What’s the link between such droll titles as Ministry’s “Jesus Built My Hotrod’ and Revolting Cocks’ Beers, Steers & Queers? Bill Rieﬂin, that’s who, who occupies the drumseat on Ministry’s very first British tour. Alastair Mabbott is suitably impressed.
Aargh! That strain again! As layers ofsheet-metal guitars blaze this one riff over and over and over again. Bill Rieflin pounds his drums to powder, Paul Barker does whatever it is that Paul Barker does on his eighteen-month stretches in the studio and Al Jourgensen — mad cowboy biker AI Jourgensen, who‘s lately started a country and western group called Buck Satan And The 666 Shooters — opens his mouth to holler about matters
that would trouble most decent folks‘ sanity. Yup.
Ministry‘s long-awaited Psalm 69 LP was one kick-ass platter: the Nevermind of Headfuck. Think carefully before you answer this. Bill, but
; what makes Ministry more than just a bunch of
strutting. macho cock-rockers? He thinks carefully. Between chuckles.
Finally. . .
: Not all guitars
lew years ago by a couple at engineers
‘We don‘t use as many chords!‘ But there‘s more to it than that. ‘A lot of it has to do with the intention of the record. the way we are. I mean. we‘re so un-coek-roek as people that we like to make very hard and aggressive music. On this record. there was an intentional move to use more guitars — lots ofguitars— so you immediately start to think ofvour penis. Um. . . we don‘t do solos
Ministry and we have extremely limited chord changes and you don‘t understand the lyrics and we don‘t sing about babes and we don‘t sing about tits‘n'ass. We hate that shit. It‘s very difficult to tell. but there‘s a considerable degree of humour in those records. It‘s painfully dry. I admit, but it’s there in a way you wouldn‘t find on other people‘s records.’
Helped along by their stirring performances on Lollapalooza II. the ‘alternative' package tour of the US. in the company ofthc likes of Ice-T, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Mary Chain. Psalm 69 has made a significant impression upon the consciousness of American youth. Jourgensen. however. has said that he would be disappointed by a hit album as it would mean that Ministry simply weren't being threatening enough. And Rieflin?
"l‘here’s a degree of truth in that. The band has built a career. in a sense. by making very hard. loud. aggressive. abrasive records. and. yeah. if
the record were to become popular on a mass
level. it could mean a few things. One: the band has lost its touch for annoying people, which I don‘t really ever see happening. Secondly, it could mean that things have gotten so bad in this country that that’s all they wanna hear and the country is ready to explode and the parents are eating their young for breakfast.‘
Rieﬂin has been playing in bands with Paul Barker for eleven years. and the two of them hooked up with Jourgensen in 1986, after the original Ministry line-up was dissolved. (‘It’s been _a marriage made in the grave ever since,‘ he comments.) The drummer, though, doesn‘t share their enthusiasm for marathon studio sessions. ‘I don‘t know anyone who works as hard as they do. I don‘t like spending a year and a halfin the studio. I'll come in fora month or two and work out my
This leaves him plenty of time for other work,
. some of which he is unexpectedly shy about; like
his 1991 tour of China.
‘Last year, I worked with some people in Seattle.
We put together a group and toured China for five weeks. It was called The Vagaries, invented specifically for that purpose. It went down well. The Chinese people love all things Western. One show was like a 5000-seater basketball arena/execution hall. Kids, mom, pop. grandma,
party officials — everybody came.‘
What? To experience some Ministry-style sonic Somme?
‘No, it wasn’t like that at all. It was very eclectic. There were some kind of rockish tunes, jazzish tunes, softer, quieter 4AD-ish kind of stuff. It was a band that we put together in a week and a half from nothing, so everybody contributed a couple of songs and everybody was coming from a completely different place.’
What a relief. But if the Chinese do start eating
their young for breakfast, Bill Rieﬂin better have a i
pretty good alibi. Ministry play The Barrow/and. Glasgow on Wednesday 18. The albums The Land ()fRape
And Honey and Live: In Case You Dian 'I Feel
Like Showing Up are re-released on Mon 9.
C Sharp Music Factory was started a
working with teenagers in Castlemilk. The sprawling housing project was built below the beautilul Cathkin Braes in the post-War rush to tear down the likes ol the Gorbals and rehouse people under clean blue skies on the outskirts ol Glasgow.
Everyone knows that a community can’t be created overnight, and that the planners created as many problems as they solved, but some individuals working in the schemes have acted as catalysts, locusing a lot at energy to
worthwhile, and enjoyable ends. The I little tour-track studio at C Sharp last l yearioined with the Unemployed
Workers Centre to create the
Castlemilk Folk Club, which uses the term ‘Folk’ very loosely, having presented monthly music from the McCalmans to Hank Wangiord. This year, with lunding lrom the various bodies, they are promoting a Festival. Chairperson Rab Paterson, a guitarist himseli, admits that ‘the guitar is the most popular instrument up here. It’s still the troubadour‘s instrument, so we put on guitar workshops and there’s a great demand lor them. We’ve had John Renbourne, Stelan Grossman, and this yearwe’ve got Anton Kirkpatrick tor two days. But it's not all guitars. Tirconnail is Irish Gaelic tor Donegal, and they're a local group with connections over there, playing accordions and bodhrans and the like. On Friday it’s Michael Marra and Hamish lmlach with comedy lrom
Stu Who? and Alex Frackleton.
‘We‘ve got John Renbourne back this year on the Saturday night with the the Incredible String Band man Robin Williamson, and Carol Laula, so you can see that it's got a wide appeal, and we’ll get a crowd out lrom Glasgow as well as the locals.
‘Betore we got this going, some people here had never heard live music, not even like a pub hand. There were these women came in once to Stelan Grossman at the folk club. They were asking him lor “Your Cheating Heart" and stuff, but when he got started, and with the atmosphere, they just loved it. (Norman Chalmers)
The Castlemllk Folk Festival runs lrom Thurs 124m 14 at the Community Centre, Castlemllk.
‘_"riié B362 19 November 1992 27