Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Coil update with John Balance

This isn't an interview as such but as each issue of Compulsion neared completion I'd contact Coil for an update on activities. The following formed the basis for the update contained within the second issue of Compulsion. This heavily edited, conversation was conducted with John Balance sometime in 1994.

It was a thousand copies on blue vinyl on our own label. Themes from Derek Jarman's Blue. There was also the Clawfist single. That just disappeared totally. I only got around 50 of them. It was 'Is Suicide A Solution?', a single version of 'Who'll Fall' from the CD. Y'know the one with the answering messages. We're also doing a single of 'Nasa-Arab', maybe one-sided on Threshold House.

Coil - Is Suicide A Solution? single mix

Coil The Angelic Conversation
We tried to and wanted to rework it but the thing is we couldn't find any of the old tapes. So all we had was the actual thing with Judi, Dame Judi Dench as she is now, talking over the top. It's sounds okay, we thought it might be a bit boring.

Black Light District
Oh yeah right. We're doing one, Black Light District. It's going to be an ambient album. It's me and Sleazy and a guy called Drew McDowall. He's been a friend of ours for about 10 years but we've started working with him. He was married to Rose McDowall from Strawberry Switchblade. It's not dance at all; it's major trip music. Very vague long pieces and some, I hesitate to say Tangerine Dream, but very early German electronic sounding stuff. We did 2 tracks, about 20 minutes of material and I want to get it out pretty soon. That'll be through World Serpent. It will be double vinyl and a long CD.

I'm considering setting up a new label just because Coil are going in one direction and all our other projects are going in another.

International Dark Skies
It's still happening. Well, Boudisque who were putting it out have gone bankrupt. I think we've got it back again. They gave us a £10000 advance but we're not sure what's happening. We're putting it out now through World Serpent.
Who is on it?
Loads of people. Tim Simenon, Diamanda Galas still might do something. We speak to her occasionally. There's a person more, just trying to think who it is... It's only really two of us, me and Sleazy and it drives you mad if you're working on something for 2 years. You need other people's input so even if it doesn't turn out on the record that they've done anything it's good to sort of bounce ideas around.

It's what we're working on next month. It's going to be very strange music even by Coil standards. I don't like the word ambient so we're just calling it electronic music. It's got beats and stuff, seriously mind-bending. I'm very happy with what we've done so far.

Coil - demo tracks for Backwards

Backwards and Nine Inch Nails
We're doing an album for Nine Inch Nail's label in America for early next year. And it seems Mick Harris' contributions will go towards that one which is called Backwards. This will be on Nothing. He's going to put out Horse Rotorvator and Scatology in America. The thing is we've got such a loose relationship with him. He'll give us money and we've got no contracts or anything. I want him to put everything out, eventually. But because of Nine Inch Nails I feel like I want to do an album that goes in that direction. Much more vocal, cos all our recent stuff has had few vocals on I really want to get back into doing more aggressive vocal - not rock music by any chance but violent pieces.

The Downward Spiral
I've only heard it bit by bit. I like it. I like it a lot. We've got two more remixes to do from that. We're doing a remix of 'The Downward Spiral' track and 'Eraser'. We're doing that next week. We've done 'Closer' and 'Gave Up' before.
Coil videos
Trent wants to put them out in America but I don't think we've done enough. We've never had enough money.
Third World War Solar Lodge Peter's film with Trent
The totally unreleased one. We haven't got anything on that, I can tell you that. We didn't even bring a copy of the video into England. It's that heavy. Trent has been talking about it now. We almost agreed not to talk about it all, between us all. He showed it to his record company apparently. It'll probably turn up in some FBI files.

Coil / Nurse With Wound collaboration
That's happening when it happens. I just stayed with Steve in Ireland. The thing is he has no water, no electricity, as lightning had struck the trees. There's no bath or anything. There are goats all over the place. He's not in a situation to record but we were talking about doing it by the end of the year. It will be good when it happens.

Black Sun books
I keep asking people to do stuff and all they do is draw a black sun and send it to me. It's not quite what I want. I want something more in-depth. If I find enough people, right people to do it. It's confusing as I want to do a Coil, sort of like a fanzine and we'll call it Black Sun and we're also doing a book on the Black Sun symbol, the Chaosphere, the Chaos star or whatever.
Crisis 2000AD, Third World War had a strip with lyrics from 'Solar Lodge'.
Did it? A proper comic?
Yeah, it had lyrics from the Dead Kennedys, Chumbawamba and Coil. I'll send you something from it...
We were supposed to do Underground. It came out but it was crap. No CD or anything. Most of it was written material even the comic. Somebody must have left the company.

...speaking of comics there was Current 93's The Nodding Folk
You'll need to speak to David about that. I did the music for it, all that stupid toy town type music which we ran off one morning.

The Nodding Folk - Love Dance Of The Nodding Folk

The full text of the Compulsion 2 update can be found here

The Broken movie conceived by Trent Reznor and Peter Christopherson can be found at

You can read more about the Broken movie in our interview with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.