Montgomery Gentry Bring the Cameras Backstage

Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry spent several years in Kentucky nightclubs figuring out how to work a crowd, and they used that hard-won experience on tour with Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney . But what keeps them occupied when they’re not on stage? Moonshine, helicopter rides and bowling under the influence, for starters.

See for yourself during CMT’s My Town Weekend, featuring the debut of Total Release: Montgomery Gentry on Saturday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. ET/PT. In this exclusive interview, Troy Gentry tells about the duo’s new video, the upcoming tour with Kenny Chesney and getting caught with his pants down.

CMT: You did a good job acting in your new video for “Speed.” Would you like to do more of that?
Troy Gentry: I don’t know if you call that acting, per se, for shooting musical videos and everything. I think it’s a little bit easier without having the vocal dialogue going on. It takes some of the burden off of you. I enjoy doing that and hope to do some more as our career goes on.

CMT: Is that you running at the end of the video?
TG: Yes, it was. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that in cowboy boots. (laughs)

CMT: Your episode of Total Release is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.
TG: (laughs) It does have its moments.

CMT: Did it bother you to have cameras around you all the time?
TG: It did a little bit. We kind of assumed that they would come and go and we wouldn’t really notice them being around. I guess if you’re not used to having a camera on you all the time … it took almost until the end of the shoot until we finally got comfortable and didn’t really notice the camera being around us all the time. It took a day or two adjusting to it, and we finally got used to it and just kept on with everyday life out on the road.

CMT: How did you get Eddie into the helicopter? He says he hates to fly.
TG: I think just heckle him a little bit. We knew — or I knew — he knew that the cameras wanted to catch him, wanted to get him in the helicopter. It was almost a sense like, “I’m gonna prove you wrong” kind of deal. I think it was a testosterone thing. You got him going, saying, “I’m not going to let a little bit of height, being afraid of heights, bother me.” Just kind of psyched himself up to get on the helicopter.

CMT: Eddie got you back when he filmed you getting into the shower.
TG: (laughs) That was Eddie’s and my worst fear. The whole time with the cameras being out there, somebody was gonna catch us in the buff trying to get to and from the showers or in the bathroom. He was able to sneak up on me one day and catch me, but obviously I caught him before he got the full monty, as they would say.

CMT: What can we expect from your tour with Kenny Chesney this year?
TG: A lot of the same as far as the high energy shows, a lot of excitement and a lot of fun. Some of the new stuff that you might see this year — I think we’ve got a new set that we’re using this year (for) Kenny Chesney’s show, as well as the stuff we’re headlining. I think we’ll be doing a few more of the new songs off the new CD My Town that we didn’t incorporate into the show last year.

CMT: What’s the best part about touring with Kenny Chesney?
TG: For us, it’s being able to hit a bigger, diverse crowd. Compared to the Brooks & Dunn tour that we were on — you know Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith , us and Keith Urban — we hit a lot of the same demographic. With Kenny Chesney’s crowd, it’s a little different than what the normal Montgomery Gentry crowd is. I think it helps to broaden our music base and get our music out to a different source of people that typically we may not be able to do on our own.

CMT: What are you goals in 2003?
TG: We just want to keep getting out there and building our fan base up. Eddie and I are in this business for the long haul. We don’t want to be a flash in the pan, an overnight deal. We want to be here like Charlie Daniels , Waylon Jennings , Hank Jr. , Merle Haggard and the guys like that we grew up listening to — the guys that were our mentors. We want to be around for a while so I guess we just want to keep striving to better ourselves and do the best we can so we can be around for a long time.

CMT: Anything you want to send out to the fans reading this story?
TG: It’s just been a long winter for Eddie and I. We’ve had a good time enjoying the family and the holidays with our families and everything. But we’re ready to get back out there and meet the fans and our friends and the crowds to say hello again and have a good time and rock 2003 if not as hard then harder than we did in 2002.

CMT: You guys are well known for getting personal with your fans.
TG: The reason why we’re here is we don’t want to get above our raising. They’re specifically the reasons why we’re out there doing what we do for a living. Backstage gets boring, it gets old. All the fun is out there in crowd, in the people that are partying and screaming and having a good time, and that’s where Eddie and I want to be — right in the middle of it.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.