After sever telephone calls and emails it finally did happen: Zipo meets his personal half-gods (in black, of course!) from Coil, John Balance and Peter Christopherson. They welcome him in a fragrant living room, full of books, Spare paintings, and dogs.
AA: What's new? Will the "Nasa-Arab" 12" be followed by a new album? Is it already finished perhaps?
JB: Oh no! We first did a mini compact disc "Coil vs. ELpH." ELpH is our new side project which could (rather than anything else) be compared to cluster. It is very quiet material, could be called 'ambient', although we don't like that term. It is more electronic, with many sound layers put on top of each other. Nearly like Stockhausen.
AA: And is the Coil track on the compact disc "Protection" identical with one of the tracks on the 12"?
PC: No, it's a new one. Respectively it is an old Coil track that was as yet unreleased.
AA: So you're doing this CD with both Coil and ELpH, but in the future these projects will go seperate ways with their own releases?
JB: Yes, exactly. There will be an ELpH 10" next.
PC: We reached a point with working on Coil for such a long time that we thought it would be good to do something else and to give this project a different name in order not to confuse people. If they read Coil, the often buy it with certain expectations.
AA: But wouldn't it be more beneficial to release everything you want to do under the name Coil instead of letting the expectations of people influence you?
JB: No, this speration is well considered and we think it is better. If we for instance record heavier, acid-like music, we will use Wormsine for our project (as yet unreleased). After more than 12 years our music has changed so much, that each time someone buys a Coil record it sounds totally different. And that's irritating. Also for us. That's why we want to originate projects.
AA: But didn't you lose homogenity during the latest Coil releases anyway?
JB: That's right. And we will carry on with Coil. Our next album will be a US only release on Trent Reznor's Nothing label. The album will be called "Backwards." Maybe it will also be released in Europe, we'll see. But the idea with the projects did already function. The first edition of 3000 copies of the ELpH compact disc has alrady been sold out at World Serpent three weeks before its release. It is very successful.
AA: Yes, especially in Germany. Some people reproach them with doing the big sell-out, becuase their (US) products are quite expensive.
JB: I personally would also like them to keep the prices as low as possible. For example, I can't agree with seeing one of our maxis in the shops for 6 pounds. It is not always their fault. I think people shouldn't pay more than necessary, I wouldn't do it either. But wait... There's a German band at the moment whose records are very expensive here, but whom I like very much: Atom Heart from Frankfurt.
AA: The would world is enthusiastic about him. Amongst other things he also does Lassigue Bendthaus, a more EBM oriented thing. I think his name is Uwe Schmidt or something. JB: Yes, we are fans of each other and keep on sending faxes. I find really everything interesting he releases.
AA: He released loads of albums during a short period of time on his Fax label.
JB: Yes, exactly. I could imagine working with him. Strangely enough we regained our enthusiasm for music and are very busy at the moment.
AA: Yes, it could be felt about 2 years ago you'd lose your enthusiasm and it was quite quiet about you anyway.
JB: That's right. But now we do all sorts of things again.
AA: Are there any long-terms plans? You've got this habit of announcing new albums frequently.
JB: Everything we announce will be released! I've always claimed this and I mean it. This is also true for the 12"s I announced years ago, as for example "Silence and Secrecy." They will all be released.
JB: Really! Even "Funeral Music for Princess Diana." We'll put that out as well.
AA: What about "Damage from a Diamond?"
JB: "D.F.A.D" is a track we did together with Tim Simenon (Bomb the Bass). His version has already been released on the Parallel record "Clear." What's called "D.F.A.D" here is called "Dial U for Ubu" there. Gavin Friday sings on this track. Tim puts out his verion of the track, and we'll release our version. We don't know yet where it will appear.
AA: Then there's "International Dark Skies." Will that be the title of the next album?
JB: Yes, that's title of the next Coil European release through World Serpent.
AA: Will there be any intersections with the US-only album?
JB: No, but it's already half-done. Might be out in the late summer.
AA: Will you still be releasing "The Sound of Music?"
JB: Yes, that's nearly ready. We just completed a 10 minute soundtrack to a Derek Jarman film "Journey to Avebury" that's a Super 8 film made in the 70s. We know his management and the people who own the Super 8 rights and we told them that we'd like to do a soundtrack. So we gathered for a weekend and did it.
AA: What else will be on "The Sound of Music?" Also excerpts of "The Angelic Conversation" soundtrack?
JB: No, nothing from that film. There will be some "Hellraiser" outtakes, we found about 20 minutes of unreleased material from these sessions. Then there will be some more unreleased soundtrack pieces. For example, we plan to remake the Jarman film on our own, drive to Avebury and make a little movie there. We would write new music for that then. "The Sound of Music" shoule be released in the following month, it will be a double compact disc.
AA: What about your label Threshold House? Is it still running? I was a bit confused becuase the Nasa Arab 12" was released on Eskaton.
JB: Threshold House is still going on. Eskaton is for single releases of electronic music.
AA: Only for you and your projects or also for other bands?
JB: There are not other bands as of yet. But if for example the cooperation with Atom Heart would be realized, that could be released on Eskaton. Or other collaborations could be released. Threshold House is reserved for Coil and other things.
AA: You've got this nice symbol for Threshould House. Does that building really exist?
JB: Well, partly. Peter Smith designed it. It was based on a text by Lovecraft. That is why tentacles reach out of the water in this drawing. The idea being this building is that of a 'temple of abomination', a building full of mysteries in which such sinister and strange things happen that nobody is able to talk about them.
AA: A question leading far back into the past: I never understood that Zos Kia, after you left and formed Coil, still used old Coil material during their shows. They were two seperate bands then, weren't they?
JB: Yes, but that was absolutely no problem. With Zos Kia we did five smaller concerts annd we also performed together at Berlin Atonal. Three people were involved in Zos Kia: John Gosling, who then proceeded on his own, me and somebody else. At the same time I also tinkered as Coil by doing which Peter helped me with mixing and engineering. At a certain point it just happened that I used many ideas from my Coil pieces for Zos Kia as well so that the material was identical. And after that John G. kept on working with this material. Why should I have any objection to that?
AA: Raymond Watts told me that John Gosling is working on a new Zos Kia album. Are you still in contact?
JB: Yes, though only sporadically. But he's a nice guy.
AA: What about Danny Hyde?
JB: He's our sound engineer, whom we need and love...
AA: Isn't he something like a full member of the band?
JB: Yes, you can put it that way, although that's kind of difficult. How do you define member? I mean, he is never involved in interviews or photos (although we hardly ever do photos), but undoubtedly he is very important for our sound even though we can make music without him. ELpH for example is a project with which he has nothing to do with. He will of course stay by our side with Coil, becuase he is just a good sound engineer. We've been working with him for ten years now, why should we look for someone else then? Danny even has his own band called Sample Nation. We didn't as yet listen to it. It's his own project, we keep our hands off that. I think it's more mainstream, with an ethnic touch and lots off appropriate samples...
AA: Ah, 'ethnic.' This leads me to a question about your contribution ("Another Brown World") on a Sub Rosa sample from the Myths series where you adapted field recordings of a ritual context. Was it difficult to get these recordings and how did it happen at all?
JB: These recordings took place in Burma. There's a site called Pagan that consists of a field of Animistic temples. There temples are not Buddhistic, but originate from the pre- Buddhistic times of Burma. There was this mountain, Popo, on which lead a spiral path which was full of Animistic statues which could be touched on the way to the top. On high was another sanctuary, a temple from which a Buddhistic monk sang religous hymns. Although he was a Buddhist, he sang the old Animistic hymns. We asked him if we might record his singing if we gave some money for the temple and he agreed. I believe that's a quite rare recording since it's difficult to find such traditionally living people in Burma these days becuase the army exerts a dominant control. I think we made these recordings in about '87 when it wasn't bad yet.
[ Marc Almond appears for a cup of tea, talks about the actual movies, his upcoming album and other things. ]
AA: You used to release special first editions. There's this ultra-rare version of "Gold is the Metal" which you can easily pay more than 1000 dm for.
JB: Yes, that's right. That version was supposed to be some sort of work of art, we wanted to create something specific. The record is wrapped in a heavy, large folder, with some drawings , more hand-made details and a golden feather. We only made 55 of them.
AA: So only for good friends?
JB: No, not really. I don't believe in making things hardly available. The limited edition results from the effort of their making. Besides, hardly anybody could afford it. We had to sell it for 55 pounds from the beginning. The price has of course increased since then.
AA: I remember reading once that a limited vinyl edition of "Stolen and Contaminated Songs" should be released. Did it ever exist?
JB: No, it was never released. We planned to do it, but it didn't happen.
AA: Andy why this plaing mailorder version of the Stolen compact disc?
JB: Well, this was planned as a smaller mailorder-only release. But then we heard a rumour that people planned to bootleg this CD and we pressed 2000 more copies. In order to come first, we made a new cover, added song titles and put the second version on the market.
AA: Will there be a remix version of "Stolen and Contaminated Songs", as it was announced by the people from the Rough Trade shop.
PC: No, that must be wrong information. But we had this idea to release two completely different versions of one album which as yet hasn't happened.
AA: With "Gold is the Metal" you gave the listener the chance to gain an insight to you way of working. On this album there are many raw pieces, demo versions or preliminary variations of upcoming songs...
JB: Yes, we thought it could be interesting.
AA: But doesn't therein lie the danger to cause more pressure by arousing expectations by giving people an insight into as yet unfinished things.
JB: No, becuase the final versions have always been released first. "Gold is the Metal" came after "Scatology" and "Horse Rotorvator."
AA: Sometimes you put out two versions of a track under different titles on different releases. "Penetralia" example.
JB: I think it's a good thing for us to do this. If you work on an album very concentrated for 10 or more weeks and work very hard on each of the tracks then someting like that is very relaxing. If each track is important and should be the hit the important part of the reocrd the it's relazing to do someting totally weird with the material, you could release all the strain by doing so.
AA: Maybe it also is interesting for you becuase the raw versions make a certain moment in time, and how you felt at this moment.
PC: Yes, sure. For us it's the best possibility to get close to the idea of working spontaneously.
JB: That's it. This reflects our way of working quite good, as we act very spontaneous and things often just happen, which is most of all true for the early tracks such as "At the Heart of it All" on "Scatology." We recorded it live in the studio, but people used to think that if a track appears on a record the bands must have been working on it for weeks, with dubbing etc. But that's not always the case. It might be that these raw versions sound strange, but on the other hand they're mostly more interesting. I like that.
AA: So this means you plan to release all of your videos at sometime in the future?
JB: Nothing records want to release a video compilation but we don't know yet if we'll do it.
AA: This is nearly ludicrous. You make lots of videos for other bands but you own ones are hardly ever available. I, for instance, only know "Windowpane."
JB: We did several clips, amongst others for "The Wheel", "Windowpane", "Love's Secret Domain", "The Snow", "Tainted Love" and some more.
AA: What I like about "Love's Secret Domain" is this 'interactivity'. The record is a progression. When you use headphones you sit in the underground and realize noises and distant fragments of conversations. and on the record you've got lots of these fragments and obscure noises too.
JB: Yes, we did it intentionally. We worked really hard and for a long time on "Love's Secret Domain" We tried to put a lot into the tracks. An example is something that sounds like percussion, that is in fact put together from a sequence of voices. At this time we also took a lot of drugs: ecstacy, lsd, and speed. At the end of "Love's Secret Domain" I nearly went mad. Nowadays we have quit taking drugs, but then it did fit. Everything on this record melts together and superimposes. We recently listened to masters of the "Windowpane" single becuase we wanted to re-cut it and I discover new things each time; it was fun to listen to this again.
AA: Will Tim Simenon (Bomb the Bass) make a remix of "Windowpane" and release it or not?
JB: I very much hope so. He said two years ago that he'll do it but it depends on how busy he is. We've known each other for a very long time and are friends, so it would be some sort of favor. But maybe he's ringing us up...
AA: "Further Back and Faster" includes these suspicious vocal samples concerning 'love and hate' etc. What/Where are they from?
JB: They are from a film called "The Night of the Hunter" with Robert Mitchum. A very strange movie, directed by Charles Laughton, who was a genius actor at the time and played in a remake of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" from the 30s/40s.
PC: But the vocal samples aren't from the film, but from a record on which Charles Laughton tells the story of the "The Night and the Hunter." So it's the voice of Laughton.
JB: We sampled it from there and played it on the keyboard and totally rearranged it. We were just completely mad in those days.
PC: You maybe!
AA: Did you have the feeling in spite of your heavy abuse of drugs you had everything under control?
JB: Yes, we wouldn't have released it otherwise. There are many things over which we lose control and which we never release then. But, we don't lose control that fast. We dare to step out, but we never drift away completely.
AA: What exactly is sidereal sound?
PC: This designation actually originates from the graphic arts/design field.
JB: Something is altered from one side. You can find it in the paintings of Austin Osman Spare which I collect. We transfer this thesis onto music and change sound from one side, we look at it as a three-dimensional structure.
PC: We use lots of computer generated sound processings, which couldn't be put into reality a year ago.
JB: For example, you can turn frequencies inside out and consequently make sounds audible that would never have been perceptible before.
AA: So strictly speaking, an implosion...
JB: Yes, exactly! A very slow implosion that turns everything inside out. We make silent music and make it sound loud.
PC: And the other way round. For example, imagine the contours of a body. This body is lying on the beach and leaves a mark after going away. You can regard this mark as the mark of a thing that is no longer there. This can be simulated with the computer by subtracting another sound from the basic sound and this extract replaces the original sound which you can't hear anymore.
AA: So you very much want to appeal to and manipulate subconcious listening.
JB: Yes, at least that's our intention. For this purpose we use this nearly mathematic estimate and work with soundcurves, replace a high by a low in these curves and so on. So it all sounds very special and unusual, which we always want to achieve.
AA: My question was related to your contribution to the "Chaos in Expansion" compilation where you are talking about sidereal sound.
JB: Yes. Even though it's very technical and basically originates in a row of boxes sidereal sound rather generally terms our way of working with concrete machines, even though they exist for hit purpose.
PC: But we never sell them! We're not in the audio equipment business even though we believe to have started something interesting here.
JB: At the end it all boils down to 100% recycling, it's completely recycled sound with which we work. And if other people want to recycle our sound, they can do just that.
PC: But we won't reveal how we recycled the stuff!
AA: Did you also use this technique on "Nasa Arab?"
JB: Yes, especially in "First Dark Ride."
AA: That record has a strong, druggy feel. I don't yet know at which speed I should play it.
PC: Why not try 40 rpm.
JB: Hmm, couldn't actually be druggy as we stopped taking that stuff.
PC: (coughs slightly!!)
JB: Okay, what I want to say: We don't need drugs to create these sounds. It's more fun working with a clean head. Particularly the mad weird things are more fun then. We just recently made two remixes of a track from the latest Scorn CD which both sound very strange and psychedelic. But we were absolutely plaing during these recordings. I like to work with sound in a very detailed way.
PC: I think though that experiences with drugs can help you realize which sounds fit to a track.
AA: But doesn't being stoned spoil the fun? I think the substantial part is that when the music itself originates. This is where intensity comes from. And if you're not totally mindful you lose it, don't you?
PC: I fully agree. I basically think it's impossible to arrange music while being on drugs. I prefer thinking that both processes supplement and extend each other, but it probably doesn't work simultaneously.
JB: We can't do it even though we maybe once reached a state of being able to. "Horse Rotorvator" is very much influenced by our speed impressions. Even though it doesn't sound that way. If you take large amounts of this stuff you start hallucinating and strange things happen.
AA: What exactly is a 'horse rotorvator'? There are these liner notes in the CD booklet.
JB: That refers to a dream of mine. In this dream the four horsemen of the apocalypse don't come to earth on their horses to bring death, pestilence, famine and other horrible things, but they kill their horses and construct a machine of their bones that ploughs up the ground like a big wheel , a very far reaching plow.
AA: So the big psychotherapeutic metaphor; displaying the depths of your soul, the forthcoming of the psyche's abysses?
JB: Yes, at any rate. I believe that we are doing this all the time anyway, but in this case it was particularly distinct. To be honest, it's sometimes difficult for me to distinguish between reality and dreams. I sometimes wake up in a semi-concious state in the morning with a dream still present in my head. It takes me up to one week then to digest this experience or act with this thought in mind.
AA: Western conceptions of dreaming are maybe completely antiquated anyway. Why must the dream always be regarded as being negative? Why do you always talk about the subconcious? Other cultures reagrad the dream as another real state of being, as another sphere in which real actions take place.
JB: Yes, I agree. It is certainly wrong to always talk about the subconcious in correlation to dreams. We think highly of C.G. Jung's anaylses, as he said "I don't believe - I know."
AA: If you recall the series of releases of "Love's Secret Domain" and "Stolen and Contaminated Songs" in time the latter shows very clearly how you treated the material on "Love's Secret Domain". You thoroughly destroyed some 'proper' songs and did a lot with the voices.
JB: Yes, that's right. I don't like my voice that much on records. In addition I consider the idea very exciting that listener has to earn his/her approach to the record. It is more interesting than doing something obvious and easy and letting people consume it. It is less fun for us then, too. It's just that we want to make our music accessible, but not right away. That's why we printed the lyrics of "L.S.D" in gold letters, so that nobody can read them. (laughs)
AA: What was it like working with Derek Jarman?
JB: Brilliant. He's just a saint.
AA: Saint of Dungeness? I actually read the autobiographies. ("Modern Nature" and "At Your Own Risk")
JB: Ah, we'll release a track called "At Your Own Risk".
PC: He was even more brilliant as a person than as an artist or filmmaker. I actually don't like many of his films, but they realized the things he was working on and also his personality was simply extraordinary.
JB: He was just unbelievable. He died of AIDS and it could happen that you met him leaving a room and humming a melody. And you think "My God, how is possible to keeping this vital energy in such a situation?" He emits this energy on others, too.
AA: This also becomes distinct in "Blue". This humor and cynicism he shows in his situation is really impressive.
JB: What was leftover for him anyway?
AA: Your contribution to the "Blue" soundtrack was beautiful. Why does it have the same title as the "Love's Secret Domain" opener? They're two different tracks.
JB: Yes. The track appears in this hospital scene. In addition Derek asked us if we could do a piece that expresses the feeling of people who caught AIDS in the disco. Therefore this heavy '70s disco beat in that track. Then this noise that comes in and destroys everything. It was difficult for us to do it, but he liked it. At the pre-screenings of "Blue" he stood up and applauded after this song and found it fantastic.
AA: I own the brilliant single. Unfortuneately it's so short.
JB: That's right. We want to do a longer version. Maybe it will appear on "The Sound of Music".
AA: Is it important for you to make your appearance or be presented in a gay context?
JB: Well, Peter and I are gay, and that's just the way it is. Drew McDowall (ex-husband of Rose), who is a permanent member of Coil now, isn't. This means that we're not fixed upon gay people, but we work with the people we like.
PC: It irritates us when there are articles in papers about bands who are considered to be gay and we aren't mentioned.
JB: Especially with regard to the alternative sector, where we've been an exceptional band for more than 10 years now and some journalists just keep ignoring it. For example, people like John Savage. They have their own ghetto of bands who are currently popular and beyond that nothing happens. He writes some feature about disco music and most likely mentions Bronski Beat and Jimmy Summerville but nothing beyond that. I mean, we've existed for quite a while now and define ourselves as a gay band. When Stephen Thrower was in the band we were completely gay.
PC: As far as I know we were also the first band who made an AIDS benefit record.
JB: Yes, WaxTrax! admitted officially now that we are the first band who made an AIDS benefit record, "Tainted Love" in 1984. That's why we get excited over people like John Savage and if I meet him sometime I'll most likely belabour him to show him that I'm very serious about this thing. It's not becuase he doesn't mention us, we don't make much of it anyway, but because of the fact that someone who works on such an article simply must come across upon us. Especially him, who played together with us in Psychic TV, should know better.
PC: We never tried to promote the typical gay lifestyle or something, but we're just honest with regard to things that are important to us.
JB: Exactly, and if somebody comes and asks us we tell them "Yes, we are gay." Lee Bowery (recently deceased performance artist and good friend of Coil) was gay too, but no one ever dared to ask him about it. Maybe people are afraid of doing it?
AA: You are mentioned in the book "Queer Noise" by John Gill in the alternative section. Before he speaks his mind about Pet Shop Boys and John Cale, but in the alternative part he talks about you, Test Dept. and others.
JB: Good to hear that. There are obviously people who do a good job at researching their facts. A better job than John Savage anyway.
AA: Is it important for a complete understanding of your music for oneself to be gay?
JB: No, of course not. We'll inform anybody who is interested but beyond that it doesn't play any role.
PC: I don't think that we ever did a love song in which relations in accordance with that played a role. It's always more complicated and ambiguous than that.
AA: Something like 'gay music' doesn't exist anyway.
PC: Right, maybe the most relevant record in this context was "How to Destroy Angels".
JB: It was only called "music for the accumulation of male sexual energy" becuase we were just not female.
PC: Which doesn't mean that we won't ever concentrate a work upon female sexual energy at some time or other.
JB: I would very much like to do it. I'd like to record a whole album that we could dedicate to the moon.
AA: What exactly is the concept of "International Dark Skies"?
JB: That's a movement in which people stand up for using sources of light as economically as possible so that the stars could be seen again. As street lamp is effective enough if it gives it's light to the bottom. It doesn't have to spread it's light to all the other directions. If we're on holiday in the country (as for example Scotland), we experience things. People just aren't responsive enough anymore to the essential things. That's why it nearly kills me living in London. I'm so fed up it just doesn't satisfy me anymore sitting in my house and gathering all sorts of goods and books. I don't want that anymore.
AA: What are some social consequences of this? How do you perceive society? How far do all those misanthropic statements really lead? (for example: the "Fist" interview)
JB: I stand to these statements. I don't believe that man is much more than an evil animal. We have our bad habits, we don't give a shit for the planet, that's they way it is. This is my understanding since my 10th birthday and as early as then I had a sensibility for the things that happened around me.
AA: Might be, but that doesn't give anybody the right to degrade somebody else. The discussion about birth control for example.
JB: You're right about the first part. But what do you have against birth control?
PC: I think it should be introduced for everybody. The difference to fascist times lies therein that they decided who might live and who not. We just say everybody should die. (laughs)
JB: Nonsense! But everybody should only have one child and should goddamn care for that child. Then if everybody would comply with this it might be possible that the earth continues to exist. Otherwise I don't see how the planet should be able any longer to shelter such masses of people. To put things right, I'm not talking about races or certain groups, I'm thinking about everybody's quality of living. That has nothing to do with fascist ideas, everybody has the same right to live.
AA: In your interviews words like and people like magic, A.O. Spare, and Crowley always appear. How important are those people and magic in your music?
JB: It's hard to say how important magic is with reagard to our music. But my whole life consists of magic and therefore the music originates in magic. I'm just discussing with Kenneth Anger how Crowley could be appreciated properly. There's a magic flow that flows through us all and for which and for which we are responsible. Even if it ruins our life, which happens quite often. But you can't talk about Crowley's spirit, but about THE spirit. Even Crowley was exposed to the same forces. Kenneth tries to guide this flow through films. We try it partly through films, but also through music.
AA: With regard to magic I was talking about the concrete ritual practices.
JB: Oh yes, I have my personal rituals. But I was never a member of one of those groups like O.T.O becuase I simply don't believe in such groups.
AA: You used the bullroarer during the "How to Destroy Angels" recording sessions which is a holy instrument for other cultures.
JB: Yes, I know. We smeared it with blood and no woman was allowed to enter the studio, which has nothing to do with sexistic attitudes, but would simply have disturbed the ritual. After all this was related to male attributes and if we'd done the same about feminine nature no man would have been allowed to be present, not even ourselves. You need these units and parameters for an adequately performed ritual.
AA: Does your music function as a some sort of ritual?
JB: Not for ourselves, but maybe for other people. That is one reason why Coil exists. Each piece of music we create originates with the ulterior motive of other people in our heads. The music just flows through us, it is actually not our music at all. Maybe we could be called shamen.
AA: Elsewhere you mentioned the references to the ancestors, the forefathers. What about that?
JB: I think our life is determined by them. The spirits of the ancestors build the substance of the present life. Everybody sees images of his ancestors in other people and because of our forefathers we frequently have these feelings of guilt and also feeling something like ethnic. Even more this also true for animals which shows that we are all the same. It's strange and also frightening.
AA: Which means that we are reborn?
JB: Absolutely, I believe that.
AA: Doesn't it bear the danger of pushing off omissions, responsibilities and misdeeds to the the next life?
JB: Well, compare this to the christian way of thinking where it's said: No matter whatever you did wrong in your life, everything will be forgiven when you die. It's complete bullshit, people don't act more responsible with this in mind. If you carry responsibility past your present life, you'll appreciate and respect your background. I take christianity for a stupid religion, although it is more the fault of the church. You are much more responsible as a pagan than as a christian. You can't allow yourself any shit and in the end you're forgiven. Every deed has consequences for the next life. I think that everything is alive and everything has a soul. Everything is holy, even though I have my preferences.
AA: Does your music have soul?
JB: I hope so, after all the work we invested in it! And it has the power to change things. Our music also aims at changing and initiating things. This maybe makes us dangerous, or naive, but I feel that this is affect is actually achieved.
AA: This gives each note an enormous importance. How do you manage to look at your song in an analytic way? How do you know which sound at which place achieves the best effect?
PC: Good question.That really can't be answered. Even though we attach great importance to our sound recordings it's a more instinctive process.
AA: This mixture of scholarly structures and psychedelic drug feel came through very obviously on "Nasa Arab".
PC: Yes, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a contradiction.
JB: Sounding psychedelic does not yet mean to lose control. It's the opposite for us, it means total control. You control several psychic stages.
AA: What about the Clawfist single, "Is Suicide a Solution"?
JB: It's based upon the suicide of a friend who jumped out of the 4th floor while listening to Coil and being on an LSD trip. The cover shows the view from his window. It moved us very much, we were very shocked. Not becuase we felt guilty in any way, but becuase he was a good friend. The track "Is Suicide a Solution" is based upon "Who'll Fall" from "Stolen and Contaminated Songs", which also deals with that suicide.
AA: You once made music for a gay porno, didn't you?
JB: No, not real pornos. "A Gay Man's Guide to Safer Sex" was a gay explanation video. Where also the song "Protection" appears is on the actual Coil vs. ELpH cd. The other film, "Sarah Dale's Sensuous Massage" was sort of a hetero-erotic thing.
Congratulations, you sticked it out bravely. Believe me, I've edited here, otherwise the interviews would have been 10 pages long. Coil were great and easy people to talk with and if you get the rare oppurtunity to meet both of them at once you should interrogate John and Peter, which is what I did. Their plans: "Unnatural History II", the acid project Black Light District and maybe the disco record with W.S. Burroughs - "Keep this Frequently Clear". The underground comic with Dark Horse publishing will not appear with the, but the book with sun symbols in collaboration with the artist John Coulthard will appear. Next release will be the ELpH CD "Worship the Glitch".