Brash rockers Ministry of Love are fond of both melody and mayhem and are one of the most road-tested acts in Vegas. What keeps 'em going? Guitarist Patrick Trout sheds some light, along with a little help from his bandmates Meg, Ryan, Lyle and Jeff.
What does Ministry of Love sound like?
"We're a high-energy, female-fronted rock and roll machine."
You guys have toured a ton for an unsigned band. How tough is it to hit the road for so long with no tour support, having to basically do everything on your own?
"It's definitely a challenge. We've put a lot of our own money into keeping ourselves solvent on the road. We have some advantages though: My booking job opens up a lot of contacts to me that other unsigned bands wouldn't have, and with my new job as an agent at Hit The Road Booking (indie booking agency out of New York City) we've had more doors open up to us. Touring is everything to us: There's nothing like waking up in a different city every day, meeting amazing kids and bands and getting your music out to anyone willing to listen."
Got any good tour stories to share?
"Where do we begin? We've been through everything from van crashes to avalanches to driving through impenetrable mist, sitting in holding cells at border patrol, 14-hour drives, sleeping on the asphalt outside of Wal-Marts because it's too hot to sleep in the van, etc. But we'd rather wake up in a parking lot in a random city every day, knowing we get to play a show that night than be at home working dead-end day jobs wondering what might have been."
You're a coed band. What have you learned about the opposite sex being in such close confines with one another for weeks at a time?
Meg: "Boys smell."
The boys: "We have discovered that contrary to popular belief, girls do fart. All joking aside, we get along great on the road. ... There's no tension (of any sort), contrary to the stereotypes about coed bands."
Patrick, you book a lot of shows in Vegas, including plenty of all-ages gigs, the venues for which seem to come and go quite a bit in this town. How would you characterize that scene these days?
"It's really hard for bands in Las Vegas to play all-ages shows. The economy has made it extremely difficult to keep a venue open, and the venues and bands in town seem to be at each others' throats a lot of times, afraid of losing their 'claim,' when the truth is, if we don't stick together, we will never get out of this rut. I have tried to be part of the solution and so has Ministry of Love. But we can't do it alone. Bands, promoters and venues in this town need to remember why we are in this in the first place."
Hear the band at myspace.com/ministryoflovemusic.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476.