The Gospel of Jourgensen- A Look Into The Mind Of Ministry Via Interview.

June 3, 2018

Everything Ministry has created since its inception has been an evolution. Al Jourgensen, the architect of Ministry, succeeded by remaking the mainstream in his own image and forging a new style of music.
Jourgensen morphed Ministry from a lightweight synth-pop band in the early ’80s to a musical juggernaut with many side projects (Revolting Cocks, 1000 Homo DJs, Pailhead, Lard) on legendary Chicago-based Wax Trax! Records.

Moving to Sire Records in the mid-’80s Ministry released albums showcasing an ever-evolving style. The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste and The Land of Rape and Honey both went Gold as people searched beyond bland MTV conformity.

Psalm 69, featuring “N.W.O.”, “Just One Fix” and “Jesus Built My Hotrod”, went Platinum in 1992 and forever changed music with its heavily aggressive content. Subsequently in 1993, Ministry received a Grammy nod for Best Metal Performance for “New World Order.”

After a handful of releases since Psalm 69, Ministry is back with Relapse, which  Jourgensen affectionately calls his  “Psalm 70.” In this writers opinion it’s agressive, it’s relevant, it’s necessary and most of all, it’s a fitting way for Al Jourgensen and Ministry to say goodbye…at least for now.

The following interview was conducted via phone on 1/30/12.

The Al Jourgensen Interview

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Living Systems – An Interview With Chester Bennington Of Linkin Park & Brandon Boyd Of Incubus

May 30, 2018

Chester Bennington is most recognized as the lead singer of Linkin Park, his higher-pitched, emotional vocals balancing out those of main rapper Mike Shinoda. A victim of sexual abuse, Bennington had a childhood that was far from picture perfect, and when his parents divorced at age 11, he turned to drugs to deal with his pain. By the time he was a teenager, Bennington had gotten heavily into cocaine and methamphetamines, supporting his drug habit with a gig working at Burger King. Despite his drug problems, however, Bennington never forgot his childhood dream of becoming a rock star — he was a huge fan of Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots — and in 1993, he joined up as the lead singer of the local band Grey Daze. The band built a sizable following around the Phoenix area, but Bennington ultimately grew unhappy with the group and decided to leave in the late ’90s over creative differences. He then moved to Los Angeles and became the final piece of burgeoning rap-metal act Linkin Park in 1999. (Bennington came up with the name, changing their then-moniker from Hybrid Theory.)

Brandon Boyd is an American musician, author, and visual artist. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the American rock band Incubus. Boyd graduated from Calabasas High School in 1994 and attended Moorpark College for two years before committing to Incubus. Brandon grew up in Calabasas, CA with Ricky Taylor who inspired him to write music. Brandon is also known for playing several instruments such as the didgeridoo and djembe. He also has some guitar parts during live performances. Boyd’s voice was part of what enticed Sony’s Epic/Immortal Records, and Incubus was signed in 1996.

The Chester Bennington & Brandon Boyd Interview

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Suicidal Tendencies- Baptism By Skateboard, An Interview

May 15, 2018

Which came first, the skateboard or Suicidal Tendencies? While obviously the answer is the skateboard, it seems like Suicidal has been around for basically just as long. Shit, these guys even had a cameo in an episode of Miami Vice for God’s sake (seriously!).

Suicidal recently headlined at show at The Palladium in Worcester, MA along with  Underdog, DRI & Cro-Mags, which was amazing! Before the show, I sat down with guitarist Dean Pleasants & drummer Eric Moore to talk shop on skateboarding, gangs, and much more. I’m happy to report that after all these years, Suicidal Tendencies is still keeping it very real! The following interview was conducted on 11/13/10.

Eric Moore & Dean Pleasants – Suicidal Tendencies

The Suicidal Tendencies Interview (more…)
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The Transcendence Of Hip Hop- An Interview With Immortal Technique

February 20, 2014

Immortal Technique is a man who needs no introduction to fans of real Hip Hop. That being said, I’m not going to waste any time romanticizing the impact Tech has had on the Hip Hop world and counterculture at large but rather get right down to the interview and let the man himself drop knowledge in a way that only he can.

The following interview was conducted on 3/18/12 in New Haven, CT at Toads Place. My thanks to Cara Webber and Jason Dolloway for their help.

The Immortal Technique Interview

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The Angry Truth. An Interview With Henry Rollins.

February 13, 2014

A special introduction from author and friend Peter Farris.

I know that guy.

Depending on your age and musical tastes, you might’ve been exposed to Henry Rollins as he ground it out in punk rock titans Black Flag. Or like me, you might’ve been an impressionable teen, watching that “Liar” video get heavy play on MTV’s Alternative Nation. I’m sure there are folks out there who only know Rollins from his books and spoken word performances, or his numerous television and film appearances. The tattooed dude with the muscles, right?

Regardless, you know that guy.

Almost as fascinating as the cult of personality that has grown around Henry Rollins over the years is the way he’s deftly navigated a creative life, always working with a desperation that one day it could all go away—IT being the audiences, the paying public, the speaking gigs and acting opportunities. That fear is common in Hollywood, but in Rollins’ case I think it has only served as motivation: to leave it on the stage every single night (whether he’s speaking or screaming) and make every sentence count. One reason why I can claim I’ve never, ever been disappointed in Henry Rollins.

He’s probably the world’s first anti-social humanitarian and as passionate in his opposition to war as he is for his support of U.S. military personnel. His emergence as an astute social commentator doesn’t surprise me either, and whether you agree or disagree with his distillation of what I’ll call the bullshit, you will always get a smart argument.

But do we really know that guy?

My obsession with Black Flag runs deep (I have Pettibon’s Family Man tattooed on my leg), and Get In The Van is (and always will be) an annual source of inspiration, but what’s most astonishing is just how much Henry Rollins has informed my own tastes. Rollins is a music lover first and foremost, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge that’s been referenced in his non-fiction for more than twenty years. I learned from Rollins that Black Sabbath was punk rock. And so was Thin Lizzy. And John Coltrane. And The Stooges. And Parliament. And Miles Davis. So was Henry Miller and Thomas Wolfe for that matter.

More importantly, I learned from Rollins that there was nothing wrong with being alone. I crave solitude. It was nice to know there was someone else who cherished isolation as much as I did. Someone out there who didn’t feel in lock step with the human race and instead of fighting that alienation, embraced it and channeled it into their work.

 Now fifty, I do wonder if Rollins has any regrets leading the aforementioned creative life largely on his own? Is he finally comfortable in his own skin? Does he crave companionship? Children? Has seeing the world through a misanthropic lens made it all the more confusing?

I suspect the answer to all of the above is no…but I also suspect we’ll never really know. And that’s okay. There is a remarkable body of work worth knowing above all else, and that is the most important thing.        

 – Peter Farris 3.27.11

The Henry Rollins Interview

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