“I thought Geordie was indestructible”: Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman pays tribute to his late friend, bandmate and “national treasure” Geordie Walker, doesn't want to hear questions about the band's future

Killing Joke in concert, 2022
(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman has paid tribute to his long-time musical collaborator and dear friend Geordie Walker, the only constant member of the West London band apart from the vocalist himself, and admitted that he didn't take concerns about the guitarist's health as seriously as he might have done, because he considered Walker "indestructible".

Walker passed away on the morning of November 23 last year in Prague. He was 64. Addressing their loss, Killing Joke later issued a statement saying, “It is with extreme sadness we confirm that at 6:30am on 26th November 2023 in Prague, Killing Joke's legendary guitarist Kevin 'Geordie' Walker passed away after suffering a stroke, he was surrounded by family. We are devastated. Rest In Peace brother.”

Speaking with The Guardian for his first interview since the passing of the hugely influential guitarist, who was a founding member of Killing Joke alongside Coleman, bassist Martin 'Youth' Glover and drummer Paul Ferguson, Coleman admits that he remains “in terrible shock”. Though the singer is set to begin a spoken word tour tonight, March 19, in Glasgow, he admits that he will be asking that fans in attendance refrain from asking about the future of the band, as he is "still in mourning".

Coleman also reveals that concerns had been expressed about the County Durham-born guitarist's health in recent years, but that he had not taken the warnings entirely seriously.

"A year ago, a doctor taking care of him said to me, ‘When it comes, it will come really fast. So I want you to brace yourself’," he says. "Of course I didn’t take it to heart, because I thought Geordie was indestructible."

In the interview, Coleman also admits that Walker had expressed a desire to shake up the current line-up of Killing Joke, suggesting that he no longer wished to continue playing with the original line-up, and that this discussion was still live up until the point the guitarist passed.

"I tried to reason with him," Coleman says. "Then he died."

Coleman's spoken word tour, in which he is set to share an oral history of the band with guest interviewer Shane Embury from Napalm Death, begins this evening. The dates can be seen below.

Jaz Coleman tour poster

(Image credit: K2)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.