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POP MUSIC : The Face of Fame, The Face of Anger : Al Jourgensen, leader of the industrial-rock band Ministry, has a potent message that has touched a lot of kindred souls.

August 02, 1992|ROBERT HILBURN | Robert Hilburn is The Times' pop music critic.

"I don't think there are enough words for me to tell you how much reluctance there was," he said. "He definitely did not want to do it. It took me weeks to convince them that it was the right thing to do.

"I think what it boiled down to for them was, 'Let's go out into the world because if I do that, maybe I can then withdraw further and never deal with anybody again.' "

Withdrawing sounds fine to Jourgensen, who plans to move to a ranch south of Austin, Tex., where he can record in his own studio and live in relative calm with his family--away from the merrymakers who tend to surround him in Chicago.

Jourgensen speaks so much about his family (including his 6-year-old daughter) that it's strange he doesn't show that tender side of himself in his music.

"Naw," he says, quickly dismissing the question. "Maybe someday in my country band. I'm not ready to get up and start delving into personal matters, but everything you write is personal in a way. Ministry has a lot left to say. There's still a lot of anger out there. The '90s may make the '60s look like a tea party."

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