Longtime Flaming Pablum readers and fellow hapless Killing Joke zealots may remember a piece I posted here back in 2006 regarding an interview I’d conducted just two years prior with powerhouse drummer Big Paul Ferguson.
In September 2004, I sat down with Killing Joke’s once-and-future drummer to discuss the impact and legacy of the band he’d initially founded back in 1979. The chat was initially conceived as part of a book project that bassist Paul Raven was orchestrating. I’d been friends with Raven for a couple of years by that point, and he reached out to me, knowing I was both an ardent fan of the band and a journalist. I happily and dutifully accepted the assignment, and Big Paul gamely complied. So, over the course of an afternoon in his art studio (along with a respite of beers in a local Brooklyn pub), Big Paul told me his story.
At the time, of course, Big Paul had been absent from the band’s ranks for about 17 years, following a fall-out with vocalist Jaz Coleman during the recording of what would become Killing Joke’s literally and figuratively divisive opus, Outside the Gate. By 2004, while much water had passed under the bridge, it still seemed strenuously unlikely to all parties concerned that Big Paul Ferguson would ever reconvene with his old bandmates in Killing Joke. No one seemed quite happy about that — especially the fans — but it didn’t seem to be on the menu, so to speak.
It’s funny how things work themselves out, though, isn’t it?
As fate had it, the book project never came to fruition. I transcribed and wrote up the interview and had it all locked, loaded and ready to go, but given Killing Joke’s somewhat fickle, elusive nature, the plan seemed to get lost in the noise. A couple of years went by. After “holding out” on my brethren in the Gathering (kind of the “KISS Army” for Killing Joke fans, if you like), I took matters in my own hands and published the interview in its windy entirety here on Flaming Pablum, intent on at last sharing this rare and candid discussion with the fans. I just didn’t want to see it — nor the work I’d put into it — go to waste.
The feedback I got from it was immense. Killing Joke fans from across the globe reached out and weighed in. To this day, it remains one of two posts here that regularly get a ridiculous amount of hits (the other being my piece on Chuck Klosterman’s arguably ludicrous theory that Radiohead’s Kid A predicted the events of September 11, 2001).
I was initially wary of a scolding from the Killing Joke camp, but — much to my considerable relief — one never came. I also wondered about the impact the finally-published interview might have on the band itself, now that Paul had publicly aired his feelings after all these years.