Al Jourgensen Hangs Up Ministry, Talks Memoir and Projects With Trent Reznor, Lil Wayne

Allan Amato

Industrial icon also has comic book planned with an "arch enemy who's based on Ted Nugent. I fight for good, and this guy just shoots deer and writes songs about vaginas"

Al Jourgensen is saying yes to more books but no to more Ministry albums after the Sept. 6 release of "From Beer To Eternity," his 13th studio release under the Ministry moniker. 

"We'll see if we ever do another Ministry gig again or not," the industrial rock icon tells Billboard. "I'm not saying yes or no yet. All I'm saying is I know there's no new Ministry studio CDs coming ever again. I promise." 

The reason for that is the death last year of Mike Scaccia, Jourgensen's chief Ministry cohort on-and-off, but mostly on, since 1989, as well as a partner in the Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. Scaccia, who also played in Rigor Mortis, suffered a fatal heart attack on stage last December in Fort Worth, Texas, which makes the arrival of "From Beer To Eternity" "bittersweet" and the prospect of more new Ministry material unlikely, Jourgensen contends.

"I just had a comfort level with Mikey that was really good, and really important to me," he explains. "He was like my little brother, my best friend, my best everything in the whole world. As long as (Scaccia) was there, I knew things were gonna be OK. I'm just too cold and cranky and tired to hand that mantle to Sin (Quinn, Ministry's other guitarist) -- which is not a diss on him. He's the second best guitar player I've ever worked with." 

Scaccia, in fact, was responsible for convincing Jourgensen to do another Ministry album after he'd declared the group finished with 2007's "The Last Sucker" and again after 2012's "Relapse." 

"I thought that was the perfect time to go out," Jourgensen recalls. "But when we did the Buck Satan album (2012's 'Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free') at the beginning of the sessions we'd warm up doing all these riffs and just metal stuff. At then end Mikey was like, 'Dude, you've got to release this stuff,' and he pestered me for, literally, five or six months and talked me into doing one more album. So if you don't like ('From Beer To Eternity),' blame him."

Jourgensen says he also refuses to "cash in" on Scaccia's passing. "I'm not gonna and go, 'Oh, he's dead. We can sell records -- yeah!' like most people would do. That just doesn't interest me, and I have other projects going on."

Chief among those is the recently published memoir "Ministry: The Last Gospels According to Al Jourgensen," written with music writer Jon Wiederhorn. The frank and revealing tome, Jourgensen says, was his wife's idea -- "She was tired of me getting drunk and parties and telling the same stories over and over" -- and he portrays the process as "basically me rambling into a tape for a couple of weeks, drunk out of my mind...This is not a cautionary tale, not a redemption tale. This is not anything except...just a snapshot of what happened in 54 years of a person who lives on this little insignificant planet in this insignificant galaxy in this vast universe." 

But plenty has happened to Jourgensen -- who says his general perspective on his life became "This has been pretty fucked up" after writing the book -- and he sounds confident that he has more to tell.

"According to Wiederhorn I've got enough stuff on paper for another three or four books, with names mentioned and no prisoners taken," Jourgensen says. "I think the second one will be much harsher than the first one, way more debauch than the first. And we'll see what happens from there."

Jourgensen is planning some book signings and lectures on college campuses in the fall, and he also has a futuristic novel in the works called "Mindfuck." A comic book, currently in negotiations, features an "arch enemy who's based on Ted Nugent. I fight for good, for right, and this guy just shoots deer and writes songs about vaginas." 

On the musical tip, Jourgensen is preparing for the release of a DVD, "Ministry: Enjoy the Quiet -- Live at Wacken 2012,"  and he has projects in discussion with Lil Wayne and Trent Reznor. The latter, he says, could be an all-star affair that will "wrap a bow on the entire industrial era. It's a little contrived and conceptualized, unlike the Lil Wayne thing. I don't know what the hell's gonna happen with that one."