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Train (band)

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Years active


Associated acts
Ashley Monroe

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San Francisco, California, United States

Past members
Rob Hotchkiss Charlie Colin Tony Lopacinski Johnny Colt Brandon Bush Scott Underwood

Patrick Monahan, Jimmy Stafford, Jerry Becker

Rock music, Roots rock, Pop rock, Alternative rock

Record labels
Columbia Records, Warner Music Group

California 37, Save Me - San Francisco, My Private Nation, Bulletproof Picasso, Christmas in Tahoe


Train is an American roots rock band from San Francisco, formed in 1993. The band currently consists of Patrick Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford, Luis Maldonado (guitar), Hector Maldonado (bass, vocals), Drew Shoals (drums), and Jerry Becker (keyboards, guitar). As of the summer of 2016, founding member Jimmy Stafford (lead guitar) is currently in the band, but has decided to take some time off from full-time touring and is making select appearances with the band.


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With a lineup that included original members Monahan, Stafford, Scott Underwood, Rob Hotchkiss and Charlie Colin, the band achieved mainstream success with their debut album Train, which was released in 1998 with the hit "Meet Virginia". Train's 2001 album, Drops of Jupiter contained the lead single "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)", which won two Grammy Awards in 2002. The album was certified double platinum in the United States and Canada and remains the band's best-selling album to date.

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Train's third studio album, My Private Nation, released in 2003, was certified platinum in the United States with the hit "Calling All Angels". Following the departures of Hotchkiss and Colin, the band released their fourth album, For Me, It's You in 2006, with Brandon Bush (keyboards) and Johnny Colt (bass). Despite a generally positive reception from critics, the album was commercially unsuccessful. Because of this, Train went on a two-year hiatus from recording any new music.

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In late 2009, Train released the album Save Me, San Francisco, from which the album's three singles—-the RIAA 6x Platinum-certified international hit "Hey, Soul Sister", "If It's Love" and "Marry Me"—-reached high positions on the Billboard Hot 100 at numbers 3, 34, and 34, respectively. The album itself has been certified gold by both the RIAA and ARIA and has sold 954,000 units. Since 2008, Jerry Becker (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and Hector Maldonado (bass, guitar, percussion, backing vocals) have been touring and recording with the group around the world. In May 2012, Nikita Houston (backing vocals, percussion) and Sakai Smith (backing vocals, percussion) also became touring members Train.

In April 2012, Train released their sixth studio album titled California 37. The first single from the album entitled "Drive By" reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a Top 10 hit in the UK, their first Top 20 single since 2009. Just under two and a half years later, in September 2014, Train released their seventh studio album titled Bulletproof Picasso. It received positive reviews from critics. However, similar to the band's fourth album For Me, It's You, it failed commercially. Despite peaking high on charts, it failed to generate any hit singles and also failed to receive an RIAA certification. It was also the band's first album without drummer and founding member Scott Underwood, who departed the band prior to recording the album. Following his departure, Drew Shoals became the new drummer of the band.

Shortly after the band's tour for Bulletproof Picasso, Train released a Christmas album exclusively on Amazon Music titled Christmas in Tahoe in November 2015. The album features 15 songs, which included covers of classic holiday hits and three original songs. In June 2016, Train released another new album titled Train Does Led Zeppelin II, which features nine songs, all of them being a cover of a hit song by the famous rock band Led Zeppelin.

The band's tenth studio album, titled A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat, was released in January 2017.

Since their debut in the music industry, Train has sold over 10 million albums and 30 million tracks worldwide.

1993–1997: Formation

Following the dissolution of his Led Zeppelin cover band "Rogues Gallery", singer Pat Monahan left his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania in late 1993. He resettled in California and crossed paths with Rob Hotchkiss, who performed in coffee houses and local clubs. The two shared lead vocals, with Hotchkiss on guitar and harmonica, and Monahan playing percussion, including a modified conga attached to a kick-drum pedal. Hotchkiss had been the lead singer for L.A.-based Apostles. After deciding to form a full band, the duo recruited Jimmy Stafford on guitar, Charlie Colin on bass, and Scott Underwood on drums, thus solidifying Train's lineup in 1994. Train attempted to get signed under Columbia Records in 1996, but were rejected. Subsequently, the band decided to release their first self-titled CD independently. By 1997, they were touring nationally, opening concerts for bands such as Barenaked Ladies, Hootie & the Blowfish, Cracker and Counting Crows.

1998–2000: Train

Train is the band's self-titled debut album. After initially being rejected by Columbia, another of the label’s A&R staff, Tim Devine, picked up the band but signed them to a sub-label, Aware Records. The album was released on February 24, 1998, with a different track listing from its independent counterpart. It was self-produced for $25,000, and three singles from the album were released. The first single released, "Free", was a large hit on pop/mainstream rock stations. The second single, "Meet Virginia" was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 20, and the third single was "I Am". The album brought the band national fame, and was certified platinum by the RIAA. Following the success of the debut album, the band began working on their second album.

2001–2002: Drops of Jupiter

Drops of Jupiter, the band's second album, was produced by Brendan O' Brien, who has also worked with artists such as Pearl Jam, King's X, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band and Neil Young. Before the release of the second album, the band released the single "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)". The song was a massive hit; it entered the Hot 100 on March 10, 2001, and spent over a year on the chart (54 weeks) before being relegated to the recurrents chart. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, which was written by Paul Buckmaster, known for his string arrangements for Elton John. (The band reportedly hired Buckmaster expressly to create a sound similar to his arrangement for John's "Burn Down The Mission".)

The album Drops of Jupiter was released on March 27, 2001, and became Train's first multi-platinum album, with the success of the lead single. The album was Train's first top ten album, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200. The album was also a top ten hit in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number eight. "She's on Fire", the second single from Drops of Jupiter was a modest success and was featured in the 2001 comedy The Animal and the 2003 animated comedy Rugrats Go Wild. The album was eventually certified double platinum in the United States and in Canada. It was also certified gold in Australia.

During the Drops of Jupiter tour, the band released a live DVD of a sold out concert in the band's hometown of San Francisco at The Warfield. The DVD was titled "Midnight Moon" and featured Train's hits from the first two albums among others. The concert was recorded on May 26, 2001.

2003–2004: My Private Nation

In 2003, Rob Hotchkiss left the band citing creative differences. According to band interviews, Hotchkiss resented being pushed away as a songwriter and decided to leave. Hotchkiss started pursuing a solo career, after having contributed to six of the 11 songs on the (at the time) upcoming album My Private Nation. His solo album, Midnight Ghost, was released in 2004.

The band's third album, My Private Nation, was released in June 2003 with "Calling All Angels" as the lead single. "Calling All Angels" became Train's third top 20 hit, and was a major hit on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. "Calling All Angels" has been certified RIAA Gold.

In October 2003, bassist Charlie Colin was forced to leave the band because of substance abuse. According to singer Pat Monahan, Colin was "a mess". After a live presentation in Oregon, he called an emergency meeting and told the band that "you can have your bass player, or you can have your singer". In 2004, their non-album song "Ordinary" was featured in the movie Spider-Man 2. In 2007, it was featured again, this time in the NBC series Heroes. The music video for "Ordinary" was in rotation on MTV, but the song only charted on the Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. In July 2005, after the song was featured in an advertising campaign for Cingular, the band released "Get to Me" as the final single from My Private Nation. "Get to Me" (written by Rob Hotchkiss and Pat Monahan) reached number nine on the Billboard Adult Top 40. Paul Buckmaster returned on "My Private Nation" with string arrangements for the tracks "Lincoln Avenue" and "Your Every Color". The album was certified platinum by the RIAA.

The band released their first live album, Alive at Last, in 2004, later winning a Radio Music Award for best artist.

2005–2006: For Me, It's You

Train began recording their fourth studio album, For Me, It's You, in Atlanta during the summer of 2005. They released the album's lead single, "Cab", on November 14, 2005. The song peaked at number nine on the Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. The album was released on January 31, 2006 and peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200 chart. However, it failed commercially, becoming the first album of the band's career to fail to receive an RIAA certification. The album was the band's only album to include members Johnny Colt on bass and Brandon Bush playing keyboard.

2006–2008: Hiatus

Starting in November 2006, the band took a two-year hiatus from recording and touring to be with friends and family. The band's lead singer and songwriter Pat Monahan released a solo album, Last of Seven, on September 18, 2007. The album peaked at number 82 on the Billboard 200 chart. Two hit singles off of the album "Her Eyes" and "Two Ways to Say Goodbye" charted at number 9 and number 21 on the Adult Top 40 with "Her Eyes" charting at number 10 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles as well. Pat Monahan also wrote "The Truth" for American Idol winner Kris Allen. "The Truth" charted at number 17 on the Adult Top 40.

2009–2011: Save Me, San Francisco

On August 11, 2009, Train released their first single in more than three years. Fall Out Boy's co-manager Jonathan Daniel helped Train begin their comeback after a couple of off years. The song "Hey, Soul Sister", from their fifth studio album, Save Me, San Francisco, was released on August 11, 2009, while the rest of the album was released about two and a half months later on October 27, 2009. The single was a major success, becoming their second-career top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 16th week on the chart, after surging from number 23 to number seven during the week of January 30, 2010, largely because of an 81% increase in digital sales from the previous week. Like their earlier hit "Get to Me", this song gained further popularity when it was used as the commercial soundtrack to launch Samsung's 3D television during the Oscars. It is now their highest-charting single. "Hey, Soul Sister" is also the most played song in Australian radio history, the most downloaded iTunes song of 2010, the best selling single in Columbia Records history, and has been certified RIAA 6 x platinum. The album itself peaked at number 17 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Train's second single from the album, "If It's Love," peaked at number 34, making it their most successful secondary single from any record. "If It's Love" has been RIAA certified gold. Train released the third single from the record, "Marry Me," on October 25, 2010. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 95, the first time Train have had three consecutive singles on this chart. The song peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Marry Me" was featured on One Tree Hill on February 1, 2011. "Marry Me" has been certified RIAA Gold. Train released a Christmas single called "Shake Up Christmas", which was featured in commercials internationally as part of Coca-Cola's Christmas commercial series in 2010. The single charted at number 12 on the "Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks." The single also charted at #99 on Billboard's Hot 100. Train's single "Save Me, San Francisco" peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100, at 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and 7 on the Adult Pop Songs chart.

2012–2013: California 37

"Drive By" was released worldwide on January 10, 2012. It peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as reaching Platinum certifications in Australia New Zealand, and the United States.

On April 13, 2012, Train released their sixth studio album, California 37. Monahan said that a majority of the writing happened while the group was touring Save Me, San Francisco. "I didn't spend 3 months or 5 months writing, I just wrote throughout the course of the last 3 years," said Monahan. "We have 13 songs that we've recorded and I want to hear every single one of them over and over again." The album release was preceded by a promotional single of "Feels Good at First" on March 21, for iTunes Store customers who pre-ordered the album. The album debuted at number 10 on the UK Albums Chart, and became their highest-charting album since Drops of Jupiter which peaked at number six in 2001. In the United States, California 37 debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 76,000 copies. It is their fourth top 10 album and their highest-charting album in the US.

Train's next single, "50 Ways to Say Goodbye", was released on June 11, with its "self-deprecating lyrics about the failure in gracefully ending a relationship", coupled with "slightly tacky mariachi horns". It peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and charted for 12 weeks. and was certified gold by the RIAA on September 20. For the summer of 2012, Train toured mostly on the east coast of the United States.

In late July, Train demanded that the Family First New Zealand, an organization that opposes same-sex marriage in New Zealand, refrain from the unauthorized use of "Marry Me" from its "Protect Marriage" website.

In November, Train released "Bruises", a country-oriented duet with Ashley Monroe. The song has also been recorded with different female singers: For Canada, the song was recorded in both English and French with Marilou, and for Australia with Delta Goodrem.

In December, Train released the single, "Mermaid". The group would later film the song's video at the 2013 Pro Bowl in Honolulu.

Train was scheduled to perform at the Boy Scouts of America's 2013 National Scout Jamboree, along with singer Carly Rae Jepsen. In March 2013, both backed out of performing for the event and cited the controversy over the BSA policy on gays as the reason. Train released a statement saying the band "strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen ... We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then". The Boy Scout Jamboree subsequently brought in Three Doors Down as the headlining band.

Train toured the United States and Canada from July 11 – August 14, 2013 in 25 headlining shows titled Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour. The tour included singer Gavin DeGraw, The Script, Michael Franti & Spearhead. Country music singer Ashley Monroe joined part of the tour, singing "Bruises" and one or two of her songs from her album during Train's set.

2014–2015: Bulletproof Picasso

In November 2013, Train announced plans for a new album to be released in the summer of 2014. On May 5, 2014, guitarist Jimmy Stafford tweeted: "An anagram of the first single from the new @train album is now available! SGIJANNULAEBENEL. Yep." which fans quickly deciphered and replied "Angel in Blue Jeans". On June 5, 2014, Scott Underwood posted a message thanking fans for their support as he leaves to pursue writing, producing, and other music-related ventures. He had been in the band for 20 years, and has been replaced by Drew Shoals. At the time of release, the only original member's left were Pat Monahan and guitarist Jimmy Stafford. On June 9, 2014, it was announced that the album would be titled Bulletproof Picasso. The album is led by the single "Angel in Blue Jeans" written by the Norwegian Duo "Espionage". It was released the same day as the album's announcement. The single peaked at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 8 on the US Adult Top 40 (Billboard). The rest of the album was released on September 12, 2014 in Germany and Australia, September 15, 2014 in France, and September 16, 2014 in the United States. The album peaked at number five on the Billboard 200.

On September 29, 2014, Train released the second single from the album, "Cadillac, Cadillac". It peaked at number 21 on the US Adult Top 40 (Billboard).

On January 26, 2015, Train released the third single from the album, "Bulletproof Picasso". It peaked at number 22 on the US Adult Top 40 (Billboard).

On May 19, 2015, Train released their fourth and final single from the album, "Give It All". It peaked at number 35 on the US Adult Top 40 (Billboard).

On May 21, 2015, Train began their tour for the album, referred to as the Picasso at the Wheel Tour. Joining them on the tour were The Fray and Matt Nathanson. They played at over 40 venues across the United States until the tour concluded on July 25, 2015.

Although the album peaked high on the Billboard 200 and all four of its singles made a spot on the US Adult Top 40 (Billboard), none of the singles were subsequent hits, thus making it fail commercially. It also failed to receive an RIAA certification, the band's first album since For Me, It's You to do so.

2015: Christmas in Tahoe

On May 14, 2015, it was announced the band was recording a Christmas album. The album, titled Christmas in Tahoe, was released on November 13, 2015, exclusively on Amazon, and is their eighth overall studio album. The album features fifteen songs, twelve of which are covers of other holiday songs, and three of them being original songs. It peaked at number 151 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 on the US Top Holiday Albums (Billboard). On December 5, 2016, just over a year after the album was released, Train's cover of "This Christmas" charted at number one on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart.

2016: Train Does Led Zeppelin II

In June 2016, Train released their first cover album, and ninth overall studio album, titled Train Does Led Zeppelin II. The album was made available via download, compact disc, and vinyl record album mediums of media. The album was a song by song replication of the classic 1969 Led Zeppelin album. The band's website announcement stated: "We're paying homage to one of our biggest musical inspirations with the release of Train Does Led Zeppelin II. All of the band's proceeds from this release will support Family House." The band also launched a brief club tour that same month to support the album. Gigs included New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and the final date in San Francisco. The sets consisted entirely of Led Zeppelin covers, and featured no regular band material. They also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on June 10 and played "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)." The album peaked at number 71 on the US Billboard 200.

2016–present: A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat

Beginning with live performances on tour in August 2016, Train performed a new song, titled "Play That Song". It was officially released on September 29, 2016 as the lead single to their tenth studio album, A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat, which was released four months later on January 27, 2017. "Play That Song" uses the melody from the 1938 song "Heart and Soul". On October 8, 2016, lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford posted on Twitter that he has left the band at least temporarily. Although he performed "Play That Song" and other new songs from the album prior to its release, he is not on the new album. Stafford quoted on Twitter that "We're both in a great space. Pat is making the records he wants to make and I'm still around." He has stated he will be part of the annual Train cruise "Sail Across the Sun" in February 2017. On December 1, 2016, the album was made available for pre-order and the track listing was revealed. On the same day, the song "Working Girl" was released as the first promotional single from the album. The second promotional single, titled "Lottery," was released on December 16, 2016. Just under a month later, the third promotional single from the album, titled "The News," was released on January 13, 2017. On January 19, 2017, along with releasing the fourth promotional single from the album titled "Drink Up", Train announced the official tour for the album titled the "Play That Song Tour". The tour is scheduled to occur from May 12, 2017 to July 15, 2017, and will feature two opening acts: O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield. On April 3, 2017 Jimmy Stafford posted on Twitter that he will not be part of the 2017 Train tour. He posted that his absence wasn't his call and that he would have loved to been part of the tour.

Performances and media appearances

This is a list of major performances by Train at various events and television shows. It does not include concerts from their regular tours.

Train founded the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company in 2011. With a partnership with ACME Wine Movers, the business sells wine that is named after the group's various hits, which include: Drops of Jupiter California Red, Calling All Angels Chardonnay, Soul Sister Pinot Noir, California 37 Cabernet Sauvignon, and Hella Fine Merlot. The wine is made in the Livermore Valley. The company partnered with Ghirardelli Chocolate Company to sell chocolates and confections to pair with the wine. A portion of the proceeds go to the Family House of San Francisco, which supports families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Train supported Little Kids Rock along with COUNTRY Financial through the Road Trips and Guitar Picks campaign. In addition to raising money and autographing a guitar for auction, Train met with and sang “Hey, Soul Sister” with a some Little Kids Rock students in Atlanta.

"Calling All Angels" became an unofficial anthem of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball team; it was played at Angel Stadium before every game during the 2010 season, while the video screen showed a montage of the team's history.

"Calling All Angels" was featured at the ending montage of the One Tree Hill episode "Life in a Glass House". "Marry Me" was featured on the episode "The Other Half of Me"

The album's second single, "When I Look to the Sky", was used for the trailer of the 2004 film Jersey Girl.

The band was parodied in the "Band Face-Off" sketch on the January 26, 2013 airing of Saturday Night Live, where they invade a bar and get in a conflict with Adam Levine, and are later joined by Jason Mraz and John Mayer. Train made a statement afterwards that they approved of the parody.

Two of their songs have been featured in two of Seth MacFarlane's animated TV shows on FOX. "Drops of Jupiter" was featured in the American Dad! episode "Bully for Steve", which premiered on April 25, 2010. "Meet Virginia" was featured in the Family Guy episode "Turkey Guys", which premiered on November 16, 2014.

Band members

Current members
  • Pat Monahan – lead vocals, guitar, tambourine (1994–2006, 2009–present)
  • Jimmy Stafford – lead guitar, ukulele, backing vocals (1994–2006, 2009–present)
  • Jerry Becker – rhythm guitar, keyboards, piano, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Hector Maldonado – bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Drew Shoals – drums (2014–present)
  • Luis Maldonado – guitars (2016–present)
  • Former members
  • Rob Hotchkiss – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994–2003)
  • Charlie Colin – bass guitar, backing vocals (1994–2003)
  • Tony Lopacinski – bass guitar, backing vocals, guitar (2003–2006)
  • Brandon Bush – keyboards, piano, Hammond organ (2003–2006)
  • Johnny Colt – bass guitar (2003–2006)
  • Scott Underwood – drums, percussion, keyboards, piano, programming (1994–2006, 2009–2014)
  • Touring members
  • Ana Lenchantin – cello, dancing, percussion, backing vocals (2011)
  • Brian Switzer – trumpet (2012–2014)
  • Nikita Houston – backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Sakai Smith – backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Discography

    Studio albums
  • Train (1998)
  • Drops of Jupiter (2001)
  • My Private Nation (2003)
  • For Me, It's You (2006)
  • Save Me, San Francisco (2009)
  • California 37 (2012)
  • Bulletproof Picasso (2014)
  • Christmas in Tahoe (2015)
  • Train Does Led Zeppelin II (2016)
  • A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat (2017)
  • Songs

    Play That SongA Girl A Bottle A Boat · 2017
    Drops of JupiterDrops of Jupiter · 2001
    Hey - Soul SisterSave Me - San Francisco · 2009


    Train (band) Wikipedia