The end is drawing near for Ministry, according to frontman Al Jourgensen.
The mastermind behind the pioneering industrial act discussed the band’s future in a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment. He suggested that he’d put an end to Ministry — who celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2021 — within the “next couple of years,” after recording another album or two.
“I view it as almost like karmic, where my career is winding down with Ministry,” he said. “I’m going to stop Ministry in an album or two. I have other things I want to do and I’m really kind of now shackling myself [to the band] … So, I figure there’s only maybe one more Ministry album to go.”
“Maybe two,” he continued, “but probably one; the second one might actually be a remake of [Ministry’s debut album] With Sympathy, to tie a bow on the whole thing. I think this next year or two is going 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.’ … It’s gonna be an interesting next couple of years.”
Bookending Ministry’s career with two vastly different versions of With Sympathy seems to be a sticking point for Jourgensen, who revealed that he has long since burned the LP’s original two-inch tapes. The album was famously in the new wave/synthpop style and predated Ministry’s heavy industrial output. Ideally, Jourgensen hopes to heavy-up some of those old songs for the band’s last hurrah.
“My hatred for this record was so deep,” he said. “As a matter of fact, the two-inch [master] tapes of it, the actual two-inch tapes, I had a barbecue party and I burned them on a barbecue. So, there’s no existing original With Sympathy‘s. I just burned them.”
On the re-recorded versions, he added: “Let’s turn it from this synthpop thing into a metal arena-rock song… and then we’ll take it from there and see where it goes… If we can make it sound the way I want it, when I originally came up with these songs, then yes, I will do [a full tour behind the release]. If not, I won’t. … So, we’re working our way towards putting a bow on the whole thing and calling it a career. And then everyone can leave me the fuck alone so I can do what the fuck I want.”
Considering Jourgensen’s remarks, time might be running out if you plan to catch Ministry live. The band is set to support Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie’s upcoming North American tour, which kicks off in late August. You can get tickets here.
Watch the Yahoo! Entertainment interview with Jourgensen below, followed by Heavy Consequence‘s own 2021 video interview with the industrial legend.