Get Ready to Swoon for Pat Monahan of Train
by Ilyssa Panitz
DivineCaroline: Congratulations on “California 37.”
Pat Monahan: Thanks. I am pretty psyched about it but as you know it is all about longevity. Hopefully people will like it for a long time.
DC: I can tell you my two-year-old loves “Drive By.”
PM: The trick is keeping what you got and get a couple of new ones out of it. That is both the hardest part and the biggest part to being a success.
DC: Your last album was titled, “Save Me, San Francisco.” What’s behind the Californian theme?
PM: The idea behind “Save Me, San Francisco” was we disappeared and lost touch with San Francisco, a place where we have many special relationships and friendships. We lost some dear friends here who unfortunately passed away. We wanted to return to San Francisco and felt to do so we needed their support. As for “California 37,” that is a highway the three of us use all of the time to get to one another’s house. I mean we frequent that highway a lot.
DC: Both of these albums have been very personal for you and the guys?
PM: Oh yeah. There is a lot of history on this new album.
DC: Your first single off the album is “Drive By,” which has been on the top of the charts for two months. Why release that track first?
PM: It was actually the first song written for this record. I didn’t write this song in hopes of putting out a new album. I just started writing this and other songs because I had a momentum going and I didn’t want to stop. I can tell you “Drive By” sat around for three months before anyone ever heard it.
DC: And the reaction was?
PM: Not only did my band mates like it but it was also the one Columbia Records first fell in love with.
DC: When you wrote “Drive By,” did you have anyone in mind?
PM: Yeah. It was an indirect story about my wife Amber. When I met her I was not in a place where I wanted to fall in love forever. Yet that is exactly what happened. I remember thinking, I just want to meet some people and have some fun. Instead, I met the girl of my dreams who I instantly knew I wanted to be with forever. When you think of it this is the song of my life.
DC: Another song that caught my attention was “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.” The words are pretty powerful. What’s the meaning behind this tune?
PM: They wanted to put that one out because that is their universal favorite. This is more about the humor side of being embarrassed as to why your girlfriend broke up with you. As a result you lie to all of your friends and tell everyone she died 25-different ways. It just helps you cope with the real reason as to why she ditched you.
DC: This track just dropped, yes?
PM: Yes. It is our current single that just came out.
DC: I get a beachy kind of feel on this album because you have two other songs on here called, “Mermaid” and “When The Fog Rolls in.”
PM: This is a different take on love or a lack thereof it. (laughs)
DC: Do you go someplace special to write?
PM: This album was written on the road while we were touring, “Save Me San Francisco” for almost three years. Basically two summers ago I started to write and then once we came back from China we really started to put it together.
DC: Speaking on being on the road you are going on tour soon. Tell me about that.
PM: We begin in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Then we will come back and kick off our US tour. We will be playing in amphitheaters, arenas and state fairs.
DC: Why these types of venues?
PM: I think of us as a band families will want to enjoy together. Ya know, throw a blanket down, listen to some fun music and see what we do.
DC: Aside from nurturing this baby, you recently became a daddy for a fourth time. Tell me about little Rock?
PM: I am actually with my 19-year-old son Patrick right now. He is pursuing a career in music. My 14-year-old daughter Emilia is heading to 10th grade. I also have a three-year-old daughter named Autumn and a seven-month-old named Rock who is awesome. It is fun to hold a little baby again. I can’t hold my 19-year-old the way that I used to.
DC: Is hugging even allowed at 19?
PM: Yes I am allowed to hug him but if I try to hold him, pick him up or do something weird he calls security on me. (laughs)
DC: While we are on the subject of kids, might a children’s album be next?
PM: I asked about that. I asked my manager if I could make a kids album and he said not yet.
DC: You were the voice behind the popular animated series, Driver Dan’s Story Train. Because of this experience, your love for your kids and your brilliant writing skills, what about penning a children’s book?
PM: I don’t know what I want to do next. I tend to get bored of myself and not sure I want to hear anything more from me, including the reading a story from me. (laughs)