Our first encounter with Coil was in Spasm 3 back in January 1992, and featured an interview with Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson . Geoff Burton, or as he is better know John Balance, the other half, was ill and did not attend. At this point I had nothing to do with the magazine, and had only just been introduced to the pleasures of Coil by hearing pieces such as "How To Destroy Angels" and "The Snow".
Three years on I venture towards Coil's house and recording studio, I am to interview Geoff and Coil's new third member Drew McDowell. Drew has worked with Coil many times before but has now become an official member, and the Eskaton connection. "He's got us going, basically" said John when queried. "He's coincided with a burst of creativity - I think he might have something to do with it. As opposed to Steve Thrower who was excellent at his negativity."
"Eskaton records is our new imprint. After 12 years of Coil we decided it seemed a good idea to fragment and just produce music. Coil was just becoming a rope round our neck, especially with people asking us for live gigs once a week - at £5000 each time" - sounds like a fair deal - "After 12 years like Cabaret Voltaire or something you feel that you just want to do something different, so we just formed a new label and said 'Anything that we do we will create a name for' - we've got groups like Trial By Music and Wormicide. Wormicide is our sort of hard acid stuff - spastic acid - which came out before Richie Hawtin did it. Black Light District was sort of soundtrack stuff. All these offshoot groups basically. Which we make known as Coil."
"It's just a chance to be really self indulgent" commented Drew. "Like the ELpH stuff that's playing now. We started listening backwards to Cluster, and, I'm not sure I should mention Tangerine Dream. All the German groups and all the really early systems musics like Lamont Young. It just seemed refreshing again, I've been through a twelve year cycle. I feel like a teenager again."
Drew expands, "When we were doing this (The ELpH) stuff, it was like, we felt we were taking it to far, we we're disappearing up our own arses."
"Safest place to be isn't it?" - at least you know where you are.
Coil have always be known for having an interest in cults, rituals and weird science, which for them is partly a spectator sport and partly inspirational. "Eskatology is the study of the end of the world. It sort of ties in with Terrance McKenna and his 2012 theory. Instead of the Big Bang being the beginning of history, we are in fact being hurled toward an object or something at the end of history, and that end of history will be 2012. I don't take that may drugs anymore, but I feel there is something going on. Both me and Drew agree with this, that psychic abilities and coincides are increasing exponentially, or whatever one of those upward going curves is. You feel that time is overlapping at times,were actually reaching a spiral point"
"Things are getting weirder, people are having weirder dreams, there's more and more coincidences. It's escalating to the Eskaton."
Having been together for twelve years, and working in the "music industry" for longer they come across a lot of different musics and perspectives. Influences are not noticeable in thee records, but are they influenced by others and who? "Musically, Atom Heart. I don't know, when people ask that, it doesn't influence me"
"Enthusiasm as opposed to influence."
"I would never try and consciously copy anyone musically, as I said like Lamont Young. Just the purity of it, I wanted to make sacred music."
"The Cluster stuff they did without Eno. The stuff they did with Eno was all right, but the stuff without him was brilliant."