Pop-rock act Train isn't planning to stop any time soon
The guys in Train have worked without a break since the single "Hey, Soul Sister" was released in 2009. Guitarist Jimmy Stafford chalks that up to singer Pat Monahan's prolific songwriting.
"Pat just never stops," Stafford said via telephone with a laugh. "We wanted to take a little bit of a break after the 'Save Me, San Francisco' tour because it was such a long tour. That album had, like, four singles.
"We were pretty worn out, but then we finished that tour and weeks later he had written 'Drive By.' We jumped back into the studio and the song became a hit on radio, and we haven't stopped. I'm sensing the same thing happening again."
It's not like Stafford wouldn't like a break, though.
"A couple of us are having babies," he said. "It would be great to take a little time off. I have a feeling that there are a few potential hit songs waiting to be recorded -- and we'll probably just keep going while the going's good."
Train is on track to spend the rest of the year touring in support of its sixth studio album, "California 37," which hit stores in 2012. The band is on the road now as part of the "Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour" with The Script and Gavin DeGraw opening.
"It's pretty amazing to bring that level of support out on the road with us," Stafford said. "It makes everyone show up early and really have a great time. They get a three-band night, instead of one good band and a couple of throwaways."
So far the tour is going great, Stafford said.
"I think it's partly because we've been playing these songs on the road for over a year now. The band is going into it really well rehearsed. Our production guys are so good. Our lighting guy has put together such a great show. And our sound guy does an amazing job."
It doesn't hurt, either, that Train is five singles deep on "California 37" -- "Drive By," "50 Ways to Say Goodbye," "Bruises," "Mermaid" and "When the Fog Rolls In." Stylistically, each song is different, ranging from the country twang of "Bruises" (which features singer Ashley Monroe, who is touring with Train) to the rollicking "Drive By."
"If you go back and listen to our first album and pretty much every album, there are a lot of styles," Stafford said. "I think that it just comes from the band members all having different influences growing up. They contribute to the band and the songwriting."
Part of Train's success can also be chalked up to its management, Crush Management. At the show and on Train's website, fans can expect to see a barrage of marketing packages. There's wine, a tailgate pack, chocolate and the tried-and-true T-shirts.
"We have really good management and they come up with so many great ideas for us," Stafford explained.
"The wine has really taken off, and recently we released a game, the 50 Ways to Survive App. It's so great. We had over 350,000 downloads in the first week. It's Top 10 in 100 countries or something right now. It's doing great -- and it's a really fun game. They come into us with ideas and we say, 'Sure, we're into a game.' 'Wine sounds great.' It just seems like everything they've come up with is a really good idea. It's great to have management that's progressive like that."
7 - Phoenix, AZ - Ak-Chin Pavilion
9 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
10 - Wheatland, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
11 - San Francisco - America's Cup Pavilion
13 - Ridgefield, WA - Sleep Country Amphitheater
14 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheater
16 - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fairgrounds Grandstand
29 - St. Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair
31 - Snowmass, CO - Snowmass Town Park
1 - Canfield, OH - Mahoning County Fairgrounds
14 , 15, 16, 17, 18 - Miami, FL - Norwegian Cruise Line--Norwegian Pearl