On Friday, founder and lead singer Doug Gray took the time to answer a few questions from the The Yonkers Daily Voice via email from the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyo., where the band was performing.
DV: You guys are performing 150-200 shows a year. You’re in Wyoming today, West Virginia tomorrow and Yonkers, N.Y., on Sunday. That’s a pretty grueling weekend as far as travel. What’s that like?
DG: Just as you said, grueling, but we wouldn’t continue to do it weekend after weekend if we didn’t love it.
DV: Why did the band want to come to Yonkers, and do you have any idea about what to expect?
DG: Just to give a New York crowd a good time. I hope they sing with us!
DV: As the only original member still in the band, do you feel an extra weight in terms of carrying on the legacy? And is it tough changing members but still keeping the same music your fans have come to expect and enjoy?
DG: Not extra weight, just pride. MTB is a part of me, and I'm sure the members we have had feel the same. Not tough, we work well together and that is why our music can still sound the same after 40 years of changes.
DV: You’ve been playing more than 40 years now. What’s the feeling like knowing people still want to see you play and hear your music? And did you ever imagine this kind of success?
DG: It’s always a rockin' feeling to hear your lyrics being shouted back at ya. Our music takes folks back in time to their youth, and I think that is why they keep coming out to see us. No aspiring artist ever expects to make a lifelong career out of this, but when the success came, I sure felt blessed.
DV: For you personally, which song do you like singing the best?
DG: “Can't You See” is still one of my favorites. It gave our group a name and it is still everywhere. Busch Beer used it for the fourth year in a row in one of their commercials.
DV: How much longer do you envision yourself playing and performing?
DG: Not really sure, I’m still enjoying it and I’ll continue to ride that wave until it hits the beach!
DV: What will you miss most when you finally do leave the stage? What do you enjoy most about performing?
DG: The memories we have made over the years are priceless. When I remember the first time we played at Madison Square Garden – gosh, it doesn’t seem like almost 40 years ago. We waved goodbye to the audience and then they started to light their matches hollerin’ for us to come back on. Smelling that sulfur in the air from all those flames, we felt like we had accomplished something noteworthy.
Tickets for Sunday’s show in Yonkers are nearly sold out, but a small number are still available at empirecitycasino.com.