Interview: The Whole Shithouse Goes Up In Flames: Saying Goodbye To Ministry

MinistryIt’s a rare thing these days for a band to just say, “Fuck it. I’m done.” With dinosaur touring acts whose schedules you could set a watch to and a torrent of reunion announcements choking the news wire, it’s interesting to see someone quit while they’re ahead.

And Ministry frontman and sole conspirator Al Jourgensen is certainly ahead. Now signaling the end of his most prolific period, which began with Houses Of The Mole in 2004, Jourgensen has decided to hang up his touring boots for good at the end of this year’s “C U Latour,” what he’s promised will be the final live shows for Ministry in support of what he’s called his last Ministry releases, The Last Sucker and Cover Up.

But it just wouldn’t be Al Jourgensen to go out without plenty to say—he’s spent the last four years vehemently protesting the George W. Bush presidency and there’s nothing that will cause it to abate before Inauguration Day next year. On a quiet Jan. 29 of this year, the day after Bush’s final State Of The Union speech, The Aquarian Weekly phoned a high- spirited Jourgensen about his final days as Ministry.

In a way only he can, Jourgensen started the conversation:

AJ: Konichiwa!

Hey, what’s going on dude?

What’s up Patrick?

Not much, how’re you doing?

Hanging in there. (laughs) 356 days left of the Bush presidency, one day closer to nirvana.

Fine, let’s start there.


At this point, this far into things—do you even feel like you’ve got an opponent anymore?

That’s why I’m ending Ministry. It’s all perfect synchronicity. I’ve done my part on railing against him for three full records during this disastrous presidency, probably the worst in history, even worse than Hoover. I’m serious, it’s just that bad. But I knew that was coming, from before he was even president. The way he got to be president was by saying McCain had a black baby, this and that, sic Karl Rove on everyone, played all these tactics and somehow got elected in that climate of fear.

But we always knew he was a dolt, everything this guy has touched—how do you start an oil company in Texas and go bankrupt? When he had the Texas Rangers, they never had a winning season. (laughs) Okay? Everything he’s done, he’s ruined. Every single venture this loser has tried to accomplish in his life. He’s like Charlie Brown, dude. At this point, on The Last Sucker, I’m not even mad at him anymore, I almost feel sorry for him. He’s the last sucker, he’s the only one that doesn’t get it, that he’s an idiot. Somebody’s got to send a memo to him, saying, ‘Excuse me sir, but you’re an idiot.’ Make it an official memo, if he can actually read, I’m not sure if he can. I’m not sure if he’s literate.

I think he does read the papers, but I don’t think he reads the editorials.

He doesn’t read the papers, he looks at the cartoons! And he looks at the pictures and goes, ‘hehehehe-hehehehe.’ He’s a fucking dolt.

I think you said that you wrote better records when Republicans were in office. Does that mean that there’s definitely going to be a Democrat in office if you’re hanging it up?

We’re all pretty certain of that. Doesn’t matter, I don’t care who it is. It’s all the same shit anyway, they’re all owned by the same people. Democrat, Republican. Bush isn’t even a Republican. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice ticket has just been an abomination of complete greed and evil. It’s not even Republican or Democrat.

It’s just absolutely incompetent and destructive to the human race. I’m hanging it up now, because it doesn’t matter what they get. They’ll make some cosmetic changes, get a little health care for people, little mortgage relief, blah, blah, green technology, little less reliance on fossil fuels, but it’s all cosmetic. The same people still running things behind the scenes, so I’m not exactly kidding myself, like, ‘Oh, this is going to be utopia now that there’s a Democrat,’ whatever.

A lot of The Last Sucker leads toward an apocalyptic, end of days scenario, that’s literally where you end it.

I’m basically going by people who seemed to have their shit together, even though they did human sacrifices (laughs), the Mayans seem to know a lot of shit. 2012 seems to be as good of a date as any. All the events leading up to this, this is very reminiscent of the fall of the Roman Empire, so to me, yeah, I think it is leading up to a very big change. I don’t think it’s the end of the world, I think it’s the end of the world as we know it, as R.E.M. said, but I think humans will persevere.

I think there’s enough of us cockroach humans that we’ll survive whatever if you plan ahead and you know what the hell’s going on. But yeah, I do think it’s really coming to the end of the Roman Empire type of thing, before the Visigoths stormed Rome and burned it down. (laughs)

By the same token, you can say you’ve got a European Union formed, another Roman Empire over there.

I don’t see that at all, actually. I think the European Empire is basically the same people. They’re like the farm team. Say we’re the major leagues here in America. We make the most money, we do the most consumption. Europe is like our farm system. (laughs) They’re like our AAA baseball club. They make money too, but not as much as us, but it’s the same fucking people running the whole fucking thing, so.

What freaks me out about these little cabals is like, ‘How much is enough?’ When you’re making $40 billion in profit a year, how much do you need? What is it that you’re really looking for? (laughs) It just freaks me out, the amount of greed that goes on in corporate America, which is why I’m so diametrically opposed to the Republicans who are all free market. In other words, free for their rich buddies that supported their campaign, and these people get to run roughshod. But what’s so funny about this greed is that there’s only so much you can take, and pretty much there’s not going to be a middle class. There’s not going to be a consumption society, but that’s what they’ve based it all around, yet they’ve squeezed so much out of the consumption society that there’s no consumers left. They’ve shot themselves in the foot. That’s what I don’t understand about these people, how much is enough?

We could just go to fiefdoms, I suppose.

Exactly! (laughs) That’s what we’re headed towards, dude.

Do you subscribe to the Bilderberg Group theories and all that?

Of course, come on! I’m always good for a good conspiracy theory. (laughs) Those are great, I love ’em. Some people go out to clubs on Saturday night, I stay home and watch Bilderberg conspiracy videos and shit (laughs), that’s my idea of a good time.