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Background information
Also known asPacifier
OriginWellington, NZ
GenresAlternative rock, hard rock, thrash metal
Years active1988 - present
LabelsWildside, Warner, Roadrunner, UNFD
MembersKarl Kippenberger, Phil Knight, Tom Larkin, Jon Toogood
Past membersHamish Lang, Geoff Duncan, Geoff Daniels

Band members

  • Current line-up
    • Karl Kippenberger (bass, percussion)
    • Phil Knight (guitar, synth)
    • Tom Larkin (drums, samples)
    • Jon Toogood (vocals, guitar)
  • Former members
    • Hamish Lang (bass) 1989 - 1991
    • Geoff Duncan (bass) 1989
    • Geoff Daniels (bass) 1988 - 1989

Band information

Since moving to Australia in the mid-1990s, Shihad has become one of the country's most popular and successful acts with a string of Top 40 albums to their credit and a long list of sold-out tours. In 2010 they were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame as one of that country's most successful exports. All the band's albums have charted Top 20 in New Zealand, and six of them have gone to #1. Over the years, the band has shown themselves to be a remarkably dextrous unit whose broadly hard rock style has shifted from Bay Area-inspired thrash to an abrasive hard rock, through to an alterna/industrial-metal phase to mainstream hard rock and even into electronic areas.

Shihad was formed in Wellington, NZ, in 1988 by singer/guitarist Jon Toogood and drummer Tom Larkin, with the name being inspired by the word "jihad" in the film Dune. After a brief formative period that saw some early bass players come and go, Shihad opened for bands like Faith No More and Anthrax before releasing the EP "Devolve" that peaked at #20 on the NZ chart. This recording is now very rare and is the only release in the band's catalogue not to feature the current line-up. Bass player Hamish Lang left Shihad in 1991 and was replaced by Karl Kippenberger and the band has existed in this configuration ever since.

Shihad's Jaz Coleman-produced debut album Churn appeared in mid-1993, with the first single "I Only Said" peaking at #3 on the NZ chart, the first of sixteen NZ Top 40 singles (and three EPs) to date. The Killjoy album from two years later would be the band's breakthrough, its groundbreaking blend of industrial rock and grunge making it one of the best heavy rock albums of the early 90s. Having first appeared at the Auckland Big Day Out in 1994, they backed up again in 1995 and in 1996 played all the Australian legs as well (except the Gold Coast), before going on to support Pantera. Shihad has since appeared at the Big Day Out more often than any other band: 1994 - 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 - 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

The band moved into the alternative rock area for their self-titled album from 1996, which included "Home Again" and "La La Land", two of their best known songs. They toured Australia with Tool and eventually moved base to Melbourne. 1999's General Electric, produced by Garth Richardson, went on to become Shihad's biggest selling, shifting double platinum on both sides of the Tasman and giving the band their first Australian top 40 album. The band continued to tour relentlessly throughout both countries and began to make an impact in the US. Like so many others however, Shihad's attempt to break the American market was unsuccessful. Following the terrorist attacks on New York on September 11, 2001, Shihad announced that they were changing their name to Pacifier to avoid any connotations with the word "jihad" (ironically, as that's where the name actually came from). Their first (and, subsequently, only) album under that name was produced in LA with Josh Abrahams, who had previously worked with bands like Korn and Staind, and the resultant album was a reflection of his radio-friendly nu-metal direction. Pacifier included Scott Wieland (Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver) and Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal on the track "Coming Down". The album proved generally unpopular with both fans and the band and despite the song "Bullitproof" making a slight dent on the US charts, was not a hit (although it reached #1 in New Zealand).

Reacting to the album's failure, Shihad reverted to their original name for the Love is the New Hate, their darkest album since Killjoy and arguably also the heaviest. Beautiful Machine showed a more experiemental side, with danceable beats and extended use of synths, samples and electronic flourishes. While the electronic elements were retained for the follow-up, Ignite was a distinctly rawer and heavier release, becoming the band's fourth NZ #1 album. In 2010 Shihad opened for AC/DC in New Zealand and later in the year played a series of shows where they performed the Churn and Killjoy albums in their entirety. The band's double best of compilation Meanest Hits appeared mid-2012 and the band toured Australia and New Zealand playing a two hour set that covered their entire recorded history. In early 2013 they toured Australia with Black Sabbath.

Shihad worked with Coleman once again on FVEY. Released in August 2014, it gave them a fifth NZ #1 album and #9 in Australia, their second highest album ranking. The album was also nominated for an ARIA for Best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Release. The following year Killjoy was re-released in a remastered version to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Shihad toured New Zealand and Australia for their 30th anniversary in 2018 and in 2020 began work on a new album. Old Gods was released in October 2021 and gave Shihad their fourth consecutive (and sixth overall) NZ #1. It peaked at #15 in Australia, but touring had to be cancelled due to COVID. In early 2022 they were added to the Uncaged Festival tour.



1993 Churn Wildside
1995 Killjoy Wildside
1996 Shihad Wildside
1999 The General Electric Warner
2002 Pacifier (as Pacifier) Warner
2003 Pacifier: Live (as Pacifier) Warner
2005 Love is the New Hate Warner
2008 Beautiful Machine Warner
2010 Ignite Roadrunner
2012 Meanest Hits Warner
2014 FVEY Warner
2021 Old Gods UNFD


1993 I Only Said Wildside
1994 Stations Wildside
1994 Derail Wildside
1995 You Again Wildside
1995 Bitter Wildside
1995 Gimme Gimme Wildside
1996 Deb's Night Out Wildside
1996 La La Land Wildside
1997 A Day Away Wildside
1997 Home Again Wildside
1998 Yr Head is a Rock Wildside
1998 Ghost From the Past Wildside
1999 My Mind's Sedate Warner
2000 The General Electric Warner
2000 Pacifier Warner
2000 Sport and Religion Warner
2002 Comfort Me Warner
2002 Run Warner
2003 Bullitproof Warner
2003 Everything Warner
2005 Alive Warner
2005 All the Young Fascists Warner
2005 Shot in the Head Warner
2005 Dark Times Warner
2006 None of the Above Warner
2008 One Will Hear the Other Warner
2008 Vampires Warner
2008 Beautiful Machine Warner
2008 Rule the World Warner
2010 Sleepeater Warner
2010 Lead or Follow Warner
2012 Right Outta Nowhere Warner
2014 Think You're So Free Warner
2020 I Got You UNFD
2021 Tear Down These Names UNFD
2021 Little Demons UNFD
2021 Feel the Fire UNFD
2021 Empire Falling UNFD


1990 Devolve Independent
1998 The Blue Light Disco Warner
2002 Suck on This (as Pacifier) Warner
2005 Alive Warner