The passing of the late congressman John Lewis on July 17, 2020 had a profound impact on MINISTRY creator Al Jourgensen and inspired the new song "Good Trouble", a term often associated with the lifelong social activist work of the late congressman who was monumental in the civil rights movement.
Today, in honor of one year since Lewis's passing, MINISTRY shares the new "Unity Mix" of the song that features N.W.A.'s Arabian Prince and guitarist Cesar Soto. This unedited version is meant to bridge the gap between black and white and be a unifying call to arms to keep the fight for what's right moving forward.
Says Jourgensen of the intent behind the song: "If you look at the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it took 100 years to actually make the unwritten Jim Crow laws of segregation illegal. And it's now taken another 50 years to bring these issues to the forefront of consciousness again. Seeing the grassroots movements springing up in 2020 and continuing today, coupled with the legacy and loss of John Lewis, I thought it was time to put a voice to that. Human beings deserve the right to be human beings and seeing this massive groundswell fighting for equal rights inspired this song."
Arabian Prince adds: "Working with Al is always a blast, but this song is special as the powerful message must be magnified and spread across the globe. Just to read the words of John Lewis on video will be something I will remember forever. Thanks, Al, for allowing me to bless this song."
Soto also says: "All the riffs that you hear in 'Good Trouble' were inspired by a reconnection that I've had not only with myself, but a reconnection with the universe through sobriety. Mix that with a country that was falling apart during a pandemic, and a home studio, and you have a winning formula and endless riffs. The song definitely means a lot to me and I can connect with it because I am a product of racial inequality. Being Latino, I've dealt with racism and still deal with racism, so I have a strong connection with the song."
The special "Unity Mix" of "Good Trouble" is only available to watch/share on MINISTRY's socials and will not appear on the band's upcoming "Moral Hygiene" release. It's intended solely to be a tribute to the work, the legacy, and the words of John Lewis.
"Moral Hygiene" will be made available on October 1 via Nuclear Blast Records. Containing some of MINISTRY's strongest and most inspired material to date, the 10-track follow-up to 2018's "AmeriKKKant" is 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 "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?"
The new album also adds perspective to the countless lives that were tragically lost to the COVID-19 pandemic on the haunting track "Death Toll" while "Disinformation" describes the too frequent willingness to accept everything — even mistruths — as fact.
Other musical jewels on the upcoming release include a collaboration with Jello Biafra (Jourgensen's cohort in side project LARD) on "Sabotage Is Sex" and a unique take on THE STOOGES' "Search And Destroy" that features guitar virtuoso Billy Morrison (BILLY IDOL, ROYAL MACHINES). Morrison is also heavily featured on a number of songs on the album.
"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 Jourgensen. Additional contributions come from Morrison, 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.
"Moral Hygiene" will be available in CD, vinyl and digital download formats.
Born in 1981 in Chicago, MINISTRY has been the lifetime passion project of 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-inch 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 stylized 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.