5 questions with two tons of steel
Two Tons of Steel has been working on it for over 25 years and shows no signs of slowing down, headlining Austin Monthly‘s Front Porch Sessions on May 19, resurrecting beloved Two Ton Tuesday at Gruene Hall in June, and releasing a new single, “Well Whiskey,” also in June. In this conversation, frontman Kevin Geil discusses what keeps the band moving forward, his love of old cars, and the coolest person he’s ever met.
Rockabilly music and classic car culture are deeply linked. Are you personally a reducer?
In fact, Two Tons of Steel was named after our first mobile group, a ’56 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. I love old cars – have owned several over the years. I don’t have one yet, but I will soon. They are just the coolest.
It’s been a few years since your last album. When can fans expect new music?
We went to the studio and recorded a single called “Well Whiskey” which we are releasing in June. And then we have plans to come back after the summer and release a new album. This will be album number 13.
Can you tell me about Two Ton Tuesdays?
It’s every Tuesday, from June 1 to August 1. This year is the 25th anniversary.
We are approaching 300,000 people who have walked through the doors. Some met at a Two Ton Tuesday show, got married, and returned 10 years later with their kids to show them what Texas is all about. We love to play them – it’s something special. And 25 years, it’s a long time for a group to be together and to continue working as much as we do.
What motivates you after all these years?
I always have fun – that’s the key. I have a great band, and we have fun on the road and in concerts. Travel wears me out from time to time. But when you actually have the chance to play your songs, do the show, and meet people… if you’re tired of that, you might as well hang up.
Every once in a while you come across shows or things that don’t perform as you expected. But as long as you’re playing your best, that’s all you can control. You can’t control everyone.
Do you have any favorite memories of the shows you’ve played over the years?
The show itself can be blurry because you are doing your thing. For me, it’s what happens before and after the show that creates memory. It’s meeting people and listening to their stories. It is special.
Our steel guitarist, Danny Mathis, who had to retire last year, has started playing with Ray Price and Hank Snow. He played with Willie. Meet someone like Denny… you hear the real stories. He was in the thick of it in the ’60s and’ 70s. Denny is the coolest guy I’ve ever met in my life, and we’ve got to play with him for 21 years.