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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 8:29 am | Fair 45º


Jeff Moehlis: Ministry’s Industrial Metal Thunder

The band will perform in Ventura on Friday

Guitarist Sin Quirin and the rest of Ministry will perfom at the Majestic Ventura Theater on Friday in support of their new album, “AmeriKKKant.” Click to view larger
Guitarist Sin Quirin and the rest of Ministry will perfom at the Majestic Ventura Theater on Friday in support of their new album, “AmeriKKKant.” (Marie Anthony photo)

The band Ministry has amassed a brutal body of work during the past 30 years, with pioneering early songs such as "Burning Inside," "Jesus Built My Hotrod" and "N.W.O." helping define the industrial metal genre. Their most recent release, the new album AmeriKKKant, continues the onslaught with songs about the current state of American politics.

Ministry will perform at the Majestic Ventura Theater on Friday. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Ministry guitarist Sin Quirin talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming show and the band's indestructible leader, Al Jourgensen.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: What can people look forward to at the upcoming concert?

Sin Quirin: You know, in our typical Ministry fashion, I think people can expect to get assaulted on every level, and on all of the senses. It's visual, it's auditory — it's everything, man. People usually leave our gig like they just got clobbered over the head with a hammer or something. I'm sure we will bring it like we usually do.

JM: My guess is that for most of your fans that's exactly what they want.

SQ: I believe so. And if they don't get it by us musically, we'll stand up there with an actual hammer and do it ourselves.

JM: There have been several times over the years that Al Jourgensen said that a particular album or tour would be the last one for Ministry — and now you have a new album out. What inspired the band to return to the studio to record that album?

SQ: It's a number of things. One of the reasons: You go through these periods sometimes where you feel like, "OK, this is it. I'm done. I'm really kind of over this thing." And then from whatever event happens in your life you get that creative bug again, and you want to go back into the studio and create something. I think that's what it was like for Al when he decided for us to go back into the studio. So that, tied in with our political climate, I think, had a lot to do with it. It was just a lot of built-up tension [laughs], and I think we took it out on this album.

JM: How did you first get the gig with Ministry?

SQ: I got the gig because of a couple of people. One was an old booking agent that we shared, and the other guy was Paul Raven, rest in peace, who was in one of my old bands called Society 1. Both of those guys were instrumental in getting me this gig, and introducing me to Al. That was in the early 2000s. I had always hoped and wanted to be in a band like Ministry, so it was always something that I aspired to and tried to make happen. So being in the band now — still it's a real thing for me, at times. And writing a lot of music for the band, and everything that I've been able to do because of Al and Ministry has just been pretty crazy to think about sometimes.

JM: How would you describe Al as a bandleader? Or is that the right thing to call him?

SQ: More like the ring leader [laughs]. He's been great. He's as eccentric and eclectic as people think, but very, very forward-thinking musically. With me he's been great. All I can say is my experience with him — the freedom that he's allowed me in the studio and my contributions musically to the band and the songs.

He's been one of those guys that has always pushed me musically. Even if he doesn't necessarily know he's doing it, he has. Oftentimes I'm in the studio tracking stuff, I'll play him an idea and he'll hear it, he'll let me do my thing with it, and then he'll come in and just say, "Try this" or "Try that" or whatever. In a certain way that gets a better performance out of me. As far as I'm concerned, he is a musical genius, and I think as the years go by more and more people are really going to realize that and see just how much he contributed to this.

JM: Al has had several brushes with death over the years, and somehow he has survived. Do you have any insight into Al's secret to survival?

SQ: God, I don't know, man. You know, he's one of those guys. He's up there with Keith Richards. Those guys are just going to outlive all of us. I think he's just pickled himself so much that he's preserved. I don't know, man. He's like one of the healthiest guys I know [laughs]. I can't explain it.

Click here for the full interview with Sin Quirin.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, music-illuminati.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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