Tag Archive | Dave Navarro

Fix: The Ministry Movie


“Just One Fix…”

I don’t imagine that many individuals would disagree with a statement made by Ministry front man Al Jourgensen close to the beginning of Fix – a profoundly gritty and utterly compelling documentary of which he is the primary focus – that the best job to have is one where you’re paid to be yourself. Possibly the single most influential musician of the Industrial music genre and an undeniably notorious and outspoken character, Jourgensen has never “posed” nor compromised for the sake of his art. In fact, he’s pretty much always earned a pay check for the talents involved in just being Al Jourgensen. Fifteen years ago, while Ministry was touring the world in support of the Filth Pig album, Al was a relentless junkie who was equal parts devil and messiah to everyone who entered his orbit. Someone on that tour bus was a filmmaker with a camera. Fix: The Ministry Movie is the resultant documentation of the full immersion into Al’s world of someone who was, essentially, just along for the ride. Most of the journey isn’t very pretty.

Directed by Douglas Freel (an award-winning music video director now working in feature length films) Fix is a straightforward, unapologetically graphic and unflinchingly brutal look into the behind the scenes minutia of Ministry’s 1996 Sphinctour. Adding depth and amazing color to what would have been outstanding subject matter even if simply left as a tour documentary (see Sphinctour 2002) are extensive “Talking Head” interviews with musical luminaries and Jourgensen devotees such as Trent Reznor, Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Dave Navarro, Maynard James Keenan, the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, Jonathan Davis of Korn and Jesus Lizard front man David Yow (who is also extensively fully naked in the film. You have been warned). These heavy hitters – many of them former addicts and alcoholics themselves – not only freely praise Al’s creative genius and often beguiling personality but also closely examine his addiction as being almost expected given his chosen work environment. As both insiders and critics, they universally offer wide-eyed wonder that Al could abuse himself to such an extreme degree and not be six feet under. Ultimately, Fix explores how far beyond sanity it is possible to go under the right circumstances and still manage to come back alive.

Also invited to shine a light on the claustrophobic inner workings of the band is Al’s long time creative partner Paul Barker, as well as then-Ministry touring members Duane Buford, Zlatko Hukic, Louis Svitek and, in what I would call one of the films “significant supporting roles,” drummer Rey Washam. Washam, an amazing drummer and obviously a very smart guy, openly discusses how the pressure of being a part of the Ministry machine drove him to heroin addiction. His occasional voice over narrations and on-screen time provide some of the best moments in the film. Other highlights include Reznor’s comment that it was so refreshing to hear a band doing something that couldn’t be directly linked to the influence of “The Beatles or Black Sabbath” and Dave Navarro’s hilarious confession that, while he and fellow Jane’s Addiction members Perry Farrel and Eric Avery were certainly full on Junkies during a shared tour bill with Ministry, at least they weren’t “as bad as Al.” Various record label executives from Ministry’s tenure on the Warner Bros label also chime in with insightful and deeply candid personal accounts of what it was like working with Ministry and Al. One gentleman remembers that it was never possible to have an appointment to hear samples of Ministry’s progress in the studio on one day “and make it to work the next day.”

Seeing Ministry live is comparable to being on a battle field, and that’s the closest I ever want to get to going to war. I’m a fan, but if you’re not familiar with their music, let’s just say that it makes Nine Inch Nails (generally considered by the mainstream to be a rather challenging listen) sound like Ace of Base by comparison. While there are many concert clips in Fix, the music really takes a back seat here, as fairly often there is less than a minute of music featured in each of over a dozen or so songs. That it seems like much more is testament to the music’s immense, battering-ram-to-the face emotional impact. Last but not least, every second of the video footage is pristine High Def quality and scattered shots of the tour bus travelling through a gorgeous open dessert landscape or along the shore of some unnamed locale stands in sharp contrast to multiple scenes of Al tying off and looking for  “a good vein” so he can fix while telling the camera that what he’s doing isn’t any worse than getting drunk. Freel also switches back and forth between color and black & white stock, to great artistic effect. You can’t miss this film.

Unrated for adult content that includes sex, nudity, adult language and blatant drug use, Fix is definitely not for children (say 15 and over is a safe guideline). Visit Fix The Ministry Movie Dot Com for more information on Fix and to find a screening in your area.

The Worley Gig Gives Fix Five out of Five Stars.

Watch The Trailer After the Jump!

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Eric Avery to Reunite with Jane's Addiction

Original Jane’s

Nothing’s Shocking

ERIC AVERY AGREES TO REUNITE WITH JANE’S ADDICTION FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1991; LEGENDARY BAND TO BE HONORED AT FIRST-EVER U.S. NME AWARDS IN LOS ANGELES 

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2008 – After much speculation in the previous week, ERIC AVERY has agreed to join former band mates Jane’s Addiction for a one-night-only performance at the first-ever U.S. NME Awards. The iconic foursome will be crowned with the Godlike Genius Award during the ceremony and performance, to take place at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, April 23. Jane’s Addiction is joining the likes of The Clash, New Order, Primal Scream and Manic Street Preachers, who are among the acts to have picked up the Godlike Genius prize at the UK awards. Here’s Hoping this Buries an Ax in the Skull of The Panic Channel and All Other Jane’s Side Projects That Do Not Include Perry Farrell

 

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It Feels So Good to Be Right: The Panic Channel Suck It

Panic Channel
“One is the lonliest number…” Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney, Stephen Perkins and Steve Isaacs are The Panic Channel

If you have a few minutes to gloat, take a peek at AMG’s review of the new Panic Channel CD, One and tell me I didn’t call it two months ago.

Review of The Panic Channel’s One
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no denying that Jane’s Addiction was one of the pivotal bands of the alt-rock revolution of the early ’90s. They were one of the first to pull metal and underground rock fans together, first with their 1988 major-label debut, Nothing’s Shocking, and then as the creators and headliners for the first Lollapalooza tour. They came to define much of the sound and style of alternative rock in the ’90s, so it comes as a great shock that the Panic Channel — featuring Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins, the guitarist and drummer for Jane’s, plus Chris Chaney, who took over for original Jane’s bassist Eric Avery when the group reunited in 2003 — sounds utterly generic on their 2006 debut, (One). Fronted by vocalist Steve Isaacs, who has spent time as an MTV VJ as well as some time on the stage, the Panic Channel sounds like countless faceless groups that followed in the wake of grunge. For all the world, (One) sounds as if it could have been released in 1996 when MTV and the airwaves were inundated with bands that took the dour, heavy sound of grunge, cleaned it up, gave it a touch of classic rock formalism, and then coasted by on tattoos and piercings instead of hooks or melodies or even angst. Not that this is horrible music — Isaacs may be a cipher as a frontman (so much so, it’s a wonder that the second season of Rock Star wasn’t a search to find a singer for the Panic Channel), but Navarro, Perkins, and Chaney are cooly professional, so they always sound nothing less than a competent Foo Fighters cover band — but it is never distinctive. The weirdest thing about (One) isn’t that it sounds generic but that it sounds generic according to the standards of 1996, not 2006. For those listeners who pine for a world when Seven Mary Three received heavy rotation, this will satisfy, but anybody expecting the spark of Jane’s Addiction or even a dose of Navarro’s campy on-camera charm will be sorely disappointed.

Panic At The Disco…or Something Like That

Panic Channel Band
“We Do Not Sound As Good As We Look”

Last night I went to see this new band called The Panic Channel, which is three members of the most recent incarnation of Jane’s Addiction, minus Perry Farrell, plus a new singer who’s a former VJ from MTV back when MTV still showed videos. Can you even remember that far back? It seems like a million lifetimes ago.

Anyway, there were Stephen Perkins, Dave “Nipple Rings” Navarro, Chris Chaney and Steve Issacs (!) on the stage of Avalon – which used to be The Limelight – and they were all rocking “the look” and obviously trying to be less than a total mortifying horrorshow of lameness, but all I kept thinking was, “Gee wiz, what a fucking waste of Stephen Perkins drumming talents!”

Because The Panic Channel is not a good band.

I can’t quite put my finger on why three awesome musicians and a pretty boy don’t add up to some kind of kick ass force of nature…but it just wasn’t happening. They reminded me of Stone Temple Pilots right about the time Scott Weiland got busted for smack for the third of fourth go-round and the other three members formed the band Talk Show so they could forget about their pain. If The Panic Channel were even a fraction as awesome sounding as their website would lead us to believe, they would sound like Led Zeppelin plus The Beatles plus the original Alice Cooper band or something. But no.

Another thing that made me sad was seeing how the new owners of Avalon have completely destroyed all the dark charm and wild spirit of the former Limelight, a righteous dance club built in an old gothic church on Sixth Avenue, where I spent many Sunday nights dancing my cares away to the songs of Siouxsie and The Banshees, LA Guns and Soundgarden, and feeling like some kind of god. Good times. Now the former “Rock & Roll Church” looks like a bowling alley or a free clinic or god knows what. How very very tragic. At least I got in for free.