Ministry Interview

This interview was made in Lyon the 20 th of June 2003 as the band was in the Animositisomina Tour. Marion and I have met Paul Barker the Bass player before
he left the band..

First, can you talk about this new tour ?

Our first show was the 31 of may, that was in Donington in England, it was at that Castle Donington festival, that was pretty funny. Yeah, I think we were in Germany for a week and, where else we got, we played in geneva, outside of Bern in a festival, in Milan and other shows, that was great.

About Animositisomina, what represent for you, the cover of the cd ?

Well I mean, it's pretty streight forward. You know in the king james bible there's a passage about a sheppard leading the flok of sheep and unfortunatly those sheep are no longer alive. In some ways we feeled that, well catholisism, christianety, I suppose in general, they kind of ran there course, and even though it's still important to many people, I think that as far as western man is concern, I don't think that important anymore. That's a pretty bras statement. The problem is that, you know all of our litterature is based on the bible, right. You can't get away from that. That's just what it is to be a man from the Occident. I mean that's just our reality, right. It's just part of our culture, it's in us. The notion of those three religions, specifically is that, well, how old are those religions ? Thousands of years. And even though we think we are so smart, you know we have technology and medecine, the same basic problem exist with society and that is primarely a religious base kind of conflict. You know, based on your belief that you can't ineract with other people because they don't believe the same way that you do.

You only take three symbols of religion, christian, musulman and jew, why didn't you took boudhism ?

We looked at that, the problem is, is there a simple super-graphik that represent it ? I mean, what is that ? What represent boudhism aside from I don't know. That the only reason why, it's only a matter of graphik, and we wanted to be striking.

You only speak on the graphik, but in the meaning, you didn't you talked about it ?

Yeah, primarily, as far as western men is concerned, boudhism isn't really as involved in history of western men. That's what I'm talking about, you understand. Boudhism is orient, of course it's there, more people are boudhist than any other religion, or hinddou that another version, but you know what I mean, that's all. Let me also state that, as artist we can only talk about and express ourselves threw what we know. And once again, we are westerners, we don't know what it's like to live in the orient, right, you see ? So it doesn't have really a place for it. We are not going to be so presomptioues, act as if we knew it. Because we don't know it. Yeah perhaps people from australia, perhaps they get it, because indonesia is right there. There's a proximity effect. You see what I'm saying.

In france, many people see boudhism not only as a religion, but more as a spiritual thing, a way of life, as I would say.

Yeah, I see. But that specifically isn't why. We don't know a lot about it so, it's another problem. I mean, there were no crusades against boudhist so.

We find that is album is stronger than your previous ones, why did you wanted it this way ?

Basicly, Allan and I were not happy with the working process of our last two records. The dark side of spoon, and feel with pain. That is to say that the way that we made those records was very difficult. And we wanted to get away from those situations, we didn't wanted to put ourselves in the same fuckin' situation, to make this record. What we wanted to do, was to try and to complete and album pretty much as quickly as we could and not second guess everything that we did to allow our ideas to remain fresh and honest. Just do it and not worry about it. Not overthink it in other words. You know that was great because we went to a studio outside of El Passo as opposed to our studio in Chicago. Because in the studio in Chicago, we know so many people there, there is 4 rooms there, so other people would be there. The studio that we worked at is outside of El Passo, it's 40 miles as right on the real Grand River and there were nobody there so we have no distractions whatsoever. You know that was cool. But hat really happened that made it so fun for us was that it was like going to a studio for the first time again and just rockin' out and going yeahh this rocks you know, like that. You know kind as apposed to ok well this music isn't going to chance the face of pop music which is what we always want to do, try and do something that is so incredible.

The album "Ministry" has been a big reference in the eighties, do you think that this new album can be a new reference for the new generation ?

Well, I don't know. Maybe. I don't know that it has necesseraly anything new to offer. I don't think it is that radical. I mean it's a very satisfying record for us, we like the way that it works. Every songs goes up and down as you listen to the record. But I don't think it is radical enough for that. I mean that perhaps it'll bring new fans to Ministry but I don't think it's going to change anybody, necesserally. You see what I mean ?

You said that you are satisfied with the result. But if you could change one thing, what would it be ?

I don't know. It's fine, it's cool the way it is.

Can you tell us about the Piss army ? What is it ? And the art letters of piss army, do you think it can shock some people or is it just a fun joke to Kiss ?

Well, it is, it's all of that. Basically what happened was, we decided that, you know in the United states we have something called "Street teams", well it's something like that. What we wanted to do is have fun with our fans and allow them to participate. So there was a contest, if you will, to design a Piss Army logo; So we got a bunch of designs. Yeah of course it posed fun of Kiss army, there's no question about it. And you know that's it, it's just fun. You know, a way for fans our younger fans to feel like there's something that they can actually get there theef in.

We know that music is an important thing in your life. Have you another passion ?

For me, I have a family, I have a wife and two kids. As you know, anybody who as a family, that takes up so much time. I love them, it's a trade off, I can't do other things that I love such as motorcycles, riding motorcycles and going to the track. You know that kind of thing, it's really so much fuckin' fun. And you know aside from that, pretty much litterature and art. Reading as much as I can. I have a pretty fine appreciation of art. I didn't go to the contemptuary art museum here, eventhough we stay at that Hilton right there. Because I looked at who had worked in there and I wasn't interested in it. But I was pretty happy to be right next to it because that's what I love, I love contemptuary art.

What are your projects for the next month, after this tour ?

Well, we are talking about touring in the States again, in Sptember for 5 or 6 weeks. That's still up in the air. Nevertheless we plane on going back in the studio outside of El Passo to work on a new Ministry record and get some ideas together, we'll see what happens.

Which band influenced you the most and what do you listen while you're on tour ?

Well it's funny because, my formative years where like really in the 70s, I grow up with punk-rock and post-punk, and to me going from what is hard-rock kind of dynosor rock or whatever into punk-rock where it's do it yourself, anybody can do it kind of thing, that was extremely vital to me and Al, we grow up at the same time. For us, the greatest influences are that feeling. What happened with post-punk is that all these bands play there music on the same instrument if you will, but they all sound different and they all developped there own voice. And to use that's the ultimate, you know, you have to developp your own sound to be unique. You have to sound different from anybody else. And that's still what drives us actually.

And which band ?

There are all the classics right. ………………….Killing joke. You know those bands that I just named, they all sound completely different, they are all playing the same fuckin' thing, just drums and guitars. Why is it, 20 years ago when you had the same shit to work with, everybody sounded differently and today, so many bands sound the same. It's so fuckin' boring you know. It's horrible. I mean there is some cool stuff going underground but as far as pop music, it's just so fuckin' boring.

What do you think of this rock fashion ? Bands like Good Charlotte, Sum 41… ?

To me, Sum 41 are like a pop-punk-band. That's what we call it you know. It's like Green-Day, you know, punk-rock register trademark, it's really boring. But hey, I mean you know, whatever, it's pop songs whatever but it's not gonna change anything. They are not doing anything that is gonna change the face of pop music you know, That's what we are interrested in of course. We want shits that's gonna change the world.

If you have something to say to the young generation ?

It's the same thing that everybody says, you know, basically the notion that, yes you can make a difference. Eventhough you are one of three billion people on the planet or however people are on the planet, it is possible for you to make an impression on the world, as an artist or maybe not as an artist, maybe as a technicien or something.

How did you meet Williams Borrows ?

We meat him through James Growerholes who was his publicist or personnel assistant something like this. Part of what James's job was for Burrows, when he was alive, was to find interresting artistic developpements and present it to him. Because there is so much going on, it's difficult for one person to know what's going on everywhere, so. James was a fan of ours and he came to one of our shows in 1992 I believe. And he said that he had turned William Burrow on to our music and that William Burrows want to meet us. I think by a month later, we went to Kansas City to meet Burrows. That was great actually, Al and I ended up spending a few weeks there hanging out with him.

What a man like him can bring to a man like you ?

because we are interresting in litterature, what he has is a different perspective. That's what I'm talking about. That's always the coolest thing, you know you read a book and it's like ho my god, there's no way in hell I could have figured this out. You know, that sort of thing. And it's kind of all the creative process to know that here is somebody who did something farelly radical in the 50s and early 60s, and he likes what we do so there must be something that we are doing that's right. You see what I mean, that's always the best when you find out that people that you appreciat like what you've done, that's totally fuckin' fantastic. You know because you don't have any contact with them and all the sudden they come from left field.

Interview O.S.
Translation Tataye

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999