I just found out today that Jhonn Balance, co-founder of the multimedia band Coil, died on Saturday (11/13/2004) from trauma to the head. He was only 42.
To me, Coil was one of the (very) few bands from the post Throbbing Gristle era of industrial music to survive and still make good music throughout their career. They didn't vehemently deny they were "industrial" (like Front 242) or try to compete with their past by making new music that sounded a lot like their old music (like Death in June). They just did what they want on their own terms without any thought to commercial potential, and I admire that.
I know I'm talking as if the band is over, but that probably won't be true. I'm sure Peter Christopherson (the other co-founder) et al. will continue on. It's just that I only started getting into Coil a few years ago and ever since then I always harbored hopes to see them live, maybe even at the RE-TG reunion show allegedly coming in 2005. And even though Coil might still play, it will be sad not to see Balance on stage or hear his voice again. Granted, he was singing less and less to not at all with each release, but still there will be a void there.
He was also a great visual artist. He would create very psychedelic designs that would often end up as Coil album covers. He also did video work and even helped design the costumes the band wore on tour (which can be seen on the recent 4 volume "Live" series that was put out).
On the one hand, you might look at his work as "my 6 year old can do that" type of stuff, but if you look deeper, you will see he had a great eye for color and shape that I always thought was very pleasing to the eye and very relaxing to the mind. Same goes for the music. On Coil's later albums, they seemed more interested in making songs for your mind rather than your body, as if to facilitate an out of body experience.
Ok, I'm rambling and this post is WAY too long. I'm sorry, but I just needed to share. Jhonn Balance, wherever you are, I hope you're doing fine and I hope whatever you believed in about the afterlife has been confirmed. Until we meet...thanks for the mindtrips.
P.S. If any of you have been wondering where our dear moderator Tonya has been, she's finally settled in her new apartment and will be back on the motherboards shortly, after she's gone through her 2800 emails (that's not a typo).