This past Thursday (13/11) marked the tenth anniversary of the death of COIL’s Jhonn Balance. His passing effectively ended the band’s existence and brought to a close quite possibly the strangest musical journey yet chronicled. We thought it important to remember his life and work, therefore, our readers are encouraged to use the comments section below to add their own thoughts about the remarkable career of both COIL and Balance.
Every man and woman is a star.
Coil were (and still are) a massive influence on me and on my music. I’m hard-pressed to think of any other band that left their mark on so many different styles of music. For me, though, it’s pieces like Cardinal Points, Blood From the Air, and their Hellraiser soundtrack that are most relevant. I re-watched Hellraiser recently and was thinking how wonderful it would be to see an edit that incorporated the music that they made. Failing to see them live is one of my great regrets.
I can’t pick an era. I only know what an insurmountable void they left behind. Bits and pieces of their works filter through everything out there, dispersing over the years into an almost gossamer membrane stretching across time and space itself. Some days I forget they’ve gone just for an instant and then it all comes rushing back.
In the looming silence all that can be heard: It Just Is…
Coil has been a massive influence on my writing, and my life, for the best part of thirty years – when I heard ‘Ubu Noir’ for the first time, it felt as if someone had put a soundtrack to my nightmares. Balance’s loss – and the ending of Coil – has left an unfillable void, now even bigger with Sleazy also gone. Fortunately, they left us a huge legacy but it seems a terrible, terrible waste to have lost Balance at such a young age. I’ve been to his memorial in Cumbria twice now and it’s a beautiful place for reflection and inspiration.