Ministry – “Taming the old demons”

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25 Nov, 2005 Share

‘Twenty-five years since Al Jourgensen and Ministry became the Rosetta Stone for industrial and metal. From tape loops and sampling to the punishing static of relentless guitars, Ministry has forever changed aggressive music and the influence of Al Jourgensen still resonates loudly to this day.’ The press release couldn’t have phrased it any better. Those 25 years have now been analysed on the “Rantology” release where Jourgensen has compiled songs from his archives albeit reworked adding the new and previously unreleased track “The Great Satan” as an extra. For a man who really hates to stop and look back it was one hell of a drive through history. We were just in time to catch Al J. before the Erika hurricane hit Texas. (By Bernard Van Isacker)

SL. As your wife Angie told me, you are both in the midst of the hurricane hitting Texas right now. How have things been so far?

AJ. We live pretty deep in the heart of TexAss, so we usually are immune to most of the forces of nature. But our telecommunications usually go down coz of the “hubs” in Houston. I am still very angered by the arrogance of the Bush Administration’s handling of the Katrina disaster and stories continue to pour in about just exactly what happened. It is really horrifying and disgusting.

SL. "Unsung" is an interpretation of the events of 9/11, this new version even includes a bagpipe throughout the song. Is it possible that Katrina will have the same influence on your new song material?

AJ. Jello Biafra was out at the studio during the news broadcasts of Katrina and we were both very, very affected by the devastation. I don’t know if it will have a specific influence on me, but most certainly the consequences and failed actions surrounding the ineptitude of the Bush Administration influences me on a daily basis.

SL. "NWO Update Mix" even features an audio sample call and response between George Bush and George W. Bush. You have some kind of deep hatred towards Bush, will you still be able to convince people that are now still in love so to speak with Mr. President?

AJ. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. That’s not my job as an artist. However, I will say that Bush’s approval rating has decreased drastically over the past few weeks, and now with the indictment of Tom Delay and several other Republican ethical misgivings, it is going to be interesting to see how deeply in love the American people are with their President. Bush didn’t win the last election by a landslide, remember. And now, the mid-elections are approaching. I intend to be very involved in this.

SL. "Rantology"..., the term 'ranting' has a somewhat negative connotation, like rambling and never stop talking, why choosing that title then?

AJ. Well, it’s an appropriate title. It seems I never stop railing about the same ol’ shit, don’t I? And since I already did a “Greatest Fits” on WBR, this was more of a collection or anthology than a greatest hits…

SL. 25 years in business, you must have seen a lot of things happening, what do you miss the most and what does delight you the most now compared to 25 years ago?

AJ. I miss playing Big Day Out in Australia. Haven’t done that in over a decade and would really like to play there again. I miss some of my friends who have died. I miss the independent spirit of invention, although it is still alive, just smothered right now, but that is changing and I’m looking forward to being part of the movement wherein artists take back the industry. It’s going to happen, thanks to the internet. Two years ago I was writing “Houses of the Molé” and in a really good head space creatively. It’s been all good since then. No complaints. Just very inspired to finish the new Ministry for its 2006 release in April, and looking forward to our MasteRBaTour next year and working with Raven from Killing Joke and Tommy Victor from Prong, and touring with the Cocks, and launching my own imprint 13th Planet Records.


To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 53!

image Side-Line issue 53 at Side-Line shop
image Ministry CDs

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