Interview: Guitarist Sin Quirin discusses creative process with Ministry, guitars and more
Video provided by Nuclear Blast Records/YouTube

Two-time Grammy nominated guitarist Sin Quirin has been a key player in Al Jourgensen’s Ministry since 2007. Quirin, an exceptional guitarist, was a principal songwriter on Ministry’s The Last Sucker and From Beer to Eternity releases, a co-writer on 2008’s Cover Up, and was essential to the evolution of their brand new record AmeriKKKant. Ministry is currently out on tour in support of the new album. Tuesday AXS had a chance to catch up with Sin and chat about AmeriKKKant and being out on the road. Check out the album’s first music video for the track “Twilight Zone” above.

AXS: You were an essential component to the creation of Ministry’s latest release AmeriKKKant. How did this album come together and what led to the idea to link all nine tracks as one continuous piece of music?

Sin Quirin: The initial writing, at least for me, started a couple of years ago. To give you an example, the initial idea for “Twilight Zone” I demoed that in mid-2016. At the time I didn’t know it was going to be for Ministry, I am just always writing. Once we started writing and were in the studio because we were doing to do this album, that is when the idea came where we wanted to piece it together to one cohesive album as opposed to singles and stuff like that. A lot of it had to do with the way we listened to records when we were younger. We would listen to the whole album at once. There were a few records we were into at the time, some of the Pink Floyd albums and such where there was this idea of linking everything together.

AXS: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

S.Q.: At the moment it would have to be “Victims of a Clown” but that may change. You have to remember some of these songs have been around for me for about two years now.

AXS: How is the tour going? Who is on the road with you as a supporting act?

S.Q.: Chelsea Wolfe has been supporting us, they are direct support, and a band called The God Bombs is the opener.

AXS: When people hear about Ministry everyone instantly thinks of Al Jourgensen of course.  Could you tell fans about the band’s current lineup?

S.Q.: Well I have been with Al for 12 years now as well as John Bechdel. He’s got Tony Campos on bass, Derrick Abrams on drums, Cesar Soto is on the other guitar and Burton C. Bell is also out with us on this run because he sings with us on stage and does a few songs with us. DJ Swamp is out with us too.

AXS: How are fans responding to the new material and what song to you think is the crowd favorite?

S.Q.: They have been responding very well to the new material. We open with two new tracks, that is going great and we play “Wargasm” as well, which is probably the fastest and most aggressive song on the new record.

AXS: How are things going with your side project Revolting Cocks?

S.Q.: I have about four or five new Revolting Cocks song ideas and we are definitely going to do another record. Right now it is a bit hard because we have to find time to get into the studio but we hope to get in there sometime this year.

AXS: What drew you to Schecter guitars?

S.Q.: Yes. I have a Signature Series SinV-1Schecter guitar. When I first came on board it was about 10 or 11 years ago. At the time all the guys in Ministry were playing Schecter so the kind of introduced me to the guitars. I became really familiar with the guitars and I loved them, I have been with them ever since.

AXS: We heard you DJ as well. How did you get into that?

S.Q.: I do! That really came out of the blue. It wasn’t intentional. Three years ago I met a DJ in L.A. and he asked if I would do a guest spot. I never DJ’d before, he said he would show me what to do. I did it once and I really enjoyed it. I love working and staying busy, so in between tours I book a few DJ shows. Been all over the world and I’ve gotten better at it. Actually I am playing a few DJ gigs coming up. There’s one on Sat. after our Toronto show, one after our Boston show and one after our New Jersey show.

AXS: You were also a principle songwriter on The Last Sucker and From Beer to Eternity by Ministry. How do you approach songwriting?

S.Q.: I don’t do lyrics at all, that is 100% Al. Even when there is no record in mind I am writing. I have a ton of songs demoed so when it is time for an album I go through that stuff and see if it something that could fit with what we are doing. If not, then I can come up with something right on the spot. Inspiration comes in many forms and can hit at any time. It is not that difficult. I think everybody gets writer’s block from time to time but it doesn’t last very long. I seem to write well under pressure in the studio. Those days where I show up with nothing but by the end of the day there is some type of blueprint for a song that I have written. There have been instances where I am working on a song for weeks and I finally finish it and it is just ok. Then there are other times when I just show up to the studio and within 10 or 15 minutes you have come up with one of the most well-liked and well-received songs.

AXS tickets are available for Rams Head Live in Baltimore, purchase here. For more information about Ministry and all upcoming tour dates visit the Ministry website. Follow Sin Quirin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Purchase AmeriKKKant here.