My recent interview with Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke is currently running in the print version Issue # 3 of New Noise magazine. Jaz is by far, one of the most intriguing individuals I've ever sat across in this life and this was my second time interviewing the man. Below is a pair of excerpts from the New Noise session.
RVH: I think what you’re touching on with today’s generation being constantly plugged in to tech and being obtuse to just about everything else supports the line “ADD generation” from “Corporate Elect,” one of my favorite lyrics from the MMXII album. I think it’s a dead-on statement. I remember ferrying into Manhattan a few years ago and everybody looked like the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, cords dangling out of their ears into gadgets. It looked so dead and mindless to me and I think this disaffection partially raises a homegrown terrorism from these twenty-somethings we’ve had to cope with here in America the past couple years.
JC: Well, it’s nothing new. Governments and establishments for centuries always needed an enemy to divert the attention of the people. Of course, the last American administration really made sure of that, you know? (laughs) The situation is so complex for anyone who should take government, because whoever gets into power, they inherit a protocol, a system, which refuses to change in itself. Here’s the thing; the lives that we enjoy with our motor cars and flying on airplanes, Mr. (Zbigniew) Brzezinski was very clear about it in ’98, where he said effectively, if you want to continue this lifestyle we’ve all become accustomed to, we’re going to need to secure the Eurasian oil fields. Otherwise, a consortium of Russian and Chinese will likely do so before us. He said the problem is the domestic electorate in America is not interested in foreign policy. It’s not interested in overseas adventures, least of all, military adventures. Unless we have a catalyzing effect like a new Pearl Harbor, it would remain like this.
You can see what’s really required is such a massive, colossal change, and the only thing that can initiate that is cataclysm, because people do not want to change. They will not stop drilling up oil. There are 18 new nuclear power stations about to be built up around the world. Man hasn’t learned his lesson, so cataclysm will be. Not long. Professor (James) Lovelock says surely by 2020.
RVH: I was thinking within 50 to 60 years.
JC: You’re optimistic, aren’t you? I don’t think it’s a bad thing. We need to change our ways. We’re parasites.
RVH: And we’re trying to colonize other planets if we can reach them, so we’ll leave this one a wasteoid one day and go infiltrate another planet…
JC: I so believe in sustainability. You’re motivating me. If you go back to our third album (Revelations), there’s a song called “Chapter III.” It says, “Attack behind attack, a war behind a war, wise thoughts to broad horizons, a nation the very least.” I didn’t really understand that until I changed the music in the national anthem, the meaning of that. I believe and I am certain that there’s a special force around you, us. If I survive to 2018, I’ll so be part of that, the next stage, you know? All we need is one successful model of sustainability so we can emulate it. You know, they said I was mad when I said I used to dream of an island. Well, now I’ve got one in the Pacific. There’s 300 of us on a big island, covered in rainforest. They said I was mad for my dreams. Now I’m dreaming of the idea of green collectivism. I’m dreaming of how I can serve the public in a small way. Part of that will be my farm assisting farms. It’s sustainability. The other part of that will be…I have political ambitions. (laughs) Even when they dig up the shit on me, they’re mad because I’m a Christian and repented, so fuck off! (laughs)
RVH: (laughs) Well, you know, it’s going to have to go back to the primitive, and to me, that’s what a lot of Killing Joke’s music is about, especially the songs with the tribal beats and elements to them. It’s back to the primitive and reject modernism, you know?
JC: Well, I love Killing Joke, but you must understand I’ve never seen the band. I’d really like to go to one of our concerts.
RVH: People at-large tend to de-value as much as they embrace reminiscence...
JC: As a public, we should cherish our natural history and our local resources, our forests and our rivers. We shouldn’t let corporations just take over what is rightfully the people’s to be shared. I believe this, and I’m not a Marxist or a socialist. All we need is one successful model. Sustainability is what we must strive for. Every back garden, every public park is a source of food. The Reverend Thomas Malthus who believed basically in population control by stealth, I’m against this. As a meat eater, we should only eat livestock on festival days and we should be vegetarian the rest of the time. We need to take ponds and breed fish, not just one species, but a polyculture. I really have a vision of Paradise.
The population of New York is being born every two weeks. I believe if we resort to Malthusian means of depopulation, we lose our humanity. We change our diets, so we should then let Mother Nature by cataclysm regulate population. Otherwise, we lose that which defines us, our humanity, our sense of empathy, our compassion. All of these attributes are, you could say, Christ-like, because Christ, to me, is nothing historical; it’s a metaphor. When you’re in a state of grace doing your God-gift, you are the Christos, the Anointed One. Christ is in each and every one of us. It’s the God-gift. I believe in an inner-revolution. By changing ourselves, we can change everything, so don’t you worry about anyone else!
Photo and interview footage (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.
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