Ministry’s Al Jourgensen Talks To Full Metal Jackie About His New Book + Upcoming Album
Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Uncle Al talked all about his new book, ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen’ and the band’s upcoming album, ‘From Beer to Eternity.’ If you missed Jackie’s conversation with Jourgenen, you can read the full interview below:
It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us, the one and only Al Jourgensen. How are you?
Me? Fair to midland. Yea, I’m pretty good.
Well, you’ve got a lot going on as usual. I appreciate you being on the show. So much happening, the new book, ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen’ and Ministry’s 15th studio album, ‘From Beer to Eternity’ is coming out Sept. 6. Going to be premiering a new Ministry tune on the show this week, so excited. Al, you’ve expressed dislike about being a celebrity. Being the subject of such a candid autobiography might not be the best way to divert public attention. So what aspects of doing it were most important to you?
Well, building a higher fence on my compound. I now have a 12′ fence that I had to have a city ordinance for and so nobody can get in here. I’m still a recluse. I still hate everyone. I’m still a misanthrope. I really do just totally hate everyone, outside of my wife and my dogs and maybe a couple of friends, but that was the most important part is that we got the city permit to build a higher fence for the compound. Yea, I’m still a recluse, I love it. I love it man.
What was the most important part in terms of doing this book? What was the most important part for you to get across?
Well, to get [my wife] Angie off my ass. Because, like we’d go to social events or parties and I’d be drunk and telling these stories about, you know, from this book, and she just got sick of hearing it and she goes, “Why don’t you just put it down in writing and go into a party, hand out the book, and go shut the crap up, and sit in the studio or sit in the corner drinking your vodka and then I can have fun instead of you like telling the same old story.” So now, she doesn’t have to hear the same old stories again and we can just go into a party and hand out books and it’s great. That’s our main impetus for this book.
It’s Full Metal Jackie, we got Al Jourgensen from Ministry on the show with us talking about this new book, ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen.’ And the process of writing the book was basically a weeks worth of story telling at which point Jon Wiederhorn then wove it all together …
No no no, it was two weeks of just complete drunkenness with a tape recorder going and then four weeks in between each week of drunkenness of Jon Wiederhorn calling witnesses and doing his due diligence to make sure that I wasn’t full of crap. And he found out that I actually wasn’t and that this stuff happened and then it goes to the publisher, I’ve never done a book so I don’t know this stuff. And it goes to the publisher and then their lawyers call up all these witnesses and this and that and like, I feel like I’m Trayvon Martin or something, or Casey Anthony. You know it’s just like, I’m on trial here, and they finally figured out that everything I said was like, you know, pretty true and clear, at least beyond reasonable doubt [laughter] so I’m cleared in the court of law and I have a book. So it’s a weird process, man, I’m telling you. Because I have another book coming out soon that’s completely different. It’s a fiction book, it’s a horror murder judicial kind of book, it’s fiction, it’s called ‘Mindf–k.’ I don’t know if I can say that, bleep it out or whatever. But at any rate, I have a fiction book coming out. That’s what I’m going to be doing for the next year, is just doing book stuff and college lectures. And there’s going to be no tour for this album or anything else like that and I’m happy with it, and just leave it lie, you know? I just had my best friend, in my whole life, die, two days after he finished his parts for this record, so I don’t want to capitalize on it, we’re just going to like hang low and I’m just going to do college lectures and things like this.
Al Jourgensen from Ministry is with us on the show, again, the new book, ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen’ out in stores now. And Ministry’s 15th studio album, ‘From Beer to Eternity’ is going to be coming out Sept. 6. Want to premiere the first single off of it, ‘Permawar,’ what can you tell us about this tune?
Well, it’s basically a song based on a Rachel Maddow book, actually, about how the military industrial complex just has its way and they have their own ghost currency, they own ghost budgets, along with the pharmaceutical companies and the banks and everything else. They have their own ghost currency, they don’t really care what happens to society and so I’m kind of railing against that a bit, instead of just yelling about George Bush, which by the end of ‘Last Sucker’ I was just like, just tired of railing against this guy because this guys an idiot. He like drew in crayons and played with Tonka trucks and I just realized like, it’s so futile to rail against a figure head when you should be railing against the system. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do on this record along with a lot of personal things that happened during the course of the record, obviously, you know, my best friend and guitar player died two days after completion of his parts on this record, so it was a very difficult record to negotiate through but I’m really proud of it, and I know Mikey [Scaccia] would be proud of it because he left here with a grin from ear to ear when he does with his basic parts.
Al, it’s a long list of musicians who cite your work as an influence. Who’s taken your lead and created something that you’re most proud to say was born of your influence?
I wish I knew who was. Please, send 13th Planet Records your tapes because I want to know people that are like of the same ilk and mind as I am. And you know, you just want to like terrorize stuff. There’s a famous artist, Ron English, in New York, that just, or Andy Warhol for that matter, that did pop art that terrorized society. And that’s, for the last like 10, 15 years, that’s all I wanted to do, is terrorize society and make them look into a mirror and see what the hell we have wrought.
Al, I really appreciate you being on the show with us this week, again, the new Ministry record ‘From Beer to Eternity’ is coming out Sept. 6, and of course the new book ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen’ is out now, pick up a copy. And Al, what’s happening with you for the rest of the summer?
Talking to people the likes of you. They’ve got me on this schedule where I’m just talking and talking and talking about this same life, you know, over and over and over to people. And it’s just like to me, this book is completely insignificant. It’s, first of all, it’s just a snap shot, it’s not a cautionary tale of what not to do, it’s not a redemption tale of like, “Wow, you survived all this stuff.” It’s neither of those, it’s just a really slow-time photography, slow-time relapse photography of 54 years of a person’s life on a little blue planet, in a middle-sized galaxy, in a vast universe which is, to me, basically insignificant. So I’m not a really great plugger for my own book [laughter] telling you like this is really no big deal but apparently people seem to be entertained by it, so, you know, I’m happy for them if it helps them out in their own troubles or whatever, if they can relate to that and so you know, I’m good with it.
I wish you the best of luck with the book and with this record, and Al, as you know I’m a huge fan, and really excited to have you on the show again, so thank you very much.
Well, thank you Jackie!
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Jason Newsted to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.