Welcome to Metalheads Forever magazine. How have you been? To start off, we’ve learnt that Fireball Ministry is the name of a real church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Seems very unique. What made you take the name of the church as your band name?
It was just funny to us that the Ministry had such a “Devilish” name and Emily and I liked the fact that it sounded like an evil church.
How was the band born? Tell us about the very first days. What inspired you to form Fireball Ministry?
Emily and I just started writing songs together and we had very similar tastes and sensibilities. We wrote our first four songs and thought “This is pretty solid.” It’s hard to describe, but when you know you are onto something musically it just feels right. Then we packed up and moved to Los Angeles, met John Oreshnick and had a record deal within 3 months. It was magical and we were really lucky.
“The Broken” is the most cherished track from FM with references to Robert E Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series. Can you, somehow relate to the lyrics?
I love all the Conan books and grew up reading all of them. I always liked that particular story because it highlighted the fact that Conan never seems to reach any sort of satisfaction in life. Every story basically puts him in a terrible situation where he must endure a horrible quest and at the end, the power bastard has to start all over in the next book. What can I say, I love Conan.
The above mentioned track was included in the WWE video game WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 for the PlayStation 2. Are you guys passionate about the WWE universe as well?
No, but Emily and I did attend a WWE Monday Night Raw with Glenn Danzig once. He’s a huge fan. When you interview him (if you haven’t yet) make sure you ask him about the WWE!
You guys have worked with the former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza. How was the experience of working with him like?
It was an honor to have him play on our 1st record. The co-owner of our label at the time, Bong Load Records was friendly with Nick and asked him if he would play drums on the songs “The Man” and “Two Tears.” Nick graciously agreed and we did those two tracks at Sunset Sound here in Hollywood, CA. It was an amazing day and Nick was an incredible talent. His passing is a real shame.
After doing some research we found out that Rota wanted to become an ordained minister and finally became one. So tell us a bit about your other fascinations and hobbies outside of music.
I mostly just collect records and watch convert videos on TV if I’m not having a dance party with my 5 year old daughter to “Believe” by Cher. It’s a simple life. I also love producing records, film and TV when Fireball is fully fired up.
Is there gonna be a new album? If yes, when can we expect it?
We are recording it as we speak and hope to have it out by late Spring 2017. That’s the plan right now.
The band’s imagery draws heavily from Christianity, with “Ministry” in its name, the albums The Second Great Awakening, and Their Rock Is Not Our Rock are references to Deuteronomy 32:31. What are your views on the contemporary “not so Christian” rock/metal scene?
It’s always been misleading to fans that we are in some way Christian. We like the imagery and pageantry of Christianity, but to my knowledge none of us are actual practicing Christians. I say whatever floats your boat as long as you aren’t hurting anyone. I love it all!
You have released many compilation appearances, paying tributes to bands like Blue Cheer, the Misfits and Aerosmith; which totally reflects your love for old school music. Are you happy with where the new age is going? Do you feel like the new bands can keep the legacy flowing on?
I hope they can. I think that no matter what, someone will always hear something that came before them and it will inspire them to do something great. It’s in our DNA as Human Beings to create. As long as we are creating, great things should happen.
You’ve mentioned earlier that what made you decide to pursue music was Black Sabbath’s Greatest Hits. What are some of your favourite bands? Are there any bands/musicians that ever influenced you apart from Sabbath?
AC/DC, Motorhead, KISS, Grand Funk Railroad, Priest, Maiden, you know all the usual stuff hahahaha
You guys are known as “Stoner rockers”. What do you feel about the genre “stoner rock”? What are some of your favourite stoner rock/metal acts? Also, what is your take on the New Era of Rock?
Whatever anyone wants to call it is cool with me. As long as you love it. Fu Manchu, Fatso Jetson, The Obsessed, Puny Human, Clutch there’s too many to name!
You’ve said that, to you, the Spirit of metal is bands like Judas Priest, Diamond Head, old Metallica, Megadeth, Mercyful Fate. What bands do you think are the spirits of Stoner rock?
Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pentagram, Led Zeppelin I would say are who cokes to mind.
It was a privilege talking to you. Thank you for your time. Leave a message for the biggest metal army in the universe!
Thanks for having us!
Shibalika Tamuli / Metalheads Forever Magazine