Eighteen years is a long time to be in the music industry, what with the increased frequency of bands appearing and disappearing like drops in the ocean. Substance and originality are two characteristics that are becoming increasingly difficult to find in a band, but Train deliver on both fronts. And next month the trio are pulling into KL Station.
Formed in 1994, the band originally consisted of Rob Hotchkiss, former lead singer of LA band The Apostles, Charlie Colin, Patrick Monahan, Jimmy Safford and Scott Underwood, with the last three making up the band as we know it today. After touring exhaustively in low-key venues, and gaining a small but significant following, Colombia Records expressed interest in the band and ended up “farming” them out to Aware Records, where they could hone their skills and sharpen their sound.
Fast forward to 1997 and the band were opening for acts like Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows. Cue their first album, which cost them $25,000 out of their own pockets and spawned their first significant single Free, which received a considerable amount of airplay and was featured on the TV series Party of Five. However, it wouldn’t be until the release of their second album however, Drops of Jupiter, that went from rising stars to super stars.
The single of the same name won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, and one for Best Arrangement, the fruits of their labour finally being realised, and the many years of touring coffeehouses and pubs finally paying off. They shot to fame with the album hitting multiplatinum status, the first, as it were, of many more. This was their entry into the top 10, reaching number six on the Billboard 200 and signifying a landmark for the group.
It was at this point that founder Rob Hotchkiss pursued a solo career and left Patrick, Jimmy and Scott to push on. Cue their third album My Private Nation in June 2003, out of which arose their third top 20 hit Calling All Angels, bolstering their new-found success and gaining hordes more fans along the way.
Meanwhile, their non-album single Ordinary was used in Spider-Man 2 and the NBC series Heroes, which culminated in them winning a Radio Music Award for best artist. Their next album, For Me, It’s You, released in 2006, saw the addition of Johnny Colt on bass and Brandon Bush on keyboard, and is the only one of their albums that is yet to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association America.
After some much-needed downtime from the incessant touring and recording, the band announced their return in 2009 as a trio and with it the release of their most commercially successful single to date, Hey Soul Sister, closely followed by album Save Me San Francisco, which in turn generated two more singles If It’s Love and Marry Me.
That brings us to the present day, and the album that’s currently doing the rounds, California 37, which Monahan says was meticulously written over the course of three years while they were touring. Back on form, the album debuted at No 10 on the UK Albums Chart, four on the Billboard 200 and is their highest-charting album since Drops of Jupiter.
Train have a rare gift of making the audience believe the songs are being sung for them personally, and this coupled with the spiritual/cosmic element behind the majority of their songs, creates epic live concerts that connect with fans on a personal level. Here’s your chance to catch their magnetism on stage at KL Live on the 16 June. Tickets can be purchased from Rock Corner, Victoria Music Centre, and The Guitar Store outlets, as well as at ticketpro.com.my
Train Live in Kuala Lumpur
Where: KL Live, Life Center
When: 16 June
Admission: RM 288 (Rock Zone); RM198 ( Upper Tier) ; RM 138 (Regular)