NEW MINISTRY CD and TOUR !!
AL is BACK !!!!
The world of heavy music mourned in 2008 when the industrial metal machine that was Ministry, after 11 albums and 27 years, concluded their epic musical journey with the C U LaTour. And no one was more surprised than Hammer when on August 7th, the band sparked back into life, and the band lurched into motion with the announcement that Ministry would be playing at next year’s Wacken Festival in Germany.
Speaking exclusively to Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas, Al Jourgensen has revealed Ministry’s plans for a new tour, a new album, and how back in 2008 he was coming apart at the seams, almost literally. To put things mildly, years relentless touring and hard living had finally caught up with him.
So what happened?
Al: “I’d been throwing up blood for the last 3 tours and like an idiot I didn’t think there was anything wrong. 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. 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. I quit drinking, quit smoking, and I haven’t done drugs in 9 years, and I’ve just focused on getting healthy. 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. 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. 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 and night…”
So how did the resurrection of Ministry come about?
“While I was working on [the Buck Satan record], me and Mike Scaccia from Rigor Mortis fucked around to pass the time and we had like, 5,6,7 songs and I didn’t really want to do anything with them but Mikey was like, “dude these songs are awesome.” They weren’t country, they were more like Ministry. So he’s coming by in September and Tommy Victor’s coming by in October with Tony Campos and we’re gona finish up and put out another Ministry album by Christmas called ‘Relapse.’”
Interesting title for a record…
“Well, I’m clean living but it’s like I’m relapsing back into the world of Ministry.”
So what are your immediate plans for touring?
“The doctors told me to keep it light so we’re doing four shows in the States next June. The Nokia theatre in LA, the Vic theatre in Chicago – we’ll add second shows if those sell out – Denver at the Ogden Theatre, and one night at the Nokia theatre in New York and that’s our whole American tour. That’s it. And then we go to Europe and I’m gonna do a couple of festivals and club shows. We’re gona do a limited tour, it’ll be like 5/6 weeks. Maybe 20, 21 shows and just see how it works.”
And who’s in the lineup?
“It’s the usual suspects, I got Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor on guitar, I got Tony Campos on bass, and Arron Rossi who plays with Prong on drums and John Bechdel from Killing Joke.”
And what can we expect from the shows?
“We’ll do all the major hits. To be honest with you my favourite records are now the last few that I’ve done. I really love Houses of the Molé, Rio Grande Blood and The Last Sucker, I really think those three are great records, so three or four off the new one and then like seven or eight of the old ones and keep it to that, like 20 or 25 songs a night and a two, two and a half hour set, a little bit of something for everyone I’m gonna try and hit every single album I’ve done.”
Have you finished the Buck Satan record yet?
“Yeah that’s been done for a while now, it’s going to be out on the eleventh of the eleventh of the eleventh (11/11/11) on 13th Planet, on our own label and it’s going to be e-store only, download only, that kind of shit. I almost died and I promised everyone I would do that Buck Satan record before I died. Fuck man, if this isn’t a sign to do the record I don’t know what is”.
But without a Bush in office what’s your muse?
“Trust me I got plenty of Republican’s to rail at. Look at Wall Street look at the complete destruction of the middle class in the world, I mean we have a ruling oligarchy which happened in the early 1900s with the robber barons. What these idiot greedy bastards don’t realise is that if they make a class of poor and a class of super wealthy, who’s gonna buy their product? There’s no middle class, there’s no money. That’s the Republican strategy. In the political process and the right wing too with the Murdochs and the Camerons and the shit u got going on over there. If you’re 1 % of the population and you own 80% of the wealth, who’s gona buy what you’re making?”
What can you tell us about the new Ministry material?
“We’ve only got five songs to go. I’ve been listening to it the last couple of weeks and I wasn’t really in the mood, I was just taking it as a joke. Just to pass the time at first but [Mikey’s] raving about it. It’s like, dude c’mon, this is not about Bush, so… that parts over. The ulcers are gone and Bush is gone so it’s time for something new. I think this 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, faster than Mikey’s done in a long time. He just did a Rigor Mortis tour and said it was easy compared to this Ministry stuff so it’s gonna be brutal and it’s gonna freak a lot of people out.”
Ministry will play the Wacken festival next August. The dates of Ministry’s US tour will be announced via Metal Hammer and tickets will go on sale in mid-September, with an exclusive pre-sale for fan club members.