Frequently Asked Questions

Peter (Sleazy) Christopherson and Geff (Balance) Rushton

What is the talk of Backwards and when is it coming out?

Backwards is one of the working titles for an album that is allegedly going to be released in the US through Trent Reznor's Nothing imprint. As for when it will materialize, Coil don't know themselves. But look at the positive side, they have released numerous full-length LPs and a multitude of singles since they announced their ties to Nothing Records in 1993!

Do Coil ever play live?

There were early performances as Zos Kia back in 1983/1984 but Coil hadn't played live since then... until 2000, when they played two concerts in London at the Royal Festival Hall and once in Barcelona at Sonar 2000. Since then, they have started doing performances on an irregular basis in various locations. The news page is the best place to find the latest info about recent and upcoming concerts

What is Ars Nova?

An illegal operation from Russia which is bootlegging Coil, Current 93 and other releases, resulting in terrible sound quality, poor cover scans and frequent tracking errors. These are not "limited editions" as they're advertised on eBay, just really poor bootleg copies.

When did John and Peter meet?

In the late 1970s, John was a fan/collector of Throbbing Gristle and wrote many letters to and from the group. They first started working together musically during the early Psychic TV days, breaking off in 1984 to pursue Coil full-time.

How can I find Coil's albums? Who stocks their out of print albums?

There's a list of links to mail order outlets on the Brainwashed community page (no longer working) which is probably going to be more successful and cost-effective than some of the major retail chains who would stock their stuff at a higher price. As for stocking out of print albums, well, that all depends on who's selling their copies, right?

Will Love's Secret Domain ever be reissued? It sells for high prices and Coil aren't making any money off of this, why don't they reissue it?

Love's Secret Domain will finally be reissued in late August, 2001.

Why don't Coil ever answer the emails I send them?

Sometimes they're a bit too busy with recording music, directing videos and doing housework in their quiet house in the country.

What were the Songs of the Week? How can I get them?

Song of the Week was a series of MP3 songs given away free from the website. Unfortunately some people decided to abuse that free privilige by redistributing them. That led to people obtaining the songs w/o the disclaimers posted on the site which clearly stated the feature would be removed if people tried to sell the songs on CD-Rs instead of give them away. People are still trying to sell the CD-Rs, so if you see them, denand the songs for free, since they got the songs for free.

Why doesn't Coil simply release all the Songs of the Week?

There's an issue of Quality Control that Coil like to have with their own music. Many of the featured songs were things in their early stages, unmixed, unproduced, unreleased or abandoned. Lots of those songs will resurface at some point in more polished Coil-friendly versions. Coil have become popular over the years for their quality of music and to release something of unfinished nature wouldn't be much like their style.

Where can I download/FTP tracks by Coil?

There are no official, semi-offical or sanctioned FTP sites or MP3 file servers for Coil downloads. Coil have made it quite easy to get nearly all of their recordings, so there should be no need for unnecessary bootlegging. Coil do not officially authorize free downloads of their music but are aware bootlegs exist. Don't ever pay for a bootleg, somebody's making money who got something for free most likely. If you want to preview songs before buying albums, there's plenty of excerpts available for download on this website. If you think their albums are too expensive, look around, you can find deals out there. Save your money or work more hours, you'll appreciate the music more!

What are Coil's interpretation of the events leading up to Genesis P-Orridge's exile?

They have better things to discuss and be concerned about. Ask them and see if -you- get an answer!

Are there really errors in tracklistings on the CDs of Scatology, Horse Rotorvator and Gold is the Metal? What about the tracklisting on the Astral Disaster LP?

Yes, there are errors, check the discography for the corrections.

What is the actual plan of the Blacklight series?

The original plan was to have several releases during 1996, all of which would then be reworked into a box set release (with some input from Steven Stapleton of NWW). This didn't happen.

Does a limited CD release of Worship the Glitch (with reflective cover) actually exist?

It most certainly does exist. There is a front and back insert of black holographic paper with a sort of moire pattern in it. It is in addition to the usual artwork, so everything in the regular release is present (such as the track listing), but hard to access in the back panel. (A nice-looking release, though!)

Why is Worship the Glitch creadited to Coil vs. Elph? Who or what is Elph? Why is Worship the Glitch on Eskaton and not on Threshold House?

1. Its a double-headed secret
2. Balance and Christopherson & company; in other words, Coil. (Ditto for Black Light District.)
3. Eskaton is Threshold House.

JB & PC have reported some interesting and freakish things in the past (like spectral entities floating around during the recording of Love's Secret Domain etc). Worship the Glitch apparently focused on the use of spontaneous sounds and "mistakes" in programming and processing and stuff. Certainly at times the music Coil were involved in recording sometimes took on a life of its own. JB & PC mentioned at one time or another that they felt something astral/ spectral/ alien/ non-Terrestrial/ etc was attempting to communicate with them, through their music. ELpH, in this case, would represent that entity while Coil still refers to the band members themselves. ELpH appears first on Worship the Glitch, possibly indicating that the influence was primarily ELpH-ish, while on Protection Coil is first, indicating perhaps that PC & JB were the main resource.

What are the catalogue numbers of the releases on Coil's Eskaton label?

001 Coil vs The Eskaton "Nasa-Arab" 12"
002 Coil vs eLph "Born Again Pagans" (aka "Protection") CDEP
003 eLph "Philm" 10"
004 poster included with initial edition of #003
005 "wobbly" Coil logo enamel pin
006 eLph vs Coil "Worship the Glitch" CD
007 eLph vs Coil "Worship the Glitch" 2x10"
008 Coil presents Black Light District "1000 Lights..." CD
009 Coil presents Black Light District "1000 Lights..." 2xLP
010 Time Machines CD
011 Coil "Spring Equinox: Moon's Milk or Under and Unquiet Skull" CDEP
012 Coil "Spring Equinox: Moon's Milk or Under and Unquiet Skull" 7"
013 Coil "Summer Solstice: Bee Stings" 7"
014 Coil "Summer Solstice: Bee Stings" CDEP
015 Coil "Fall Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers" 7"
016 Coil "Fall Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers" CDEP
017 Coil/Zos Kia "Transparent" LP
018 Coil "Winter Solstice: North" 7"
019 Coil "Winter Solstice: North" CDEP
020 Coil "Queens of the Circulating Library" CD
021 Thighpaulsandra "Some Head" CDEP
022 Timewatch (the Coil watch which spins backwards)
023 Coil concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London April 2, 2000
024 Coil Presents Time Machines "Live at the Royal Festival Hall" CD
024 Coil "Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil" CD [yes, they used 024 twice]
026 Thighpaulsandra "I, Thighpaulsandra" 2xCD
027 Thighpaulsandra "Michel Publicity Window" CDEP
033 COH "Love Uncut" CDEP

What are Eskaton 025 and 028-032?

Unconfirmed/unused at this point.

How about the Chalice label?

Graal 001 Various "Foxtrot" CD / 2x10"
Graal 002 Coil "Musick to Play in the Dark vol. 1" LP
Graal 003 Coil "Musick to Play in the Dark vol. 1" CD
Graal 004 Coil "Musick to Play in the Dark vol. 2" LP
Graal 005 Coil "Musick to Play in the Dark vol. 2" CD

How about Threshold House?

Loci 1 Gold is the Metal with the Broadest Shoulders LP/CD
Loci 2 The Wheel/The Wheal 7"
Loci CD 2 Unnatural History CD
Loci 3 Windowpane 12"
Loci CD 4 Stolen and Contaminated Songs CD
Loci CD 4b Stolen and Contaminated Songs (reissue) CD
Loci CD 5 How to Destroy Angels CD
Loci CD 6 The Angelic Conversation CD
Loci CD 7 Windowpane/The Snow CD
Loci S1 Themes from Blue 7"
Loci CD 10 Unnatural History 2 CD
Loci CD 11 Gold is the Metal with the Broadest Shoulders (1996 reissue) CD
Loci CD 12 Unnatural History 3 CD
Loci CD 13 Transparent CD
Loci CD 14 Astral Disaster (second issue) LP/CD
Loci CD 15 Scatology (2001 reissue) CD
Loci CD 16 Horse Rotorvator (2001 reissue) CD

(all Threshold House releases are by Coil)

What are Loci 8 and 9?

Unconfirmed/unused at this point.

What is Siderial Sound? I understand the deep listening theories, but how do they manage to make your recordings sound so . . . deep?

Sleazy says, "I'm not able to be specific about Sidereal Sound but it has to with the manipulation of sound files on a very big Mac (computer)." Common dictionaries define sidereal as relating to the motion and/or position of the stars.

Coil and others had releases on L.A.Y.L.A.H. Anti-Records. What does L.A.Y.L.A.H. stand for?

It's a Crowley reference. A reference to his Scarlet Woman, who he named LAYLAH, it might also be a sly reference to Sexual energies of man and woman, man being solar and woman being lunar, or as has been stated here, "Night", which apparently is Arabic in etiology. In Crowley's sublime work, "The Book Of Lies", in Chapter 28 he states it as such in acrostic fashion: "Love Alway Yieldeth: Love Alway Hardeneth". In the notes to this chapter he also writes that LAYLAH stands for the ultimate feminine symbol.

Could you outline some of the staples of the Coil studio setup, as far as instruments and recording gear?

Sleazy once again says, "Our sound sources include quite a lot of original analog gear (OSCAR, Korg Poly-6, EMS synthi, Roland Juno60 - all midi-retro fitted BTW) plus the usual samplers (Emax, s1000, Samplecell II). These are controlled by sequencers including Studio Vision, Cubase and the "retro-style" Doepfer (originally made for Kraftwerk). The sounds are intially effected by various standard echoes and FX including a Roland SDX-330 Dimensional Expander (3D-ish) and a Boss SE70 (good vocoder presets!).

"However, having produced what might be called "first-pass" recordings to DAT, these are then brought into the Mac (either Sound Designer or Protools) and then edited, looped and heaviy modified by customised software SD plug-ins that effectively re-design the first the sound and subsequently the whole tracks. The outputs of the computer (currently 4 but we hope to expand soon) are then re-effected on their way to the finished master...

"That's how we get the weird bits!"

Is Drew McDowall now a member?


There's a picture behind the lyrics to Ostia on HR booklet, which must look familiar to some people (a beer brand?).

The label itself is from an English brand of maple syrup.

Who is Terence McKenna and what is his connection to COIL. I have a feeling I've seen his name referenced in several places, can't remember where though.

Terrence McKenna can be described as a sort of modern day Tim Leary who has some interesting points, but who also says quite a bit that should be taken with a grain of salt. McKenna is one among the people that Coil have done vocal samples of for future recordings, William Burroughs being another.

Can you recommend a good book by Spare or Crowley (or biogrpahy of either) that fairly comprehensively & clearly delineates their belief systems/rituals/annoying habits/favorite sexual positions, etc.?

For Aleister Crowley:
start off with "Magick Without Tears" in combination with "Magick in Theory & Practice." MWT is fairly accessable to the beginner, it being a correspondance between Crowley and a pupil of his. MTP is basically what the title says, a comprehensive book on Crowley's ceremonial magick system. Good tip: some of what Al writes should be taken with a grain of salt.
Most of these are available online.

For Austin Osman Spare:
start off with "The Complete Works of Austin Osman Spare". I -think- this is the first of two volumes. In any case it contains the most of his known and most important work. May be out of print.
All of Spare's major written work is available online.
Spare didn't publish much, thank goodness, Aleister Crowley quite to the contrary.

For sexual positions:
The works of Kenneth Grant

Where can I go (i.e. list or newsgroup or something in that vein) where i could find more information on electronic instruments?

Try the following usenet group:;; and

I read some where that John & Peter were heroin addicts for quite a while, is this true?

We haven't heard that one; but are fairly sure they've tried more than a little of everything though.

Is there a list of musical equipment that they use(d) ?

That would be a huge list. I'm sure they've got state of the art equipment, though they also like old analog synths. John sometimes uses a Chapman Stick (at least he used to). And, of course, they use the entire studio. Their Keyboard interview lists some of the equipment they were using ten years ago.

What of Coil's stuff is still in print?

Most of Coil's full length albums are in print on CD only as releases from the United Kingdom and Europe. Check the discography for more specifics.

What is the Angelic Conversation CD like? I know there are tracks on it referring to 'Enochian Calls'.. as well as 4 watchtowers printed on the CD. I have heard that most of this album was recitation of Shakesperean poetry. So would you please tell me is this CD poetry? Does it have a magickal side to it too?

The Angelic Conversation is a film by Derek Jarman and this is the soundtrack to it. It is very minimal ambient music, much based on "How to Destroy Angels" with Shakespere's sonnets read over it by Dame Judi Dench. It is good and worth picking up if you have and like everything else!

I heard somewhere that Coil had released a Windowpane/Snow sort of CD with remasters of those EPs and extra remixes or something and i was wondering how it sounds, what's on it, etc... I have the original Snow EP and so it doesn't immediately sound all that interesting...

They did, but the only difference between that an the original Windowpane and Snow singles and the newer edition is that Coil is making money off their work this time. And the cover photo looks better too.

How much is a reasonable price to pay for the stuff that isn't in print? Note: I'm only interested in CD's, no vinyl. I just don't have the cash for a high quality turntable and I don't think a cheap one could possibly do their music justice.

It depends on the condition, seller, buyer, and release. Once you find something, perhaps consult the mailing list and open up a forum.

Exactly how much stuff did they write for Hellraiser? Why wasn't it used? Clive Barker said something to the effect of "They are the only group I've heard whose records I've taken off because they made my bowels churn." Isn't that the effect he was trying to get with the film?

It was the motion picture studio's decision and not Clive's to the best of our knowledge.

Is all of the Hellraiser music on U.H.II or am I gonna have to go on another snipe hunt into the bowels of used CD shops?

The music from the CD EP of Hellraiser is entirely on Unnatural History 2, along with other tracks recorded during the same sessions. The b-side of the cassette and 10" editions, "Commercial Music", is available on Unnatural History 3.

Any other groups that come even close to being in the same league with Coil?

Coil's music has changed so much in the nearly two decades of releasing material, that it's difficult to say yes to this. It is notable that Cyclobe features a past member, Stephen Thrower along with current live member, Simon Norris. Coil have also been influential to and influenced by current groups like Autechre, Labradford and Tortoise. For a better discussion on this, perhaps it would be worth consulting the mailing list, and getting others opinions about music other Coil fans like.

I read something about a boxed set containing much of (all of?) their preivious stuff that was supposed to be due out before the end of '96. Did this ever see the light of day? Availible in the U.S.? Does nothing have any intention of rereleasing thier older stuff?

Hopefully if all the negotiations go through well.

New album, when? Ever?

There is always one in the works...