John Balance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Balance
John Balance
John Balance
Background information
Birth nameGeoffrey Laurence Burton
Also known asJohn Balance, Jhonn Balance, Jhon Balance
Born(1962-02-16)16 February 1962
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
Died13 November 2004(2004-11-13) (aged 42)
Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England
Years active1979–2004
Threshold House

Geoffrey Nigel Laurence Rushton[2] (16 February 1962 – 13 November 2004), better known under the pseudonyms John Balance or the later variation Jhonn Balance, was an English[3] musician, occultist, artist and poet.

He was best known as a co-founder of the experimental music group Coil, in collaboration with his partner Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson.[4][5] Coil was active from 1982 to Balance's death in 2004. He was responsible for the majority of Coil's vocals, lyrics and chants, along with synthesizers and various other instruments both commonplace and esoteric.

Outside Coil he collaborated with Cultural Amnesia (at the beginning of the 1980s), Nurse with Wound, Death in June, Psychic TV, Current 93, Chris & Cosey,[6] Thighpaulsandra, and produced several Nine Inch Nails remixes.[7]

Early life and career[edit]

Balance was born Geoffrey Laurence Burton.[8] He took the surname 'Rushton' from his stepfather.[9] During his teens, Balance became acquainted with Christopherson as a fan of the latter's group Throbbing Gristle. The duo were both members of Psychic TV, Christopherson's next project after Throbbing Gristle. They eventually quit Psychic TV to form Coil.

Balance was extremely active as a youth and in his early twenties. Apart from his early musical releases and involvement in bands before Coil, he published seven issues of a fanzine, Stabmental,[10] and was a tireless correspondent with members of the alternative musical and cultural scene in the UK and also abroad. He also released three compilation albums of music by bands and artists about which he was enthusiastic: Endzeit, Bethel and The Men with the Deadly Dreams. The compilations are today collector's items and fetch high prices. Also from his youth, Balance was an avid occultist, maintaining a lifelong interest in the likes of Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare.[9]


On 13 November 2004, during a period of heavy drinking, Balance fell from a two-storey balcony at his home and died that evening in the hospital.[11] Peter Christopherson announced Balance's death on the Threshold House website, and provided details surrounding the accident. Balance's memorial service was held near Bristol on 23 November, and was attended by approximately 100 people.[12] November 2014 saw the publication of a retrospective volume of his art called "Bright Lights and Cats with no Mouths" by Edition Timeless.[13]


Balance first recorded using the alias "Murderwerkers". The Murderwerkers track, "Blue Funk (Scars for E)", was included on the Sterile Records cassette compilation Standard Response. Balance also published an underground zine, Stabmental,[14] and released a track, "A Thin Veil of Blood", also using the nom de guerre Stabmental.[15]: 194  "A Thin Veil of Blood" was included on the cassette compilation Deleted Funtime – Various Tunes for Various Loons. Balance then joined up with Peter Christopherson and Boyd Rice to record Nightmare Culture under the moniker "The Sickness of Snakes". Balance subsequently joined Psychic TV and performed alongside Christopherson; however in 1984, Balance and Christopherson left the group to develop Coil.[16] A short collaboration with Zos Kia produced the split tape Transparent.[17] Credit for the album was shared, and marked Coil's first release. The original Coil / Zos Kia tape, Transparent, was released as a "His-Storical" CD reissue in 1997.[18]

During Coil's 23-year career, Balance collaborated with a number of his peers, including Jim Thirlwell/Clint Ruin (Foetus), Marc Almond, Thighpaulsandra, NON, Current 93, and CoH; appearing on many of these artists' albums.

With Psychic TV[edit]

With Coil[edit]

Other groups[edit]

Other contributions[edit]

Date of first pressing Song title Released on Group name released under Musical Role
1981 The Men with the Deadly Dreams (various) conceived, commissioned and edited compilation, released as a number of Stabmental fanzine
1981 "Words from a Radio" The Men with the Deadly Dreams A House tapes, effects
1981 "Yellowsong" Video Rideo Cultural Amnesia organ and violin
1982 Endzeit (various) conceived, commissioned and edited compilation
1983 Bethel (various) conceived, commissioned and edited compilation
1983 "Here to Go" Sinclair's Luck Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics, also designed packaging (with assistance of Peter Christopherson) and wrote sleeve notes for album
1983 "Scar for E" The Uncle of the Boot Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics
1983 Music for Hashashins Vagina Dentata Organ created wolf growl sample (along with Peter Christopherson) and helped in the recording process of the album
1984 January LAShTAL Current 93 featuring
1985 Bar Maldoror Current 93 bass guitar, miscellaneous
1985 Live at Bar Maldoror: Gyllensköld, Geijerstam And Friends Nurse with Wound featuring
1985 The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion Nurse with Wound featuring
1986 Happy Birthday Pigface Christus Current 93 featuring
1986 In Menstrual Night Current 93 featuring
1987 "Europa: The Gates of Heaven" To Drown a Rose Death in June vocals
1987 "We Are The Lust" Brown Book Death in June co-wrote and appears on track
1987 Dawn Current 93 bass guitar, miscellaneous
1987 Imperium Current 93
1988 Earth Covers Earth Current 93 performer
1988 "Anti-Christ Anti-Christian" Peyrere Current 93 performer
1988 Swastikas for Noddy Current 93 featuring
1988 The Red Face of God Current 93 featuring
1989 Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God Current 93 vocals
1991 A Document of Early Acoustic & Tactical Experimentation Lustmord featuring
1992 "LAShTAL", "Salt" Nature Unveiled Current 93 performer
1992 "All the Stars Are Dead Now", "Rosy Star Tears from Heaven" Thunder Perfect Mind Current 93 vocals
1993 The Nodding Folk The Apocalyptic Folk In The Nodding God Unveiled
1993 "Great Black Time I (Excerpt)", "Sucking Up Souls (Excerpt)", "Great Black Time II (Excerpt)", "Great Black Time III (Excerpt)", "Maldoror Is Ded Ded Ded Ded" Emblems: The Menstrual Years Current 93 featuring
1993 "Hitler As Kalki (SDM)", "Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow" Hitler As Kalki Current 93 featuring
1994 "Lucifer Over London Parts I & II" Lucifer Over London Current 93 vocals
1995 "Where the Long Shadows Fall (Beforetheinmostlight)" Where the Long Shadows Fall (Beforetheinmostlight) Current 93 vocals
1996 "The Long Shadow Falls", "Twilight Twilight Nihil Nihil", "The Inmost Light Itself" All the Pretty Little Horses Current 93 vocals
1998 "To Drown a Rose" Kameradschaft Death in June provides vocals, this is an outtake version of the song
1999 "Grief" Borderlands Tactile provides vocals
1999 "The Snow Man" The Final Solstice Rosa Mundi provides vocals
1999 "Lucifer Over London" Calling for Vanished Faces Current 93 vocals
1999 "Misery Farm" Misery Farm Current 93 featuring
2000 "Silence Is Golden" Vox Tinnitus CoH wrote lyrics
2000 March 1 "Black Nurse", "Tudor Fruits" Some Head EP Thighpaulsandra vocals
2001 "Love's Septic Domain (Health & Deficiency)" Love Uncut CoH provides vocals, duet with Louise Weasel
2001 Cats Drunk On Copper Current 93 featuring
2001 August 6 Fouled The Michel Publicity Window E.P. Thighpaulsandra "vocals and text", album art
2001 Optical Black I, Thighpaulsandra Thighpaulsandra "vocals and text"
2003 June 23 "He Tastes of the Sea" Double Vulgar Thighpaulsandra featuring
2004 "Lucifer Over London" Sixsixsix Sicksicksick Current 93 vocals
2004 "E2 = Tree 3" Toilet Chants Black Sun Productions provides vocals
2005 "Fj Nettlefold", "Make Room for the Mushrooms" A Nature of Nonsense Aural Rage vocals, written by
2005 "A List of Wishes" operettAmorale Black Sun Productions vocals
2005 December 23 "Christ's Teeth" ...It Just Is Thighpaulsandra vocals
2006 February "Star Malloy" Not Alone Thighpaulsandra ARP 2600 synthesizer
2006 July 1 "A Tree Now" The Impossibility of Silence Black Sun Productions provides vocals (howling)
2007 July "Fetish for Today", "Scars for E", "Here to Go" Enormous Savages Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics
2007 November "Hot in the House", "Scars for E (alternate take 2)", "Spoilt Children" Press My Hungry Button Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics, album cover features sleeve notes by Balance dating from 1983
2007 November "Scars for E (alternate take 1)" Still Hungry Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics
2009 May "Fetish for Today", "Scars for E", "Here to Go" Enormous Savages Enlarged Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics
2016 June "Hot in the House" Ring The Hungry Bell Cultural Amnesia wrote lyrics, official video for "Hot in the House" features mailart and other images by Balance


  1. ^ O'Neill, Tim, "The Invocation of the Black Sun", Coil text archive, Brainwashed, Inc., retrieved September 22, 2017
  2. ^ "Official Public Record". The London Gazette. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  3. ^ "JOHN BALANCE". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  4. ^ Smith, Richard (11 December 2004), "Obituary: John Balance", The Guardian, retrieved 22 August 2007.
  5. ^ Brandon; Genesis P-Orridge (29 November 2010). "The First Five Minutes After Death: Various Artists Remember Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson (UPDATE: Genesis P-Orridge eulogy)". Steriogum. BUZZMedia. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  6. ^ Scott Treleaven (11 March 2001). "Coil". disinformation. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  7. ^ Nick Kushner (2004–2012). "Coil and the Occult" (Article). Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  8. ^ Result for "Geoffrey Burton" in Civil Births Genes Reunited. Retrieved 10 November 2020
  9. ^ a b Breeze, William. "John Balance". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Geoff Rushton". Discogs. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  11. ^ "John Balance 1962–2004". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. ^ Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson (30 November 2004). "John Balance". Threshold House. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  13. ^ Coulthart, John (13 November 2014). "Peter Christopherson Photography & The Art of John Balance Collected". { feuilleton }. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Stabmental". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  15. ^ Bey, Thomas; Bailey, William (2012). Unofficial Release: Self-Released and Handmade Audio in Post-Industrial Society. Belsona Books. pp. 194, 297, 303. ISBN 978-0615611273. OCLC 1285860239 – via the Internet Archive.
  16. ^ "They Are Going To Take Me Away Ha Ha, 1984" (Interview from 'zine (PDF)). Coil Text Archive. Brainwashed Inc. 1984. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  17. ^ Fringeli, Christoph (May 2006). "Interview with JOHN BALANCE from COIL from 1986". Datacide. No. 9. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  18. ^ Coil (14 July 1997). "Coil: news 1997". Brainwashed Inc. Retrieved 27 April 2012.