In addition to four decades of incredible original material that spawned a whole new genre of music, industrial mainstays Ministry and creator/frontman Al Jourgensen are also well known for a series of memorable cover songs from Black Sabbath’s Supernaut to Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay. The newest tribute is a take on The Stooges‘ Search And Destroy offering a uniquely slowed down tempo and Jourgensen’s guttural howl that amplifies the song’s wartime critique. The video was directed by the iconic Dean Karr (Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Dr. Dre, Velvet Revolver, Rob Zombie).
Featured on the song is Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, Royal Machines) who worked closely with Jourgensen to hone Ministry’s version, an idea they came up with after teaming up on the track in a moment of accidental kismet at the Above Ground benefit concert in Los Angeles in 2019.
Recalls Jourgensen: “We rehearsed it and the song was perfect but the show was running late and by the time we got on stage, I was in half time and singing the lyrics twice as slow. Fortunately Billy and Dave Navarro are professionals and they realised what was going on and sort of covered for me but I felt horrible. Billy thought it actually sounded really good in half-time so he came to me with the idea of going into the studio and recording it that way. And I figured I owed him one.”
For the music video, filmed in a desert wasteland in a remote part of Los Angeles where airplanes are retired, Jourgensen learned how to operate an antiquated war weapon and wore an arsenal of heavy artillery to get into character. He says, “It was the smoothest shoot I’ve ever done and one of the memories I’ll take to my grave.”
Moral Hygiene track list
- Alert Level
- Good Trouble
- Sabotage Is Sex
- Search and Destroy
- Believe Me
- Broken System
- We Shall Resist
- Death Toll
- TV Song #6 (Right Around The Corner Mix)
Search And Destroy will appear on Ministry’s upcoming 15th studio album Moral Hygiene, which will be released via Nuclear Blast Records on October 1st. With some of Ministry’s strongest and most inspired material to date, the 10 tracks are a follow-up to 2018’s lauded AmeriKKKant and put forth Jourgensen’s societal manifesto and plea for civilization to get back to a set of standards that lives up to and embraces our humanity.
Moral Hygiene also includes the previously released Good Trouble (a tribute to late Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis) as well as Alert Level that sounded the alarms about our collective dissonance towards the pandemic, climate change and the man formerly in the White House, bolstered by the song’s overarching question posed to listeners: “How concerned are you?”
Moral Hygiene was recorded with engineer Michael Rozon (also behind the boards on AmeriKKKant) at Scheisse Dog Studio, Jourgensen’s self-built home studio and creative lab. As with all Ministry albums, all songs are written and performed by Al Jourgensen. Additional contributions come from Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, Royal Machines), Cesar Soto (Man The Mute), John Bechdel (Killing Joke, Fear Factory), Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly, Nausea), Paul D’Amour (Tool, Feersum Ennjin), Arabian Prince (N.W.A.), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) and sitar player Flash.
Born in 1981 in Chicago, Ministry has been the lifetime passion project of founder Al Jourgensen, considered to be the pioneer of industrial music. In its early days, Ministry was identifiable by its heavy synth-pop material in line with the new sounds and technology that were being developed in the ’80s. Ministry‘s output began with four 12″ singles on Wax Trax! Records in 1981 before the first LP With Sympathy in 1983 via Arista Records. As time progressed however, so did Ministry, quickly developing a harsher, and more stylised sound that the band soon became infamous for on seminal albums Twitch (1986), The Land of Rape and Honey (1988), and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste (1989). With the release of Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and The Way to Suck Eggs (1992), Ministry hit an all time high in the mainstream musical realm and received its first Grammy nomination. In total, Ministry has been nominated for a Grammy award six times. Eight more albums would follow before an indefinite break in 2013, only to be unearthed again in 2018 with AmeriKKKant, continuing to reflect Jourgensen‘s views on the frightening state of society and politics. Today, Ministry continues touring and recording with the brand-new 15th studio album Moral Hygiene to be released October 1st.