CSC On Twitter

CSC on Facebook

<img

Montgomery Gentry Interview (2015)

 

(CSC) 1. Great to speak with the both of you. Thanks for your time! So excited for the new single “Folks Like Us” and album of new material. Why such the long wait?!?

 

(Montgomery Gentry)

 

Eddie:

We’re road dogs, we tour all the time. You know, we pick everything man. We make sure we like how the music is going to sound. Between touring and making sure we get the right songs, I think that would be it.

 

Troy:

I have to agree; the process of finding all the tunes and getting everybody’s schedule together, this project here is very special to us. We want to make sure we have the best possible songs and all our ducks lined up in a row. We just kind of took our time with it to make sure we had the best quality songs. Everybody that was on our last record was available to play on this one as well.

 

 

(CSC) 2. Thinking about the recording process, what did you guys take from the musical journey in the studio?

 

(Montgomery Gentry)

 

Troy:

When we cut this record with Michael Knox, musically we were trying to freshen the sound up a little bit. But lyrically we wanted to turn it into a Montgomery Gentry song. The things we sung about in the past: family, faith, religion, patriotism, and our salute to our soldiers. That’s something that Eddie and I have always sung about, been very vocal about and it’s been very successful for us over the last sixteen years. So we wanted to stay true to who we were lyrically. So in that process, those were the tunes we were looking for. Musically, we just wanted to make the best record possible and that was getting back out and gathering up the group from our last record and getting them back in the studio. They were able to make the sound of Montgomery Gentry and take it to the next level. We wanted to make sure we were able to capture that sound with that group again on this record as well.

 

Eddie:

I think so, definitely. When we hear, one last thing, we were playing back in the clubs and the little Honky Tonks and stuff. You know, they wanted us to sing about family, God, and the greatest country in the world.

 

 

(CSC) 3. Having fashioned your careers around everyday hard-working Americans, how does this new record reflect that philosophy?

 

(Montgomery Gentry)

 

Eddie:

To me, I think, we’ll sit down, we’ll drink a glass of ice tea, or we’ll drink a glass of Jim Bean and ice tea. It’s not always that we work hard, play hard, and partied on the weekend.

 

Troy:

You know, that’s what we grew up on. All the artists we grew up on and repeating on in the clubs and everything. That was the theme and the things they sung about; the real life situations. The good times, bad times, family, God, and patriotism. That was something that we grew up on and we brought our brand of music to Nashville. That’s what worked for us. That’s something we always stood up and believed in and been very successful in our last sixteen years doing that and continue to be able to do that. That’s kind of our nitch and what we like to sing about.

 

 

(CSC) 4. Being established artists, as you both know the music business is constantly changing… thinking about the current state of country music, where do you see yourselves in the mix of all this new talent?

 

(Montgomery Gentry)

 

Eddie:

The bottom line is when it’s all said and done, I think there’s nothing more powerful than when you go into any bar or any place that’s playing music. I don’t care whether it’s a sleepover or somebody’s having an all-night party or just somebody who’s having a day time game or playing something at your house. You can go over check the names on the jukebox, there’s Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard and your own music. It don’t get no better than that, I think you can say that the end of that, I’ve really done something.

 

Troy:

I think that’s one of the things that’ve been why Montgomery Gentry’s been a mainstream. The styles have changed more dramatically lately than they had “in the get go” when we first came out. But I think a great song is a great song and it will stand up on its own. I know times are changing and musical styles are changing, but when Eddie and I first came out in the late 90’s, I mean that was kind of the end of the era of the cowboy hat. We’ve been able to hang around with the different styles and the different changes you know, whether it be Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, the traditional stuff. Montgomery Gentry has been able to hang right in there. I think it’s because we’ve been able to find great songs throughout the years and been able to relate to the audience out there. I think the audience digs that about us.

 

Eddie:

Most definitely, we might be like an old Harley Davidson, you know, we might not have all the details, but we always build on a plan that we’re gonna be around here and you’re all gonna love it.

 

 

(CSC) 5. You guys really LOVE to cut loose on stage. The energy and chemistry between the two of you is absolutely phenomenal! Any pre-show rituals to get yourselves charged up?

 

(Montgomery Gentry)

 

Troy:

Back in the early days when Eddie and I were out on the same bus, yeah, we had a few rituals as far as what we’d listen to before we would go out on stage. We used to have rituals and stuff when Eddie and I were hanging together, Eddie is more superstitious than I am, but we kind of have our own individual personalities now and do our own thing before getting out on stage. Our shows definitely throughout the years have been packed full of energy just because of us growing up in the clubs. Back in the days, Eddie and I always joke about, you know, back in the days if you didn’t keep the crowd coming in you didn’t keep the gig very long. So Eddie and I have always tried to be the act on the stage that was very entertaining and trying to incorporate the crowd in, getting into the show and having a great time. What can we do more? Whether we meet at the bus at 4 am or we are meeting on the stage or with the guys, we look at each other and we are like, “we can’t believe we’re doing this.” It’s an awesome feeling. When you go out there and you hear people singing your songs and they’re standing up or bringing stuff to the stage or whatever. The whole thing about it is, when you’re on stage you just keep getting stronger and stronger throughout the whole show.

 

Enjoy Part II of our interview with Montgomery Gentry:


(CSC) 6.  On a more serious note, you both have experienced hardship in the past few years; Eddie having overcome prostate cancer and Troy’s wife battling breast cancer. What force motivated the both of you to move forward and please tell us about the song “Two Old Friends.”

(Montgomery Gentry)

Eddie:

I tell you, T-roy brought that song, he heard it and I don’t care who it is… When you listen to that song, it does, it hits you in the heart. A lot of people that I’ve hung with, a lot of people that’s not with us right now… but a lot of people that me and T-roy run with and was best friends with back in the club days… they might not be here but they’re still here.

Troy:

Yeah, I mean “Two Old Friends” definitely describes Eddie and I quite a bit. Eddie and I we’re buddies, we met in the clubs before we started singing together and got to know each other. Just like life… with anybody, anybody here had our ups and downs. Eddie and I both have gone through two different cancer situations. We been there for each other cause we’re close that way. That’s what I think has made (Montgomery Gentry) and Eddie and I so tight, and been able to last as long as we have is cause we been buddies… we got each other’s back; man we love and care for each other. Ya know Eddie’s got his bad days and I try to be there for him, and he knows I got my bad days and he’s always tried to be there for me.

We’re true friends and we’ve both got each other’s back. That song really captures the essence between the bond between Eddie and I and what’s made us so tight, and has last as long as we have. True friends you can count on less than a hand now.

 

(CSC) 7. How have your Kentucky roots and upbringing shaped both of you as artists?

Eddie:

I’m gonna say, cause I know his dad, Llyod, and his mom and stuff and my dad and mom, it’s our parents, bottom line. I mean I think that’s what it is, how they were always together and taught us and how they were there for us. Ya know I think that’s what it was.

Troy:

To add to that, definitely our upbringing, of our parents and their strong support of us and our musical careers. But a lot of it too I think as far as Kentucky goes is the talent we were surrounded with. Ya know, so many great artists that have come out of the state of Kentucky that we looked up to. There are so many artists that we had the pleasure of appearing on stage with in Lexington. Whether it was with somebody that went on to the national level, down in Nashville, LA, New York or just one of the local guys that helped us get our start, who were also very instrumental in the direction and success of Montgomery Gentry.

Eddie:

When we talk about Charlie (Daniels), Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd and everybody, ya know when we’re really being honest, when we were going around here, it’s loaded with night clubs and live music. Our biggest heroes, that’s where they were gonna play, guys like Greg Austin, Laney Murphy, Larry Redmon, guys that are locals out here, my dad and mom. Ya know people that we seen play in the bars, there are all kinds of great acts in Lexington.

Troy:

As far as my upbringing, I think, you know just the values and stuff that my mom and dad instilled in me as a kid as far as growing up as an adult and a great human being.  I hope to be a great human being. As far as musically, I think just the Kentucky roots, and Kentucky music that I grew up around in the Lexington area like we talked about earlier. There are so many great local artists in Lexington when I was developing my skills like the Greg Austins, Laney Murphys, and those folks we mentioned earlier. Those are the guys that routed me in my musical direction and getting me started at that level.

 

(CSC) 8. Think back to 16 years ago when your very first single, “Hillbilly Shoes” and album “Tattoos and Scars” came out…what was that experience like as newbies and what have you learned since then?

(Montgomery Gentry)

Eddie:

When you first get signed and stuff, first off you still don’t believe it. Ya know, the bottom line is that when you have somebody come up and say, “Hey man I’m gonna give you a record deal” and stuff, you’re so excited. Then you think “Okay, is this really true, or am I getting a field full of bull? (Laughs)” You’re sitting there going is this really true? Because when it first starts, the wheels really turn slow. Once it starts it’s like, oh my God, it’s like a tidal wave - it just takes off.

Troy:

You know, being a new artist at that time, recording our first record, was like a kid being in the candy store. You know, almost surreal that we had finally, after years of playing the bars and the club circuits, been fortunate enough to do this on a national level. I don’t think that it really sunk in and hit me until two different occasions… The first time was being in the car and hearing our first single “Hillbilly Shoes” on the radio. Then the second time was walking into a record store and actually seeing our record there on the shelf.

 

(CSC) 9. As you near the sixth anniversary (June 23rd, 2009) of your induction as members in the Grand Ole Opry, what does the membership mean to you and how do you strive to keep the legacy of real country music alive?

(Montgomery Gentry)

Eddie:

At the Grand Ole Opry? Well, I’ll put it to you the same way my dad put it to me. My mom was a drummer; my dad was a guitar player. They were always in bars and doin’ restaurants. The bottom line is, it don’t matter how many awards you win, or what you got, or records, you have not made it ‘til you’re a member of the Grand Ole Opry. And I believe that sincerely. 

To me, until you’re a member of the Grand Ole Opry, you just ain’t made it. Ya ain’t got there. Well there’s no, I don’t even know how to say it... You know what, bottom line is if I’m dreamin’, please do not pinch me and wake me up. Because every musician in the world, any artist to play on its space, to be there, to even go see another artist there, in that building… To have your name mentioned at the Grand Ole Opry. Oh my gosh, well you’re just speechless.

(CSC) The first time that I met you both was May 2009, a month before you were inducted. I was a guest that night thanks to the late Jack Greene.

Eddie:

I love Jack Greene, man let me tell you, if you’re talking about a true voice… I mean when he steps up to the mic, Jack Greene, he is mister voice. It blows my mind, not even that… he could still sing up until his passing, I mean he was up there in age and could still hit it!!

(CSC) Don’t you think it’s pretty hard for you guys, being fans of country music like I am to see awesome iconic stars passing away (Jack Greene, George Jones, Ray Price, Little Jimmy). It’s really hard to see that chapter of country music going away.

Eddie:

You know what, here’s what I love more than anything. I’m in a genre that I love and the voices of the artists I call friends are heaven sent. It’s just unbelievable, cause I mean that’s true stuff. There was no pro tools then, there was nothing…back then it was walking up to a mic and singing. There wasn’t nobody going, “Well this was off pitch.” No you went up there and you either sang it or you didn’t.

I think people wanna call them characters or whatever…but they were who they were and that’s just it. There was no phony bologna behind it. It was them. Nobody told them how to dress or how to do this or anything, or you’re gonna sing this. They went out and sang and that’s who they were.

Troy:

The membership to the Grand Ole Opry is very important to me. It kinda goes hand and hand when you talk about Music City and Nashville, you automatically think of the roots of the Grand Ole Opry. And that was something that early on, Eddie and I had strived to be a part of. Being a member of The Opry, it’s a very flattering offer, to be asked. You have to be invited to be a part of The Opry. You just can’t go in and say, “Hey I want to be a part of The Opry” and they say “Okay, start coming in and play and play and play.” They have a board of people who elect and decide who they want to be a part of this elite music group, or elite people, to come and to be a part of The Opry.

That was something Eddie and I had listened to growin’ up as kids on the radio, eventually seeing on TV, and it’s just part of the musical heritage of Nashville and the whole country music industry. That was something that we had always wanted to be a part of. Of course, I’m sure that Eddie had told you that growing up, his father had told him and his brother, John Michael, you haven’t made it into country music until you make it to The Grand Ole Opry. And not only have we had the privilege of playing The Opry, but also being inducted and being asked to be a part of it. That was really special to us ‘cause that was on our bucket list of things we wanted to accomplish throughout our career.

 

(CSC) 10. Speaking of honors, congratulations on your induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame (April 10th, 2015)… I’d imagine this must be a real full-circle moment for the both of you!

(Montgomery Gentry)

Eddie:

Let me tell you, when you grow up in the honky tonks… I mean, when you sit there and see it from the bottom up, where people play six and seven nights a week, I mean it’s unbelievable.

Troy:

It is, it’s exciting for me. You know it feels like it’s come about a little bit early on in our career considering that we’re still out here cutting records, putting singles out, and touring and stuff. But, it’s flattering at the same time. You know, our musical heritage started in Kentucky.  If it wasn’t for all the different bands and different influences around town, we never would have gotten to level that we have on the nationally. To be able to go back to the state of Kentucky and be inducted is flattering and honoring. It’s a great way for us to go back to some of the folks that helped bring us along and say thank you to everybody for their inspiration, mentor-ship and for helping us achieve the success that we have over the years.

 

(CSC) 11. There are many great artists in the KMHOF who also come from the great state of Kentucky, one in particular…Loretta Lynn. Have you ever had the chance to collaborate with her and if not, what do you admire about her work ethic?

(Montgomery Gentry)

Troy:

I do, one of the things that I love about Loretta’s work ethic is the fact that she’s still out there working. Ya know, she loves what she does with a passion, and still today she’s still out there touring and playing places and that’s one thing that I admire about her. We did get the opportunity, not to perform with her personally, but one of the first times we were in Nashville, before they shut down the Midnight Jamboree down at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop... Loretta Lynn was on that show with us. It was really just cool to be there and she took us up under her wings, like these are my boys, my Kentucky boys, this, that, and the other.

Her charisma and her reaching out and embracing us like she did is something that I’ll never forget. It was really cool. I don’t know if it was because we were from Kentucky as well, but she could’ve played that trump card or that rock star card and avoided us all together, but she was very gracious. She hugged us and was lovin’ on us, saying “I’m so happy for you boys”, wishing us years of success. That’s one of the things I will never forget as far as the early days when we were first breakin’ into Nashville. 

She’s really authentic and I think that’s what makes most mainstay artists who they are, the fact that they are authentic and they’re leaders in what they do. You know, there’ll never be another Waylon, there’ll never be another Johnny Cash, and there’ll never be another Loretta Lynn. All of these people are unique and do what they do because they follow no rules, they follow their own rules. They are not compromised by the industry and outsiders coming in trying to direct them to do something different.

That’s one of the things that Eddie and I have tried to do too, although we’ve had to bend a little bit more than the older artists back in the day did. But we have always stuck to our guns about this is who Montgomery Gentry is, this is what our music sounds like, and these are the songs that we want to sing and who we want to sing them to. (Laughs) Luckily for us we were accepted for that and we’ve been able to be very successful the last 16 years singing to the working class people, to our vets and be able to sing about family traditions and things of that nature. 

Eddie:

You know what, I know Miss Loretta Lynn very well. Can you say it gets any purer than that? It doesn’t.  Man, she’s a real person. That’s just the bottom line. You know, if you’re saying the bottom line, it probably doesn’t get any realer than she does. You’re going to see the difference between a lot of artists and the real artists like she is, I mean because she’s a legend…man. Being as real as she is, it don’t ever go away, and that’s what America’s always been about.

 

(CSC) 12. Moving forward, in this new chapter of your career, what would MG like to accomplish in the years to come?

(Montgomery Gentry)

Troy:

Well you know, like the ones that came before us, the Charlie Daniels, the Waylons, Willies, Loretta, all these folks that are still able to do it and play as long as they wanted to do it. We would like to be the same way. You know, music is changing, with the sound and the artists being younger, and it’s just a different type of country music out today. I think that, you know, for me, I know we won’t last forever. I hope this record will carry us out through another two or three hits on the radio. And then, after that, I hope that we will still continue to be able to make records for our fans and be able to continue and to play for as long as we possibly hope to.

Eddie:

Well brother, the bottom line, you know I don’t know if we could ever be like Loretta Lynn, or Charlie Daniels or my gosh, Lynyrd Skynyrd... The bottom line is, I think, is if we can go in somewhere…whether it’s a honky-tonk or a little restaurant, (‘cause when you go in those places they always got music playing)… And you can look on that jukebox or you can hear your voice singin’ and hear your music, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 50 years from now… Me and T will be able to look at each other and say, “I think we done something. “

(CSC) Thank you for everything you do for our troops and our country.

Eddie:

This is the greatest country in the world. We can say, and we can be, and we can dream as big as we want to. And the only reason is because of all our great American heroes and anybody that don’t like it can kiss my ass too.

 

 

Stay in touch with Montgomery Gentry below:

 

http://www.MontgomeryGentry.com

 

Enjoy the video greeting from Montgomery Gentry:

Keep CSC going. Donate Now!

Join us on Facebook

Email

 photo rogets_wid_zpsjsphwyg2.jpg