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Pat Monahan of Train talks about his music career and upcoming show in New York City

Pat Monahan, the lead singer of Train, chatted about their upcoming show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and his career in the music industry.

Pat Monahan with the band Train
Pat Monahan with the band Train. Photo Credit: Brooke Clark
Pat Monahan with the band Train. Photo Credit: Brooke Clark

Pat Monahan, the lead singer of Train, chatted about their upcoming show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and his career in the music industry.

The late U.S. Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” An individual who is the epitome of this quotation is Pat Monahan, the frontman of the rock band Train.

A Grammy award-winning group, Train is comprised of Monahan on lead vocals, Hector Maldonado on the bass and vocals, Jerry Becker on the keyboards and vocals, Taylor Locke on guitar and vocals, Matt Musty on the drums, Sakai Smith on backup vocals, and Nikita Houston on background vocals.   

Ever since their formation in 1994, Train has secured 14 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, 12 albums on the Billboard 200 all-genre albums chart, and the band has sold over 10 million albums and 30 million tracks worldwide.

Music and songwriting inspirations

On his music and songwriting inspirations, Monahan said, “There is not much that doesn’t inspire it. My wife Amber is a huge part of it, but everyday life, seeing people live their lives in one way or another. It’s pretty inspiring.”

‘Hey, Soul Sister’

Train’s global smash hit “Hey, Soul Sister” continues to reach new milestones. It was the No. 1 bestselling and most downloaded single of the year 2010; moreover, it achieved RIAA diamond status in 2021, and in 2022, it surpassed one billion streams on Spotify.

Proudest professional moments  

On his proudest professional moments, Monahan said, “Winning Grammy Awards is always fun, but playing in front of a lot of people is way more fun… Red Rocks, playing the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State, going to places like Italy, the UK and Australia and playing for thousands of people is pretty cool.”

“My children are very musical, so that’s also a proud professional moment for me,” he added.

The digital age

On being a band in the digital age, at a time when streaming and technology are so prevalent, Monahan said, Well we started when there were still cassettes. We were making records, or at least demos on cassettes, and then it went to CDs, then iTunes, and here we are in streaming.”

“I’ve never complained about any of it. It’s all been pretty fun to be a part of any version of music consumption,” he added.

Monahan’s film and TV career

Monahan has appeared in various film and television projects. His credits include the Hallmark original movie, Christmas in Tahoe, which was inspired by Train’s album of the same name, which he executive produced and starred, as well as Dr. Ken90210, CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., The VoiceAmerican Idol, and The Bachelor.

The Theater at Madison Square Garden Show

On May 2, Train will return to New York City for a headlining show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “Fans can expect kind of a ‘best of’ show. We always throw something new in there for everybody, and every show is a little bit different. Just great musicianship and a fun show,” Monahan exclaimed.

Monahan opened up about their summer headlining tour dates. “This summer is a little bit different,” he said. “We’re going to be playing smaller towns away from the bigger ones, and I always find that to be compelling when we get to see the people that don’t necessarily get a lot of other acts that come through.”

“Where New York City, perhaps, gets the best of the best all the time, and Broadway is amazing, so I like to go to the smaller areas once in a while to see people like myself. I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, so it would be cool if Train went to Erie,” he elaborated.

Advice for hopefuls in music

For young and aspiring singer-songwriters, Monahan said, “The only advice I ever have for anybody is ‘be yourself at all costs’ because if you’re successful being something that you’re not, then you have to continue to be that, so be who you are.

Monahan’s dream duet choices in music

On his dream duet choices in music, Monahan revealed, “Nina Simone would be top up there, and I’d love to do something with James Taylor. There’s a lot of others, but those two stick out.”

Working with Martina McBride

Speaking of duets, Monahan had the good fortune to duet “Marry Me” with Martina McBride at the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards. “Martina is an amazing person and artist, and we’re hoping to do a lot of work together in the future,” he said.

Making a difference with his wine business, which helps charity

In addition, Monahan partakes in other ventures outside of music, which include his wine company “Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co.”, which was created in 2011 and has sold over 10 million bottles and won over 100 medals.

The proceeds from his wine business support Family House, a San Francisco charity that supports families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. 

Success

On his definition of the word success, Monahan said, “Success is an interesting one because I’m not one to ever feel like I am successful. There’s always something that I have to get to next. I guess that’s what wine is for! That’s why I got into the wine business.”

To learn more about Train, their music and tour dates, check out their official homepage, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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