Geordie Walker

Kevin "Geordie" Walker (born 18 December 1958) is an English rock musician, best known as the guitarist from the post-punk group Killing Joke. His unorthodox style of electric guitar playing is widely acclaimed; Byrds-like chiming arpeggios of repetitive and somewhat somber melodies with a hypnotic long-sustain tone.

Killing Joke have influenced numerous bands such as Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Jane's Addiction, My Bloody Valentine, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Soundgarden, Metallica and Marilyn Manson. Shoegazing guitarist and composer Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine mentioned the band and specifically praised Walker's touch, which he described as "this effortless playing producing a monstruous sound".

In November, the band received the "Innovator Award" at the 2010 Classic Rock Roll of Honour; the award was presented to Killing Joke by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, who stated, "I go back a long way with Jaz Coleman and the band. I used to go and see the band, and it was a band that really impressed me because Geordie's guitar sound was just really, really strong. And they were really tribal, the band, and it was really intense. It was just really good to hear something like that during the 80s, which sort of caved in a bit with haircuts and synthesizers". The band were also honoured by Metal Hammer at their annual awards, receiving the Album of the Year award for Absolute Dissent.

Life and career

When he was fourteen, Walker's family moved south from Newcastle to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, 45 miles northwest of London. It was here that he acquired his nickname due to his northeastern "Geordie" accent (which he has subsequently lost).

Walker moved to London to study architecture and became a founding member of Killing Joke in 1979 when he responded to an advertisement placed by the singer Jaz Coleman. He had never played in a band before. Walker and Coleman have been the only constant members of the group since.

Walker has also been a member of industrial music supergroups Murder, Inc. and The Damage Manual.

Although most known for playing electric guitar, he has also used acoustic guitars; sparingly on the albums Outside the Gate (1988) and Pandemonium (1994), and more liberally on Democracy (1996).

Like Guns N' Roses' Slash, Walker is known for smoking cigarettes on stage, even in United States venues where smoking is prohibited.

Walker now lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit with his wife and son, Lloyd (Atticus). During his recent work with Killing Joke, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell (2006), he was based in Prague where he has been involved in various other projects too, including overseeing the work of UK girl punk rock act Mary-Jane at Faust Studios.


His preferred guitar of choice is a golden, hollow-bodied 1952 Gibson ES-295:

Having started out with a Burman amplifier with custom Burman 8 x 10 cabinets, He currently uses 2 x Framus Dragon Head amplifiers, he has also recently experimented with a Marshall Vintage Modern which he describes as being similar to the Burmans (specifically the use of 4 pre amp tubes and KT66's although the Burmans had KT77's power amp valves).

Prior to his ES-295, he used a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, which had been a Christmas gift from his mother when he was 15, and a Gibson SG Junior, which he had bought later.

Walker's effects include two PA:CE (Parmee Acoustics and Collins Electromagnetics) Automatic Double Tracker units, one under the Bell Electrolabs brand (one of the many sub brands PA:CE sold their products under) and the other under the PA:CE brand name. He has also been known to use an Electro-harmonix Memory Man for echo effects during the 1980s, and recently has been using two Line 6 Delay Modelers, as well as a T-Rex Roommate (reverb effect).