Tag Archive | Nine Inch Nails

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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Nine Inch Nails’ Remastered Pretty Hate Machine Now Available

“Take In the Extent of My Sin”

The newly remastered edition of Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails’ groundbreaking industrial dance debut, Pretty Hate Machine, is available now on CD and digital download, with vinyl coming December 7th (I bet it sounds amazing). Visit Pretty Hate Machine Dot Com for Pretty Hate Machine videos, themed wallpapers for the desk top and cell phone, assorted links – including a live photo archive from the PHM/Broken era – and purchase options.

Rad CD of The Week: Hawkwind’s Blood of The Earth

I was first introduced to the British metal band Hawkwind way back in the eighties when I was in College, and you were probably just an egg. The song I like best from that era of the band is called “Psychedelic Warlords Disappear in Smoke,” because I love song titles that are complete sentences on their own. “Psychedelic Warlords” – besides having one of the best titles ever – is also like the most mind-blowing acid trip to listen to. If you haven’t already heard the song, you will just have to take my word for it.

A lot of metalheads know about Hawkwind only because Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead was in the band at one point in the group’s 41-year history. In order to be a true, self-respecting headbanger you do really need to have that fact in your hipster cache of useless knowledge. But not everyone knows that the band is actually still recording. In fact, Hawkwind has a new CD due for release on August 10, 2010 (on Plastic Head Music) called Blood of The Earth, and it is just insane.

Blood of the Earth is the band’s first new album in five years, contains eleven songs and features special appearances from violinist Jon Sevink (The Levellers), BBC personality Matthew Wright and a posthumous performance from the band’s late keyboardist Jason Stuart. I cannot stop listening to this album.

Confirmed track listing for Blood of the Earth is as follows:

1. “Seahawks”

2. “Blood Of The Earth”

3. “Wraith”

4. “Green Machine”

5. “Inner Visions”

6. “Sweet Obsession”

7.  “Comfey Chair” (note: I am hoping this title relates to the punch line from that great Monty Python Skit)

8. “Prometheus”

9. “You’d Better Believe It”

10.  “Sentinel”

11. “Starshine”

I am not fronting when I say that the songs on Blood of The Earth will appeal to all genres of metal, prog and hard rock fans of bands as varied as Zodiac Mindwarp, Hendrix, The Pretty Things, Yes and Nine Inch Nails. Blood of the Earth will be available for North American fans on compact disc and limited-edition 180-gram, clear, double vinyl that includes a vinyl-only bonus track.  Hawkwind are planning to tour later this year in support of Blood of the Earth. You know you gotta be there!

For rocking hard enough to crack a skull, The Worley Gig Gives Blood of the Earth Five out of Five Stars!

Happy Birthday, Trent Reznor!


Old School Trent: I’d Do It (Image Source)

The world’s happiest Birthday Boy, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was born on this day, May 17th, in 1965. Remember back in the nineties when Trent was all hot and sexy and everyone wanted to bang him? What happened? Answers in the comments section, please.

Trent Reznor Closes Twitter Account!

Trent Old School

He Used to Be So Hot!

From Gawker:

Trent Reznor has had it with Twitter. The microblogging service let the singer give fans a peek into his personal life; that turned out to be not such a good idea. A great number of celebrities have found Twitter is a great way to communicate directly with the public, without filtering by the news media or a record company. In Reznor’s case, his fan base consisted of a few too many angry, depressed people to make Twitter a pleasant experience. It turns out the industrial rocker’s fans weren’t too happy when he started Twittering about the joys of being in love. And so he warned that he was going quit the Internet: “You are right, I’m not the same person I was in 1994 (and I’m happy about that). Are you?” Rather than fade away as Dave Matthews seems to be doing, Reznor followed up on his threat by just cold deleting his account sometime within the past few days (he posted as recently as July 17). This is especially startling since Reznor has been a pioneer in using the internet to distribute his music and connect with fans. He’s now discovered that it’s possible to connect too closely — and unlike internet fameballers trying to convert online fame into real celebrity, he doesn’t have to pretend otherwise.”

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Happy Birthday Robert Moog, A Pioneer of Electronic Music

Dr Robert Moog
May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005 (Image Source)

Dr. Robert Moog, inventor of the synthesizer, and a man without whose influence bands like Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode would certainly be doing something else these days, was born on this day, May 23rd, in 1934. Find out how to correctly pronounce his name at This Link!

Trent Reznor is 44 Years Old Today!

“It’s My Birthday, Bitches.”

Mr. Michael Trent Reznor, born May 17, 1965, is forty-four years old today. I used to be such a rabid devotee of Reznor’s back in the Downward Spiral days. These days, not so much. Still, I’m very thankful to Trent for reminding me during a period where I was going through what you might call a “Dark Night of the Soul” that there were people around who were considerably more miserable than me! Happy Birthday, Trent!