"Iron Horse is the bastard child of all the music we grew up listening to," comments IH frontman Ronnie Keel. "Like any band, we've taken the sum of all our influences, added what turns us on about music, and come up with our own brand. We want to hold on to the energy and power of Arena Rock while embracing the honest lyrical qualities of Country music...I come from a redneck blue collar background, and that flavors our music with the Southern spirit.
"I do a lot of interviews promoting the band and what we do, and usually the most difficult question is 'What kind of music do you play?' - so we came up with the term Hard Rockin' Southern Country Metal.
"Our drummer, Gaetano Nicolosi, is a native of Italy. He and I met in Sicily in 1999 and started playing gigs together over there. It was a great experience, because it was the first time in my adult life that I was playing just for the love of music - it wasn't about career moves and marketing, it was just about having a great time doing what we loved to do. We played rock, country, metal, pop, whatever - and the audiences loved it. I started to see that these elements could all be combined into one band as long as that band was built around four things: good songs, good musicians, good friends, and good times. And that's what Iron Horse is all about."
"Me, Gaetano, Geno, and our first guitarist relocated to Plain City Ohio to rehearse in a barn, eat Hamburger Helper, play gigs, record and release an independent CD...all those things that bands do. We played wherever and whenever we could, to improve as a band and to spread the word.
"Jay Rusnak came on board as lead guitarist in 2002, and that's when we really became who we set out to be in the first place - a band with no barriers, no limits, and Jay brought so much to the table as a guitarist, songwriter, harmony vocalist, performer, drinking buddy. After recording the new album, we decided it was time to expand the lineup and get a keyboard player, and then we found Dean (IH keyboardist Dean Lehman) in a band that opened for us and we made him an offer he couldn't refuse. And Dean turned out to be more awesome than we could imagine - besides being the right guy to fit in personally with the rest of us, he's an amazing multi-instrumentalist who now contributes harmonica, percussion, sax, banjo, guitar, you name it, he plays it.
"So we've recently completed recording a new album that will be released early in '04, produced by mega-producer Kevin Beamish, that really says it all about Iron Horse. We have high hopes for the album, we're looking forward to heavy touring and making a lot of new friends in the year to come."
"We hit the ground running, heading out on the road several weeks after the band was formed, and we've never learned how to slow down. We've logged over 500 shows from coast to coast so far, headlining and opening for bands like 38 Special, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, and so on. Some of the best moments have been headlining Texas Motor Speedway last summer for the Lone Star Biker Bash, headlining at the Freedom Festival in San Diego to honor the men and women of the US Armed Forces...the 38 Special shows were cool for me because they were one of my favorite bands when I was a kid, and IronHorse matches up real well with them - great songs that have the rock edge and power with lyrics that say something real."