Al Jourgensen was interviewed on this past weekend’s edition of Full Metal Jackie’s radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: 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?
Jourgensen: 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 supposed 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.
Full Metal Jackie: Is “Relapse” really the fastest, heaviest thing you’ve ever done?
Jourgensen: 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.
Full Metal Jackie: Did five years between albums and not touring make you want to redefine MINISTRY?
Jourgensen: 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 freakout 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.
Full Metal Jackie: How did going country with BUCK SATAN AND THE 666 SHOOTERS ultimately affect the direction of the new MINISTRY album?
Jourgensen: 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.
Full Metal Jackie: There’s going to be a “Relapse” U.S. tour in June and you’ve got some European dates scheduled as well.
Jourgensen: 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.
Full Metal Jackie: Are you going to be in a pope mobile?
Jourgensen: [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.
Full Metal Jackie: 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?
Jourgensen: 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 used 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.
Full Metal Jackie: Are you looking forward to this touring that’s coming up?
Jourgensen: 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 every day. [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.