Silverado, Ca. – Thirteen albums into a 40+ year career, industrial metal bludgeoneers Ministry did more than any other band to popularize the industrial metal rise which we all come to love and appreciate to this day.
Founded in 1981 by lead singer Al Jourgensen who has basically been the trademark of the band with his leather-clad cowboy/biker look and the edgy shock tactics on such fantastic videos as “N.W.O.” and “Just One Fix,” Ministry crossed over into the mainstream in 1991 with “Jesus Built My Hotrod” (co-authored by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers). The music video was such a big hit that it actually caught the eye of the Lollapalooza organizers, and Ministry was invited to play to a packed Lollapalooza crowd.
Ministry today has had their fair share of ups and down, including the loss of band members and breaking up twice. On December 23, 2012, guitarist Mike Scaccia died following an on-stage heart attack, while playing with his other band, Rigor Mortis. He was only 47 years old. When Al was asked in an interview with Noisey in March 2013 about what would happen with the band going forward he was quoted as saying, “Mikey was my best friend in the world and there’s no Ministry without him. But I know the music we recorded together during the last weeks of his life had to be released to honor him. So after his funeral, I locked myself in my studio and turned the songs we had recorded into the best and last Ministry record anyone will ever hear. I can’t do it without Mikey and I don’t want to. So yes, this will be Ministry’s last album.” Later in 2016 when asked about the possibility of a new Ministry album, Jourgensen said, “When I was asked, it was after Mikey passed and the entire media immediately starts asking me what is going to happen to Ministry. He wasn’t even buried yet. I thought, ‘Fuck you.’ I was really pissed and really angry. I said, ‘Fuck Ministry and fuck you for asking.’ They want a comment on Ministry when my best friend had died. It’s been more than two years now, and I got more ideas and I have done albums with Mikey and have done them without him. It’s time to get another record out. I have a bunch of songs written in my head. I wanted to have time to mourn before people start asking me about touring dates. It was sick. I was bombarded and email boxes were overloaded with ‘what are you going to do now?’ It was kind of creepy.”
In February 2017, Ministry began working on their fourteenth studio album, titled “AmeriKKKant.” The album will be released digitally in the fall of 2017, followed by a vinyl release in January 2018, and will include guest appearances from Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, former N.W.A member Arabian Prince , DJ Swamp and Lord of the Cello. During their performance at the Blackest of the Black Fest, Ministry debuted their first song in four years, “Antifa”, which is expected to appear on AmeriKKKant. Before playing the new song at Blackest, he told the crowd, “We are gonna play a new song. If you like it, then buy it. If you don’t, then throw shit at us. Maybe it will inspire us to write better shit.” Someone then proceeded to throw a water bottle at the stage to which Al responded, ” Hey, we haven’t even played it yet!”
While covering Blackest of the Black Fest, I was able to grab Sin Quirin (Guitarist) to sit down with me and talk about the band’s going ons, what is going on with him personally and the many projects he’s involved with.
Blackest of the Black Festival Live Shots: