How did you get involved with Al and Ministry?
I got a call from Paul in Brussels. He said hello, and that they wanted to hire me to play sax for them. I was just incredulous, what did those jerks want a saxophone player for? So my initial reaction was, "What? No way!" You know? I thought it was an odd joke or something So Paul said, "Oh, I understand if you don't wanna do it, that's okay..." and I responded pretty quickly that of course I would be interested, but that I just didn't get why they wanted a sax player. He told me that their new record [Dark Side Of the Spoon] had some saxophone samples, so Al wanted somebody to recreate that live instead of just using a bunch of samples. Rey was in the band at the time, and suggested me because we had played together in Euripides Pants. Paul told me he'd send me everything Ministry had ever done so I'd know what they were talking about. I liked being in a band with Rey before, and I knew Ministry did real tours, so I was interested. A day later I gave their music a listen and realized then that they weren't a Butthole Surfers wannabe band! Some of it I really liked, too. Four days later, I was on a flight to Chicago.
[laughs] Two weeks later, we were on tour. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare. I think Al showed up to like, one rehearsal, maybe. But I'm into jazz; I am ready for whatever.
You didn't have any involvement with the Dark Side Of the Spoon record, then?
That's right. They were on their first leg of a European tour when they called. I just hooked up with them for their next leg of touring.
There aren't a lot of Ministry songs that come to mind that feature the saxophone, though "Nursing Home" comes to mind. Were there others?
Well, there was "10/10". I learned the part, but we never ended up playing it.
That was going to be on the tour?
Potentially, I guess. I don't know why it didn't happen and "Nursing Home" I think we only played a few times. They were having issues with the banjo feeding back. And even though there was like, a modeling guitar that was able to recreate a banjo's tone, Al just really wanted a real banjo or it was just 'forget it'... Yeah, the reasons that they hired me soon were replaced with other shit that I could do. They got more than they bargained for with me.
Your main duties on the tour didn't include any drumming, though?
No, I was hired as a sax player. They soon found out I could blend in with the guitar tones playing an effected sax, which I don't know if they ever really considered before the tour. It was something I had been into for a long time, though. Using effects with the sax really blends in neatly with guitar tones. So, I actually ended up playing during about two-thirds of the set. At other points I just kind of... stepped off. I remember one night Al was having trouble screaming "Bad Blood", so I started screaming backup vocals, because why not, and he told me I could do background screaming whenever I felt like it. [laughs] I felt like it a few times. I don't ever want to claim to be a vocalist or anything, but it was kind of fun... definitely as close as I want to get. No drumming on that tour, though.
The ClitourUS tour was, to our knowledge, actually quite an under-documented tour. There was going to be a deal going on with Ipecac Records to release a recording of some dates in 2000...
Yeah, somehow that fell through. I don't know what happened with that.
It was something to do with Warner Brothers interfering.
Oh, yeah! Yeah.
The mastering and printing were actually completed. Do you know if that tour was documented at all? To this day, Al has been looking for a recording of a lounge version-type rendering of his song "Stigmata", so even he can't find many recordings!
If I'm not mistaken, what you're referring to is a cover on a CD that a fan handed to him on the bus. It was a cover, or maybe all covers, of Ministry songs and they were really loungy. God, it was retarded but hilarious! Al told me he loved it. That would suck if he had lost it. I think that I have a couple of copies of shows from on that tour... somewhere. I thought they used to have DAT tapes of all the shows... I mean, we wanted report cards, you know? Maybe Barker has some of that stuff, maybe Al has some of that stuff, maybe Lee Popa or somebody, whoever was running the sound does...
Was there anything that stood out on the tour? It seemed to be a dark time for the band, to this day Al doesn't remember a lot about that time because of his drug use.
I don't know what to say. You know, that particular tour I was so new and fresh to be going out on a 'real' tour, nothing could bring me down. I was in heaven every day. Being in a band that toured is what I had been wanting to do my whole life. I just felt so fortunate, nothing could bring me down. I was invincible, mood-wise. But suffice it to say that after that particular tour in 1999, everybody quit except me and Barker. So, yeah, it was also a 'dark time' as you say. Crazy fuckin' tour. Just crazy.
Page Last Edited on 2006-03-27 23:30:09 UTC CST (2672)