Killing Joke have inspired artists of different genres. They have been namechecked by several heavy rock bands such as Metallica and Soundgarden. Metallica covered "The Wait" and James Hetfield picked Coleman as one of his favourite singers.
Soundgarden cited them as one of their main influences when they started playing. Helmet covered "Primitive" in 1993. Faith No More stated that all their members liked the group, qualifying them as a "great band". Geordie's style inspired Kurt Cobain's of Nirvana, according to Bill Janovitz of "Allmusic", with the use of a metallic sound mixed with a shimmering Chorused effect.
The Foo Fighters, the second band of Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, covered "Requiem" in 1997. Metal band Fear Factory recorded "Millenium" in 2005. Jane's Addiction said that the group was one of their influences: singer Perry Farrell was inspired by the percussive and tribal aspect of their music as their drummer Matt was with their "groove".