Conceived in Cincinnati in the late 90's by James A. Rota II and Emily Burton, the band moved to New York City before settling in Los Angeles. After several years appearing with various big name bands in the genre (Danzig, Anthrax, Mot?rhead, Slayer) but without a breakthrough in sales they have found their own sound and are fast gaining a wider following. The track "King" was selected by Bam Margera and appeared on his Viva La Bands compilation. The band teamed up with Bam's brother Jess Margera when they toured Europe with CKY in 2004. In addition, the track "The Broken" was included in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) video game WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 for the Sony PlayStation 2, further expanding the band's audience.
The band went through four different bass players, starting with Helen Storer, who played on the Ou Est La Rock? CD and was replaced by Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis on FMEP, who was himself replaced by former L7 bass player Janis Tanaka on The Second Great Awakening. Former Systematic 4-stringer Johny Chow then took the place of Tanaka for the Their Rock Is Not Our Rock album, which was recorded at Dave Grohl's 606 West studio and like their previous works was produced by genre legend Nick Raskulinecz. In another Margera hook-up they supported CKY on their 2005 Adio Footwear-sponsored tour, having already opened for them on their UK Tour in 2004. Original drummer John Oreshnick took a leave of absence due to family issues in the Fall of 2006 to be replaced by Yael during their recent tour. Yael and Johny Chow were former bandmates in My Ruin. Yael subsequently left the band in Winter 2006, and Oreshnick rejoined.
Rota considered becoming an ordained minister, but was persuaded not to on account of possible legal and taxation issues. However, he did eventually become ordained and performed wedding ceremonies for Matt Deis of CKY and Erica Beckmann in November 2005, and Bam Margera and Melissa Rothstein in February 2007.
In an interview for blabbermouth.net in May 2007, James Rota stated that "we (Fireball Ministry) are in the stages of writing a new album". In the same Interview, Rota also referred to what would later become The Company Band EP, Sign Here, Here and Here. On the 14th of June 2008, Rota stated that 3 tracks have been recorded for the as yet unnamed fifth Fireball Ministry album, and is also working on a full length Company Band Album and a third, unspecified project to be announced by the end of 2008. However, the present status of these is somewhat uncertain, as Johny Chow is presently on tour playing bass guitar with Cavalera Conspiracy.
The band's imagery draws heavily from Christianity, with "ministry" in their name, the albums The Second Great Awakening (album)|The Second Great Awakening, and Their Rock Is Not Our Rock, a reference to Deuteronomy 32:31. MTV.com described the band's music as having "a musical chemistry between the members... that makes their songs buzz with warmth".
James A. Rota II - Guitar/Vocals
Emily Burton - Guitar
John Oreshnick - Drums
Johny Chow - Bass
Helen Storer - Bass, founding member (1999-2001)
Brad Davis - Bass (2001-2002)
Janis Tanaka - Bass (2002-2004)
Yael - Drums (2006)
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