Al Jourgensen’s band Ministry release their final studio album, The Last Sucker, on September 18 on 13th Planet/Megaforce Records. But that doesn’t mean he’s saying goodbye to the inside of a recording studio.
As a matter of fact, Jourgensen plans to spend significantly more time in the studio doing what he loves best: collaborating. And collaboration is at the root of Cover Up, a soon-to-be-released album of some of Al’s personal favorite songs being recorded by in his El Paso, Texas, compound, 13th Planet Studios. Cover Up is expected to street in April 2008.
In addition to core Ministry members guitarist Sin Quirin (Revolting Cocks) and bassist Paul Raven (Killing Joke/Prong/Mob Research) Jourgensen enlisted an impressive group of musicians for Cover Up. Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell sings on the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” Static-X members Tony Campos (bass) and Wayne Static perform on the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and Prong’s Tommy Victor (vocals) and Mountain’s Leslie West (guitar) perform Mountain’s classic “Mississippi Queen.”
Cover Up will also include Ministry’s cover of the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” (which can also be found on The Last Sucker), as well as Ram Jam’s “Black Betty,” Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin,” Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” and “Radar Love” by Golden Earring. Additional featured artists, including Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander (vocals) and Rick Nielson (guitar) and tracks are in the works.
“It’s a work in progress,” Jourgensen explains, “based on who’s on tour and comin’ through town. It keeps everything spontaneous. By now, everyone knows if they’re droppin’ by the studio, I’m gonna put them to work. I’ve got a few more surprises up my sleeve for this one.
“I’m just waiting on a few more return calls,” he adds. “Seems like lately if you visit the 13th Planet compound, you’ll end up on Cover Up or I’ll end up signing you to my label—or both.” (13th Planet Records recently signed Tommy Victor’s Prong and Burton C. Bell’s Ascension of the Watchers.)
Earlier this year, Jourgensen announced his decision to disband Ministry after the release of The Last Sucker. The record will be Ministry’s 11th and the third album in an unrelenting and über-critical CD trilogy aimed at exposing the plethora of foils, failures and fabrications of the George W. Bush administration.
The Last Sucker was produced and recorded this past spring by Jourgensen at his 13th Planet compound and sees the return of Rio Grande Blood musicians Victor on guitars, Raven on bass, with newcomer guitarist Quirin. Jourgensen and his engineer John “Bixby” Bilberry handled all the drum programming. In addition, Fear Factory’s and AoTW’s Bell makes a vocal appearance on “Die in a Crash,” as well as the album’s final two songs, “End of Days, Parts One and Two.”