Corporate greed. Sharky politicians. Climate out of control. Questionable government interests. All of it comes to a head in Al Jourgensen‘s latest diatribe against the system, “Just Stop Oil”. The brand-new track — from MINISTRY‘s upcoming 16th studio album “Hopiumforthemasses” — is shared today alongside a visually stimulating music video that begs for action for the benefit of our collective future.
Says Jourgensen of the track: “MINISTRY approves this message and the movement behind it. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!”
“Just Stop Oil” follows the release of earlier single “Goddamn White Trash”, both anchor tracks from “Hopiumforthemasses” (out March 1, 2024 on Nuclear Blast Records) that give a preview of the state of mind of Jourgensen who is cantankerous as ever about a fucked up world ripe for a boot up its ass. Like always, he’s merely looking around at the same dumpster fire we all are, but he’s got a microphone and uses it well to rage on about the state of the world.
Joined by MINISTRY‘s current frontline of musicians — John Bechdel (keyboards),Monte Pittman and Cesar Soto (guitars),Roy Mayorga (drums) and Paul D’Amour (bass) — “Hopiumforthemasses” also has a slew of special guest contributors including GOGOL BORDELLO‘s Eugene Hutz, longtime collaborator and LARD companion Jello Biafra and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY frontman Pepper Keenan.
“Just like you or anybody else, I’m simply a passenger in this lifetime,” said Jourgensen. “I’m watching social changes, political changes, and economic changes, and I comment on them because I do have a First Amendment right. A lot of people say artists and athletes should shut up and play ball. No, I’m on this trip too. If I see something, I say something. That reflects on where each album goes. Instead of staying sedentary and singing about broken relationships, inner turmoil, or whatever is hurting this week, I comment on what’s going on from the perspective of a fellow passenger.”
“Hopiumforthemasses” track listing:
02. Goddamn White Trash***
03. Just Stop Oil
04. Aryan Embarrassment**
05. TV Song 1/6 Edition
06. New Religion
07. It’s Not Pretty
08. Cult of Suffering*
09. Ricky’s Hand
* Featuring Eugene Hütz (GOGOL BORDELLO)
** Featuring Jello Biafra
***Featuring Pepper Keenan
“Hopiumforthemasses” will be available in three vinyl variants, a CD jewelcase and digital/streaming platforms. The vinyl variants include: green with yellow splatter (in stores everywhere); blue with pink splatter (nuclear blast exclusive); red with white splatter (band/tour exclusive).
This past June, Jourgensen told Yahoo! Entertainment ‘s Lyndsey Parker that he was close to putting MINISTRY to bed, more than 40 years after he launched the band in his former hometown of Chicago.
“My career is winding down with MINISTRY,” Jourgensen said. “I’m gonna stop MINISTRY in an album or two. I have to. I have other things I wanna do.”
He continued: “My public and my band are all in agreement that we are being shackled by… We are taking our genre to the farthest limits it can go, and we’re happy with that. And we’ll stop when it’s time instead of keep going and trying to just recreate the same stuff. We keep trying to push further. So, I figure there’s only maybe one more MINISTRY album to go. Maybe two, but probably one.”
Jourgensen added: “I have other things to do. I have projects that I’m working on with various people. I have film scores. And MINISTRY, now we’re being held to the standard of this new MINISTRY of, okay, either push further or do the most popular stuff over and over and over and over, which we have with ‘Psalm 69’ or something like that. I’m tired of that. We’re all tired of that. Well, we are. The fans aren’t. So I think this next year or two is gonna be really transformative in the sense that I’m wrapping a bow on my entire career and saying, ‘Drop mic. Thank you. Thank you for buying our t-shirts… Good night. And now I hope you follow me on my next journey.”
Al revealed that one of MINISTRY‘s final recordings might be a ‘remake” of the band’s first album, “With Sympathy”, which he claims he had little control over, with the record company at the time dictating its direction. According to Jourgensen, a new version of “With Sympathy” would “tie a bow on the whole thing, and just say, ‘Drop mic. Good night. I’m outta here.'”
The MINISTRY mastermind said that he and his bandmates are heading into the studio to commence work on a new recording of “Revenge”, one of three singles from “With Sympathy”, with the possibility that they will re-record three of the album’s other cuts: “Effigy”, “Work For Love” and “Here We Go”. As for when fans might hear these new versions, Al said: “I think it’s going to be sooner than you think.”
This is not the first time Jourgensen has vowed to make a “final” MINISTRY album. 2007’s “The Last Sucker” was supposed to be the band’s last-ever LP. Then, while working on other projects, inspiring riffs were born that would eventually become 2012’s “Relapse”. Later that year, Jourgensen began work on yet another MINISTRY album with longtime guitarist and collaborator Mike Scaccia. Three days after leaving the MINISTRY sessions in El Paso, in the early hours of December 23, 2012, Scaccia suffered heart failure onstage while performing with his other band, RIGOR MORTIS, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Scaccia‘s death both devastated and motivated Jourgensen to return the studio to put the final touches on what they had started in memory of his best friend. The result was 2013’s “From Beer To Eternity”. Two more albums followed, 2018’s “AmeriKKKant” and 2021’s “Moral Hygiene”.
Photo credit: Derick Smith / Nuclear Blast
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