Chris Connelly has finally got a 5010 record issued in Britain, alongside an album with what’s left of Killing Joke. Alastair Mabbott spoke to the man who left Scotland for Chicago, but who doesn’t think he’ll be staying there much longer.
‘Every single interview I do. I get to talk about everything, and this is no exception — and it’s cool, because one thing promotes another. I can guarantee that when I’m out on the road with Murder Inc, I’ll get questioned about the new Cocks album, etc, etc.’
And who’s the guy whose CV reads like a history of Chicagoan noise terrorism (as it used to be called), and whose former and current
Killing Joke? None other than expatriate Scot Chris Connelly — virtually unknown in his homeland, but a household name to the followers of bands like Ministry, Revolting Cocks and supergroup-of-sorts Pigface.
Now, as well as somehow teasing a tangle of dreadlocks from his previously shaven head, Connelly has released his second LP (the first, 1991’s Whiplash Boychild, is coming out in Britain in about a month’s time), Phenobarb Bam-Ba-Lam; and since the founder Finitribe member is generally associated with noisy studio-based combos using brutally heavy dance
collaborators include Finitribe and ex-members of
1 beats and samples, his solo work comes as
something ofa surprise. While still on Chicago’s
f pioneering Wax Trax label, Phenobarb
Bam-Ba-Lam is a much more accessible (dare we
'1 say mainstream?) work, frequently bringing to ; mind Iggy Pop and David Bowie collaborations of the 70s.
‘l’ve gone light-years away from sampling and
J things now, basically because it bores me — I don’t , know how to work the damn things, but I do know
how to play guitar. I’ve nothing against sampling at all— I think it’s great— but I can’t do it. Also. they keep breaking, and you can’t break a guitar, really. You have to work really hard to break a guitar. Plus, I like the more organic sound at the
l moment. You’ve got to remember: I was in the
3 studio for years, with Finitribe and with the Cocks, g just working with samplers and stuff like that. And I wanted to rock!’ he laughs. ‘But I’ll be going back
7 that bythat timel’ll be readytodoit.’
to rave about.
a bit ofintegrity left.’
into the studio with the Cocks again, and I’m sure
But before then he’ll be coming to Britain and making a much heavier sound than anything on Phenobarb by singing for Murder Inc. The band is basically the final configuration of Killing Joke minus barking but charismatic frontman J az Coleman but plus the original Joke drummer Paul Ferguson, who together with Martin Atkins makes up a powerful, double-barrelled percussion powerhouse. And, by the end of the year, Connelly plans to settle back in Britain, for a while at least.
‘It’s gotten to that situation where I am seriously very concerned about the politics here. It’s insane, it’s very scarey and I feel, Hell, I don’t have to take this. It’s no big deal, it’s not going to be a problem for me to come back here and work, but I’d like to be based in Britain for a while. Whatever the outcome of the election — I don’t like any of those people.’
However, it would appear that all is not yet lost in the Land OfThe Free. Ministry, run by Connelly’s old mucker Al Jourgensen, is the band ofthe moment in America, garnering the lion’s share of publicity on the current Lollapalooza II package. That is something Connelly’s prepared
‘No matter how big Ministry get, the music deserves to be big. It’s unique, and the new album is definitely their best. Anyone who can take an album like that into the charts and sell hundreds of thousands of copies — it shows that people still have
Phenobarb Bam-Ba-Lam and Murder Inc are both on Devotion Records.
V LIVE THE WONDER STUFF
The Forum, Livingston, 24 Aug.
Not so long ago, Miles Hunt affected the plssed-oit-with-the-world act to pertection, baiting and berating the crowd while The Stuliies ran through a set at perlect vitriolic pop. In those days the band were outsiders, nipping at the Establishments heels. Now, with a string at bona tide hits, they have, in the space at only three albums, joined the big boys as consistently and reliably bankable. And it all that seems too clinical, their knack at being etiortlessly entertaining has remained periectly intact. All the more remarkable is the tact they do it without the usual pop star props; despite a powerful Iightshow, the stage set can, at best, only be described as basic, but with singles like ‘Don’t Let Me Down, Gently’, ‘Welcome To The Cheap Seats’ and “Size 0t A Gow' waiting to be aired, who needs bombastic trickery?
For all the band's anti-star qualities, most oi the audience are unconvinced.
Miles may talk oi Paul Weller in the way only a true lan can but to the
sweating throng Weller’s about as relevant as a trip to the barber’s. When Miles lobs his jacket crowdwards there is an outburst ot clothing mutilation not witnessed since the heyday at The Smiths, so it’s perhaps not inappropriate that Miles should slip a bastardised chorus oi ‘Girllrlend In a Coma’ almost unnoticed into the proceedings.
And it all this attentlon to Miles suggests the other tour are simply his backing hand, then It’s a disservice that is unwarranted. Whether it’s running through the classic early singles like ‘A Wish Away’ and ‘Give, Give, Give Me More, More, More’ or the rocking out at ‘Donation’ and the Vic-less ‘Dizzy’, the closeness ol their playing makes this pop lark seem so etiortless. The Stutiies, whether they care to acknowledge it or not, are simply one at the best pop bands this country has lately produced. ll, as Morrissey would have us believe, we are witnessing pop’s death throes, I tor one will happily book The Stuilles tor the iuneral. (James Haliburton)
The List 28 August — 10 September 1992 73