“Should I get my genitals pierced?” Al Jourgensen solves the world’s problems
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen is perhaps not the best person from whom to seek advice. After all, he once claimed to have swapped a Ferrari for a pound of heroin, and following a police raid on his Texas compound in 1995, he was arrested for possession of the drug and sentenced to five years probation. He also lived on acid guru Timothy Leary’s couch for a period of time, acting as a human guinea pig while the former injected him with ‘experimental’ drugs and took notes. Approaching later life, he then got his entire face tattooed and pierced in a fashion that is unlikely to enhance job prospects in any field but his own.
Then again, at 62 years old, and with an astonishing, GRAMMY-nominated body of work to his name, he continues to release great music. And more to the point, he’s still alive and kicking against the pricks, and never anything less than wildly entertaining. So, let’s see what advice the mad old bugger can give our readers…
Michael Lodge: Now that every human is an active weapon of mass destruction, where can we ride this one out?
“Every human is a weapon of mass destruction? Referring to the COVID pandemic? Where can we ride this out? Nowhere! What needs to be done is, you have to take responsibility for your own actions, and if your actions are hurting others, then don’t fucking do it! In other words, if there’s a vaccine available that you can get, then take the fucking vaccine and shut the fuck up! While you’re screaming about your freedoms, you’re impinging on the freedoms of two-thirds of the populous around you that do want the vaccine that has been scientifically proven affective. So just shut the fuck up and quit whining! Get the fucking vaccine.”
Shane Scarfe: What is the secret to a truly life-changing acid trip?
“A truly life-changing acid trip is – and I’ve actually experienced this at Timothy Leary’s house – where, what you’re seeing with your eyes are hallucinations… or are they? I shot up an experimental drug that Tim was giving to me, while he wrote notes, and all of a sudden there was no ceiling in his kitchen. It was just night sky! I was in a completely different dimension of reality, and starting to question what is real and what’s not, very similar to The Matrix. There are moments, if you do it properly, where psychedelics can lead you down a path of an alternative reality that exists. That was as true as it can be, for me, while it was happening, and nobody can tell me different. It was the fucking night sky, and I was in the middle of a forest, like 15 seconds after injecting whatever cocktail it was. That opens your mind as to what is real and what’s not, so, yeah, I’d say go for it! With the right handler! I had no better handler than Timothy Leary watching me while I tripped. I was in good hands.”
Ciara Tierney: Should I have children?
“Probably not, if you’re asking!”
Paris Mayer: Is it worth trying to stop climate change or are we too fucked already?
“Well, we’re fucked, but we’re not too fucked. As was proven during the first months of the COVID quarantine worldwide, the planet all of a sudden started healing itself. I know the media didn’t promote it that much, but all of a sudden, without all the cars on the road and all the pollutants, because factories were shut down, it started healing. And that was in a very short period of time, so as much as the doomsayers say it’s beyond the point, the planet just showed that it can rehabilitate itself quite fast. We have to make an effort to do that, but no, I don’t think it’s too late.”
Quentin Fuller: How should they end The Simpsons?
“To be honest, I’ve never watched a Simpsons episode, so I’d be the last person to ask. I’m kind of sheltered or something. Just this week, I got so fucking bored that I think I was the last person on Earth to watch Game Of Thrones. I binged watched all 72 episodes, ending tonight. It’ll be my 15th night. So, I’m just learning about that! Simpsons has been out for 30 – 35 years! I was always a Beavis & Butthead guy, so I never really paid attention to this guy that reminded me of my own father. It just didn’t seem appealing to me. So I have no answer, I’m very sorry, reader.”
David Mable: Is there life on other planets?
“Fuck yeah! There’s life on this planet that we don’t know about, and there’s life on other planets, other constellations, other galaxies. There’s different races that I communicate with in my head at night. Different races, cultures, species, yes, it’s everywhere! Come on! Really? I think that’s a stupider question than the one before about having children! Every one of our major religions is based on UFO encounters. Whoever that person is, tell them to grow up!”
Philip Dent: How should I propose to my girlfriend?
“Probably don’t! I think proposals are kind of outdated and it should be more like a talk amongst two people, like, are we willing to do this in the long haul? You and me against the world, blah, blah. None of this, ‘Do you take my hand?’ garbage. Just talk it over and see if you have the same goals. Set five or 10-year plans. Like, in 10 years what do you want to do? Okay, we seem to be on the same path and if we can save money on taxes and do all this other shit by getting married, then let’s do that. But please don’t have any more babies, because stupid people shouldn’t breed.”
Siobhan Jones: What is the greatest metal album of all time?
“Oh my god! There’s like a million of them, and mine is not going to be a popular choice, but I just know what it meant to me when I first heard it, and it’s got to be Black Sabbath Vol. 4. For me, it just tickled my fancy at the right moment.”
Jeremy Fletcher: What’s the best first date I can take someone on?
“The best first date? Ministry concert, man! What else am I supposed to say? The Eiffel Tower in spring? Bring her to a Ministry concert and buy her a T‑shirt, then it’s winner chicken dinner for everyone! But then, we’ve got this COVID thing going on, and all my band and crew are a bunch of old geezers living in a petri dish on wheels, so it becomes, like, ‘Is this worth it?’ We have a tour scheduled for October, so we’ll see where we’re at, but until they start making vaccines mandatory, I just don’t see the point.”
Ellie Brown: How can I learn to give less of a fuck?
“If you have to ask how to learn that, then you’re never gonna fucking learn that! You either do or you don’t, mate. At some point there has to be a fulcrum where you just say, ‘I don’t give a fuck!’ And that’s becoming increasingly more difficult as we raise a generation that completely value their own self-esteem and self-worth by Instagram likes or some shit like that. It’s just got to be like a light switch one day, where you go, ‘I don’t need this shit and I don’t give a fuck!’”
James Southard: Can you lend me a tenner?
“Yeah, sure. Honestly, I will. It’s your lucky day. Get me his address and I’ll lend him a tenner. But then that’s fucking it! I admire his audacity and cleverness, so that’s worth a tenner. Everyone else can fuck off.”
Liam Hellings: I’m struggling to decide whether I should go to university or not – what should I do?
“Definitely go to university! It’s shaping the rest of your life within a few years and it’s really accelerating the learning process of how you get by on this planet, not just scholastically, what you’re learning with what you want to study, but the social elements of kids away from their parents for the first time and how they interact with each other. It could be as bad as Lord Of The Flies, which also is a learning process, or it could be a valuable tool with how you negotiate the rest of your life. I would say: go to university, absolutely. It was some of the best years of my life, and what’s funny is at high school I was fucking hideous – I couldn’t care less. I might as well have been making purses in China until I got away from my parents and had this really compressed learning experience, which made up for the first 18 years of life on this fucking planet. It also taught me who to hate, and if nothing else, it was invaluable for that!”
Peter Welbourne: My parents and I are on different sides of political spectrum – they’re much more right-wing. How do I get them over to my side?
“By completely disowning them! There’s no convincing a lifer right-winger. I’ve found that out, after all these years of doing left-wing politics within my music. There’s no talking to these people. They’re set in their ways, and their education has tilted them towards this point of view, and your education and experiences have tilted you towards another point of view. Either don’t talk about politics and love them for what they are or just fucking disown them. I had to do that with my own parents; I haven’t talked to them in years. It’s not worth it. You really gain nothing by it.”
Kyle Atkinson: I’ve just got a new dog – what should I call him?
“Dog. I mean, do you honestly think they’ll be upset later in their lives, all seven to 10 years of it, that they didn’t like their name? Call it whatever the fuck you want. I don’t understand the angst of naming your pets. Call it what it is.”
Jay Lambert: Should I get my genitals pierced?
“Well, let me put it this way, we used to have a guitar player in our band who told me a story about his mate in Discharge who had an attempted Prince Albert. And for the rest of his life, whenever he went to a truck stop bathroom, he had to make sure that he carried a used paper towel roll that he could stick his dick in to pee, because otherwise it would go all over the people next to him! As soon as he told me that, I was like, ‘Well, it looks kinda cool, but I don’t think that’s for me!’”
Casey Marshall: How can I live my live more like Al Jourgensen?
“Why would you want to do that? Are you a glutton for punishment? I would just say: stick to your beliefs, stick to what you do, but always be able to learn as you go along. Curiosity and humour are the two biggest aspects of forming a personality as you go through life. You have to have a sense of humour, because everything’s so fucked, and you have to be curious as to why it’s fucked. Also, copious amounts of psychedelics, which works on the curious part, too.”
Libby Eastburne: Is there an afterlife?
“Absolutely. But it’s not pearly gates and a guy with a white beard and all this other caca. There’s a universal energy, we come from stars as molecules, we leave this earth as molecules, and those molecules coagulate with a consciousness that we still have from our experiences on this world and the one before, and the one before. You just keep moving forward through the universe. It’s almost like a corporation. As you go forward, you try to get a better job or a better location, like some other planet that’s run better than this shithole. But, yeah, of course there’s an afterlife. There’s an afterlife for anything that decays and comes back as something else living. I don’t know if plants bring their shared experiences of swaying in the wind for spring and summer before they die, but you carry on after this. There’s just no structured programme of having to confess your sins to some weird, old lecherous white-haired dude.”
Ministry’s new album Moral Hygiene is due out October 1 via Nuclear Blast
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