Train's Pat Monahan on 'Greatest Hits,' Song Meanings & George Michael

By Nicole Mastrogiannis

November 9, 2018

Train 2018

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Train's self-titled debut album, and the band is celebrating having released two decades worth of music by sharing their Greatest Hits album.

Greatest Hits includes 17 songs in total, going all the way back to their first album, featuring tracks like "Meet Virginia," as well as fan favorites like "Drops of Jupiter," "Calling All Angels," "Hey, Soul Sister," and many more. The record also includes a cover of George Michael's "Careless Whisper," which features Kenny G on sax.

Train frontman Patrick Monahan tells iHeartRadio of his band's milestone and what it means to him to be able to release Greatest Hits, "I feel like putting a greatest hits record out can be good and bad. The bad is that people might misinterpret it as, 'Okay, well, you guys did great, it's time to go away.' And to me, it became a necessary part of helping young people or younger people find Train music easier. Because streaming has become so important that they might just know, 'Hey, Soul Sister,' and if they go to a Greatest Hits, they might find that they're familiar with a whole lot more than just that one song."

One of the most personal songs in Train's 20 years is 2001's "Drops of Jupiter," which is inspired Monahan's mother. He tells us, "It was written soon after my mother had passed away, and I feel like it was actually a gift from her. I wrote it in about 20 minutes."

Monahan adds, "'Drops of Jupiter' was written very quickly. I woke up from a dream shortly after my mother had passed away. And so, I felt like she was sending me a message about floating through the atmosphere and then coming back with 'Drops with Jupiter' in her hair to tell me the story."

Another song included on Greatest Hits is the undeniably catchy "Hey, Soul Sister" from Train's 2009 album Save Me, San Francisco. The song became the band's most commercially successful single, went six times Platinum, and is actually about what Patrick imagined what it would be like to go to popular desert festival Burning Man. 

Monahan explains, "'Hey, Soul Sister,' actually, was daydreaming about what it would be like to go to Burning Man. It's an art festival out in the desert that started from a bunch of San Francisco natives. Now, it's turned into a massive city that they create no litter, and they go out there and celebrate art and just being free, and it's cool. I've never been. But 'Hey, Soul Sister' was kind of just daydreaming about women dancing around the Burning Man."

Another personal song on Train's Greatest Hits is inspired by Patrick's wife. "Marry Me" is also from Save Me, San Francisco, and the track itself is a marriage proposal. 

Monahan tells us of the story of how he wrote the song, "'Marry Me' is about my wife. I sat on the kitchen counter and wrote that song on acoustic guitar. It took me quite a while. The words 'Marry Me' unfortunately weren't as easy to come by as I thought they were. The rest of the song was written pretty quickly."

Aside from Train's most popular songs, a cover of George Michael's "Careless Whisper" is also included on Greatest Hits, and it features Kenny G on sax. Michael was a big inspiration to Patrick Monahan over the years. He explains, "George Michael has really, over the years, become a stronger and stronger influence on me as a writer and a performer. And when he performed live with the remaining members of Queen years ago, it was just so, so good that I think that was the moment that all of the repertoire of Wham! and George Michael became important to me."

Train is hitting the road on tour with Goo Goo Dolls on their "Summer Tour" 2019, with special guest Allen Stone. The tour will make stops in cities across the US, kicking off on June 7, 2019 in Auburn, WA, and go throughout the summer until it wraps up on August 17th in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Monahan tells iHeartRadio of the tour:

"I've known the guys from Goo Goo Dolls in a very distant way for many years, and we've run into each other a lot over the past 25 years. So, they just are always super sweet. And, it was just a matter of time, I think, until we put a tour together. I'm really looking forward to it. I always try to incorporate everyone that's out. Allen Stone will be joining us as well. I'm a big fan of his, and he's a wonderful guy. So maybe we can do something all together on stage where we can show the audience in a very authentic way that we actually are friends, and we have this amazing life that we get to live. So, that's what I'm looking forward to most about that tour."

Train & Goo Goo Dolls Summer Tour 2019 Dates:

June 7th - Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheatre

June 8th - Ridgefield, WA @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre 

June 9th - Airway Heights, WA @ Northern Quest Casino & Resort (no Allen Stone)

June 11th - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl

June 12th - Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion

June 14th - Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

June 15th - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

June 16th - Irvine, CA @ Five Points Amphitheater

June 18th - West Valley City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre

June 20th - Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre

June 21st - Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre

June 22nd - Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

June 23rd - Southhaven, MS @ BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove

June 25th - Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Council Bluffs - Stir Cove

June 26th - Rogers, AR @ Walmart Amp

June 28th - Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

June 29th - Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion

July 6th - West Palm Beach, FL @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre

July 7th - Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre

July 9th - Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place

July 10th - Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park

July 12th - Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion

July 13th - Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater

July 14th - Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach

July 16th - Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater

July 18th - Walker, MN @ Moondance Jam

July 20th - Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

July 21st - Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center

July 23rd - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre

July 24th - Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

July 26th - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center

July 27th - Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

July 28th - Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook Music Pavilion

July 30th - Bangor, ME @ Waterfront Park

August 1st - Scranton, PA @ Pavilion at Montage Mountain

August 2nd - Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts

August 3rd - Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

August 6th - Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest

August 7th - Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion

August 9th - Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

August 10th - Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion

August 11th - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

August 14th - Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center

August 16th - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

August 17th - Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center

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