Industrial veterans MINISTRY inked a worldwide deal with AFM Records. The band’s first album of original material since 2007’s “The Last Sucker”, “Relapse”, will be released on March 30, 2012.

In support of the “occupy movement,” MINISTRY will release the new song “99 Percenters” via iTunes on December 23 and stream the track on their Facebook site starting Christmas day.

Commented MINISTRY mastermind Al Jourgensen: “Our 13th Planet Records releases have been distributed in Europe via AFM through our partner Soulfood Music in Germany for several years now, and we have established a solid business relationship, so it made perfect sense to take the next step and have AFM Records come on board and be involved with the new MINISTRY release for worldwide and digital distribution. I’m pretty psyched about the collaboration, based on the response and enthusiasm I’ve received from AFM so far…”

According to Revolver magazine, “99 Percenters” is a rally cry for all of the protesters that have gathered across the country to demonstrate against corporate greed, cutthoat capitalism, and the one percent of Americans who earn millions of dollars a year, but receive substantial tax cuts on their income. Jourgensen said the chorus for the track, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 99 percent” was inspired by COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH‘s Vietnam protest song “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag”.

“Putting out this song is the least I could do,” Jourgensen told Revolver. “We wanted to fly to New York and protest and get arrested and pepper sprayed. But we can’t do it because I got a Christmas deadline on this album. But I’m with ’em in spirit so the least I could do is give them a chant-along song. I’m going, ‘Hey man, here’s your song. All you gotta do is chant the chorus.'”

Jourgensen spoke to U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine in August about his band’s decision to reform for a new album and tour, including an appearance at next year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.

When asked how the resurrection of MINISTRY came about, Jourgensen said, “While I was working on [the BUCK SATAN record], me and Mike Scaccia from RIGOR MORTIS fucked around to pass the time and we had like, 5,6,7 songs and I didn’t really want to do anything with them but Mikey was like, ‘Dude, these songs are awesome.’ They weren’t country, they were more like MINISTRY. So he’s coming by in September and Tommy Victor‘s [PRONG; guitar] coming by in October with Tony Campos [SOULFLY, ex-STATIC-X; bass] and we’re gonna finish up another MINISTRY album by Christmas called ‘Relapse’.”

Regarding the sound of the new MINISTRY material, Al said, “I think this is actually gonna wind up being the fastest and heaviest record I’ve ever done. Just because we did it as anti-therapy therapy against the country music we would just take days off and thrash faster than I’ve done in a long time, faster than Mikey‘s done in a long time. He did a RIGOR MORTIS tour and said it was easy compared to this MINISTRY stuff so it’s gonna be brutal and it’s gonna freak a lot of people out.”

MINISTRY‘s upcoming tour will feature the lineup of Al Jourgensen, Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor on guitar, Tony Campos on bass, Aaron Rossi on drums, and John Bechdel on keyboards.


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