Al Jourgensen, the creator and front-man for the the Industrial pioneer machine that is MINISTRY, has just completed one of his greatest pieces of works to date, and it’s not a new album. Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen is a new book that tells tales of Al’s life and near death(s). It’s a dark, humorous, and at time frightening experiencing right from one of the most destructive and indestructible men in Rock ‘N Roll. It was my absolute honor to talk with Al more about his life, and this new book in this exclusive Rockstar Radio™ interview.
At exactly 2:36 I looked at my phone and noticed a missed call. It was a number I didn’t recognize. Seconds later a text came through from the same number. It read “Shawn this is Angie Jourgensen (Al’s wife and manager Please call me ASAP”. I sat back and thought “Oh shit. Al ain’t dealing with any press today. Al fucking hates press”. I immediately called her back. A soft, bright voice on the other end picked up. “Hi Shawn, it’s Angie Jourgensen. I just needed to check and see if your interview with Al in 10 minutes is live?” I had totally forgotten to mention that detail. “Pre-recorded for playback” I said. “I don’t want Al to have to hold back or keep in mind to try and censor anything. He can say whatever he wants.”. She thanked me and let me know that Al was ready to rock, and was in a great mood today. Two things went through my head as we hung up. 1. “Would it matter if it was live or not? Al Jourgensen is going to say what he wants to say. He doesn’t fucking care, and that’s part of why he is Al fucking Jourgensen.” 2. “I wonder what a ‘great mood’ for Al is? I’ve heard some horror stories about his experience with press and interviews. Some right out of this book. It was comforting to hear nonetheless, but I was still nervous that something could easily turn his mood from “great” to “get fucked, radio man” in a hurry. My concerns were all for not. The man that I spoke with 1500 miles away was incredibly positive and welcoming. I just opened the doors to some of my favorite stories from the book, and let Al take the reigns. I can honestly say this was one of the best interview experiences I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot because once again, Al fucking hates press.
I did stay away from a few subjects, however. Namely the passing of his best friend, and bandmate, Mike Scaccia. I knew that man meant the world to Al, and even more so after reading his book. The bond he shared with Mike was insurmountable, and even though it was a big part of the book, it wasn’t my place to ask about it. Al was the one who brought the subject to light in part two of the interview. I felt blessed that he would include me in telling his experience of making the From Beer To Eternity (available September 6th) album after the passing of his dear friend.
I had allotted about 15 minutes for the entire interview. Most are only 5-7, but I figured I would be safe just in case. I had a live break to do in exactly 19 minutes, and I actually had to let Al go so I can make it on the air. We could have sat and talked all day long. Al Jourgensen has lived an incredible life to say the least, and I feel that this amazing book only scratches the surface..
In the interview there were a few topics and stories that I really wanted to hear straight from the source. The first was a hilarious story of the first time Al meant Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, and Robert totally cock blocked him. It straight up had me in tears, man. The second was Al’s lifelong experience with Aliens, or as he calls them, “The Gray’s”.
Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen is one of the best music based pieces of literature, or any literature, that I have set my eyes on. Read the book. You’re going to love it.