An Interview with Ministry Guitarist, Sin Quirin
Band Photo: Ministry (?)
Guitarist and song writer extraordinaire; we had the opportunity to chat with Sin Quirin, metal guitarist for Ministry and the Revolting Cocks. With this being Ministry’s final album and tour, Sin sheds some light on his future plans as well as giving us an insight into his musical career.
Scottydawg: Hey, Sin. Thanks for taking the time out for an interview with Metal Underground.
Sin Quirin: Yeah, no problem.
Scottydawg: Now you’ve been involved in the music industry and various projects for quite some time as a guitarist. Can you tell us a little about how you got involved with music as a career?
Sin: Sure. Way back, I started playing guitar when I was ten years old doing the old little garage band thing. I started playing professionally, getting paid and shit, at about eighteen or nineteen. My first real band was a band called Rampage and we kicked around the local LA circuitry for a little bit and then I joined this band called Tactics which featured this guy Steve Gaines. We were sort of a thrash-metal kind of band. From that point, Tactics turned into this band called Electric Head which featured Ivan de Prume from White Zombie on drums. From that point on is when I got into Society 1 and from Society 1 is how I jumped over to RevCo; and that happened because we had the same booking agent, John Finberg. He initially introduced me to Al Jourgensen. This was about four years ago I think and we remained in contact. Then they were putting the touring lineup for RevCo together and he called and asked if I would be interested in doing that; and now here I am.
Scottydawg: When did you get involved with Revolting Cocks (RevCo) and how long were you with them before you hit over to Ministry?
Sin: I joined RevCo a little over two years ago. Actually it was December of 2005 when I got the call to play guitar for RevCo and in March of 2006 is when I first came out to El Paso to begin RevCo rehearsals; and then we did that tour, The RevCo/Ministry Tour. After that tour, Ministry went on to Europe and I remained in the states and at that point is when Al asked if I was interested in writing material for the Ministry album. So when they got back from Europe sometime around September or October, they pulled me out to El Paso and he and I began recording songs for The Last Sucker. When I was in the studio is when he asked me to join Ministry.
Scottydawg: What’s the writing process like for you as a guitarist?
Sin: You know, when I went into the writing for this particular album, The Last Sucker, initially Al had said that he wanted to make this album really, really heavy. Basically to make it even heavier than Rio Grande Blood but knowing that it was gonna be the last Ministry album, I wanted to bring different elements to the table. I didn’t wanna just show up with speed metal riffs. So I actually started writing riffs that sort of encompassed more of the older Ministry sound like The Land of Rape and Honey and Psalm 69; those types of albums. So I went into it with that in mind. I think you can kind of tell in the songs that I co-wrote on the record that they have sort of that older Ministry feel. They’re not completely blistering like speed metal, songs like Let’s Go, Life Is Good, and The Dick Song. They’re more like a repetitive groove kind of thing which is what I really dug about the older Ministry.
Scottydawg: When you initially joined Ministry and co-wrote for The Last Sucker, did you know that this was going to be the last Ministry album?
Sin: Absolutely. Al had talked about this during the Ministry/RevCo Tour. He said that the next Ministry album would be the last album and this would be the last tour; so this was something that we were aware of and I think that’s why I took my time with the writing process because I knew it was going to be sort of our last statement and I didn’t wanna go out with just a speed metal album.
Scottydawg: This final album is very interesting with the title The Last Sucker and a picture of George Bush on the cover. What would you say to those critics out there that might find this album to be politically controversial?
Sin: Well that’s exactly what it is. It’s the last of this trilogy that Al had going on. Obviously all the lyrics were written by Al so that’s sort of his thing. We show up with the music and he pretty much takes over with all the political views but that’s what the last three Ministry albums are. You know, it’s that theme. The album before that had a different theme and people are always gonna say what they’re gonna say. It doesn’t matter what we write about. If we were to write an album about, I don’t know, fucking lollipops or whatever; they would be fucking talking about that [laughs]. We’re always gonna get critics and pros and cons and that’s just what this album was about.
Scottydawg: [laughs] I hear ya. With being involved in this industry for so long and growing as a musician as well as maturing as an artist, how do you think your style of music might have changed through the years?
Sin: Well it’s definitely evolved, man, from when I first started out because when I was eighteen to twenty-one, right around that age, I wanted to be the hotshot lead guitarist. I had all the flash and all the little fucking runs and all that shit. Then the older I got, songwriting became more important to me than just being a flashy guitarist. And I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself and put myself in a box and just be known as sort of this metal guitarist. Every year I’ve tried to learn and grow writing wise. I always have my ears open and I’m always listening to different styles of music. I mean metal and the type of music that I do is probably the music that I listen to the least, to be honest with you. I have this wide spectrum of music that I listen to and I’m very open-minded when it comes to that. I just think that if you’re a song writer, you have to keep yourself open or else you’re just gonna close yourself off and you’re never gonna grow. When I was writing this new Revolting Cocks album, I co-wrote nine of the eleven songs on it. I brought in my electronica influences, my trance influences, my classic rock; I mean everything. I just threw everything in there.
Scottydawg: What are your plans after this final Ministry Tour ending in Europe?
Sin: After the European Ministry Tour, we’ll probably all check ourselves into some kind of hospital or something [laughs].
Scottydawg: [laughs] Do you have any side projects in the works or just RevCo right now?
Sin: Absolutely. After we get back from Europe which will be sometime mid-July, we’re probably gonna take about a month or so off, or I am at least; and then the new RevCo album hits the streets I believe in September. And then RevCo will be going out on tour shortly after that so there will be a Revolting Cocks tour after that album. So I’ve got that coming up in the horizon and then I’ve also got my own side project that I’m trying to get going and hopefully will also be on 13th Planet Records.
Scottydawg: Hmm, do you have any insight information about this project?
Sin: I don’t at the moment, man. It’s just gonna be a combination of all my own personal influences. Industrial, it’s gonna be metal, it’s gonna be rock. I mean it’s gonna have everything in there. I hope to have a lot of cool players on there, just people I’ve met coming into this whole organization. I think it’s gonna be a cool album. The new RevCo, I’m really psyched about. I think people are really gonna be surprised by what we did with it and I think they’re really gonna dig it.
Scottydawg: It’s got to be exciting working with people such as Al Jourgensen, Trent Reznor, and Burton Bell; just to name a few.
Sin: It’s still mind blowing to this day. Every day when I’m at rehearsal and I look over and see Al, I still flash back to the early 90’s, man, when I use to listen to listen to those early Ministry albums and those early RevCo albums and it’s like I can’t believe that I’m in the band and that I actually write songs with them. It’s still a trip to me. I’m still a big fan and I haven’t crossed over into the “Oh I’m part of the band kind of thing” attitude. To me I’m still a fan of all these guys.
Scottydawg: Looking back at your musical career, are there any interesting moments that you encountered that will last in your mind forever?
Sin: Dude, I would have to write a book [laughs]. You have no idea the fucking stories and the shit that goes on with us on a daily basis out here. I mean honestly, we’d be on the phone for fucking hours.
Scottydawg: [laughs] We need to set up a video biography of Sin Quirin.
Sin: Absolutely, dude. We should totally do that.
Scottydawg: Is there anything that you want the readers out there to know about you?
Sin: Wow, that I want them to know about me? [laughs] I think they know too much already. You know what I would like to say; thanks to all the fans out there especially to all our pissants. They’re just phenomenal with us. They stick by us through thick or thin. Their support means the world to us and without every Ministry fan out there, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do so we completely appreciate them.
Scottydawg: Hey, Sin. I know you’re on the road right now and I appreciate you taking the time out for this interview. Have a safe trip and see ya soon.
Sin: You got it!
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