Fifteen years in the making, FIX: The Ministry Movie screens at the Echoplex tonight. The long-delayed documentary focuses mostly on volatile frontman Al Jourgensen, and also features interviews with folks like Trent Reznor and Lemmy, who offer their takes on Jourgensen.
A founder of industrial metal, Ministry's influence can't be overstated. Over the course of three decades they have remained relevant, evolving from synth pop to metal, and paving the way to mainstream success for other bands. The lineup is a revolving door, with Jourgensen as the only constant. FIX's footage was mostly culled in 1996 while they were on the “Sphinctour” in support of Filth Pig. At the time, the band was signed to Warner Bros., who hired the camera crew for marketing purposes; what they got was a whole lot of footage of illicit activities.
It's not hard to come up with indelicate footage of Ministry. After all, they're one of the most notorious bands in the world. Most of what you've heard is probably true. Dave Navarro has told a story about the time he saw Jourgensen walking by and quipped, “There's Al, that guy's really fucked up.” Jourgensen claims to have smoked everything, even an ear plug. A large part of FIX is footage of Jourgensen cooking, smoking and tying off.
FIX's release date was originally scheduled for last year, but it was plagued with setbacks and finally arrived in April at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. By happy coincidence it premiered the same weekend that Ministry's Chicago-based first record label Wax Trax! celebrated their anniversary with a three day music festival.
Monday's screening at Echoplex will also feature a Q&A with director Doug Freel. In addition to FIX, Freel has directed a handful of other music documentaries, including the compilation of Ministry and RevCo promo videos, Ministry: Tapes of Wrath.