by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: Train Say “Drops Of Jupiter” Was “The Spark That Got Us Global”

VH1’s Behind The Music kicks off a new season of storytelling this Sunday with Behind The Music: Train, and for this 15th Anniversary round we hope to do you even better by taking you Behind The Song, as well. Posted as an online exclusive ahead of each full episode, Behind The Song will dig deep into the story behind the celebrated artist’s biggest hit or most monumental song. First up, we have Behind The Song: Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” the song that “was the spark that got us global.”

Deep into recording their sophomore album and still without a single, Train’s lead singer Pat Monahan was struck by a dream about his late mother. “She was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair,” says Monahan, who woke up with the “back in the atmosphere” line running through his head and the single that would launch Train to multi-platinum status well in the works. From his bed to the studio, the song picked up that “bounce, more of a potentially pop radio sound,” Monahan says, and before they knew it, Train was picking up Grammys (“We were nominated for a Grammy. A few Grammys. Like, five.”) and performing in front of the likes of Bono. “’Drops of Jupiter’ was definitely a gift,” Monahan says.

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Train premieres on Sunday, September 16 at 9/8c on VH1. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Watch this Sneak Peak Of Behind The Music: Train

VH1’s Behind The Music kicks off a new season of storytelling this Sunday with a spotlight on Train, the quintessential American band. Tune-in to VH1 on Sunday at 9/8c to hear the rest of their story, but first whet your taste with this special sneak peak of the show’s first act.

These days, San Francisco’s hardest working band have it pretty good. Back on tour in support of their 6th album, California 37, we meet them in the back of a van where they are enjoying their success and each other’s company. It wasn’t always like this, though, and as we learn in these first few moments about Train’s rough beginnings, they had to overcome struggle and obscurity before they could bask these sunny “Hey Soul Sister” days. “I said, ‘Look, the path to success is going to suck, man, but you have to do it,'” Pat Monahan says, “I had to believe I was going to be a star.”

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Train premieres on Sunday, September 16 at 9/8c on VH1. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Tuned In: Train Find “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” On Letterman

Last night, Train pulled into the Late Show with David Letterman to perform “50 Ways To Say Goodbye,” the newest single off of California 37. And “50 Ways To Say Goodbye,” it turns out, is more or less the opposite Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways To Leave A Lover,” a cool list of ways to end a relationship. Rather, “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” is a goofy and mariachi-tinged catalog of lies to tell your friends after you’ve been dumped.

“That’s cool, but if my friends as where you are I am going to say,” goes the refrain, which is followed by a long list of excuses that range from maybe reasonable (“danced to death at an east side night club”) to Final Destination cribbed (“fried getting suntanned”) to hilarious (“How could you leave on Yom Kippur?”) to probably sponsored by the Nissan Cube (“Got run over by a crappy purple Scion”). It’s silly but fun, especially when the big chorus hits. Train performed it last night with a full brass and plenty of flare, and Pat Monhan stayed cool and confident, even while he sang things like, “She’ll think I’m Superman, not super minivan.” Recently heartbroken? You might want to take notes.
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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Train Does A Dancing With The Stars “Drive By,” While We Say A Fond Goodbye To Gavin DeGraw

Well, as some slightly pessimistic fellow once pointed out, all good things must come to an end. After a stellar five-week run on Dancing With The Stars, VH1 BFF Gavin DeGraw and his dance partner Karina Smirnoff got sent home on last night’s Dancing With The Stars elimination episode. Gavin and Karina’s samba routine on Tuesday night’s episode was not well-received by the judges, but the two made a valiant effort to win the audience and the judges over last night by performing the Cha Cha during the Dance Duel portion of the evening, which saw them squaring off against Urkel and Kym Johnson. Unfortunately for Gavin and Karina, the judges chose in favor of Urkel, sending Gavin packing. It was a great run for Gavin, and with a slew of concert dates supporting his new album Sweeter on the docket, we’re pretty sure he’ll get over this temporary disappointment in no time.

It wasn’t all sad news on DWTS last night, though. Train, whose new album California 37 is in stores now, performed their new hit single “Drive By” on the show last night. The video for “Drive By” is currently #2 on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, so maybe this will give the song the boost it needs to top Katy Perry on the charts. Watch Train perform “Drive By” below, and be sure to tune-in to VH1 this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to see where Train places this week!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Train Does A “Drive By” On Letterman

It seems like only yesterday that we were sitting alongside our friends from Train down in Austin, asking them whether or not “Hey Soul Sister” is really about BJs. My, how time flies! Last night, they performed just a few blocks up the street from our Times Square headquarters at the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to The Late Show With David Letterman. The band performed their new single, “Drive By”, off their forthcoming California 37 LP. It’s arguably the danciest number in Train’s repertoire, and the guys brought the requisite energy to the stage that you’ve come to expect from them. However, we didn’t see any 2-ply Hefty bags with them up there on stage, so we’re guessing that particular lyric from “Drive By” is largely metaphorical in nature.

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

Train, The Shins, Fun. And Other Acts Come Out In Support Of Spotify (VIDEO)

While there seems to be near-universal consensus about the benefits of Spotify from a consumer-perspective, the same cannot be said for the artists whose work actually appears on streaming services. There are varied reports as to how much money musical acts actually make from services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio —one widely circulated report last summer claimed that Lady Gaga only made $167 after her song “Poker Face” was spun one million times on Spotify— and some acts like The Black Keys have been very vocal about the reasons they have NOT chosen to make their music available there (“For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.”)

This hot button issue was on the top of everyone’s mind at this year’s SXSW Festival, where the worlds of technology and music collided for a few days earlier this month. Spotify executive Sean Parker explained during a VH1 Rock Docs panel audience that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

But what do the musicians themselves think? We sat down with a number of artists at varying stages of their careers —veteran acts like Train, The Shins, and Keane, as well as relative newcomers like Alabama Shakes, Best Coast, Fun. and Gary Clark Jr.— to get their perspectives on this controversial subject. Find out what they have to say in this exclusive VH1 Tuner video!

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by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2012: Is Train’s Mammoth Smash Hit “Hey Soul Sister” Really About, Um, Oral Sex? We Asked!

Train‘s long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Save Me San Francisco album will be coming out in less than a month. As a means of road testing their new material, and as a way to play live in significantly more intimate venues than this arena band is used to, the guys made their way down to the 2012 SXSW Music Festival last week for a handful of dates. We caught up with the three guys from Train —from left to right, Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Scott Underwood (drums) and Patrick Monahan (lead vocals)— down in Austin and asked them to tell us a bit about their new record, California 37 (which is due out on April 17, 2012).

“California 37 is a road that brought us to one another,” Pat Monahan explained. “This record is more of an expression than it is a ‘Can we come back?’ [kind of thing]. The songs and the stories are just better. They’re more refined. It’s a dance record, but it’s also singer-songwriter at the same time.” After hearing the propulsive and upbeat first single “Drive By”, we’re excited to see how the rest of the album incorporates the dance-y elements that Monahan referred to in our chat with him.

Now, this is where things got a bit awkward in our interview. You see, we’ve always thought that Train‘s gargantuan 2010 hit, “Hey Soul Sister,” is one of the most subversive songs to get mass airplay since “Summer of ’69.” A few years back, Bryan Adams admitted to a shocked Maggie Rodriguez on CBS’s The Early Show that his song was about a sexual position, NOT a year, so we thought we’d try to get Train to do the same thing about “Hey Soul Sister.” Our theory has always been that the song is about a particularly memorable blowjob, our evidence being the line in the song that goes “Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains / I knew I wouldn’t forget you / And so I went and let you blow my mind.” So, is it? See how the band responded in our video below!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Music Seen: Experience What Five Days In Austin Felt Like During The 2012 SXSW Music Festival

SXSW 2012 Music Seen

The 2012 SXSW Music Festival is in the books, y’all. Your friendly neighborhood VH1 Tuner team was down in Austin for five days, but it felt more like a month (in a good way!). By that, we mean that Austin is a very inviting place, the kind of city that is big enough that you don’t get bored by it, but small enough that you get familiar with the layout quickly. In short, by the time we left the city on Sunday afternoon, it sort of felt like home.

If you’ve never been down to Austin —this was actually the first time down there for both myself and our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano— we wanted to give you a vibe of what the city is like during the festival. So, in this special SXSW edition of our long-running Music Seen feature, you’ll get a sense of what we experienced during our short trip to the Lone Star state. You’ll see some of the artists that we spent time with (like B.o.B, T.I., Neon Hitch, Train, Kimbra and more!), the crowds of people who fly in from all over the world to see live music at intimate venues, and how music truly takes over this awesome college town for six days each and every March. Enjoy!

Welcome to SXSW 2012!
Crowd for Fiona Apple, Stubb's BBQ
Flyers Everywhere
Neon Hitch, La Rosa Zona
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by (@kat_george)

Train And Crush Management Will Be Honored At T.J. Martell Foundation’s 13th Annual Family Day

On April 22nd New York’s Roseland Ballroom will host The T.J. Martell Foundation’s 13th Annual Family Day in honor of Train. As well as performing an intimate acoustic set, multiple Grammy Award winning band Train will be acknowledged for their charity work. And there’s even more cause for a Train celebration, as their new album, California 37, will be released on April 17th, mere days before the iconic event. Train front man Pat Monahan said of the occasion, “Train is honored to be part of T.J. Martell’s Family Day. The T.J. Martell Foundation has been doing incredible work in the medical community and we are inspired by their dedication. We hope to make this the best Family Day ever.” Joining Train on the day will be a Cobra Starship, who will put on a special DJ set, and Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande who will also play live. And along with Train, Crush Management (who represent both Train and Cobra Starship) will also be honored. The event will raise money for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research and tickets can be purchased via or by calling Foundation at (646) 841-1394. We suggest you try to get involved — it’s a great opportunity to contribute to a good cause while seeing your favorite musicians perform!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

VH1’s Top 40 Videos Of 2011 [COMPLETE LIST]

What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…

40. Daughtry“Crawling Back To You”
39. Jessie J“Domino”
38. The Civil Wars“Barton Hollow”
37. Demi Lovato“Skyscraper”
36. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals“Paris (Ooh La La)”
35. Britney Spears“Criminal”
34. Nickelback“When We Stand Together”
33. Colbie Caillat – “Brighter Than The Sun”
32. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
31. David Guetta featuring Usher“Without You”

Continue along for the Top 30 videos of 2011!
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