John Balance

John Balance

Infobox musical artist
Name = John Balance

Img_capt =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Geff Rushton
Alias = John Balance, Jhonn Balance, Jhon Balance
Born = birth date|1962|2|16|mf=y
Died = death date and age|2004|11|13|1962|2|16|mf=y
Origin = Mansfield, England
Instrument = Vocals, Keyboard, Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick, Organ, Violin
Genre = Industrial music
Occupation = Musician
Years_active = 1979 - 2004
Label = Chalice, Threshold House, Eskaton
Associated_acts = Coil
Psychic TV

John Balance (first name also spelled "Jhon" and "Jhonn"; born Geff Rushton/Geoffrey Laurence Burton; February 16, 1962November 13, 2004), born in Mansfield, England, was the founder of the experimental music group Coil, along with his partner Peter Christopherson.citation |title= Obituary: John Balance |first=Richard |last=Smith |date=2004-12-11 |periodical=The Guardian |accessdate=2007-08-22 |url=,3604,1371372,00.html.] He was responsible for vocals, lyrics, chants, synthetics and various esoteric sound-making instruments and devices. Outside of Coil he collaborated with Nurse With Wound, Death In June, Psychic TV, Current 93 and Thighpaulsandra, and produced a couple of Nine Inch Nails remixes. His early work and wide-ranging collaborations made him one of the most influential figures in the industrial, experimental minimalist and neofolk music scenes.


Balance had strong interest in magickians and occultists such as Brion Gysin, John Dee, William Burroughs, Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. He was inspired by the works of Crowley, Dee, Spare, Ex-Velvet Underground member/mystical poet/percussionist Angus Maclise, poet/painter William Blake and Surrealist painter/sculptor Max Ernst. Balance expressed interest in belief systems such as Shamanism, Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism and applied certain aspects of these to his musical projects. Balance referenced magick devices such as sigils.

Alcoholism and death

He had long struggled with alcoholism, which was cited as one of the major contributing factors to the breakup of his long-standing relationship with Industrial Records' co-founder Peter Christopherson, and was a recurring theme in his later musical work. Balance died after tipping over the banisters at his home [] while under the influence of alcohol.


Balance's first known track is under the alias "Merderwerkers" titled "Blue Funk (Scars For E)" on the cassette compilation "Standard Response". Balance also published a magazine called "Stabmental" and released a track titled, "A Thin Veil Of Blood" under the alias Stabmental, on the cassette compilation "Deleted Funtime - Various Tunes For Various Loons". Balance then joined up with Peter Christopherson and Boyd Rice recording "Nightmare Culture" under the alias "The Sickness of Snakes" and performed alongside Christopherson in Psychic TV before the duo formed Coil. A short collaboration between Zos Kia produced the album Transparent. The album was dually credited and marked Coil's first release.

During the 23 year career of Coil, Balance collaborated with many other artists such as Thighpaulsandra, Current 93, and CoH, appearing on many albums other than Coil's.

With Psychic TV

*"Dreams Less Sweet"
*"Just Drifting"
*"Berlin Atonal Vol. 2"
*"N.Y. Scum"
*"Thee City Ov Tokyo/Thee City Ov New York"

With Coil

Other groups

*Merderwerkers: "Blue Funk (Scars For E)" on Sterile Records compilation "Standard Response". (1979)
*Stabmental: "A Thin Veil Of Blood" on compilation "Deleted Funtime - Various Tunes For Various Loons". (1980)
*Sickness of Snakes: "Nightmare Culture" (1985)
*Rosa Mundi: "The Snow Man" on compilations "The Final Solstice", "The Final Solstice II" and split album "Grief" (1999)

Other contributions


* [ Peter Christopherson's announcement of John's death]

External links

* [ John Balance Heathen Harvest Memorial]
* [ The Solar Lodge]
* [ Threshold House] memorial site
* [ John Balance long biography (spanish)]
* [,3604,1371372,00.html The Guardian's obituary of John Balance]

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