Monday, 26 May 2014

#MusicMonday #Ministry #AlJourgensen

I realise I've been a bit slack with updates, so here's a #MusicMonday post about a really awesome band. 


"Ministry was the single most important influence in the sound and concept of Nine Inch Nails..."
~ Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails.

"Al Jourgensen perfected industrial music to the point where it appealed to a metal audience, but was still rooted in electronic music with really cool, heavy melodies."
~ Burton C. Bell, Fear Factory.

"Ministry is not as much a band or a movement as it is a culture. They have the ability to throw you into a trance with a single riff for minutes on end and still retain a verse/chorus structure that actually means something."
~ Joey Jordison, Slipknot.

Ministry are probably THE band to bridge the divide between metal and ACTUAL industrial music

If ones takes a band like Nine Inch Nails as a commerically viable and radio friendly style of industrial metal, let me guide you toward the darker side, toward the bands who came first (before Rammstein, before White Zombie...) and in the very darkest corners of the 1980s was a band called Throbbing Gristle, but believe me you don't want to go down that path unless you have an inkling of what you're getting yourself into.

Industrial trance, then? With a beat? Could almost be played on a club dance floor...?

Hello, MINISTRY - " SO WHAT " from album 'The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste'. (1989/1990)

'Destroy us, or make us saints

We don't care, it's not our fault that we were born too late

A screaming headache on the brow of the state'

Yes, Ministry is a very politically aware band. They are left wing, anti-Bush administration, freedom thinking and boundary challenging, throwing up angry ideas to their listeners.

Listen, and watch, with an open mind!

A live video from 'SPHINCTOUR' (1996)
N.W.O. (New World Order) is an open protest against war, and against the Bush administration.

In this song, "A new world order" is the sound byte from Bush Snr. and yes, it is as chilling as it sounds when spliced with images of war.

Probably the most unsettling visual in this live video is the on stage backdrop: it is a repeated visual of a suited man walking on you, stamping down, while the sample repeats Bush declaring "A new world order a new world order a new world order a new world order..."


And yet the band are not without a little humour in their work:

'PSALM 69' was one of their biggest hits:

"69! 69! 69!"

Along with 'JUST ONE FIX' a collaboration with poet/novelist William S. Burroughs:

"Never trust a junkie..."

Most of the songs I've chosen to represent Ministry are from the album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and Suck Eggs, becauseif you haven't heard Ministry before, or are new to industrial metal in general, I believe it's a good place to start.

The riffs and driving melody lure you in. :)

Frontman and Ministry founder Al Jourgensen recently released his auto biography:

I'm currently reading it, and this quote from Al's stepdad, Ed Jourgensen, really reasonated with me, as I'm sure it would to anyone who's always felt different, looked different, and been treated as 'different' no matter what you look like.

" It's like he's saying, if all you're going to do is judge my appearance, I'll scare you away, but if you get to know me, I'm a good person. And if you manage to do that, you've gotten past my guard and I'll let you in. " 

~ Ed Jourgensen, Al's Stepdad.

Al Jourgensen, a recent photo

[There's been speculation that actor Johnny Depp modelled his Jack Sparrow look on Jourgensen's every-day look, as they've known each other for years. An interesting thought!]

What was also interesting to learn, from Al's book, is that he really isn't keen on performing live, nor is he keen on the audience mindlessly smashing about in a mosh pit to his music.

" My music's not all about violence and anger and blind rage; there has always been a lot more to it than that, but people cling to what's most powerful and what they can easily understand. "

~ Al Jourgensen

For anyone interested further in Al's musical career, he's recorded a country album under the name Buck Satan, been involved in numerous side projects, and produced other bands himself.

Here's a tasty snippet of his collaborative efforts! To end on a more upbeat note ^_^

1000 Homo DJs - Supernaut (Black Sabbath cover)

THIS is an awesome cover.

Please try to open your mind to the fact that creative artists may choose bizarre pseudonyms. One other artist involved was Jello Biafra, formerly of The Dead Kennedys, political supporter of punk ethics, and a spoken word performer known for using shock tactics.

My final video is from another of Al's side projects, with possibly the most dodgy band name in history. BE VERY CAREFUL how you Google this one!

REVOLTING COCKS - 'Do ya think I'm sexy?' (Rod Stewart cover)

Al is singing the chorus. 'IF YOU WANT MY BODY!' Yes, that chorus! And yes, that's his head appearing on the creamed-up stripper's body. Nice!

Probably one of the best music video concepts ever created: man walks into a dazzling strip club, sits down to watch the show... Oh no, wait, actually it's HELL and all the strippers are kinky demons or zombies. AWESOME.

I hope this post has brought some new tunes into your life :)  Enjoy <3


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