Two Tons of Steel has been at it for more than 25 years and show no signs of slowing down, headlining Texas Music’s Front Porch Sessions May 19, resurrecting its beloved Two Ton Tuesdays 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 going, his love of old cars and the coolest person he’s ever met.
Rockabilly music and classic car culture are deeply connected. Are you a gearhead personally?
Actually, Two Tons of Steel was named after our first band-mobile, a ’56 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. I love old cars — I’ve owned several over the years. I don’t have any right now, but I will soon. They’re just the coolest.
It’s been a few years since your last album. When can fans expect new music?
We went into the studio and recorded a single called “Well Whiskey” that we’re releasing in June. And then we have plans to go in after the summer and knock out a new album. That’ll be album number 13.
Can you tell me about Two Ton Tuesdays?
It’s every Tuesday, from June 1 through Aug. 1. This year is the 25th anniversary.
We’re getting close to 300,000 people who’ve come through the doors. Some have met at a Two Ton Tuesday show, gotten married and come back 10 years later with their kids to show them what Texas is about. We love playing them — it’s something special. And 25 years is a long time for a band to be together and still working as much as we do.
What keeps you motivated after all those years?
I still have fun — that’s the key. I have a great band, and we have fun on the road and at shows. The traveling wears me down once in a while. But when you actually get to play your songs, do the show and meeting people… if you get tired of that, you might as well hang it up.
Every once in a while, you run into shows or things that don’t work out quite the way you hoped. But as long as you play your best, that’s all you can control. You can’t control everybody else.
Do you have any favorite memories from the shows you’ve played over the years?
The show itself can be a blur, because you’re doing your thing. For me, it’s what happens before and after the show that creates the memory. It’s meeting people and hearing their stories. That’s special.
Our steel guitar player, Danny Mathis, who had to retire last year, started out playing with Ray Price and Hank Snow. He played with Willie. Meeting somebody like Denny… you hear the real stories. He was in the thick of things back in the ’60s and ’70s. Denny is the coolest guy I’ve ever met in my life, and we got to play with him for 21 years.