Al Jourgensen

Last updated
Al Jourgensen
Hellfest2017Ministry 05.jpg
Jourgensen performing with Ministry at 2017's Hellfest (Clisson, France)
Alejandro Ramírez Casas [1]

(1958-10-09) October 9, 1958 (age 60) [2]
Other namesThe Alien, Alien Jourgensen, Hypo Luxa, Dog, Alien Dog Star, Buck Satan, Uncle Al, Enchanted Al, Al F***-ing Jourgensen
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • writer
Years active1978present
  • Patty Marsh
    (m. 1984;div. 1995)
  • Angelina Lukacen
    (m. 2002;div. 2014)
Musical career
Associated acts

Allen David Jourgensen [8] [lower-alpha 1] (born Alejandro Ramírez Casas; October 9, 1958) is a Cuban-American singer-songwriter, musician and music producer. Closely related with the independent record label Wax Trax! Records, Jourgensen has an active musical career that spans four decades, and is best known as the frontman of the industrial rock band Ministry, which he founded in 1981 and of which he remains the only constant member. He was also primary musician of several Ministry-related projects, such as Revolting Cocks, Lard, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. He has also produced and/or recorded with numerous other artists, including The Reverend Horton Heat, Prong, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, The Blackouts, Alan Vega, Iggy Pop, Adrian Sherwood, Jello Biafra and others. Jourgensen is regarded as being one of the most prominent figures of industrial music, [sources 1] [16] </ref> influencing numerous other groups and musicians, both in alternative and industrial-associated acts.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

Wax Trax! Records is an American independent record label based in Chicago. It began as a record shop in Denver, Colorado, opened by life partners Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, who sold the store in 1978 and moved to Chicago. In November of that year, they opened a store under the same name in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. During the 1980s and 1990s, the accompanying record label became a presence on the new wave and punk rock scenes in the city, and an outlet for European bands. The label was purchased in 1992 by TVT Records and was discontinued in 2001. In 2014, it was re-established by Julia Nash, daughter of co-founder Jim Nash.

The lead vocalist in popular music is typically the member of a group or band whose voice is the most prominent in a performance where multiple voices may be heard. The lead singer either leads the vocal ensemble, or sets against the ensemble as the dominant sound. In vocal group performances, notably in soul and gospel music, and early rock and roll, the lead singer takes the main vocal part, with a chorus provided by other band members as backing vocalists.


Born in Havana shortly before the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Jourgensen moved to the United States with his family at age of three, and was raised mainly in Chicago and Breckenridge, Colorado. In his early years, he had developed an early interest to music, and was involved in several short-lived bands, as well as briefly performing in the backing band of drag performer Divine. Jourgensen formed Ministry in 1981 in Chicago and received significant attention from music press regarding the band's 1983 debut studio album, With Sympathy . Jourgensen's subsequent releases in the 1980s, most prominently Ministry's The Land of Rape and Honey (1988) and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989), showcased his stylistic transition; in the early 1990s, he had achieved mainstream success with Ministry's fifth studio album, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992). The next few years were marked by publicity surrounding Jourgensen's substance abuse which inflicted heavy damage on his creative output; during this period, he made, along with Ministry, an appearance in the 2001 Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence . In 2005, Jourgensen established his own record label, 13th Planet Records, through which several Ministry records, among others, were released until early 2010s. He published his autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels ... co-authored with Jon Wiederhorn, in 2013.

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Cuban Revolution Revolution in Cuba between 1953 and 1959

The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt conducted by Fidel Castro's revolutionary 26th of July Movement and its allies against the authoritarian government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. The revolution began in July 1953, and continued sporadically until the rebels finally ousted Batista on 31 December 1958, replacing his government with a revolutionary socialist state. 26 July 1953 is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of the Revolution. The 26th of July Movement later reformed along communist lines, becoming the Communist Party in October 1965.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Early life

Alejandro Ramírez Casas was born in Havana on October 9, 1958, the son of Margarita "Maggie" Jourgensen (née Brouwer; born c. 1942) and Gualberto Ramiro Casas (born c. 1936), and the grandson of Julio Brouwer, a biologist. [17] Jourgensen's extended family has Dutch and Spanish heritage. [13] In 1961, following the fall of Fulgencio Batista's regime and rise of Fidel Castro to power, his family relocated to Florida. Soon after in 1964, Margarita Brouwer married Ed Jourgensen—a stock car driver and mechanic for Formula One driver Dan Gurney—and adopted his surname for herself and her son. [13]

Fulgencio Batista military leader of Cuba

Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and the U.S.-backed authoritarian ruler from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown during the Cuban Revolution. Batista initially rose to power as part of the 1933 Revolt of the Sergeants, which overthrew the provisional government of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada. He then appointed himself chief of the armed forces, with the rank of colonel, and effectively controlled the five-member "pentarchy" that functioned as the collective head of state. He maintained this control through a string of puppet presidents until 1940, when he was himself elected President of Cuba on a populist platform. He then instated the 1940 Constitution of Cuba and served until 1944. After finishing his term he lived in Florida, returning to Cuba to run for president in 1952. Facing certain electoral defeat, he led a military coup against President Carlos Prío Socarrás that preempted the election.

Fidel Castro Former First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Cuba

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, 13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016, was a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. A Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, Castro also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration, Cuba became a one-party communist state, while industry and business were nationalized and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.

Stock car racing form of automobile racing

Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly and most prominently in the United States and Canada, with Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil also having forms of stock car auto racing. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately 0.25 to 2.66 miles. The world's largest governing body for stock car racing is the American NASCAR, and its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top level series of professional stock car racing. Top level races typically range between 200 to 600 miles in length. The cars were originally production models, but are now highly modified.

Jourgensen was raised in Chicago, Illinois and Breckenridge, Colorado, and was a fan of artists such as Liberace, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Can, Kraftwerk, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Kitty Wells, Buck Owens, George Jones, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis. [13] :2

Breckenridge, Colorado Home Rule Municipality in Colorado, United States

Breckenridge is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Summit County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 4,540 at the 2010 United States Census. The town also has many part-time residents, as many people have vacation homes in the area. The town is located at the base of the Tenmile Range.

Liberace American pianist

Władziu Valentino Liberace was an American pianist, singer and actor. A child prodigy born in Wisconsin to parents of Italian and Polish origin, Liberace enjoyed a career spanning four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, with established concert residencies in Las Vegas, and an international touring schedule. Liberace embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, acquiring the nickname "Mr. Showmanship."

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led them to be regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

Jourgensen eventually attended the University of Illinois - Chicago, after briefly enrolling at both the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado. He worked as a radio DJ after college until he decided to pursue a career as a professional musician.

University of Northern Colorado state university in Greeley, Colorado, United States

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public research university in Greeley, Colorado. The university was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado and has a long history in teacher education. Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in six colleges. Extended campus locations in are in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs. UNC’s 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics.

Professional life


Jourgensen formed Ministry in 1981 after leaving Special Affect, a new wave/synthpop band (notably including Frankie Nardiello, founding member (as Groovie Mann) of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and drummer Harry Rushakoff of Concrete Blonde). Early singles by Ministry and Jourgensen's other projects were released on Wax Trax! Records. He also produced Skinny Puppy's Rabies album. During that time, Jourgensen befriended Nivek Ogre, who later toured with Ministry.

Special Affect was a Chicago, Illinois-based new wave band active from the late 1970s until 1981. They were notable for comprising the earliest-known recordings of future Ministry founder Al Jourgensen, future My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult vocalist Frank Nardiello, future Concrete Blonde drummer Harry Rushakoff, and bassist Martin Sorenson.

Groovie Mann is a founding member of industrial disco band My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.

Harry Rushakoff is a former drummer for the band Concrete Blonde.

The band broke into the mainstream with 1992's Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs album. Its opening track, "N.W.O.", was nominated for a 1993 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, losing to Nine Inch Nails' "Wish". However, its next album, Filth Pig (1996), divided their fan base, leading to a commercial decline that became evident when Warner Bros. Records dropped them from the label in 2001.

Ministry's next albums, Rio Grande Blood (2006) and The Last Sucker (2007), as well as the 2006 Revolting Cocks album Cocked and Loaded , were released on Jourgensen's new record label, 13th Planet Records, which he formed after falling out with the mainstream agendas of major industry labels. [18]

At the specific request of director Stanley Kubrick, Jourgensen appeared with Ministry in the film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence . He related his conversation with Kubrick in an interview:

Well, first of all, I hung up on him. I thought it was a crank call. His secretary was calling and I was like, 'Yeah, right.' Click. And then he called back personally and then talked to me, and I was just freaked out. I mean, who wouldn't be freaked out? Here's this eccentric American God living in the countryside of England, and he's calling me up in Austin, Texas, and saying he wants me to do the music for his film and he wants me to be in his film and he's famous and all that. I didn't even believe it. [19]

Ministry continued its involvement with the film project after Kubrick's death, and Jourgensen revealed that after initial tension, he and Steven Spielberg enjoyed a friendly relationship, with two compositions appearing on the soundtrack: "What About Us" and "Dead Practice". [20]

A number of his songs also appear in other films, such as Wicked Lake (2008)—produced by Fever Dreams and ZP Studios—for which he composed the entire soundtrack that was released on his own 13th Planet record label—he also makes a small appearance in the film as an art school teacher. [21] [22]

In a November 2008 issue of Hustler Magazine , Jourgensen announced that Ministry was officially finished, as the band "[took] up so much time" and releasing new albums was difficult. He also explained that he was responsible for six other bands and could complete seven albums within a year when he was not working on new Ministry material. [23] However, despite Jourgensen's insistence that Ministry would never return, a reunion was announced on August 7, 2011. A new album, entitled Relapse , was released on March 26, 2012. [24]

At his 57th birthday listening party in Chicago he announced a new project called, SMM or Surgical Meth Machine. In an interview with In The Loop Magazine, Jourgensen stated, "I can't wait to get this record out. If you're a fan of Ministry, you're gonna freak out on this. It's got the whole range of my career as a musician in it even sound of earlier stuff from the beginning." [25]

In 2016 March, Jourgensen noted he has a project with Arabian Prince; [26] this collaboration was later confirmed for a new Ministry album. [27] [28]

Revolting Cocks

Revolting Cocks, also known as RevCo, is an American industrial rock band that began as a musical side-project for Richard 23 of Front 242, Luc Van Acker, and Jourgensen. The band took their name after being involved in a fight in a Chicago bar in 1983: Jourgensen, Richard 23 and Van Acker, celebrating the formation of their new band with a few drinks, ended the evening in a brawl, with bar stools thrown through the windows. As he ejected the trio, the owner — a man who Jourgensen recalls was named Dess — [29] shouted, "I'm calling the police! You guys are a bunch of revolting cocks! [29] " The trio decided to use the name for their band.

The band have changed lineups several times. RevCo currently features Jourgensen (guitars, keyboards, programming, background vocals, producer), Josh Bradford (vocals, background vocals), Sin Quirin (guitars, bass, keyboards) and Clayton Worbeck (keyboards, programming, mixing, bass). Their seventh album Sex-O Olympic-O , which was produced by Jourgensen at his studio, was released on his 13th Planet label in March 2008. The follow-up album Got Cock? was released in March 2010 on the same label. A remix album of Got Cock?, titled Got Mixxx?, was released in 2011. [30]

Other bands and projects

During the late 1980s, Jourgensen started a short-lived side project named 1000 Homo DJs, under the pseudonym Buck Satan. 1000 Homo DJs released two singles, including a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut." [31] Also in 1989, Jourgensen was involved in Acid Horse, a collaboration between the members of Ministry and Cabaret Voltaire. [32] In 2015, Jourgensen announced that he started "a speed metal project" named Surgical Meth Machine with engineer and longtime collaborator Sam D'Ambruoso. [33]

Production work

Jourgensen and his Ministry bandmate Paul Barker worked as a music production team under the names Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan, producing their own work as well as other Wax Trax! Records acts. Jourgensen also produced music for Reverend Horton Heat, Skinny Puppy, Dessau, Skrew, Rigor Mortis, [34] The Blackouts, and DethRok. [35] Jourgensen's recording complex for the 13th Planet label was located within his former home in El Paso, Texas, U.S. [36]


Jourgensen is known for playing a multitude of instruments throughout his professional career. It includes guitars, bass, violin, banjo, keyboards, piano, pedal steel guitar, trumpets and drums to name a few. However, he claims he is "not really good at any of them." He said, "I'm jack of all trades and master of none. But I can collage bits and pieces together musically." [37]

Jourgensen's singing style has varied throughout the years. On Ministry's early releases such as With Sympathy and Twitch, he sang with a fake British accent, which he regrets. [38] [39] Inspired by The 13th Floor Elevators, Jourgensen started utilizing vocal effects beginning with The Land of Rape and Honey to distort his voice using Eventide. [40] In 2006, starting with Rio Grande Blood , Jourgensen switched to a more thrash metal approach.

Personal life

Relationships and family

Al Jourgensen at the Astoria, London during 2004, promoting Houses of the Mole. Al Jourgensen.jpg
Al Jourgensen at the Astoria, London during 2004, promoting Houses of the Molé .

Jourgensen was married to Patty Marsh from 1984 to 1995 and has a daughter, Adrienne, from the marriage, who was born on April 13, 1985. [41] In July 2014, Jourgensen announced that he and his wife of 12 years, Angelina Lukacin, who cofounded the 13th Planet record label, were divorced. They married on September 6, 2002. [42] The divorce was initiated on April 28, 2014 and finalized on July 17, 2014. [43]

Jourgensen's autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen, was released in July 2013. [44]

In 2015, Jourgensen moved to Los Angeles where he lives with his girlfriend, Liz Walton.

In 1995, police raided Ministry's Texas headquarters and Jourgensen was arrested for possession of heroin. [45] He received a five-year probation sentence. Jourgensen was dependent upon heroin for twenty years. Jourgensen's second wife, Angelina, helped him kick his heavy drug (heroin, methadone, crack, pills) habit, and as of 2013, he limited his intake to beer, wine and marijuana.[ citation needed ]

Jourgensen almost lost his arm and foot in two separate incidents, the first due to a spider bite, [46] the second the result of a hypodermic needle wound. [47] [48]

Body art

Throughout the years, Jourgensen has amassed a large number of tattoos. In 2012, he underwent facial piercings after a bet with his daughter Adrienne; she called him a "pussy" for not having any piercings while Jourgensen called her the same thing for not having any tattoos. They then decided to have their tattoos and piercings done respectively to create a "pact." He had 16 facial piercings done in one sitting. [49] [50]


with Ministry

with Revolting Cocks

Date of ReleaseTitleLabel
1986 Big Sexy Land Wax Trax!
1988 You Goddamned Son of a Bitch - Live Wax Trax!
1990 Beers, Steers, and Queers Wax Trax!
1993 Linger Ficken' Good Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
2006 Cocked and Loaded 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2007 Cocktail Mixxx 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2009 Sex-O Olympic-O 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2009 Sex-O MiXXX-O 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2010 Got Cock? 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records

with Lard

Date of ReleaseTitleLabel
1989 The Power of Lard Alternative Tentacles
1990 The Last Temptation of Reid Alternative Tentacles
1997 Pure Chewing Satisfaction Alternative Tentacles
2000 70's Rock Must Die Alternative Tentacles

Other releases

Date of ReleaseBandTitleLabel
2011Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free 13th Planet Records
2016Surgical Meth Machine Surgical Meth Machine Nuclear Blast Records
Date of ReleaseBandTitleLabel
1981 Special Affect Too Much Soft LivingNone (Special Affect Music)
1983 Alan Vega Saturn Strip Elektra
2015 Coal Chamber Rivals Napalm
2018Beauty In Chaos Finding Beauty In Chaos None (Bandcamp)

Solo Releases

Date of ReleaseTitle


2010Alien Christmas/It's Always Christmas Time13th Planet Records



  1. He is sometimes credited and referred to as Alain Jourgensen, [9] [10] Alien Jourgensen, [9] Uncle Al, [11] Hypo Luxa (his alias as a producer), Dog, Alien Dog Star, [12] and Buck Satan.

Reference notes

  1. [10] :78 [13] [14] [15] <ref name='Loudwire Top 10 Greatest Industrial Rock/Metal Bands'>Graham Hartmann (2016-11-04). "10 Greatest Industrial Rock + Metal Bands [Watch]". Loudwire . Retrieved 2017-12-17.

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Ministry is an American rock band founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen in Chicago, Illinois. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry's sound changed as they became one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s. The band's lineup has frequently changed throughout its history, with the exception of Jourgensen who is the band's main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include vocalists Nivek Ogre, Chris Connelly and Burton C. Bell, guitarists Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor, bassists Paul Barker, Paul Raven, Jason Christopher, Tony Campos and Paul D'Amour, drummers Bill Rieflin, Martin Atkins, Rey Washam and Roy Mayorga, keyboardist John Bechdel, and rappers/producers DJ Swamp and Arabian Prince.

<i>The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste</i> 1989 studio album by Ministry

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<i>Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs</i> 1992 studio album by Ministry

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<i>The Land of Rape and Honey</i> 1988 studio album by Ministry

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Revolting Cocks band

Revolting Cocks, also known as RevCo, are an American–Belgian industrial rock band and, sometimes, supergroup that began as a musical side-project for Richard 23 of Front 242, Luc van Acker, and Al Jourgensen of Ministry.

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  1. Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 7.
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  15. Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. XIII.
  16. Sean Edgar (November 15, 2017). "Photos: Death Grips & Ministry Combined for a Post-Industrial Maelstrom". Paste . Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  17. Jourgensen & Wiederhron 2013, pp. 7–8. Jourgensen writes that his mother was 16 years old when she bore him.
  18. Archived May 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  19. MacIntosh, Dan (18 February 2012). "Al Jourgensen of MInistry". Songfacts. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
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