog Studio, N.Y. 5th May 1982)
(Robert Johnson) Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
9. Devil In The Woods 3.07 (CBGB’s, N.Y. 14th May 1982)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
10. Walking With the Beast 4.22 (Fast Version) (CBGB’s, N.Y. 14th May 1982)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
11. Gunslinger. 2.37 (CBGB’s, N.Y. 14th May 1982)
(Ellas McDaniel) Tristan Music Ltd.
12. Louie Louie 0.28 Instrumental (CBGB’s, N.Y. 14th May 1982)
(Richard Berry) EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
13. She’s The Girl I Love/Ghost On The Highway 4.12 (CBGB’s, N.Y. 14th May 1982)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
14. The Lie 3.36 (Live Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland 17th April 1983)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
15. Band Interview 1.13 ( Live Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland 17th April 1983)
(unknown) copyright control
16. Fire Spirit 2.08 (Live Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland 17th April 1983)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
17. Fire Of Love 1.59 (Live Brighton Extreems Club, U.K. 25th April 1983)
(Jody Reynolds) Ridgetop Music (GB)
18. Moonlight Motel 3.19 (Solo performance/Melbourne Australia)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
19. Mother Earth 3.28 (Solo performance/Melbourne Australia)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
20. Moonlight Motel 3.02 (Miranda Venue, Sydney Australia Sept.83)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
21. Brother and Sister 2.48 (Miranda Venue, Sydney Australia Sept.83)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
Tracks 1-3: Jeffrey Lee/Brian Tristran (Kid Congo)/Terry Graham/Rob Ritter
Tracks 4-13: Jeffrey Lee/Terry Graham/Ward Dotson and Rob Ritter
Tracks 14-17: Jeffrey Lee/Patricia Morrison/Jim Duckworth/Dee Pop
Tracks 18 & 19: Jeffrey Lee Pierce from Australian tour / Prospect Hill Hotel Melbourne, Australia 28th September 1983. Jeffrey Lee solo acoustic tracks. (Amazing).
Tracks 21 & 22: Jeffrey Lee/ Pat Morrison/ Kid Congo Powers and Billy and Spencer from The Australian band The Johnny’s

Disc 3 SOME KILLING FLOOR BLUES
1. Lost Highway/Moonlight Motel 7.27 (Live On Broadway S.F. 30th December 1983)
(Payne) Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK / (Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
2. Bad America 5.15 (Live On Broadway S.F. 30th December 1983)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
3. Preachin The Blues 6.27 (Live On Broadway S.F. 30th December 1983)
(Robert Johnson) Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
4. Gunslinger 2.40 (Live On Broadway S.F. 16th March 1984)
(Ellas McDaniel) Tristan Music Ltd
5. Death Party 8.29 (Live On Broadway S.F. 16th March 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
6. Stranger In Our Town. 5.14 (Pandora’s Music Box Festival 22nd September 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
7. Gila Monster New Mexico/Preachin The Blues 9.40 (Pandoras Music Box Festival 22nd September 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB) / (Robert Johnson) Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
8. My Dreams 4.28 (Leeds University England 22nd October 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
9. Bad America 4.56 (Leeds University England 22nd October 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
10. Walking With The Beast 5.01 (Jeffrey on Saxophone) (Nottingham Rock City England 23rd October 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
11. Moonlight Motel 3.36 (Nottingham Rock City England 23rd October1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
12. Eternity Is Here 3.10 (Nottingham Rock City England 23rd October 1984)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
13. 96 Tears 3.32 (Dingwalls London 10th December 1984)
(Rudy Martinez) Westminster Music Ltd.
14. Do The Twist 3.07 (Dingwalls London 10th December 1984)
(Hank Ballard) Lark Music Ltd.
Tracks 1-12: Jeffrey Lee/ Pat Morrison/ Kid Congo Powers and Terry Graham.
Tracks 13 & 14: Jeffrey Lee/ Pat Morrison/ Kid Congo Powers and Desperate.

Disc 4
LAST ROLL OF THE DICE! (Live and Radio) 1985 to 1993
1. Sex Killer 3.34 Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo show. (Paradiso, Amsterdam 25th May 1985)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
2. Fire 3.42 -Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo show. (Paradiso, Amsterdam 25th May 1985)
(Jimi Hendrix) Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK
3. I Asked for Water, She Gave Me Gasoline 4.02 Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (VPRO studio 3rd December 1989)
(Tommy Johnson) peermusic UK Ltd.
4. Pastoral Hide And Seek 3.59 (I Beam, S.F 17th July 1989)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
5. Flowing 4.36 (I Beam, S.F 17th July 1989)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
6. I Hear Your Heart Singing 3.33 (Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France 17th November 1990)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
7. Another Country’s Young 5.37 (Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France 17th November1990)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
8. Hearts 3.54 (Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France 17th November 1990)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
9. Fire Spirit 3.29 (Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France 17th November 1990)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
10. Temptation And I 4.31 (Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France 17th November 1990)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
11. Little Wing 4.33 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Tivoli 25th March 1992)
(Jimi Hendrix) Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK
12. Yellow Eyes 9.34 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Tivoli 25th March 1992)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
13. I’m Going Upstairs 2.45 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Nozems A Go Go 4th March 1992)
(Chester Burnett) Jewel Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
14. Be My Kid 2.47 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Nozems A Go Go 4th March 1992)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
15. L.A. County Jail Blues 3.48 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Nozems A Go Go 4th March 1992)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
16. Lucky Jim 3.49 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Villa 65 6th April 1993)
(Jeffrey Lee Pierce) Bug Music Ltd. (GB)
17. Laughing 4.58– Jeffrey Lee Pierce solo (Villa 65 6thApril 1993)
(David Crosby) Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK

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NEW DRONES ALBUM

Label: ATP Recordings
Cat No: ATPRCD31 / ATPRLP31
Format: CD / 2LP / Digital Download

The Drones are:

Gareth Liddiard – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Noga – Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals
Fiona Kitschin – Bass/Backing Vocals
Dan Luscombe – Guitar/Piano/Melodica/Backing Vocals
>
The new world of The Drones is an exotic place, one populated by dark corners, rarely explored avenues, sparse canvases and dense, exhilarating peaks.
>
In February Gareth Liddiard began writing new songs for their fourth album in a mud brick cottage..Two months later guitarist Dan Luscombe, the Drones’ most recent addition, and drummer Michael Noga joined Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin to rehearse the new material. Then producer and engineer Burke Reid (The Mess Hall, Gerling) lugged his recording gear through the door and off they went – two weeks flat out – until it was done.
>
Havilah, like everything The Drones have done, is an album of contradictions, where bombast meets beauty, melancholy wrestles with violent guitars and singer Liddiard’s incendiary voice lights up his angular poetry, this time on the nature of, in no particular order, the moon (Penumbra), divorce (The Drifting Housewife) and the acquisition of godlike power and the cult of John Frum (I Am the Supercargo).
>
It’s an album that’s brimful of the innovation and artistic integrity that has made The Drones one of Australian rock’s most critically acclaimed acts.
>
There are vaguely familiar nods to Neil Young’s paint-stripping guitar spasms on Supercargo and Oh My, while the deliciously meandering pop dirges of Suicide and the Velvet Underground echo in Careful As You Go and Luck in Odd Numbers.
>
It’s melancholic, certainly, but Havilah, in its tone and its delivery, is also a celebration. It’s a more positive statement than its predecessor.
>
Once you’ve been around these 10 songs for a few hours, it’s not hard to make up your mind about them. They are bold. They are romantic. And they are dangerous.
>
Track Listing:
> 1. Nail It Down
> 2. The Minotaur
> 3. The Drifting Housewife
> 4. I am The Supercargo
> 5. Careful As You Go
> 6. Oh My
> 7. Cold And Sober
> 8. Luck In Odd Numbers
> 9. Penumbra
> 10. Your Acting’s Like The End Of The World


THE WOLFMEN

THE HOWLING

With

Former Ants-men Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantinou – or THE WOLFMEN – are set to play a Vive Le Rock sponsored album launch show (for new album ‘Married To The Eiffel Tower’ – out Aug. 22nd via Howl Recprds) at London’s famous 100 Club on Thursday 14th July, with Silvery in support and DJ sets from Paul-Ronney Angel (Urban Voodoo Machine/Gypsy Hotel) and Hugh Gadgit (Vive Le Rock).

In this classic Vive Le Rock interview, the duo take time out from their current creative frenzy to chat with us. Hugh Gulland enters THE WOLFMEN’s lair…

‘There’s a lot of stuff going on‘, considers Wolfmen bassist and lead vocalist Chris Constantinou, ‘but it’s fun, and it’s a lot better fun than just being in a band… that’d be really boring, it’s great that we’ve got our band, but, we have all these other things that we do as well…’

‘Projects which force you to do things that you’d never ever do off your own back!’ adds Marco Pirroni, a man whose already considerable CV seemingly expands daily what with the Wolfmen’s own output and the multiplicity of pies the pair have their collective fingers in. With their first album, a masterwork of punked-out glam rock entitled ‘Modernity Killed Every Night’ out in August, and a collaboration with Indian singing star Delar Mendhi hot on its heels, Marco and Chris are on one serious creative roll.

VLP: So how did the Wolfmen partnership begin? I gather you were initially working on each other’s solo projects…

M: Yeah, that’s exactly what happened… but I had the better name!

C: We didn’t have one actually! What happened, I had my own project, Jackie Onassid, which was going along, we were sort of trying to find someone who plays like… Marco! ‘Do you know anybody who plays like you?’

M: I don’t know what it is, either they don’t really want me or are just too scared to ask me!

C: I hadn’t been in touch with Marco for a while, I kind of always, just presumed he was so busy he can’t do this sort of thing…

M: I wasn’t busy at all!

C: So I kind of phoned up, ‘do you wanna come in’ and got together, and one of those things that wasn’t Marco coming in and playing obvious stuff… you could see it just needed to get together in a different way, start from scratch, and then we started writing some tracks together and I think one of the first we wrote was Kama Sutra, which is…

M: It was our ‘Metal Urbain’ period, do you remember them?

VLP: Sort of Parisian post-punk…?

M: Yeah, they weren’t post-punk, they were right in there.

C: So that’s where it started. You know, you sort of have periods, ‘this week I want to be Metal Urbain’! Next week, New York Dolls, Velvet Underground…

M: This week we are Roxy Music!

VLP: I was gonna say, listening, it struck me a lot of influences were that area of glam, that doesn’t get so much credit being a punk influence, like Roxy Music…

M: T Rex!

VLP: Berlin period Iggy maybe…

M: Yeah, that stuff was up, and… I don’t know if Chris goes as far as my total obsession with it, I’m psychotically obsessed with it!

C: Marco’s more… even I, with the band I was in, Drill, we supported Slade, and were signed to Chas Chandler who ended up producing us, and I didn’t quite get the whole glam thing as much as Marco, but I love… I saw Roxy on the Old Grey Whistle Test doing Ladytron, it just blew my mind, just amazing… the whole period of that band, T Rex, Jimi Hendrix, that sort of era for me was fantastic, all that stuff mixed together. But Marco was into a sort of different thing, a lot more glam stuff.

VLP: So that’s the sort of stuff, if you’d been sitting around in, say, Louise’s, (punk hangout lesbian club circa 1976) that’s what had fired you over the last…

M: No, before I went there, I think it was ‘76…

VLP: Well up to that period…

M: Oh yeah…

VLP: So it’s working its way through what you’re doing now

M: Yeah, it’s always in my mind!

C: I suppose the Tamla influence came in as well, ‘cause, the second period of getting together, we started listening to a lot of Tamla Motown, Northern Soul, I don’t think that comes out very much, it’s not obvious to anyone, but… just one of those things, you get an idea, ‘I want it to sound like something’ and it comes out completely different. It’s sort of our interpretation of it!

VLP: Judging by the biog, when you first got together, you started on a lot of soundtrack stuff?

M: Yeah, we haven’t had time to concentrate on it because we’ve been so busy, being ‘a band’, that’s the sort of field you really have to be in all the time, you can’t dabble in it, you have to do that and nothing else, so…’

C: It’s weird really, I don’t know if you saw those black and white fetish films from the 1918-20 period?

M: It was for the ICA, we got commissioned to the soundtrack for some silent movies

C: That was really interesting to do, and we’ve got a track in this film Dogging, we’ve got a cameo in it as well, that’s coming out later this year now, so we will get back into it, it’s just a case of time, we’re finishing the album, that’s coming out, and we’ve got the Daler Mendhi project, we’re really busy doing lots of different stuff, but the soundtrack stuff we really want to get into.

VLP: So what are these fetish films?

C: They weren’t really fetish films, they were just black and white, arty films…

M: I don’t think they were arty at the time!

C: No I guess they weren’t, I guess they were pornographic at the time, but they’re now perceived as… they were part of ‘Fashion and Film’, showing in New York and London, and one of them was 15 minutes long…

M: Which if you think about it is really long! A silent movie is silent, there’s no break, it’s all silence, so we had to compose a piece of 15 minutes, I’d never done anything that long!

C: We thought it was going to be easy, we started doing it… it was all just feet! You get this person shifting their feet from left to right…

VLP: It’s a foot fetish film then?

C: It’s a shoe fetish film, 1918-ish! We’ll get copies for you!

VLP: Yeah, I need to see that!

C: Yeah, we want to get back into that but prioritizing what we’re doing

VLP: The thing with Daler Mendhi, was that a bit of a cultural shock?

M: Not really… yeah, there are different scales (in Indian music), but we didn’t know that!

C: We didn’t really think about it in a logical way, it sounded like an interesting project, and ‘well, what are we gonna do with this?’

M: We did get approached, we get sent kind of projects, publishers send projects out every week, ‘our latest girl singer hasn’t got any songs’, that’s fine and everything, but not very interesting!

C: Yeah, we did some other projects, we were thrown some girl singers, one of them was particularly interesting, but couldn’t carry on doing it forever, it ran its course.

M: It would become this sort of toss and turny thing, ‘what possible angle can we do on this, what can we do that someone else wouldn’t do’, it’s not inspiring, I’ve got no problem making commercial music, that’s what I wanna make, but… there’s so many restrictions to aiming for the charts these days, it’s got to be this, it’s got to be exactly this… there’s a lot of pop idol sort of stuff!

C: We just started doing Silver Machine by Hawkwind, thought we’d play it at the gig, it was a massive hit! A massive worldwide hit, you listen to it, and you think, ‘what is this???’

M: That’s the sort of thing wouldn’t even get on BBC6 these days it’s so out-there!

VLP: There’s that video they show on VH1 sometimes with Stacia (Hawkwind’s ‘dancer’)…

C: She’s get her tits out, I went to see them when I was about 13, the only reason we went was Stacia, she’d get her tits out, we were just waiting, she had massive tits! And the strobe was going… and she same out on Silver Machine, so…

M: A lot of people who later became punks would’ve liked it, not necessarily liked Hawkwind, but would have liked that. It was the same time as Virginia Plain, the sort of rock n roll and synthesizer…

C: I also think it’s to do with the actual drumming, if you listen to it, it’s not ‘rock’, it’s laid back, not hard rock, it’s kind of really sloppy, just like the whole punk thing, if you listen to the guy from the Sex Pistols, he doesn’t hit the drums like a rock drummer, he’s got a sort of, dare I say it, I’ll probably get beaten up for saying this, but he’s got a Tamla, R&B feel to his drumming…

M: Having said that, Silver Machine is not a huge influence in my life, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever talked to anyone about it!

C: Are you embarrassed about me bringing that up!!! You’re the one that said we should do it!

M: I thought, what could we do as a cover that they won’t like much!

VLP: So you’re back to live work now then, gigging regularly…

C: I’m pausing on purpose to make Marco squirm! Marco loves playing live!!!

M: That’s not true Chris. I hate it! I held off from it as long as I can!

C: I had to bribe him with drugs, money, Kate Moss, had to introduce him to Kate Moss!

M: I hadn’t played live for 15 years, people would go ‘why not’, why the fuck do you think!!!

C: Since we started to play live, recording has become so much easier, when we started out we weren’t recording as a band, it was me and Marco, and machines, getting session drummers in, it was a very piecemeal sound…

M: I’ve always worked that way, but I think that’s because I liked making model tanks when I was a kid… yeah, Tamiya, they came in a plastic bag…

C: I was into airplanes, not tanks.

M: But we had our art director, we were always talking about the cover art to ‘that panzer, that tank’… it’s a shame to make those Tamiya kits because they’re packed really nicely!

VLP: I got all self conscious about making those in my teens, because, I thought at the time, getting into music, you can’t be into punk and…

C: You’re not gonna get girls, ‘wanna come back to my place and see my tank’! The end for me was when I persuaded my parents to buy me a Spitfire, one of those things you fly on a line, beautiful! Went out, started it up, it went up in the air, went around a few times, nose-dived into the ground, smashed to bits, and that was the end of my Spitfire! So I picked up the bass guitar, after that, a substitute! The only way to get a girlfriend!

VLP: Similar thing with trains really, but they named one after Strummer!

M: I never understood this adulation of The Clash… never understood it!

C: You didn’t turn up with the T-shirt, so you’re alright!

M: I used to like them before they released an album! But I never understood the whole ‘we are the victims, we are men of the people’… wasn’t them so much, it was the people who bought into it all! A Clash fan is sort of one cut up from a Jam fan isn’t it!

C: Yeah, the Daler Mendhi thing, anyway! We’re seven songs in, we’ve got three more songs to do, we fly back to India for two weeks to finish the album and then we’ve been asked to play in Canada, the festivals, do the Daler Mendhi tour of India, but we’ve also got our album coming out in August, and we’ve also got this Tibetan thing going on. (A lot of projects) would never come to the surface if you didn’t have the Wolfmen. The fact is if two guys like me and Marco were just sitting in our studios thinking ‘oh can we get this’, it wouldn’t come in, the fact that we have the Wolfmen, doing stuff, all this stuff comes to us, it’s more interesting, it’s good to have that across the board sort of thing.

M: It does make it a lot more interesting, I don’t know if I could stick to just the band, it’s not that interesting! (laughter)

VLP: You’re meant to be selling it!

M: It’s just not that interesting for ME, you know!

C: I think what it is, is just doing one thing, for instance, if we were to do our album, go on tour, come back, do another one and so on, it’s not enough, at our stage of our career it’s not enough, we need a lot of other stimuli which feeds the Wolfmen! I don’t think Marco’s putting it down…

M: I’m just saying, you need more!

C: And also to survive you need more financially, you can’t make enough money selling records… even if we’re selling…

M: Even top ten…

C: You need to do other things so the money we’d be getting from working on our project with Daler Mendhi will go into another project, feeds what we’re doing, our next album, but the great thing is we have the bedrock which is the Wolfmen, and without that we’d have nothing.

VLP: So everything can spring outwards from it and feed back…

C: And that’s the way we always wanted it!

VLP: Maybe that’s a model of what bands have to be now…

C: I don’t know, I guess you can’t make that much money…

M: It depends on how successful the band are and what they’re doing, if they’re touring all the time they don’t have time to do anything else… there’s huge outgoings, I keep hearing live is where you make money these days, well I don’t see any increase in ticket prices and I’d like to see the figures on that…

C: I think what it is, is that record sales are down…

M: They’re still making money live but they don’t make any MORE money live!

C: Fortunately for us so far, we have been involved in projects we’ve enjoyed doing, I don’t think unless it was for five million we’d be tempted to do some shit project I’d take two days to do…

M: For five million pounds, I don’t mind doing two days!

C: At this stage of the game it’s just… it’s quite good in some ways, a lot of younger bands say to us ‘it’s quite refreshing to see your attitude’!

M: I do feel bad meeting other bands because they seem so… happy! (Laughter)

C: We soon sort that out!

M: What are they happy about? Do they think this is going to get any better? ‘We‘ve won an award…’ wonderful! Do you think that’s the…

C: Miserable bastard!

M: No, but it’s like, winning some award, it doesn’t mean anything does it?

VLP: Your association with Adam… as people coming from the punk underground and becoming this huge phenomenon, did you feel at all conflicted?

M: In no way at all conflicted! What against my punk ideals? No, I didn’t feel in any way, because I didn’t know what punk ideals were! I’d never heard, I didn’t know what they were. Suddenly, a year later, there’s a bunch of rules, I wasn’t there that day when they gave out the rules! But obviously a lot of people were. Punk was actually started by The Sun! It wasn’t started by the Pistols or Malcolm. When The Sun put ‘how to be a punk’, with a picture of a punk, that’s what started it, and suddenly that’s how you would be a punk, and everyone else is reading saying ‘what the fuck is this? Bollocks!’ But the rest of the country, that’s what started punk!

VLP: So as far as time with The Ants is concerned you were doing your thing and going with it?

M: It wasn’t going with it, it was a calculated decision by myself and Adam, when he’d lost the (original) band, and I wasn’t doing anything with my band, it was like ‘we’ve got to get out of this ridiculous ghetto, or die trying!’ Or it’s not worth doing.

VLP: The received wisdom at the time was Malcolm Maclaren took The Ants over…

M: He got the band to get rid of Adam, he wouldn’t have done it himself!

VLP: So before you got together with Adam, you’d started with the Banshees?

M: Yeah, just for one show. We were never supposed to be together for 20 minutes!

VLP: But that was your fist gig?

M: Yeah, first gig I ever did

VLP: So from a very random beginning point…

M: Yeah, it was all like ‘what you doing tomorrow?’ really

C: A bit how it is today! It’s weird though, I ended up playing with Annabelle (Lu Win, ex-Bow Wow Wow, formed from original Ants line-up under Maclaren) as well after playing with you…

VLP: I presume no bad feeling with her about any of it…

C: Oh yeah, she was like totally…

M: She wouldn’t have had any bad feeling towards me and Adam, we didn’t know her, never met her!

C: No, towards Malcolm! I think everyone that’s worked with Malcolm, Adam… I can’t speak for Adam, but…

M: I don’t think Adam, why would Adam have any bad feelings towards Malcolm, he gave him the best break he’s ever…

C: I mean, I don’t know, I think Adam kind of got…

M: I actually met Malcolm with Adam, years later with The Ants, he came into the restaurant, Adam held his hand out, he shook my hand but he blanked Adam, Adam was like, ’what’s with him? I should be pissed off!’ I said ’well don’t you get it? You fucked him right over didn’t you!’

C: ‘Cause you’d made a mega success out of it, but I think with Annabella… I think she was young, and she also had a lot of… she felt like she was very manipulated by him, this barrage, so I think she felt quite bad towards him, the only things I’ve heard about him are pretty bad really…

M: He did do some brilliant things as well!

C: From everyone, apart from Marco! But I don’t know Malcolm personally, so I can’t really say anything about him…

M: Malcolm did some brilliant things, without which I wouldn’t be sitting here! They weren‘t particularly musical things, but that was the interesting thing about him!

VLP: The two of you did Live Aid, what do you remember about that?

M: The traffic light! We couldn’t see, someone said, ‘there’s a traffic light, and when it goes green you start playing!’ So we get on stage, we’re going ‘where the fuck’s this traffic light?’ Couldn’t see it!

C: I think I remember the night before, I think we stayed in a hotel the night before … I remember being there the night before, oh that was it, the biggest memory I’ve got is Marco telling me we were doing this gig, I’ve got my little diary still, it’s falling to bits, I’ve got ‘Benefit gig!’ I said ‘what’s this fucking gig we’re doing?’ And Marco said ‘it’s some charity gig’! So I put benefit gig in. You know how when you’re young, people tell you things like ‘it’s a charity gig’, that means Charity Gig! ‘specially when you’re a bass player! I kind of thought ok, fine, charity gig, turned up thinking nothing, so we did Live Aid, sound checked, I didn’t even think this is anything big or flash, we did the gig, still didn’t think anything, then a few days later realized we’d played one of the biggest gigs ever! It was a real sort of, switch on…

M: We had done big gigs before! We didn’t go from little clubs to Wembley stadium, we’d gone from well, large arenas to Wembley Stadium!

C: So I didn’t feel nervous at all, it wasn’t like nerves or any big deal, it was just another gig sort of thing, except we weren’t getting paid!

VLP: How long did you continue with Adam after that?

C: We did a tour, then it was all over… 85?

M: We kind of did that tour and it was at that point… I’d just been working five or six years nonstop, it was like, let’s take a break, I don’t know what I’m doing any more!

VLP: How was Adam with that? Because obviously there’s been a lot of publicity since about his illness…

M: At that time he was doing fine.

VLP: Are you in touch now?

M: No, haven’t spoken to him in a long time, I think he’s moved into the country, and I think he’s really doing what he has to do, to… you know, he’s been very seriously ill. A lot worse than people realise, and it’s not flu! It’s not like ‘all better now’! I knew nothing about it to be honest, and I’ve said all those stupid things, people said, ‘when’s he going to be alright, how long is this going to last? I’m sure he’ll be over this in a couple of weeks…’ sort of thing.

VLP: Has he been active musically lately?

M: Not at all, I can’t remember the last thing he did. But he doesn’t have to be active musically, he owes it to himself to do what’s right for him.

VLP: So Chris, you were involved with Chas Chandler as a manager, what was the story with him?

C: The story with Chas is, basically, my biggest memory of Chas Chandler, he used to come in… he was, as you know, Slade, Jimi Hendrix, all that stuff, and I don’t know how we ended up working for him, but we did, and Slade loved us, so we ended up supporting Slade forever!

VLP: What sort of period was that?

C: 1976, ‘75, something like that, I think it would have been before they went to the States, so what, ‘75? What were Slade doing then? It was after the film Flame. So Chas produced this band The Drill that I was in, and then he used to turn up, we went into the studio, Slade and Jimi Hendrix and that lot had recorded there, he used to turn up, order two sausage sandwiches, one with brown sauce, one with red, get The Sun, put his feet up on the desk and go ‘get on with it lads!’ And we’d sort of, you know, when you’re first in the studio, you think the producer will tell you what to do! And then he said, ‘look, it may seem like I’m not doing anything‘, but my theory is, as you can imagine from working with Jimi Hendrix – which he wasn’t! And I don’t know about Slade, but, he probably didn’t have to do that much! So he just thought, ‘just get on with it, if something disturbs me with my sandwiches, reading the paper, I’ll know it’s wrong!’

M: Having been a producer, I know if you’re not paying attention, if you’re just reading the paper while the band are playing, you’re not listening to it!

C: What’s really funny, after two or three years, when I joined up with Adam and Marco, I was hanging around in the clubs, and I met him again, he was with this beautiful Swedish girl, he was talking to me, and it was so weird seeing him on a different level to being how it was when you‘re young in a band for years, and it was just weird really. He died I think after that…

VLP: So you got to tour with Slade a bit…

C: Oh, that was amazing, yeah, that was fantastic! It was interesting because they used to have the same set every night! Exactly the same, same lines, say the same things, it was a show!

VLP: So this was before, they hit this real trough in the late 70s…

C: It was before that… they were massive. It was quite a big thing for us really. I remember that guitarist coming out and they used to take the piss out of him! Our guitarist was better than him, and he had one of those Watkins 30 watt amps, used to mike it up, and all of Slade used to get… Dave Hill had them going ‘look at this bloke! He’s better than you!’ and take the piss out of him, it was terrible! They said he had the worst taste ever, they showed us his suitcase, his suitcase was embarrassing when he used to go on tour… he was a lovely bloke! I tell you, all of them were really lovely, the drummer especially, you know, he had a car accident so, and they had to just rehearse numbers a lot for him in order to learn them… they were really good, great guys!

VLP: And I hear Marco now owns Dave Hill’s Superyob guitar?

M: Yeah, I still have that, I’ve given it to, they’ve started a big British rock n roll hall of fame thing at the Millennium Dome, I’ve lent it to them, ‘cause otherwise it’s just sat at home. I was playing, Adam and the Ants were doing six to seven nights, I was so bored I went for a walk one morning, it was hanging in this guitar shop window, and I went in there and I said how much is Superyob, they said ‘you can’t afford it’, I said ‘listen, I can afford it!’ ‘Listen sonny, go away, go away’, I said ‘listen, how much you want?’ They went ‘alright, 500 quid’, I said ‘done, let me have it!’ That was shit actually, they were bastards. I paid for it and sent them over for it, and when they came back, they said ‘oh we know who that was now, we didn’t know who he was!’ I said ‘what difference does that make? What, I was a wanker when I walked in and now I’m not?’

C: That was the other thing with Slade, I remember one of the roadies used to treat us like shit, I remember when I first started playing with Marco, the support band had the same roadie, and so, being in the main band, everything changes… ‘Oh!’ and he was sort of shitting himself. And as soon as we got into, I was the main band, and it’s funny, you always, want to get them back, but you don’t!

M: What’s weird about that, they forget don’t they? It’s like, coming from the club scene in London, this completely snide, fashion-y scene, and people, people in other bands, used to blank me. And two months later, ‘Hello!’ I was thinking, ‘but you blanked me six weeks ago, I don’t understand what’s changed now! What’s different about me, now I’m alright, now I’m your friend, but I was a wanker six weeks ago!’ Guess who’s the wanker now!

VLP: When you look about you now, what do you think has happened to that punk spirit of throwing people together, like with the Banshees, throwing people together to play the 100 club and doing that thing…

M: I’ve no idea if that exists in other bands, in what’s happening on the scene, ‘cause I don’t really think about it. I don’t think the punk spirit really applies anymore! It is now 32 years! It’s like, I can’t possibly have the same attitude to things I had when I was 16, I’d be an idiot! It doesn’t apply, it’s a different world! I’m now 49, and I don’t think like when I was 16! It doesn’t apply any more… it’s like the spirit of ragtime or the spirit of disco! Why doesn’t anyone talk about the spirit of disco, or the spirit of ragtime jazz, or the spirit of waltz!!! You can’t keep living your life like you’re 17!

C: It’s like saying, something that happened yesterday, you can’t do today, you can’t recreate what you did, you know, years ago, and I think that is the spirit of punk!

M: I think it’s like that White Stripes album, they made on 8 track, I kind of know what they’re trying to do, recreate the spirit of garage rock, old sixties records, I think that was a great thing to do and that was a great album and I thought ‘let’s try that’, but thought ‘no, because it doesn’t work’. Those great old garage punk records and sixties records which I love were made by people who only had one take, they didn’t have any more money. The White Stripes can go in and go ‘this doesn’t work, we can scrap the whole album and start again’, when they went to make Louie Louie and the singer comes in wrong, they didn’t think that’s great, no, they didn’t have the money to do it again!

C: Also there’s too much thinking going into, hopefully not in what we’re doing, it’s pretty much as it comes, we’re so old now we can do it instinctively and it’s more fun, it’s just great, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, who gives a shit!

M: The problem is, I don’t make mistakes! I can’t play with the frantic energy I had when I was 16 because I didn’t know what was gonna happen next, but I can’t do that anymore!

C: I equate it to saying to Miles Davis, do you think you can make a mistake! Because any note that he plays is wrong! So I guess, it’s the same thing with punk, is anyone gonna know! I think, it sounds like an excuse!

M: So if I play a wrong note, I can make it sound right!

The Wolfmen’s ‘Modernity Killed Every Night’ is out now on Damaged Good Records.

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MY DRUG HELL – This is My Drug Hell (2007 reissue)


MY DRUG HELL
THIS IS MY DRUG HELL

(Forthesakeofthesong)
Welcome reissue of long-lost nineties classic.
4/5
Logging the myriad joys and pains of a west London hipster’s existence, Tim Briffa and his My Drug Hell caught a moment with their 1997 debut, a snapshot of W10 before the high street giants and the yummy mummies annexed the main drag . ‘This Is My Drug Hell’ recalls an altogether gentler age when a down-at-heel rock’n’roller could still bag himself a nifty psychedelic shirt up the ‘bella for under a tenner without too much trouble, yet for all nostalgia‘s undeniably warm glow what’s striking about this reissue is how bang-on sharp it still sounds. MDH adeptly channeled sixties rock’s darker currents into a jaggedly efficient three piece dynamic, underpinning Briffa’s bittersweet observations on life and love in the shadow of the Trellick tower. Unearthing them now, it’s all the more perplexing that MDH never broke out into the bigger league; You Were Right, I Was Wrong still conjures up bust-ups you thought you’d long forgotten, and the near-hit Girl At The Bus Stop is one of the great shoulda-beens of British pop, a sublime lovelorn moment. The long-promised follow-up album has yet to materialise of course, but for now, the dark pop shimmer of My Drug Hell’s debut is once again yours to savor..
Hugh Gulland

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KILLING JOKE

IN REQUIEM

With extensive reissues of KILLING JOKE’s mid-eighties catalogue all lined up, unforeseen developments suddenly cast a shadow. A reflective Jaz Coleman talks to Vive Le Punk and looks back on the Joke’s Raven years.

“It’s hit us all hard. It hit me harder than my father dying.”

A painful subject hangs in the air, and it would be futile to try to avoid it with Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman at this particular point in time. In town to publicize the reissue of the band’s mid-eighties catalogue, Jaz maintains a philosophical front, and yet is clearly still reeling at recent events; a fortnight before our scheduled meeting, Joke bassist Paul Raven – whose original spell with the band these albums represent – died in his sleep of a heart attack. While the Joke have always managed to soldier on through adversity, it’s been a devastating two weeks in the band’s circle…

“He was the youngest out of us lot”, Jaz contemplates. “And, you know… too many years together. It’s been a hard two weeks, I’ll give you that.”

VLP: Had there been any sign his health was bad?

"I knew he’d had heart flutters for a few years, he used to tell me about them, he couldn’t lay flat on a bed because he’d get heart palpitations, so he used to sleep sitting up. You know, musicians don’t live as long as other people. Not always.”

VLP: The earliest of the reissues, ‘Fire Dances’ (1983), was the first of Raven’s albums with the band you’d kind of split up at a point the previous year, with you going to Iceland.

“Yeah, it was a very upbeat album compared to the spaces that we’d been in before, it lifted people a bit more. It was good to do that after the Iceland thing was a very misunderstood event, I just wanted a lifestyle change from all the rocking and rolling, I wanted to study more than anything else. Study classical music, study sacred geometry, and antiquities – just break out of the corny, clichéd rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. And then of course, we got back together, and so we do another album. At this stage in our career we were surrounded by a very famous East London gang! And they were just wonderful to us! We had our own Rolls Royce, free houses everywhere, we got meet Princess Diana and all these wonderful people, I met Jimmy Page and it’s the year it was all kicking off, we were doing vast quantities of cocaine! And generally enjoying life and having great gigs, it was a good time, a fresh start, we’d all moved to Geneva and it’s kind of ironic he died in Geneva because that was one of the happiest times of our life.”

VLP: That was around the time of this album then?

“Yeah, sure, we were doing ‘Fire Dances’, we all moved to Geneva, and that’s why it’s so funny he passed away in Geneva, and comforting in another way as well. I traced down everything he did in the last two days and last few hours of his life, to every detail, he’d gone back to all our old haunts Paul had, yeah, it was curious, but it was ‘good death’, if there can be such a thing. Whereas, everyone was grieving at his funeral, I want to turn it to celebrating a life, Paul accomplished a lot and kept going. But yeah, it hit us hard, and seeing all these old photographs and everything, you know.”

VLP: Did you already know Raven before he joined?

“Sure, he was good friends with Youth, they were seeing the same girl together! We’ve got this photograph of Youth and Paul with their arms around the same girl. And they were born on the same day which is the uncanny thing! And so it was a very easy transition. Youth always had much more of a recognizable sound than Paul, but Paul live would be great, he would give so much energy! They were different bass players and both with their virtues. So ‘83, yeah, we had a Rolls Royce Carmargue spray painted with Killing Joke, we were doing cocaine in the toilets of airports and generally having a loutish time, surrounded by, like, thugs! (laughs).”

VLP: ‘Fire Dances’ sounds far more celebratory than the previous albums.

“Yeah, we wanted to have something that lifted up our spirits, it was a very tribal album and some of ‘Dances’ is really about ancestor worship and well Paul died, his funeral was on All Souls Day or Halloween, it’s traditionally a day when you say prayers for the dear deceased, or when the souls of the dead come back to the world of the living to advise them on how to survive the cold winter months that lie ahead. And it was a good day, Paul, I could feel his conscious presence with us, it was almost tangible. So these are the things that have obviously been dominating my thoughts the last couple of weeks.”

VLP: ‘Harlequin’ is an interesting song. You’ve always tended to use this jester figure as a graphic device from the start.

“Always, absolutely, we use the triple snake symbol, which is actually like the headdress of the joker, it represents the Hebrew letter shin, and there’s another meaning to this, we use this triple serpent because in Killing Joke it takes three of us to make a decision for the band. We’ve always kept that tradition, it’s always me and Geordie, but we’ve always needed just one another person and that’s a band, otherwise it’s a fucking duo! So that’s the kind of symbolism. And the whole idea of the jester is very dear to my heart. In the beginning it was the futility of everything. The Killing Joke was the idea, the realisation, that you’re in the trenches, they’re going to blow the whistle, and you’re going to get your head shot off, and you’re being manipulated. This kind of feeling, and then it transformed to the kind of laughter that overcomes all fear, and it became a much more positive entity in my head. And the jester is a figure that I find myself fascinated with. You know, the hero dies, but the fool survives. And I’ve always liked this fool, he’s the only person who could legitimately hit the king. And I’ve always identified with this figure, because I find I can walk into places full of bankers or very wealthy people, or I can go to the poorest places in the world and be completely at home. So, I feel free. And I think freedom is it. I like to feel free, if I were in the mood to tonight, I could be on a plane tomorrow anywhere I want in the world. I’ve never gone for the big house thing, but I have gone for freedom. If I want to fly somewhere tomorrow, I’ll just go and do it, and I can do it."

"I’ve always gone for this, rather than a mortgage and a big car and all this shit, I don’t buy it! I’ve done all the tests, I’ve walked through London with 50 grand in my pocket, ‘you can have anything you want Jaz, what do you want mate?’, you know, I end up buying a book, maybe a cigar, take myself to dinner, I don’t know what to do after that. I think people will be shocked at how simple I live. I live real simple, I insist my partner, who’s my ex-wife, I live with my ex-wife now. Do you get your money back, no! But we live, just use a mattress, we own very little, I don’t like owning a lot of stuff, I don’t have a great number of possessions, I’m not this way inclined. (Only) books, I’ve got like 15,000 books in lockups around the world.”

VLP: So where are you now, mostly Prague?

“Mostly Prague at the moment, but there’s no normal years when you can say you’ll be here there or anywhere, I did twelve years in New Zealand but I’ve always come back for European summers, so I’ve got 2 summers a year. I’ve had no winters for 12 years, and that lifts your spirits! I’m gonna go and stay in Costa Rica for a couple of months, the good thing about writing for an orchestra is that you can do it anywhere. And so I just take all my bits and pieces, fuck off to a hotel and get it done. Like I say, I feel freer than most people. I do not like the direction the world’s going in and I can see myself as time passes on isolating myself, which was always my intention.”

VLP: Because you’re on an Island part of the time?

“That’s right, it’s 100km off the coast of New Zealand and it’s stunningly beautiful. 400 people and one policeman. But you know, I’m a driven person, I can’t be stuck out there all the time. I like travelling less and less, but it’s a fact of my life that I’m always travelling, I can’t foresee a day when I stop doing concerts or making music, I intend to go non-stop until death!”

VLP: The following record ‘Night Time brought chart hits, and your profile went way up – was there pressure with that?

“There was, it was probably the worst thing that happened to us at that time. ‘Give us another ‘Love Like Blood,’ you can do what you like for the rest of the album’, there was a massive pressure on us and of course we didn’t. I don’t think them putting pressure on us helped our creativity flourish, it was a pretty horrible time, I don’t remember that as some of our best, we had great times, but… it was a horrible market, ghastly market forces."

VLP: And of course you had your Eighties theme, while it’s a decade that’s culturally remembered as very trivial…

"Yeah, it was amazing we survived through the eighties, but we got through it! I prefer life now in a funny way. I mean, my life’s better now than it was then, especially in ‘85. There were loads of concerts, we’d been touring for so long but yeah, it did change, there was pressure to write something that was going to work on the radio, and this didn’t have a good effect on us.”

VLP: There’s a militaristic sort of feel to this album…

"It was a funny album because Walker and myself were the only people there to write it, the other two weren’t around us, so we basically got everything together ourselves and then showed the other two what we were doing in the studio and it was… my God, that session we were at Hansa Ton studios, Geordie caused over a million pounds worth of damage in one minute! He got this fire extinguisher, blasted me playing the grand piano with it, then went running down the corridors to the control room, blasted all the equipment in the control room with this fire extinguisher. And it had aluminium in the powder, this destroyed absolutely everything, over a million pounds worth of damage in one minute! He was just pissed up. Next morning I heard this noise and stuck my head out the door, Raven and Big Paul were there and Geordie was being carted off by the police! (laughs)”

VLP: Hansa’s in Berlin?

“Berlin, yeah. Bowie was in that very studio. Geordie got out of it, the insurance and bla bla. Amazing really. He’d go disappearing for fucking five days at a time on that session,
Geordie, and turn up again. It was an insane session, yeah.”

VLP: So pressure and chart success was getting to you?

“Oh everything, yeah. I remember, we were living over Hansa Ton studios, there was all sorts of people were there at the time, I’ll tell you who was there at the same time, Depeche Mode, and it was hysterical watching them, it was kind of like a school class the way they were putting down their music, had all these kind of mentors and people looking over them, they had to put down their synthesizers, I’ve never seen anything like it. Who else was there at the time, Neubauten, quite a few people. It was a great studio."

VLP: And it still would have been East/West Germany at that time…

“We would take the metro into Friedrichstrasse and pick up caviar and cheap vodka, and come back into the west and do it all, and I remember on that session, my girlfriend suddenly turned up, and I’m sitting with one of our roadies and my girlfriend in my room, and a couple of cleaning ladies are cleaning my room, suddenly there’s this fucking rattling sound, one of the cleaning ladies comes marching up with this fucking earring, and gives it to me, ‘Oh Patsy, here’s your earring’ ‘It’s not mine, Jaz!’ and there’s this deathly silence. And the roadie goes, ‘listen love, you’d have something to worry about if a load of golf clubs fell out’, and we started laughing and then I managed to get a good excuse in and wheedle my way out of it. ‘She was a friend of mine, she was gay, she split up with her girlfriend she just crashed the night, don’t give me any shit!’ Lie, lie, then deny! (laughs)”

“Yeah, there was a lot of violence. Me and Geordie had a really big fight there, full fists, then Big Paul bashed my girlfriend, split her nose apart. She was fucking drinking too much, and he was, you know, just stupid shit, it all got out of hand. Yeah, that’s when we started to drink! (laughs)”

VLP: I remember this weird story at the time, that Raven had this doppelganger?

“You know what? Absolutely true! This guy was claiming to be Paul Raven! Going all over Europe, getting into clubs in London, all sorts of things. And Raven was going mad by it. He had a nasty bike accident, the guy! Absolutely true, I remember this! We’ve had so fucking many homing loonies, I can’t tell you mate! I’ve had them come to my island from all over the world. Like real psycho homing loonies. That’s why I never communicate with anyone by letter or any other way. I do when I’m doing a gig, we’re really open people in Killing Joke, but generally there’s people, you don’t know what they’re really like.”

“Let me give you one example. I can give you ten! Straight off! Right, a woman that followed me for fourteen years and put her kid into the same school as my daughter and gave my kid loads of presents, real fucking psychos I’ve had! One wasn’t so long ago, this guy, was a Killing Joke fan, comes backstage at one of the Italian gigs, seems nice enough, but Geordie goes: ‘You, I don’t like you. Don’t know what it is about you, I don’t like you!’ Very astute and very intuitive, Geordie. And this guy turns up in New Zealand, ‘I’ve got relatives over here’, all this, seems nice enough, comes to see my concerts with the orchestra and he’s a music student himself. So I’m going out to my island, and I said to him, look you can look after my flat in Auckland and feed my cats for me. And we had a bit of a get together for some friends before I left for the island, and this guy comes, all my friends are there, and suddenly goes, ‘You’re trying to take over my mind!’ ‘Beg your pardon?’ ‘You want to sacrifice me in a black magic ritual!’ (laughs) I went, ‘Would you like to step outside?’ Man, you’ve got no idea! I took him to a priest, this guy, and said ‘You need help’, the priest said ‘Don’t send me one like that again!’”

VLP: You’re known for having occult interests, maybe that attracts them?

“Well I do but I don’t suppose it’s the way people think. Occult just means hidden, and I just don’t take an orthodox view of Christianity or the religions, I look at the science of religion or the common denominators, I’ve never been a devil worshipper or anything like this! Yes, I have done ceremonies, and rituals, but it’s more romantic-based, but people get ideas, the press or whatever! I consider myself a deeply religious man!

VLP: Yeah, because you said you were a lay preacher?

“That’s right. Do you know what, I have another career most people don’t know about. I’m with people when they’re dying, I bury people, I even marry people occasionally. I do all those things when I go back to the island, into my parish. I only did it for a practical joke, I studied theology, but became a priest really for a laugh, because I don’t really believe in priests!”

“There’s much to be said for Islam that says ‘It’s just between you and your god’. I take a magical view on the universe. Baudelaire talks about the forest of symbols, people can be symbols, but I view the universe in a magical context. For example, women and men, male and female, they can’t be described as like a plug socket on the wall! You don’t say about your wife that you fertilized her and now she’s going to reproduce! I’m just demonstrating that there’s a need for the poetic or the magical within our soul and I always try to enhance this. All a ritual is to me is enhancing the experience of this existence, and become more aware of it. When I do a great gig, to have the ability to say to yourself, ‘this is a great moment in my life’. Very few people have that ability, it’s an ecstatic experience, and it’s always in retrospect isn’t it with most people, but there’s always been death around me, people dying and I don’t take life for granted, you know, I try to love every day of my life and I’ll always keep the Joke marching on! We play so much better than we ever used to! It just gets better now! Much better, and I still enjoy it!”

VLP: You’ve said before a good performance is one you can hardly remember?

“Yeah, I remember going on stage and I remember coming off but in between it’s just like an oil painting. I don’t really remember any one moment, you get fleeting impressions, there’s so much exertion. I seek a trance-like state and I get that most of the time. I don’t remember a fucking thing! It comes through you, the whole thing comes through you, you become one with the soul of the crowd and the people. I love it!”

VLP: So that’s like a religious experience for you?

“It is, and I’ll tell you another strange thing about Killing Joke gigs, after I gig I feel the deepest sense of peace! Most people wouldn’t understand, but it really cleans your soul. There was a time when I was questioning what Killing Joke was doing because of my religious convictions, but then you look at the new testament, it says ‘a good fruit can not come from a bad tree, and a bad tree cannot bear a good fruit’, and I felt this about Killing Joke, it’s not like a lot of other bands. I find a lot of other bands morally bankrupt, there’s no concept of beauty, it’s all designed, the American punk scene or alternative scene, to shock. ‘I can say nastier things than you, I can show people jumping out of buildings’ I just didn’t get it, it wasn’t innate, it wasn’t coming from anywhere, it wasn’t a genuine frustration, it was just shock value. I hated that!”

VLP: On to 1986’s ‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’, it’s a comparatively polished recording.

“Yes, it was, almost too polished. The vocals are up too high in the mix and the guitars aren’t loud enough, and that’s the way I feel about it, although I deeply love the music on that album, ‘Twilight of the Mortals’ I think is a wonderful track, and ‘Rubicon’, ‘Chessboards’, great tracks. I love that album lyrically as well, it’s just got a mix on it that’s kind of representative of the times that we were surrounded by, ‘We need to put the vocals up more’, that’s what I mean about record company pressure and stuff like that. I still love that record, but I wouldn’t do it that way now. In fact, we might remix it, later on.”

VLP: Was it around this time you first went to New Zealand?

“That’s right, I started going to New Zealand from 1985 onwards.”

VLP: You expressed a lot of interest at the time in self-sustaining communities and so on.

“I’ve done that, we’ve got to develop it. I’d just got married in 1985, to a New Zealander, Mr and Mrs Passport! I had two children with her as well! I remember the year 1986, I couldn’t find any music I liked, and my favourite work of art, I walked around this place called the White Pearl Water Gardens, which was set up by a couple in a peninsular in New Zealand, and they’d changed this 90 acres so it was the most fertile place in the whole of new Zealand, and it was a complete experience walking through this place by these two horticulturalists. This profoundly moved me, and then I read The Magus by John Fowles, and I became incredibly, well, entertained the idea of becoming territorial, and having my own domain became suddenly important on that year, that was the sum total of my inspiration that year. I’m glad we’re not there now!”

VLP: The final album of these reissues, 1988’s ‘Outside The Gate’, is possibly your most controversial record.

“It’s not a Killing Joke album, it was a side project. It was never Killing Joke, it was never intended to be, it was an experiment on something else and it can’t really be categorised as Killing Joke as such.”

VLP: The Pauls weren’t involved?

“No, but I kind of used it as a way to get rid of one of the Pauls! I used the situation, I wasn’t getting on with Ferguson. Though we’re on great terms now, times change.”

VLP: I heard he worked as an antique restorer now?

“He works on, not just antiques, great works of art, restoration. But, yeah, I saw him last week, first time in 22 years. It was good actually, good to see him! We’ve all changed, to a degree. Now in a fight I could beat any one of them up! (laughs)

VLP: Hope it doesn’t come to that!

“No, I don’t think so!”

VLP: Outside The Gate’ is quite an eastern-influenced album.

“Yeah, you can trace my musical identity crisis way back to ‘The Pandies Are Coming’ on the third album. I knew there was a part of me that just didn’t belong in the United Kingdom or Europe for that matter, and it was the eastern part of my genes. I had a choice to either go to New Delhi to study oriental music, or Cairo. And I chose Cairo to embrace and study Arabic music, and that was really the best decision I made. It was just before I did the thing with Anne Dudley (‘Songs From The Victorious City’, 1990), went to Cairo and had good contacts there etc, it became a big part of my life. Arabic music, I love it. Thing about it, there’s 12 notes in an octive, 13 if you consider the full octave, but then with Arabic quarter tones, that gives you 26 notes. But then a great master says, ‘do you want me to flatten that quarter tone or sharpen that quarter tone?’, that gives you 52 notes to a scale, with the Arabic system, compared to our 13… It’s fascinating! It’s like they’ve let in a little bit of the darker forces, for a split second, there’s that kind of effect. I couldn’t work out, how the fuck are they getting that? So, my book, that’s coming out in 2009, will have every Arabic scale and mode, Persian, I’ve collected everything, because nobody’s ever done a complete work, this is just one of the things. I’m on my third piece of architecture! And architecture that I’ve designed so it’s all completely self-sufficient, everything’s recycled from it, and it’s relatively cheap to put up! So yeah, it’s a colourful life, there’s so much to do isn’t there?”

VLP: Yeah, I wonder when you sleep!

“You know, you’ve hit the nail on the head, I have massive sleeping problems. I can’t sleep, I can go ten days probably without sleep, I’m two hours, three hours a night!"

VLP: That’s worse than Margaret Thatcher was!

"Yeah, same sort of mental energy. In those two hours you can’t wake me, I’m a real deep sleeper, but then I’m up, and I can’t go back to sleep at all, so I have to occasionally sedate myself. That’s why, a lot of the alcohol in the last few years is, just trying to relax, I was getting panic attacks – the stress of this business is immense, there’s no way around it, you’ve got to somehow not let things get to you. And realise, it’s only a bit of fun!”

VLP: So what will Killing Joke’s next move be?

“Well, definitely two new recordings for us to do, and concerts. There’s a big demand for the original line-up, but that wouldn’t really play the later records so I’m gonna end up with two Killing Jokes! Benny, Geordie and me for one, and Youth and Big Paul and Geordie for another.

VLP: So Youth and Big Paul are definitely up for it then?

"Yeah, they want to do it. I’m aiming for the film, the book, and intense touring for our 30th anniversary, to raise money for Paul’s children."

The Killing Joke original line-up has reunited for the first time in almost twenty years for a world tour and will hit the UK in October 2nd and 3rd for two shows at London’s Kentish Town Forum. On the first night they will play their first two albums (1980’s self-titled album and 1981’s ‘What’s This… For!’) and on the second night they will play 1994’s ‘Pandemonium’ album and the Island Records singles from 1979-80.

Expanded editions of ‘Fire Dances’, ‘Night Time’, ‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’ and ‘Outside The Gate’ are available now from EMI.


RIP Paul Raven, 1961-2007.


(photo by Steffan Chirazi)

Hugh Gadjit

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