Ministry was formed in 1981 as a synth pop band, and released their debut With Sympathy in 1983… which Ministry founder Al Jourgensen famously hates with a burning passion. Jourgensen has ignored those songs live over the years, and even charged $1,000 to have the album signed at one point (which he donated to charity). So it's a little surprising that all of a sudden, Jourgensen wants to revisit some of those tracks.
In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Jourgensen said he's reworking some of the With Sympathy tracks to be more aggressive as a kind of send-off for Ministry. Though he can't refer to the masters of the album to see how they were originally performed – those are currently ashes in Jourgensen's barbecue.
"My hatred for this record was so deep. 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."
"We're doing 'Revenge'… this version that we have, it's going to be different. 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."
On winding down Ministry, Jourgensen added: "I view it as almost like karmic, where my career is winding down with Ministry. I'm going 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], instead of Arista Records shackling me. … So, I figure there's only maybe one more Ministry album to go.
"Maybe two, but probably one; the second one might actually be a remake of 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."
And if you've never heard With Sympathy, check it out below. It's very, very '80s pop.