7 April 2002

by Peter Kecskés

Peter Kecskés: What are your plans nowadays?
Peter Christopherson: Play live. Our plans change all the time. We get bored very quickly, so we're constantly changing what we do, and seeing new possibilities as a result of things that we learn on stage and things that we learn from different pieces of equipment and things that we learn from figuring out how to do something, like play live . We have a few dates that are scheduled for June and September, going to Russia - we did a few dates in Russia last year and we want to play there again.
John Balance: We played in Moscow.
P.C.: We would very much like to play in Hungary (we were there during Christmas time last year), Czechoslovakia as well. A show of this size is very expensive to bring to a country, so in places like Budapest, Prague or Krakow it would be better to do a different show that could be more mobile and would not be so expensive, because we do not want to be seen to be too expensive for people. We want to see people under all sort of circumstances.
P.K.: It's interesting that you had so many concerts lately and so many plans, because you said earlier on ,in the eighties that that you don't like to play live. How did that change?
J.B.: That was the eighties. We were doing different things then. We were doing too many drugs and we were too...
P.C.: ...isolated.
J.B.: ...isolated, yes. We didn't do many albums then; we did "Horse Rotorvator" and "Love's Secret Domain" and then "Stolen and contaminated songs". Since then we've focused our intentions, now all of us are doing Coil not for a living, but this is our life now.
P.C.: The main thing is that technology is changed, which is allowed us to do things that have in our minds, our imagination to bring them to the public. Because even five years ago to make videos like this (shown in the concert) and to make the sounds would have been too expensive. We would have to use professional studios and stuff like that. Now everything can be done on a laptop and it brings a lot more possibilities into them.
P.K.: Are you doing the videos and the visuals?
P.C.: Everything.
P.K.: I would like to ask, how do you relate to Genesis P.Orridge nowadays?
P.C.: We're not out of communication, we have communication with him and we're working together on some TG (Throbbing Gristle) re-releases, but people who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
J.C.: What do you mean by that?
P.C.: Which means that it does not interest me to go back into the same situation that we were in twenty years ago. Time has changed, we've changed, and I think he's changed as well...
J.B.: ...somewhat.
P.C.: We're working on TG things, maybe we'll work on other things, but...
J.B.: These are archive releases. I speak as a fan of TG . Throbbing Gristle were so influential and it's only now that people are realizing. It's a good time for Genesis, Peter, Chris and Cosey to be much much more widely known. They've influenced so many bands and it's about time not payback, 'cause the money is not it , but recognition should be made very strong.
P.C.: But in terms of collaborating on new music there are quite a lot of musicians that I already have that we want to work with right now and Genesis is not particularly one of those at the moment.
P.K.: One more question about him: what do you think about his sex changes, is this a sort of gay thing or it's just another artistic tactic?
J.B.: The best thing would be to ask him, but he always used to say that he was a lesbian.
P.K.: And you don't want to comment on that.
J.B.: No, no, that's a good thing. He used to describe his sexuality that he was a lesbian. In COUM Transmission and in Throbbing Gristle he used to dress not in woman's clothing, but he used to dress cross-dressing. This is a traditional shaman's role to do this. I spent all my college years wearing dresses. This is just a thing that - I think - everyone should do. Virgin Prunes, another group of mine, friends of mine did the same. It's a shamanistic thing that people should do. Simon and I talked about: why do women have all the wonderful clothes made with the colors and everything, and when we've tried to buy them and even at the shops they say we can't have that, that's a women's thing. I asked would it fit, they said yes, why do you want it, because it feels good and it makes my soul feel better. So everything like that, including Genesis's new transformations, I think it's very interesting. It is what he has always done. And again the technology, surgery and everything opens so many possibilities, and he always liked to explore new possibilities, so do we.
P.K.: How does magic relate to your music, live performances, recordings?
J.B.: It's integral, it's completely part of it. Magic, music and mayhem. This is the beginning of anarcadia. This is a new concept, place or era for us, which also includes "Moon Music", so we play "Moon Music" in this place, in this new creation, anarcadia, which is like an anarchic heavenly place we've created, and this is magic. We've all been involved in magic in some sort. Personally I've been involved since I was nine years old.
Simon Norris: It is our belief that it breathes into everything, into every single element of our life. Obviously it is very important. It's not something that you necessarily need to inject into what you do musically, it's there.
J.B.: It's like if you take vitamins from the age of eight, then they build up your bones and make you stronger. I've had magic in my bones ever since I was tiny, small. My parents recognized it, and at school they tried to stop it, which only made it stronger.
P.K.: Do you think that your music is a very special magical creation? Is it different, than traditional forms of magic?
P.C.: It's different than traditional forms of music.
S.N.: It's unique in a sense that we've created it.
J.B.: It's a new synthetic conjunction, a joining up of everything we know between us. So, yes it is obviously new magical music.
P.C.: Most people think of magic as something that's outside their lives or separate from their normal life, separate from the music industry, separate from independent music makers like us, and that's a false idea. Everything is joined, everything is one continuous existence.
J.B.: Churning, swirling chaos. None of us are fixed in one position. The person who can control magic is able to understand this, and is able to slip like a fluid between each state. This is why our music changes, this is why we recreate, regenerate all the time. This is our magic. We're shape-changers and sound-changers.
S.N.: We're always looking for new paths.
P.K.: I noticed this, because I was in Leipzig, last year at your concert and it was completely different than what I heard tonight. It's amazing.
J.B.: It's like a sound photograph. Yesterday it would have been different again. This is again the fluidity and the changing. I believe that people can shape change, if they have contact with magic they can become whatever. Some people we see as absolute shape-changer, it's one of our categories. We are all animals, this also comes up with what we do.
P.K.: What do you think of your independence inside the music industry?
P.C.: We try to maintain independence, and it's for that reason that I'm actually not doing so much work for other people. All the work we do now is for Coil and for Coil-related projects. The only way that you can be strong is by being completely honest, and the only way you can be honest is by working totally for yourself. Personally, I think that's permanent and complete.
J.B.: What's live?
P.C.: Live is when we try and manifest our experience and make it visible for other people.
J.B.: I feel when we play live we're offering back what we've learnt and what we've been given by the people, giving it back again.
P.C.: We don't moderate what we do live in order to please people or to achieve a particular result, we do it for ourselves. The artistic creation is motivated purely by our own instinct and desire.
J.B.: We've met new friends, and suddenly I feel real strong, not just doing what I do, alone in a room for the people and doing it with a total awareness with this circle of friends and the strength and the magic that they create for me.
P.C.: Working together in a room that's covered with stones and earth and has a fire in a middle of it, and you get twenty guys naked sweating in order to produce a particular psychic result is a properly viable group activity. Playing live for me is a group activity, but it's not a compromise.
J.B.: No, I never said it was, but we're trying to trigger a psychic revolution or something inside people. This is what we do. This is all I can do. This is my mission.
P.K.: Thank you for the interview.
J.B.+P.C.: You're welcome.