Al Jourgensen: Ministry's first album made me the maniac douchebag I am today

Al Jourgensen
Al Jourgensen

Al Jourgensen says he wouldn’t be who he is today without Ministry’s 1983 debut album, With Sympathy.

The Surgical Meth Machine frontman has slammed the synth-pop record on several occasions and previously referred to it as “an abortion of an album.”

But Jourgensen admits that he appreciates With Sympathy for paving the way for his music career.

He tells The Quietus: “It was revolting, disgusting and it traumatised me for years. I was sick to my stomach on a daily basis. I threw up more on that record – times ten – than any other.

“It was absolutely an abortion period of my life. I fucking hated myself, the world, and everything around me because of that record.

“But in retrospect, because of that record I wouldn’t be who I am today. I think without that record, I wouldn’t be as much of a fucking maniac douchebag. So I’m thankful for it now.

“I’ve finally come full circle. It still doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to that fucking drivel, but I am going to appreciate the overview, of what it’s done for me as a person in my career.

“I didn’t put it on this list, but I will give it an honourable ‘fuck you.’”

Jourgensen recently hinted he’d like to put out new Lard, Ministry and Revolting Cocks material if he can get people on board and will head out on the road with Ministry and DevilDriver across the UK in August.

Surgical Meth Machine’s self-titled album is available from Nuclear Blast – including an exclusive version on limited-edition neon pink vinyl.

Ministry and DevilDriver 2016 UK tour

Aug 16: Cardiff Tramshed
Aug 17: Glasgow O2 ABC
Aug 18: Birmingham O2 Institute
Aug 19: Manchester O2 Ritz
Aug 20: London O2 Forum Kentish Town

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.