Fireball Ministry Threw Out Their Rule Book for New Album
In the last five years, how music is made and released has changed for better or for worse; it all depends on who you talk to. If you’re talking to Fireball Ministry frontman Rev. James A. Rota II these days are good. “Everyone’s got a pessimistic outlook on the way the music business has gone, but I honestly think it’s a paradigm shift kid of thing. There’s got to be a new way,” the guitarist told Noisecreep on why this album was the time for the longstanding band to pay their own way, only having a label handle distribution.
Rota admits they never could have made their self-titled effort before this — too many label people telling the band what to do and what to sound like. Rota detailed one song, ‘Fallen Believers,’ as the first time a song wasn’t written out of getting loud. “Usually when we write a song we stand around the room and turn our amps up to 400 and get wild, but this was the first time I ever sat down with an acoustic guitar and wrote the whole song that way first.”
Once the rest of the band was shown the song it was decided to keep the acoustic elements enacted, something against the Fireball Ministry rules before now. “Before if we took that demo to a label and the label would be like,” Rota whines, ‘Ehh you know this is not what people are looking for with you guys.’ Then you start second guessing yourself thinking maybe they’re right.”
Having control for Rota meant writing an album about songs, not defending the sound they’ve become known for ending in making an album they’ve already made. “We wrote a song like Cheap Trick so that went on the record.” He breathes fresh air over the new process. “It was liberating to not have to worry about that stuff.”
Of course there have been longtime fans lodging their complaints over the new effort. “Whenever you out put a record,” Rota explains, “there will be people who like it and people who go ‘What the hell man? Why are they doing this? Why are they doing that?’ Well, you know sometimes things are just motivated by the fact you’re trying to write great music. If some people’s version of great music isn’t the same as our version, well there are a whole bunch of other records out there,” he says, with his deep chuckle takes over the phone line.
There is always going to be an element of selfishness in making music, without it its just flattery out of hopes of a paycheck. “Some people put out records I like and some put out ones I don’t like,” says Rota, “but as long as you’re putting out the record you believe in or the greatest music your capable of making then who am I to judge that.”