Montgomery Gentry Interview: Duo Still ‘Rebels on the Run’
Montgomery Gentry's latest album is the aptly-titled 'Rebels on the Run.' Produced by Michael Knox, the man behind Jason Aldean's albums, the rebellious duo's disc finds them on the run to a new record label, Average Joe's Entertainment. But while the album may have new personnel around it, Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry aren't running from the roots of their upbringing or their loyal fan base -- the working-class men and women they've been singing for -- and about -- since the release of their 1999 debut single, 'Hillbilly Shoes.'
The Kentucky lads' latest single, 'Where I Come From,' has touched the hearts of people who are as proud of their hometowns as Eddie and Troy are of theirs, with fans coming up to them at every show to welcome them to their hometown. In the midst of their hectic schedule, Eddie and Troy sat down with The Boot to find out more about their latest album and to talk gun ownership, family vacations and the one "nuts" thing Eddie will never do!
The new single 'Where I Come From' is a pretty familiar theme for you. Why is it so important to you?
Eddie: We kind of make jokes about it ... it's 'My Town' with an attitude. I love the song. It doesn't matter where you go in this world, you always take a little piece of your home with you. The video has already had more than a million hits on it, which is incredible.
Troy: I was thinking about it earlier today and it kind of dawned on me, it kind of reminds me of 'Hillbilly Shoes' in that the message was 'don't judge me before you walk a mile in my hillbilly shoes.' This says, "Don't you dare talk about my town until you've been around the block with me. Let me show you what's going on here." So it's kind of got a little bit of both messages in this one song. It's a pretty cool tune, a well-written tune.
Do people come up and talk to you about their towns a lot?
Eddie: Oh, they do all the time, everywhere we go.
Troy: That's what these songs are all about, the pride of growing up in a small town or whatever town, having pride about where they come from. It's fun to hear people be that proud and boast about us being in their town. It's really cool.
Eddie: Yeah they'll have signs or they'll come up and say, "Eddie, T-Roy, this is where I come from." So it's pretty cool.
The video features a lot of the small-town American things you talked about in songs, too.
Troy: The video was cool.
Eddie: Yeah it is. The producer came up with theme and idea of it. Ever since we've been playing nightclubs, VFWs and all that stuff, we've been very proud of our American heroes and we don't give them enough credit. I think the video shows it from the other side. We've had a lot of people talk about that.
Troy: We've had great responses from civilians and military alike. It's cool.
We're coming up to the ACM Awards in Las Vegas soon, and once again you've got a nomination.
Eddie: Yes we do, and, oh man, it's unbelievable with all the talent coming out. This is our 13th year in the business and it's totally awesome to keep getting nominated by our peers.
Troy: There's a lot of competition out there now.
Eddie: Yeah, it makes you feel really good when you see your name bouncing up there.
What do you do when you go to Las Vegas?
Eddie: Oh hell, you've got to gamble! [laughs] No, no. They don't keep them lights on because people just show up.
Troy: I do a little bit more relaxing out there now and sunbathing and hanging out by the pool than gambling. I've given a little bit more than my fair share of my paychecks to Las Vegas. But every now and then we like to get in there and hit the blackjack tables for just a little bit. Really, for us, it's a lot more working than it is relaxing when we get out there.
You've both been very active in the NRA (National Riffle Association) for a long time. Why do you support the organization?
Troy: The NRA is a lot like us ... they have a lot of the same kind of family morals and standards. We both grew up hunting and fishing. It's our civil right to bear arms and be able to protect our families. Both the NRA and Montgomery Gentry share a lot of the same values and we're just flattered they would want us to be associated with their organization.
Eddie: Yeah, most definitely. There is nothing else like them. What they do for the wildlife and everything is unbelievable. I promise you, I like the right to bear arms because if someone comes in and tries to hurt my family they are going to be looking down the barrel of my damn gun.
You've been touring with the Professional Championship Bullriders. What is that like?
Troy: It's been great. It's the first time they've made it a co-headline deal; they've separated the arena where half is the bull-riding and the other half is for the concert. It's been a real big success and we're proud to be a part of it.
Eddie: I thought we were crazy but those bull riders are nuts. That's just the bottom line. It's pretty wild. You get to know them ... ain't no way they're gonna talk me into getting on a bull. If they want to sing, they can sing. But I'm not getting on a bull!
Troy: We weren't familiar with any of [the riders] until this event. We've had chance in the halls to meet each other and get to know them a little bit. But it's hard because by the weekend we're going different directions. So it's hard to hang out because of travel arrangements.
What do you like to do when you go on vacation with your families?
Eddie: We travel so much and we're away from our families, when we do go on vacation it is totally about them. We go where they want to go and where they want to be. We've been away so many days this year and missed that basketball game or the cheerleading competition, so when we go on vacation with them you're just dad.
Do you have a dream vacation you want to take with your families?
Troy: Eventually, when the youngest daughter gets big enough, I'd like to go to Africa. I've always wanted to travel over there and visit the continent and see everything there is to offer. My daughter and most all the family digs animals so it would be fun to go see them. We've all visited the zoos and seen some of the biggest but it would be nothing like visiting them on the plains and seeing them out there in their environment.
Eddie: My family is all from Dublin, Ireland, so I'd definitely like to go over there. I'd like to see all the castles and see all the pubs, too. Of course, I'm single, so I'd like to go to Amsterdam and see what's up with that.