Train’s Pat Monahan Celebrates 20 Years Of Hitmaking

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The alt-pop band is right on track with anniversary tour

Pat Monahan (Photo courtesy of Crush Music)

It was a chance encounter with Cher’s guitarist in Erie, PA, when Pat Monahan from the Grammy-winning, multiplatinum selling band Train decided to take a wholehearted leap into the music business.

“I was performing one night in Erie at a club the same night that Cher was playing at the amphitheater in Erie,” said Monahan. “Her guitar player came in while I was performing and he was like, ‘Hey man. You have what it takes to be what the music business is.’ I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to say that to me and when he did, it became clear that I was going to go to Los Angeles. So I did, and I met the guys that I started Train with. Then, we moved to San Francisco and that was how it all started.”

Within the span of 20 years, iconic songs from Train, such as “Drops of Jupiter,” “Calling All Angels,” “Drive By” and “Hey Soul Sister,” have been a staple in the music industry. The band has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide, more than 30 million tracks, have had 14 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list with multiple platinum/gold citations, including three Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and dozens of other honors.

Late last year, the band compiled 16 fan-favorite songs into their brand new Greatest Hits album and now this summer, the band is touring throughout the country with co-headliners and Grammy-nominated rockers, the Goo Goo Dolls. The amphitheater tour will also feature special guest Allen Stone.

Fans will have a chance to witness Train’s extensive and critically-acclaimed catalog of hits from over the last two decades.

“It’s kind of fun because I’ve always been a fan of going to see music when a band plays their hits,” said Monahan about going back into the band’s catalog of songs. “I just think it’s more fun for people to sing along, so I’m just looking forward to doing that and providing people with an environment that I love when I was playing music only and not writing music.”

Out of the many fan-favorite songs that Train has written and performed over the years, Monahan’s favorite Train song to perform is “Drops of Jupiter,” the title song from Train’s second album, which was released in 2001. Drops of Jupiter won a Grammy-award for best rock song.

“It’s hard to beat ‘Drops of Jupiter,’” said Monahan. “It’s such a massive part of my life and it means a lot to me. It’s about my mother when she passed away.”

Train, along with the The Goo Goo Dolls, will be at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Aug. 3. (Photo by Mike Kline)

Since he’s hitting the road with the Goo Goo Dolls and Allen Stone, Monahan said his favorite thing about touring is the camaraderie among band members.

“The entire part of our business should be revolving around camaraderie and people feeling lucky to have what we have,” said Monahan. “Who doesn’t wish they could perform music? That’s basically, in my opinion, what we’re there to do and I really love these guys that we’re touring with. I think it’s going to be a shit ton of fun.”

Monahan, who is no stranger to playing shows in New York with the band, has one fond memory of the Big Apple.

“We played a place [in New York] and we went there to sign a deal with Columbia Records,” recalled Monahan. “We were told, ‘Hey man. All you have to do is show up and you have a deal.’ We showed up and that was not the case. We went home with our tails between our legs and it really was an ultimate bummer.”

Monahan can also be heard on his radio show Train Tracks on SiriusXM’s The Pulse every weekend, where he plays music from emerging artists.

“I feel like new artists need a place to go to find their way,” said Monahan about his radio show. “I don’t know, I just think it’s super important what I’m doing and I never really felt that way about anything before until now and I’ve been thanked by artists all over the world who say ‘Thanks for giving me a shot. I didn’t think I would ever get played and now I get to do this.’ It just seems like a cool thing.”

Train (Photo by Brendan Walter)

Outside of music, Monahan and the band partake in other ventures with their Drops of Jupiter wine portfolio, of which proceeds from the wine support Family House, a San Francisco charity that supports families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

“Our song, ‘Hey Soul Sister,’ was out and doing very well, and we just signed to a new management company called Crush,” explained Monahan. “They were like ‘Hey, the way we do it over here is that you find a charity because you have to give back. That’s part of the way we do it.’ So we’re a San Francisco band and they were like ‘We want you to start looking at some Bay Area charities.’ So we did and they have a rating system and Family House was absolutely flawless. They use their money for all the right things and that’s basically how it started. We just developed a great relationship with them and we sold millions of bottles of wine to help the charity out a lot and we just continue to do that.”

From an early age, music was always an integral part of Monahan’s life who recalls his earliest musical memory that involved his father when he was just four years old.

“I was coming home from preschool and my dad had a Manhattan and he was listening to jazz,” said Monahan. “I was probably about 4 years old and he was listening to ‘Take Five’ and he told me to come in and try to keep the beat because the beat flips. It’s kind of like ‘Hit the Road Jack.’ I was able to keep the beat and my dad was like ‘holy shit.’ That was my first musical memory.”

Monahan and Train have big plans for next year, with Monahan saying that the band hopes to have a new album in the beginning of 2020.

“I think maybe it’s also time to do a 1,000-seat theater acoustic tour,” said Monahan.

Train, along with The Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Allen Stone, will be at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Aug. 3, at 7 p.m. as part of their Summer 2019 tour. For tickets, visit www.livenation.com.

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