Ministry’s Al Jourgensen Talks ‘Relapse’
Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen talked with radio host Full Metal Jackie over the weekend. The veteran rocker talked about the upcoming Ministry album 'Relapse,' politics, his Buck Satan project and more. If you missed Jackie's show, check out her Q&A with Jourgensen below:
After stating that a reunion would never happen what did you miss most about Ministry to want to get the band back up and running?
I didn’t miss anything, I hated it. It was my guitar player Mikey, Mike Scaccia, while we were doing the Buck Satan record which was suppose to be my last record we would jam in between songs on metal riffs and Mikey got a CD of this thanks to my engineer, much to my torture and Mikey called me and goes “these riffs are really cool and you got to write some lyrics for it.” So after about 80 psycho-dials from Mikey I was like, “Okay, okay, okay, white flag I give up, I’m gonna go do this record.” Mikey came out and we did this record and it came out pretty cool I think.
Is ‘Relapse’ really the fastest, heaviest thing you’ve ever done?
Well, it’s pretty cool, that’s all I got to say. It’s pretty cool, it’s not gonna disappoint any Ministry fans or any hardcore fans or anything else like that, there’s a little bit for everyone. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad Mikey talked me into it but I wasn’t really looking to do this album like, “What the hell’s goin’ on?” It’s pretty funny, it’s a pretty good record.
Did five years between albums and not touring make you want to redefine Ministry?
No, I didn’t even think about that. I didn’t think I was going to a Ministry record. I got out of the hospital, as you know, I’m sure it’s publicized, I had this big freak out and almost died. When I got out the first thing I thought of was Buck Satan and so Buck Satan spawned the new Ministry album. Eventually as of me and Mikey jamming together, it’s been a crazy road.
How did going country with Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters ultimately affect the direction of the new Ministry album?
It didn’t affect it because we took time out to just jam on some metal riffs on Buck Satan, to get away from Buck Satan [Laughs]. I mean it was like anything country wasn’t allowed so me and Mikey jammed on this stuff and it came out good but it certainly has no correlation except for the fact that we did these riffs during the country album which is what I wanted to die on, basically. [Laughs] That was my last record but Mikey talked me into doing this Ministry record and you know what he was right, I’m glad I did, it’s actually a pretty good record.
There’s going to be a ‘Relapse’ U.S. tour in June and you’ve got some European dates scheduled as well?
Yeah, we only got like five dates scheduled in the United States and then the other 20 are in Europe and they’re all headlining these major festivals and one of ‘em is a free concert in Poland, in Warsaw, that is gonna have one million people there, so that’s almost like Rolling Stones territory. It’s really cool. I’d never thought I’d be in that position, so I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful to the Polish government. [Laughs] One time I saw a million people, I saw it in Grant Park in Chicago in 1979 with Pope John Paul when he first came there and I got arrested that day, of course, disorderly conduct, this and that [Laughs]. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen a million people. That’s a lot of people, I’m trying to wrap my head around it right now, just getting ready for this. I’ve been in front of 100,000, 200,000, no problem, this festival, that festival but a million people, I mean come on man. That’s insane, I’m in pope-ville.
Are you going to be in a pope mobile?
[Laughs] Yeah maybe I should come onstage on that thing, that would be awesome. That’s actually the best suggestion I’ve had in a long time, good job.
Given your history as something of a political watchdog, in a presidential election year watching the primary process, what’s the first thing that catches your attention about a candidate?
Well the first thing that catches my attention is that the entire Republican party is imploding. [Laughs] After last night’s results with Santorum, they’re imploding, it’s like that picture of a snake eating its own tail, that’s what they’re doing man, they’re eating themselves and I love it because I’m a big liberal and democrat and all this stuff. I love watching these guys eat their own tails because that’s what’s happening.
I’ve been to the circus before, the Barnum & Baileys and I watched these circus clowns go around in these little Masonic hats and driving around, and that’s what it reminds me of, a bunch of circus clowns. It’s pretty obvious that Obama is going to be our president next year, so get use to it and be happy with it, I’ve actually met that guy and he’s actually a really cool dude. He has a great vision for this country and he has a great work ethic so I’m all for him, enough of these clowns, get rid of these clowns.
Are you looking forward to this touring that’s coming up?
Uh no, I hate touring. [Laughs] Not looking forward to it, I’m a studio rat. I like going in there as producer, I’m starting the Rigor Mortis project, I’m producing that new album and then I’ve got a band from my rat pack coming in, in March and then I have a band from Mexico, from Monterrey coming in and I’m going to do Plastilina Mosh which is like the Beastie Boys of Mexico.
So I keep myself busy but seriously Ministry is done, there’s no way I would have done this record without Mike Scaccia, like psycho-dialing me everyday [Laughs]. I’m glad he did it but I like to do film scores and production now. I think I’ll do one more Buck Satan record only because it’s already almost done, I’m almost done with it, I’ve got eight songs written lyrically and everything else but other than that, I really like the studio part, the production part but I hate the touring part because the touring part makes me a total stoner drunk and I’m trying to stay healthy.
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will have Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn on her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.