The industrial metal outfit noticeably slow down the song from its frenetic original pace, settling instead into a menacing stomp as Al Jourgensen bellows, “And I’m the world’s forgotten boy/The one who’s searching to destroy.” The cover also arrives with a music video in which Ministry perform the song in a vast desert landscape littered with busted airplane fuselage (Jourgenson gets to fire off some heavy weaponry as well, adding to the video’s post-apocalyptic vibe).
The origins of Ministry’s “Search and Destroy” cover go back to when guitarist Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, Royal Machines) and Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro asked Jourgensen if he would sing an Iggy Pop song at a 2019 benefit concert. A few months after, Jourgensen got back in touch with Morrison and asked him if he wanted to work with Ministry, a collaboration that not only led to the “Search and Destroy” cover but also a few co-writes on Ministry’s next album, Moral Hygiene, out October 1st.
“When we first broached the subject of covering ‘Search and Destroy,’ I don’t think Al was fully sold, so I knocked up a much slower, heavier, more Ministry-esque demo in my own studio, and played it to him,” Morrison tells Rolling Stone. “He lit up, the energy started flowing, and it ended up being an incredibly heavy version. Al is kind of like a mad scientist in the studio, and he brings an infectious creativity into the room that grabs hold of you and shakes the ideas out.”
Jourgenson also spoke about filming the video for the cover, which was directed by Dean Karr. “He picked out this desert airplane graveyard run rampant with rattlesnakes. I was in 35 pounds of gear learning how to use an antiquated weapon that weighs about 210-215 pounds at eight in the morning and all and all the video was actually the smoothest shoot I’ve ever done over the course of 15-20 videos I’ve done in my career. It’s one of the memories I’ll take to my grave.”