One of today’s hardest working musicians, Sin Quirin speaks with ReGen in this final part of a three-part InterView series with the members of Society 1, telling us about his return and what the future holds for him and his various projects.
An InterView with Sin Quirin of Society 1 and MINISTRY
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Sin Quirin has garnered a considerable reputation in modern music, due in no small part to his association with MINISTRY, but it was in Society 1 that the man first showed the world what an excellent talent he had to offer. First as the band’s keyboardist and then as the lead guitarist, Quirin helped bring Society 1 to prominence on such albums as Exit Through Fear and The Sound that Ends Creation. In 2006, Quirin went onto join the Thirteenth Planet, recording and touring with MINISTRY and RevCo and becoming an integral part of Al Jourgensen’s creative output over the next decade while also performing with the likes of Lords of Acid and American Head Charge. Few including Quirin himself and front man Matt “The Lord” Zane could have foreseen his return to Society 1 in 2014, but with his inclusion comes a new phase in the band’s development from its beginnings in the industrial/metal underground with the promise to achieve new musical heights.
In this third and final entry in a three-part InterView series with Society 1, Sin Quirin speaks with ReGen on what prompted his return to the band as well as his new signature guitar from Schecter, his radio show with Metal Sanaz, and the future of MINISTRY.
After nine years, you’ve returned to Society 1 while still remaining a member of MINISTRY. What prompted your return to Society 1?
There are about maybe three or four people in my life that I’ve encountered that are just parasites and the wrong decisions and the wrong people I’ve made decisions with… I can’t focus on that stuff or let it get to me. There’s so much jealousy, so many things people have issues with themselves that they aren’t happy with and try to project that onto others…I don’t have time for that, man. You know me, I’m always working, I’m always doing music. What’s important to me is music, my family, my mom, and that’s it. Everything else can just…whatever.
Now that you’re back in the Society 1 fold, performing live and appearing in the band’s latest music video for ‘It’s Yours Now,’ how extensive is your involvement in the band’s new material?
Quirin: The band has been writing even before I came back into the fold, so I’m writing riffs for them, hopefully for what will end up on future stuff, but what they have coming out right now is stuff that was already in the works for them before I even came back into the picture. But I am writing riffs and ideas and stuff for future ideas that we may release.
On that note, Beau Ashley has been with the band for some time, and while playing in MINISTRY, you’re no stranger to playing with another guitar player. What’s it like to be slinging the strings with Beau?
Quirin: It’s horrible, I can’t stand playing with that guy. (Laughs) I kid, I kid. Nah, I totally dig playing with Beau. For me, being with MINISTRY for the time I’ve been with the band has made it easy for me. Society 1 was always a one-guitar band, but man, I think it sounds a lot fuller. I dig what Beau brings to the table. We complement each other well. I dig it; zero issues.
It’s perhaps fair to say that Society 1, like so many others, has been influenced in some degree by MINISTRY; is there a difference in mindset when you write for one band versus the other?
Besides being a guitarist, you’re also a keyboardist and programmer – in fact, you started out in Society 1 as the keyboardist before switching to guitar.
Quirin: Yes! I get messages now and then that are like, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize you were a guitar player.’ They knew me from the early Society 1 and they just found me and didn’t realize I played guitar. ‘We didn’t realize you started playing guitar now.’ Man, I’ve always been a guitar player. I can work my way around a keyboard. I still get those messages; I always think it’s funny. The last one I got was a couple days ago.
So, how much of your writing process involves one instrument or style over another?
Quirin: When I got sick a few months ago, I literally didn’t pick up the guitar. That was very strange for me. I’ve slowly started to come back and the ideas are starting to flow again and I’ve been writing a lot on the guitar lately. Sometimes I go through periods where I’ll primarily write on a keyboard – the idea starts there, then eventually moves to guitar, of course. Recently, it’s been mainly guitar stuff, but I always factor in keyboard at some point; especially if it’s a MINISTRY thing or some kind of electronic thing. I think it’s because I’ve been away from the guitar those months where I was sick.
On that note, how are you doing? How is your recovery?
With the death of Mike Scaccia and Al Jourgensen’s constant statements that MINISTRY is now over, he still manages to tour and release new material, and with this tour coming up, you’ve now been part of two different ‘farewell’ tours for MINISTRY. In your opinion, will MINISTRY ever really be done?
Quirin: You know, man, that’s what Al says. You can look at interviews from the past; I have always said, ‘Never say never,’ but that could be my ignorance or me wanting things to continue that I love doing. Al says it’s the last one. Will it be? Who knows? I don’t know. Do I hope it’s the last one? No, I hope we continue for many years, but only time will tell.
Both Society 1 and MINISTRY have comic books in the works, but the MINISTRY comic seems to have been delayed. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Quirin: With the personal stuff that Al has recently gone through, a lot of stuff got tied in with that. All I can say is what I know and I know that some of those things were tied in with that other camp, if you know what I mean. So I honestly don’t know what the status is with it. I saw a lot of the drawings and sketches and it looked awesome, so I hope it sees the light of day some point soon, but I honestly don’t know when that would be, if it even happens. What I can say is that a lot of that stuff got sidelined because of what he went through.
How about the Society 1 comic? Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Quirin: Oh. Matt is the guy to ask about that; he has more of the info on this comic than I do. All I know is I’m going to be in it and I’m psyched about it. It looks amazing. But as far as story and our roles, he’s the one to ask.
Switching gears, you had a show on TRadioV with Sanaz when we last spoke, and it has now been canceled, unfortunately.
Quirin: Literally, our contract was up and it was time to negotiate, and they opted out and didn’t choose to continue. So that was really it. I was bummed. I had a great time doing it. I learned a lot – it was my first time doing that, so I took it as a learning experience and something I could get back into if someone ever wants to have me around.
Obviously, you and Sanaz had a good friendship and rapport on the show; is there any possibility that you two will continue the show in some other capacity or via another outlet?
Besides playing in MINISTRY and Society 1, you’ve also done DJ gigs, remixes, and have produced and performed on several other artists and bands. What other artists or projects are you currently involved in that you’re able to talk about?
Quirin: There’s a band I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for called KP Riot Brigade. I’ve been doing a lot of guitar playing for them, and they hired me to play on their record. They’re a really cool industrial band. I recorded a solo for one of their songs and it’s one of my all-time favorite solos I’ve ever done, period. I was really excited about this. People will probably hear it and be like, ‘Yeah, whatever,’ but I felt like I really touched on something. It’s only 20 seconds long, if that, but I was really proud of it. Sammy D’Ambruoso’s been helping me with that, and a lot of people have just been hiring me for stuff. I got approached recently about doing another remix. I’ve been doing a lot of that stuff to keep me busy, and then DJ gigs as well. I’ve done the LA Fashion Fetish Ball or something like that in downtown Los Angeles as well as the big Horns and Halo fetish event in Scottsdale, AZ.
You’ve been associated with Schecter Guitars for quite some time, and you now have a signature V-shaped model being released. Tell us about that?
Quirin: I seem to always be associated with a V; in every sense. (Laughs) I was literally the first guy to play a Schecter V. The model that I have right now they don’t even make anymore. They change the body and the fin a little bit every year, so I’ve got one of the original Vs that they came out with. So when I was first hooked up with Schecter, I told them I wanted to play a V and I know they don’t make Vs and stuff, when the president whips out this blueprint and tells me they’re coming out with a V! He goes, ‘If you want to play it, you’ll be the first guy to play it,’ and those are the guitars I use on tour with MINISTRY. So I still have those. They made my signature series just like the one I play for years – same neck, frets, everything’s the same in there that I’ve I used. I’m excited about it. We’ve been working on it all this year. I’m beside myself.
I’d also like to give a big shout-out to Blackstar Amps who I just got hooked up with; they sound fucking brutal. I used my HD100 Metal 100 head at this Mandy Lyon gig and I used it at the last Society 1 show as well. It just sounds brutal. I’m going to be doing a lot of cool stuff with the company. My sound is exactly how I’ve always wanted it.
Society 1 Website http://www.society1official.com
Society 1 Facebook http://www.facebook.com/society1
Society 1 Twitter http://www.twitter.com/society1music
Society 1 SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/society1
Live Photographs by Kaley Nelson, courtesy of Kaley Nelson Photography (http://www.KaleyNelson.com)
Sin Quirin Photographs by Dean Karr, courtesy of Dean Karr Photography (http://deankarr.com)
No Salvation by Dominic Valecillo (https://www.facebook.com/dominic.valecillo)