Fireball Ministry ain’t got a rule book. If shit rocks, it rocks. Period.
From the beginning, the hard rockin’ and hard partyin’ crew have aggressively steered clear of pretentiousness, trends and all manner of poseurdom, throwing down analog-soaked, bottom-heavy tunes and tipping a hat toward the best of the past without sounding like a mere retread or novelty. Famously described as Sabbath partying with Priest and Grand Funk Railroad, there’s no nonsense in the Fireball camp. The Reverend James A. Rota II (guitar, vocals), Emily J. Burton (guitar), John G. Oreshnick (drums) and recent addition, legendary bassist Scott Reeder (The Obsessed, Kyuss), call ‘em as they see ‘em, refuse to kiss ass and have flown the flag for authenticity for a dozen years.
A clandestine and subversive cadre of true-believers from all walks of life have spread the good word about Fireball Ministry since they relocated from New York City to Hollywood, where the band has mooched a brew or three from the rich and famous without losing themselves or their sound. The list of legendary icons who have invited Fireball Ministry to share their stages reads like a crucial discography of desert island riffs: Dio. Judas Priest. Alice Cooper. Blue Oyster Cult. Uriah Heap. Motorhead. Slayer. Danzig. And the list goes on…
Fireball asked an important question with their debut in 1999: Ou Est La Rock? In 2001 they released an EP on Small Stone, FMEP, enlisting the bass rumblings of Brad Davis (Fu Manchu). Four years later, the rumble rang louder from the underground, with MTV News taking notice of The Second Great Awakening (Nuclear Blast).
Their third album, 2005’s Their Rock Is Not Our Rock (Century Media), was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 West studio, and like their previous album, produced by genre legend Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains). The album won the band an appearance on “Last Call with Carson Daly” as well as support slots with CKY, Opeth, Clutch and Bam Margera’s Viva La Bands tour. In 2010 Fireball Ministry released their fourth studio album Fireball Ministry, produced by Andrew Alekel (Fu Manchu, Kyng).
As with each stage of their career, Fireball Ministry is determined to define success on their own terms and to forge ahead with lives as free from compromise as possible. “I don’t want to ever have to make excuses for our band or what we’ve done, ever,” says Rota, without spite or malice in his voice. “If that means that I don’t own four summer homes somewhere and a fleet of classic cars, well then, so be it. I couldn’t live with myself if I ever had to say, ‘There was a point where I totally lost it [creatively], but I sure made a bunch of money doing it.’
“It’s not for us,” he concludes simply. “It never has been. And it never will be.”