Ministry's Al Jourgensen: Everyone Needs A Mentor To Help Figure Things Out
Three weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk to Ministry's legendary frontman and all-around heavy metal veteran Al Jourgensen. We had a slightly concerning start to the interview (Jourgensen was sick from food poisoning caused by Chobani yogurt that had since been recalled, and was sitting around, drinking vodka and waiting to die), but I say only slightly because 54-year-old Jourgensen has been pronounced dead three times before by far worse culprits.
After brushing that off, the musician began badgering me for some solid journalistic questioning before suspiciously asking what I thought of his new album. Not that he cares--From Beer to Eternity was only completed for Mike Scaccia, Jourgensen's long-time pal and band mate that died from a heart attack during the recording sessions.
Two Metal Mondays ago, the first half of the interview was published--it was just too damn long to keep 45-minute segment together. And to my heavy metal, tap-dancing fingers' delight, I received such a solid response that I am posting the second half of the interview in this week's episode.
Check out the first half of our conversation here, where we chat about the new album, what Scaccia's favorite track would've been, and his new memoir, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen. Oh yeah--we also talked about the influence of Rachel Maddow on his song writing, shaving Trent Reznor's head, meeting Obama, and the morning he drank with Lil Wayne.
Believe it or not, Jourgensen has a ton of other projects on his plate besides a new album, new book, and new concert DVD. He's also working with British-born illustrator Sam Shearon (he's also worked on comics for KISS and art design for Rob Zombie) on a comic book series called Captain of Industry. In the comic Jourgensen is a superhero who stands up for musicians. Think a customized Flying V guitar on the back, and super hearing. So if some black metal band in Norway is getting screwed over by a record label, he'll be able to "fly" there and prevent the band from getting ripped off. Yup: A big f-you to the music industry. And I'm guessing there will be lots of booze involved.
Check out the second half of the Jourgensen Metal Mondays files, where we talk about his love for ASU Sun Devils, his Beat Generation poet mentors, his ideas about running for mayor, and upcoming tour plans--to lecture at colleges.
So you're not one of the rock stars kicking around Obama?
The "talking heads" they throw out there, whether it's a president or prime minister, are already hogtied by corporate financing and things, and uh, so I really pay no heed. I actually feel sorry for Obama; I think The Onion said it best when he was re-elected. They said, "Black Man Given Worst Job in America." What a surprise, okay? It's pretty much like that.
I even started feeling bad for George W. towards the end of his ordeal. He was just in over his head. He wasn't running things. The President of the United States is not the most powerful man in the world--he's probably just the most duped man in the world, while the old guys are running things in a system that is fairly... [long pause] Unbalanced. Pardon the pun.
It can be depressing how issues are only taken in context of the politician's best interest.
I have a suggestion. For homeless people who are on the street with a fucking coffee can, trying to get coins just to eat, have a separate coffee can just to buy a lobbyist to get into Washington.
I'll be sure to take that information to the local shelter.
[Laughs] Start saving your fucking coins man! It's like what happened in ancient Egypt like when the so-called High Priest took over. And they just blasted him because they were losing their power. I see the Republican party now is just a bunch of old white guys gasping like goldfish in a bowl for their last minute of power. The world is changing! So get over it.
Have you ever considered getting in there?
You know what? I've thought about it. But I have way too many felony arrests and a box-load of Polaroids that I never want seen, stored in my attic. And, uh, I don't think I'd be a very good candidate.
Although I think my ideas are in line with most people. You understand what I'm saying? I could never run man, there's just so much dirt on me... and thank God there is! Because I wouldn't want that job. I've actually had people here in El Paso that want me to run for mayor... but no. The last thing I need is that boxful of Polaroids exposed. I'd be like Anthony Weiner... times 10.
But here's the good thing--you just put our all the dirt on yourself in your book, so you're saying there's even more behind that?
Well yeah... I guess that book kinda precludes me from running for office forever.