Into the Swiss mountains now, for today’s BotD. All the way from Zurich and surrounds are Killjoy…
We are based in and around Zurich, Switzerland, but all from different places. Janic, the drummer, lives in Germany, Max, bass/vocals was born in Spain and lived in Paris for a couple years and Jake, guitar/vocals is originally from Scotland but was born just outside of Zurich.
How did you meet?
How Max and Jake met is a long story that goes back to a wedding about thirty odd years ago, so to cut things short, we ended up meeting at a party about 7 or 8 years ago and hit it off right away. That same evening we wrote and performed a couple songs together, there was obvious chemistry there.
A few drummers later on January 1st 2017 Max and Jake travelled up to Germany were Max knew an amazing drummer called Janic. Hungover from New Years we jammed and within a month we played an hours set in Stuttgart. Without a doubt the killjoy gang was complete.
Before you get sick of being asked – where does the band name come from?
The name comes from a powerful energy source that inhabits us all.
What are your influences?
Our Influences vary from person to person. It goes from Led Zeppelin to Green Day to Frank Zappa to The Brew, The Network and many more. This combination of music makes our sound very unique because we all play our own style, so it leads to an explosive fusion of power and drive. Every song has a different vibe and feel. The sound is very raw and powerful and has aggressive aspects to certain songs. We call it punk powered rock‘n‘roll.
Do your lyrics have any particular themes?
Lyrically we play around with different topics such as anger, frustration and straight up going crazy and losing our minds. Certain songs are politically fueled or about life and what it means or could mean. Overall we like to stay more on the poetic side no matter what the topic may be.
What’s your live show like? How many have you played?
When we play live shows we are very active and loud, maybe even a bit loco. Before the gigs we tend to be more on the shy side but let go of everything when we play, and it shows.
It’s loud, it’s hot and it’s full of energy, even the drummer likes to jump as high as he can. There is a lot of air time during a Killjoy set, along with a big amount of energy and power rattling through our bones.
We have played around 80 or 90 gigs together, ranging from acoustic sessions to radio live sessions and festivals.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
There have been many really cool things we’ve seen and done on stage, infact too many to mention. Off the top of my head two notable moments are when we were at a festival and we saw Green Day play how the whole festival was there in front of the stage and you got pushed around even in a 45 degree angle, but never touched the ground. The other was at a Fever333 concert when the three guys from the band stood in perfect harmony with the light to create a perfect picture for the drummer to backflip off his seat and continue playing one of the most insane sets.
What kit do use, guitars do you play?
Jake, the guitarist and vocalist loves his Gibson Les Paul Junior along with his Vox AC15 C1, this combo never parts. No pedals or effects are added just the raw power off the guitar and amp with a touch of jake’s magic are what make up the guitar sound, simplicity is key. With the guitar tuner doubling as the wireless receiver, it allows him to jump, twist and go nuts on stage without having to worry about tripping over any loose cables anymore. Killjoy Dunlop .60mm plectrums are the ones that get left behind everywhere we go!
Max, the bass player and vocalist, plays a slick Charvel Surfcaster bass from the early 1990’s with a Big Muff and a Cry Baby Wah to get some Funk on the floor Baby! The Bass amp doesn’t really matter. With a gained and broad clean sound, emphasizing the nasal mids of the bass’s lipstick pickups nothing can go wrong.
Here also the Killjoy plectrums by Dunlop.
Janic, the drummer, plays a beautiful Drumcraft kit with zildjian cymbals.
12“, 14“, 16“ Toms and a 24“ bass drum make this kit the perfect playground for him to create the drive and back bone of the band.
Vic Firth 5B sticks are regularly halfed by this hell of a drummer.
What if anything are you plugging/promoting right now?
We have just released an EP with 6 songs on it, available on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer etc along with a music video to our song “This Is“. We will be releasing four more new songs over the course of the year and we have numerous music videos that will be released by end of the year. And we will hopefully get back in the studio early 2020. We are in the middle of writing new material and its some of our favourite stuff.
We are also organizing a small tour with Disposable, our thrash-metal buddies from Edinburgh. The tour will take place in the summer of 2019 mainly in Germany and Switzerland. On the german dates will be accompanied by Mess Up Your DNA.
What are your plans for 2019?
This year we have chosen to put our chances on the band which means we‘re gonna work part time jobs while the rest of the time we are able to put all our time and energy into making this dream of ours more of a reality.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think we may have divided ideas of who we want to have on a three-band bill…
Jake – I‘d love for the Andorra Bills or someone we know to open for us because it would be really fun. They‘re the band that my dad plays in and its the band I pretty much grew up with. And then Green Day, that‘d be like the biggest dream, opening for Green Day!
Max – It’d would be really fun if the French Fries would start the evening because they’re both really good friends of all of us, we have all played in separate bands with the guitarist and even got to know janic through him. As for the headline it’d have to be Fishbone for me. Their style is one of a kind and presence is phenomenal. Plus it’s a band that I’ve followed through my childhood as well.
Janic – It‘d be real sick if Black Yeti would support us and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. I believe that with our energy we could warm up the crowd perfectly for them.