ThisIsNotAScene were ecstatic when we heard the news that Ministry were back with a new album and were going to tour it. We sent Steve Fallows to witness the show in Manchester on July 21, 2012 and whilst he was there he spent a few moments chatting with long-time Ministry collaborator Mike Scaccia. They talked about the new album “Relapse,” working with Al Jourgensen, side-projects, the future of Ministry… and much more!
This is the big comeback of Ministry, and at times it seemed at times that the build up to the end lasted longer than the hiatus, with the last album, last remix album, the last tour, how did the comeback happen?
Well, me and Al were working on the Buck Satan record and he started playing me some demos that never got used and I’d never heard them and I was blown away by them. One of them was ‘Double Tap’ I told him he had to do something with that and he was like “Nah, I don’t want to do that shit”. I said I had got some riffs too and we should mix them together.
We were working together everyday on this other record and all of a sudden one day he rolled in and said “Yeah, we’re gonna do another Ministry record, lets do one.” It was just like that, then within three months it was written recorded and out, but it was talked about for while, maybe a year before we actually did it.
Once you got into the making the album, was their ever any doubts about pursuing Ministry again?
I didn’t do the last tour, so when he told me it was going to be the last one I thought in my mind there ain’t no way he’s gonna say that’s the last thing he’s gonna do. I had that in my head, but when we started talking about it, I knew it would happen and it would be cool.
You have worked him in Revolting Cocks and Lard as well as Ministry, how would you compare working on those records, is it the same intense workload with every record?
Actually, they were all really different. I love working with Al because we work on the same wavelength as far as wanting things to be over the top you know, and we will sit there and work on things forever if we need to. We don’t want it to sound like anything else so that’s the hardest part. I have worked him since 1989, and people grow older and mellow out and things change and our writing has kind changed in a lot of ways from the older days, we laugh a lot more.
Obviously the highs and lows of the band were well publicised. How much different is it now to when you first joined the band, with this being your third or fourth period with Ministry?
I’ve left quite a few times. A lot of those when I left before it wasn’t really him, you know it was some other issues. I have a brotherhood relationship with him and that’s why I guess I am the one that comes back to him because we have this weird bond, we’ve never dissed each other in the press even when we were mad at each other.
Last time I left I had to have neck surgery, and I had a daughter being born, I wasn’t ready to go back out on tour and stuff as I had take care of some other things, so each time it’s been different when I’ve come back, but I love playing with Ministry and working with Al so I think as long as he is gonna be putting records out we will be working together.
You are also working with Al on the album from your other project Rigor Mortis?
That’s done, I have to do some touch up stuff when I go back after this tour, but am hoping to have that out this year, it’s pretty cool.
Is there any difference in the relationship working with him as a bandmate to working with him in a production role (Al is producing the album)?
Feels the same, I guess it’s just now I guess you get smarter and wiser as you get older so you work slightly differently, but it feels the same. We’ve worked together so much it’s just another day working on something.
Coming back to Ministry you said you knew it wasn’t the end?
It didn’t feel like the end to me, I can say this about Al, he doesn’t really like touring, he’s a studio guy, he’s a writer and producer and that’s what he loves to do getting him out on the road can be difficult but he’s great, he has fun. I love playing live, if it was up to me, we would be touring all the time.
This gig is different to the usual Ministry tour with a smaller, more intimate venue and having a support band (Norwegians Djerv), when I have seen the band it has been the full Ministry experience and nothing else, how different is this tour?
This tour is different to any Ministry tour I have ever done, we have psychedelic visuals behind us, which I don’t remember ever having, no fog onstage, and the band is the tightest I can ever remember playing with. I can’t remember ever playing with a Ministry line up as tight as this.
We all bonded really well in rehearsals so we haven’t missed a beat. Older Ministry fans are going to be blown away and new fans are gonna love it too. This setlist has stayed pretty much the same, just depends how long we are given on stage, some places only give us seventy minutes where our setlist is about two hours so sometimes we have to cut back on a few songs.
So this isn’t the end?
I hope so, I think so. Al’s pretty smart about doing things and I think we definitely have some more in us. One of the crazy things was we were working on his solo record when I came back from neck surgery, which never came out obviously so that became the Buck Satan record, so we started writing like crazy, every day we had ideas, there was never a dry spell, that’s what happened with the Ministry record, that’s what happened with the Rigor Mortis record, just writing and writing. I was writing this afternoon when we got here, so while we are on a roll we just keep on writing, if something or someone tells us we can’t then we wont but until that come we will just keep working.
How about the other projects, Revco, Lard etc.
That I don’t know, I have tried to get him to do Lard for years. I even went and worked with Jello and wrote a couple of cool songs, but it just never happened, those guys can’t get their timings sorted, they are both extremely busy people but I keep trying, so you never know.