Al Jourgensen Resurrects Ministry Three Years After Splitting
Al Jourgensen died not long after he broke up his industrial metal band Ministry in 2008 after 11 albums and 27 years under his guiding hand. Wait, what? Jourgensen’s death is news to you? It was to us, too, but it turns out that Jourgensen died only in the true medical sense of the word, since he flatlined in the emergency room but was revived. Now that you are breathing a sigh of relief, Jourgensen isn’t the only entity to be brought back to life, because Ministry, who were game changers in the early ’90s, are back.
The band, which embarked on the victory lap CU LaTour in 2008, is back after only three years away from the hard rock scene. Jourgensen, who did say he would never revive the band, is exhuming Ministry for a performance at the 2012 edition of the Wacken festival in Germany as well as a handful of domestic dates. Want more good news? Brand new material is also on the way.
UK metal Bible Metal Hammer got the exclusive from the horse’s mouth and Uncle Al, 52, was candid about why he broke up the band and why he is roaring back. Turns out, it involves losing over half the blood in the body that he abused during the height of the band’s popularity.
“I’d been throwing up blood for the last three tours and like an idiot, I didn’t think there was anything wrong,” Jourgensen said. “So I came back, [off tour] and it got better for a couple weeks. Then in March 2010, I went into a seizure and bled out 65% of my body and they had to take me by ambulance to the ICU where I flatlined. I was dead. I couldn’t hold down food and I just didn’t know what was wrong. I spent a week in ICU where they gave me a 100% blood transfusion.”
So what the hell happened? Well, it wasn’t pretty when it comes to Jourgensen’s stomach. “After a tour I had [an ulcer] burst right over a main artery in my stomach. They found 13 of them from my esophagus to my intestines which had scarred over, which explains why I’d been puking for years.” These findings spurred Jourgensen to quit drinking and quit smoking, and he reminds fans that he has been clean and sober for almost a decade.
He has spent most of this year getting healthier. “I spent most of 2011 in doctor’s offices, brain scans, everything. They’ve probed holes I didn’t even know I had, but I’ve lost 50 pounds,” he revealed. But tht’s not all. “I’m a vegetarian again, I have a personal trainer, I do 20 miles on my bike every day, I eat right, I’m the healthiest I’ve been in over 20 years,” he said. “I still don’t know whose blood it was, I think it was like, some old lady from Kansas because I have a really strong desire to knit…”
Jourgensen plans to put out a Ministry album around the Christmas season, dubbed ‘Relapse.’ While Jourgensen is clean and sober, he is “relapsing back into the world of Ministry.”
The relapse includes light touring in America in June, since he is still under doctor’s (new world) orders. The band will also play festivals in Europe, along with club gigs. Jourgensen is hoping to cap things off at 20 or so shows. He will be joined by Mike Scaccia and Prong’s Tommy Victor on guitar, Static-X’s Tony Campos on bass and Prong’s Arron Rossi on drums, along with Killing Joke’s John Bechdel. The shows will serve as a hit parade, with only a handful of new songs populating the set list.
With Jourgensen’s ulcer abolished and George Bush out of office, he can now have a little fun. He says that the new album “is actually gonna wind up being the fastest and heaviest record I’ve ever done. Just because we did it as anti-therapy therapy against the country music we would just take days off and thrash faster than I’ve done in a long time.” He warned of the music’s brutality and cautioned that it will freak a lot of people out. As if we expect anything less from Ministry and their mastermind!