For nearly 30 years, Ministry has been hammering beats, screaming out against the system and generally tearing things up. Now 50, the only remaining original member, and frontman, Al Jourgensen has decided it's time for the band to call it quits.
The band's last three albums were all anti-Bush diatribes and as the President sees his final days in office, Jourgensen felt it's time to say goodbye as well. With the final album in the trilogy, The Last Sucker, and a CD of cover songs, Cover Up, Jourgensen feels now is the right time for it to end.
He recently spoke to Creative Loafing about the final tour, entitled "C U LaTouR" and his plans for the future:
Not much. How are you?
Burnt, tired. (laughs)
So, tour's going well, huh?
Have you had any second thoughts about this being the final tour?
Not even close, no. I'm totally over it. I'm booked for the next three years anyways doing production projects, soundtracks and things, running the label, so there's ... yeah. I'm a little too old to be carrying on like a 20-year-old anymore.
But it's fun with the last hurrah, I guess?
It's work, you know? I forgot. It's been a couple years since I toured. You don't bounce back as easy at 50 as you did at 20. But the shows sound great, the band's tighter than shit and ... in that sense the shows are good. It's just all the traveling and stuff. I'm over it, trust me.
Are you doing anything special to do it out right?
Where are you gonna be at?
Charlotte? No. We're just gonna go kick some ass. Burton [C. Bell] is with us. Like I said, I don't know if you know who's in the band, but it's probably the best band that we've ever had at least according to our road crew that's been with us for, like, five tours and all that stuff. I think we're getting some pretty good reviews on the shows, so...
When it was originally announced, there was talk of a two-and-a-half-hour set and it's gonna cover the band's history. From what I've read, that's changed and the set is focusing on the new albums. Is there any reason for that?
Yeah, I'm just really ... I just got tired of playing all the old stuff. I'm not a fucking jukebox. (laughs) Put a quarter in my mouth and turn my ear and I spit out the '90s hits for you -- I don't think so. It's more fun to play the newer type stuff and on top of that the band is more suited for that type of speed attack. It's working out great. It's almost a two-hour set and that's plenty. We're not the fuckin' Grateful Dead or Bruce Springsteen or something, you know? Not only that, I'd love to see them play that fast for two hours. They do all their "Born in the USA" and then there's a bunch of clapping and then they talk to the crowd for a while. "How's everybody doing?" We just waste through our shit. I could stretch it to two-and-a-half hours if I wanted to be an idiot and talk to the crowd for a half hour and get everyone clapping and stuff.
You don't do any clapping? (laughs)
No, you know, the latest thing is on "Khyber Pass," I actually light up a lighter and hold it over my head and all the idiots hold up lighters on that song. It's the only slow one we really do, so it's like ... (laughs)
Do you have a new mic stand on this tour? I know the last time I saw you, you had a new one with handlebars on it -- metal snakes.
No, that one's sitting in the Hard Rock in Amsterdam. They bought that off us. I got a skull mic stand. It's pretty bitchin'. I used it last tour and really got used to it. We were gonna make a new one, but it's kinda like my security blanket. It's just perfect. It's the perfect weight and everything so I held on to it. We are bringing the fence back which we haven't done since like '89 and we have some new visuals and some new banners. The actual stage looks great. A little bit of old, a little bit of new.
The other thing I've heard is that you've got Burton singing a good bit of the encore.
I've got him singing the old stuff. Like I said, I'm sick of doing it. I've been doing it for almost 30 years. So, Burton is singing on "N.W.O." and "Just One Fix" and the '90s stuff, blah, blah, blah and he's singing on the covers stuff since there's a new album and we might as well promote it while it's out. I think he does six or seven songs, something like that.