Archive for Mike Scaccia

Ministry’s Al Jorgensen from Rock Star to Author

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News with tags , , on January 29, 2015 by coletteclaire

Lately, Al Jorgensen has been a busy man. With the latest and last album From Beer to Eternity just released, as well as his autobiography The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen, his schedule has been packed. This really being the last album, due to the sudden, tragic death of long time guitarist Mike Scaccia, one does have to wonder what he plans to do next. Obviously he will be promoting the album for a while. From Beer to Eternity is an assault on the senses that culminates into one of the best albums ever made. As bands age their sound tends to get softer, and more introspective. They start singing about coming out of rehab and how much they love their kids. Not. This album is just as crazy, angry, sarcastic, and alcohol fueled as any previous record.  Though Jorgensen claims he’s got no upcoming plans for any musical projects he still has plenty to keep him busy. He has more books coming out as well as a Spoken Word gig coming up in Los Angeles. He still has plenty to say and plenty of people who want to listen.

Al Jourgensen, Ministry - 2013As far as the new album goes, Jourgensen’s intention was to distill the best parts of Ministry’s sound. Nothing experimental, just doing what they are best at. “Greatest riff’s not greats hits,” as he puts it.  All the songs written for the new album were written when Scaccia suddenly died of a heart attack on December 22 2012 while playing on stage with Rigor Mortis in Texas. The process of putting the pieces together and getting the album finished was extremely difficult for Jourgensen. Luckily he had second guitarist Sin Quirin to help him out: “If I ever do a show again or tour or whatever, Mikey was on the right side of the stage.” Jourgensen told us. “He was my right hand man. Now that he’s gone Sin has elevated himself. So who ever I get to play guitar will be my left hand man and Sin is my new right hand man.” Formerly of Society 1, Sin has been with Ministry since 2007. When asked how Sin came to be in the band Jourgensen had this to say: “He knew all god damn songs better than we did. That kind of helped.  I actually don’t remember meeting him the first time. I just know I heard him play and I was like fuck you write the stuff I’m tired.”

MI_FBTE-C_smallUnfortunately, there are no plans for a tour in the works at this time, but Jourgensen had this to say about it. “No I’m just doing some spoken word stuff for the next year or two or three. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. My crystal ball is kind of fuzzy today I can’t really give you an answer.” As vague and cryptic as that answer is it does give fans some hope that they might at least do a few shows. It would honestly be a shame if fans never got to hear the From Beer to Eternity material live.  Although, with Scaccia gone essentially no one will ever get to hear the material live exactly as it was meant to be heard, but it would still be awesome to get to hear it in some form. It’s hard to imagine a man as musically prolific as Jourgensen never playing another show for the rest of his life. One might be surprised to hear that Jourgensen is moving to Los Angeles soon. Most of his fans know him as being very adamantly from Texas. His wife, however, is apparently not such a huge fan of it. Since Quirin lives in Los Angeles as well which makes the possibility of them playing a show together greater. For now though, we will have to be sated by the videos being released for the album,  the first of which is for the track “Permawar.” The video was produced by Jourgensen’s wife, Angelina, and directed by filmmaker and animator Zach Passero, who also directed other Ministry videos in the past.
Al Jourgensen, Ministry - 2013As for the autobiography that was just released July 9th of this year, One might wonder if it was hard for Jourgensen to talk about his past in such detail, especially given that a lot of it isn’t such a pretty picture. Turns out though that it comes naturally to him. “The book was Wiederhorn and my crazy ass wife Angie’s idea,” Jourgensen told us. “We’d go out to some social event like the symphony or a dinner party or something and by the end of the night I’m all drunk and telling like tour stories to all these old folks. They’re just freaking out and Angie’s like, ‘you know you just hijacked the party. Why don’t you just come into a party and hand out a fucking pamphlet and go sit in the corner by yourself and drink vodka until your blind. So that’s how this book came about. I just got drunk and talked into a microphone to some author for a while. The author went back and checked me out for like 4 weeks to make sure I’m not full of shit by making phone calls to people and doing his due diligence. Then it went to the publisher which has like a six person legal team that made more phone calls and made sure I’m not full of shit. All I did was like get drunk for two weeks and tell tales. “Known for being in multiple bands at once, surprisingly Jorgensen claims has no upcoming plans for any other musical projects either. This does not mean he’s going to sit around collecting dust, however. Apparently, he’s taken a liking to being an author and has more books coming out. He had this to say about it: “Right now for the next two years I’m just working on literature. I have another book coming out, it’s a fiction book about a serial killer and I also have a 13 part comic series coming out about my life. I have super powers. I’ve been talking about it for years and putting it on the back burner and stuff and finally it was just like I need to do this shit and shut the fuck up. It’s interesting because this new book coming out is about our judicial system and our constitution in a weird way in the sense that it’s about a serial killer but he doesn’t actually kill anyone he just talks people into killing themselves and there’s a spike in suicides. He gets into their head and makes them think like, ‘man I am a worthless piece of shit.’ I’ve been dabbling on it on and off for 28 years now and I finally got the ending this last couple months so I’m finishing it up by Christmas and it should be out next year. It was originally called Mind Fuck but I’ve obviously been talked out of that and it’s going to be called Persuasion, a nice little 50 Shades of Grey type of name”

Amazingly, Jorgensen was able to recount his drug fueled past with so much detail there are not only outtakes from the book that was published, there is enough for several more books.  When asked how he managed to remember so much he responded: “It was the two years I spent with doctor Timothy Leary he was just having me inject DMT into my veins every day and I think it like caught up with my DNA and my brain cells and I just happen to remember a lot of stuff.”

Al Jourgensen, Ministry - 2013So what are they going to do with all the additional material they have from Jourgensen’s autobiography? Well unfortunately a lot of it can’t be released. Wiederhorn has some videos of outtakes posted on-line but much of it is tied up with legal issues: “The publisher is just wishing I would die in a plane crash because I have two other books worth of material and those books, while I’m alive, I would totally be liable for. I would be sued like crazy.” Jourgensen told us, followed by an evil laugh. “They’re holding onto all these other excerpts and stuff like that and they’re just hoping that I’ll just go away and then they can release them. This book is the PG version. It’s total Disney. They need for me to die so they can release the rest of this stuff. I hope that doesn’t deter people from buying my book but frankly I don’t fucking care.” It’s hard to imagine anything AL Jourgensen has done being equated with Disney. Fans of the band are familiar with his very public twenty year battle with heroin addiction. After reading just a few parts of the book it becomes plain that there is absolutely nothing Disney about it. It makes one wonder just how much worse all the stuff is they didn’t print.

With Scaccia gone Ministry truly is no more. From Beer to Eternity is a hell of a way to go out however, and we will definitely be hearing more from the notorious Mr.jourgensen. He is just not the type of person who can keep silent for long.

Photo Credit:  Allan Amato

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