Podcast Transcript

Speaker 1: Takin a Walk.

Pat Monahan: I came home from preschool. I remember I was probably five, it was before kindergarten, and my dad was standing in the living room listening to jazz.

Pat Monahan: He probably had a cocktail.

Pat: The song Take five came on and he said, see if you can keep a beat, because it goes boo up up boom, dun dun dap d d dun dun’t and it flips because it’s like in four, it’s like in six seven or something, so it goes boom. And I was able to do it, and he almost got pissed off because I wasn’t supposed to be able to do it, you know, because it was an intricate beat, and I kept it and that meant something to me.

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Takin a Walk Podcast, the podcast where Buzz Knight walks in person and virtually down memory lane with musicians and insiders who love talking music. Today, Buzz talks with the lead singer of the Grammy winning band Train, Pat Monahan, known for amazing songs like Drops of Jupiter, Hey, Soul, Sister, Calling All Angels, and so many more. Train will be on the road this summer with Rio Speedwagon. Pat talks about that and much more on this episode of Takin a Walk with Buzz Knight.

Pat: So I’m going to go on and on for a second.

Speaker 1: Here pat a new.

Buzz: Summer road Trip twenty twenty four tour with Train and Rio Speedwagon coming to a city near you. Two Diamond selling bands, fifty million albums sold worldwide, thirty two songs on Billboard’s Hot one hundred, twenty eight albums on Billboard’s two hundred album charts between the bands, and the kickoff is going to be in July this summerset Amphitheater. You’re gonna be here in Chicago, Toronto, New York, Houston, San Francisco, La. Tell me what does it mean to you to be out in the road with Reo Speedwagon.

Pat: Well, you know, I’ve I’ve been listening to those songs since I was a kid. And then I got to meet Kevin at a charity event with Sammy Hagar and we hit it off really well, because, you know, he’s a Midwest guy and I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and we’re kind of no nonsense guys that like comedy and music and family, and so when this came up, it sounded like a pretty fun tour to do. That was not typical for either band. Usually they’re out with bands like Sticks and you know, def Leppard, and you know, bands that are a little closer to their era, and we’re usually with bands or artists that are closer to ours. And I think this combination was going to be a lot of fun, and it’s going to be a night with a lot of familiar music. And our friends’ yacht Rock Review are also on tour with us, so they’ll be starting the evening and they are an incredible band that plays yacht rock, which is exactly what people.

Pat Monahan: Are going to be wanting.

Pat: And it’s just going to be a great night for families and whoever comes.

Buzz: I think there’s going to be a lot of smiling, I’m guessing, and a lot of people singing along.

Pat Monahan: Don’t you think I would think so? If not, I’ll be pretty pissed off. I don’t care.

Buzz: Yeah, well, I know other band influences that conversation would lead to the band Journey. I know you had the Rock Hall of Fame experience with Journey. Talk about what Journey means to you as a fan.

Pat: Yeah, well, you know, Train came from San Francisco, and so did Journey. I feel like We have a lot of similarities in.

Pat Monahan: The way we.

Pat: You know, the songwriting and the hope filled lyrics, and also you know, maybe not the critical acclaim that you know was was not a part of Train nor journeys past. I think we were overlooked in many ways and in critics’ eyes, and that’s fine and fair and whatever, because as long as you have fans, then I think the rest of it is, you know, doesn’t really matter. And so to be able to induct them into the Hall of Fame meant a lot to me as a fan of theirs, but also as someone kind of living in their shoes, which is lovely because I would rather I’d rather be loved by p people that actually want to buy music and come to shows and participate in your life.

Buzz: And then I know of the great influence of led Zeppelin because of Train and led Zeppelin two.

Speaker 1: What’s your favorite?

Buzz: First of all on led Zeppelin two?

Pat: You know, my son is twelve and he does a program called School of Rock, which is like it’s all over the country, I think the world actually, and it’s just kids that learn instruments and then they graduate to the next phase and every year they get with more developed musicians and bands keep getting more intricate and better. And now he’s twelve, and he’s in sixth grade and singing in bands with twelfth graders because he’s really advanced in his ability to sing. And his current school of rock band is led Zeppelin, and he got Stare to Heaven and Over the Hills and Far Away and the Immigrant Song and several others and the one song that he had two or in two weeks he has to audition for because so many other people want to sing it is Going to California, which really inspired me to leave Erie, Pennsylvania and move to San Francisco.

Speaker 1: Uh.

Pat: And it’s so funny that I was a kid when led uppln was out and now he’s a kid and leeds up and is not an entity anymore, and it still influences people. Uh.

Pat Monahan: And I really didn’t have much to do with it.

Pat: Like I, he found it on his own and loves it as much as he does LEDs.

Pat Monahan: Up on two.

Pat: The album in itself is incredible. I think, you know, it’s hard to say what the you know, my favorite song on the album is There’s It’s an incredible album. Ramble on We’ve done for so many years. You know, Heartbreaker. I mean there’s there’s a you know, the list is deep of greatness.

Buzz: There’s not a clunker, not a clunker, you know. I as we’re wearing both headphones for this for this interview. I remember the first set of headphones that my parents got listening to you know, albums in the collection so I didn’t have to bother them. And yeah, that first time listening to what is and what should never be when it went back and forth inside the headphones, Oh my god. Yeah, that was a mind blower.

Pat Monahan: Yeah, so cool. When you think of.

Buzz: Robert Plant’s evolution and what he’s up to now with Alison Krauss, what’s your take on his ability to reinvent and how did you yourself think about constantly reinventing.

Pat Monahan: He’s, uh, you know, such a special artist that.

Pat: He was so incredible at what he was doing with led Zeppelin, and afterwards I think he had had enough success after his friend John Bonham passed away that he wanted to move away from it because it, uh, it didn’t make sense to his heart.

Pat Monahan: And you know, even though two of the other.

Pat: Guys were alive, it wasn’t the same without you know, the magic of John’s drumming, and then he you know, started the Honeydrippers and and you know, he’s such a big Elvis fan that he just you know, it’s sounded more inspired by Elvis than the blues records that they were making as led Zeppelin.

Pat Monahan: And you know, then he.

Pat: Moved into more Americana, which is interesting because he’s British, so he’s he’s just a smart artist to fall is what he wants and feels and things come naturally that way, and he does well.

Pat Monahan: So he’s smart.

Pat: And I think on some level, if I just do what I want and what feels right, then I will follow the same footsteps as Robert in success, because even if nobody likes it, I’ll be successful.

Buzz: You know, you did a podcast back many years ago before podcasts, where the Rage.

Pat: Yeah, that’s right, the pod podcast.

Buzz: And you did a lot of episodes. One that I particularly enjoyed was the one with Nathaniel Ratelift, And what I love about it is how you were sort of the curator for music discovery for so many of us listening to that podcast. I think that was really what I really appreciated about what you were conveying. What are you discovering musically these days that from other artists that you’d like to share.

Pat: Well, you know, from the last couple of years, I’ve just been pushing a kid that I love called King George, and it’s funny I just saw on Instagram yesterday because I didn’t know who was aware of him, but Snoop Dogg went to see him, which made me happy because Snoop Dogg can influence people and get them to know new music. And so he’s a kid that I’ve been following for a while that I really love. But I mean now I play new music on Sirius XM and a lot of these kids end up being pretty big, you know, Like it’s interesting the way it works. And the pat cast was the reason I started it was because I would go to do these concerts and festivals and no bands would ever talk to each other. And I was like, man, that’s sad.

Pat Monahan: You know.

Pat: It’s like we’re on this journey together performing for these same people and no one talks because you’re either too cool or you’re shy. And so I thought if I had a podcast, it would give me a reason to introduce myself. And I did it for a couple of years and it was a burnout because I ended up spending more time trying to get guests and keep episodes current. Then I was writing songs and that was that was where the problem began, because that’s not my job really, and so I haven’t done it in a while. I missed doing it sometimes. But but yeah, man, podcasts really blew up.

Buzz: Huh you were ahead of the curve.

Pat: Yeah, but nobody was listening, so it wasn’t ahead of too much of a curve.

Buzz: Talk about that first moment that you knew you would be hooked on music for your life as a career.

Pat: There were there were two moments that I remember, well, there were many, but uh, one was I was I came home from preschool. I remember I was probably five, it was before kindergarten, and my dad was standing in the living room listening to jazz. He probably had a cocktail, and uh, the song Take five came on and he said, see if you can keep a beat, because it goes boot up up doom dunt dun dap d d dun d and it flips because it’s like in four, it’s like in six seven or something, so it goes bund up dun d and I was able to do it, and he almost got pissed off because I wasn’t supposed to be able to do it, you know, because it was an intricate beat and I kept it and that meant something to me. And then my siblings turned me on to, you know, things like the Beatles. I was never really a big Beatles guy, but I was. I can always appreciate the incredible songwriting that they did, and Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s and you know all they’re all So that was something. But then when I discovered Led, when I discovered Michael Jackson, that was big. But the record that meant the most to me as a kid was Breakfast in America. I remember I was probably in like third grade, and I would I had a cassette and I would fall asleep listening to it, and I couldn’t believe that human beings were able to make something sound as beautiful as this album. And so that meant a lot to me, that album. So that that wash, Those are the moments as a kid.

Buzz: Can you talk about your process of writing songs, how it unfolds, how maybe that process has changed for you, if at all, over the years.

Pat Monahan: Yeah, it’s changed a lot, you know.

Pat: I think COVID, the lockdown and having to learn technology better really shifted it for me because I would just usually fly to Los Angeles or Nashville or New York and write songs, and now I just do it over zoom with you know, the two guys in my band, Matt and Jerry, and or I write myself, you know, and so I just it’s just shifted for me. It doesn’t it’s not. It’s not like it used to be. I don’t travel as much to write.

Pat Monahan: I have my group that I work with, and it seems to be going well.

Buzz: Feelings on artificial intelligence in and around music.

Pat: I don’t have thoughts yet, you know, like.

Pat Monahan: I’m sure that.

Pat: I mean, you know, times have changed so much since I started, and I’ve never really complained about it, like I you know, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s best for people. I don’t know if artificial intelligence will end up taking the only thing I worry about is that young people won’t be inspired to become artists because there’s no finance in it for them, and that’s a loss for humanity. So as long as that doesn’t happen, then what do I care, But if it prevents kids from wanting to become artists like my twelve year old son, then it’s a shame. So until then, I don’t really have a thought.

Buzz: So a musician is listening that’s just starting out, trying to break in, give them a piece of advice that you think would mean something.

Pat Monahan: You know. I’m not really one for advice.

Pat: My dad would always say, why don’t you keep your precious advice and write me a check. But I do have one thought, and that is try to be your authentic self, being something that you’re not inherently, and then trying to keep up with that is going to be exhausting and it’s flawed because it’s not who you are. And so I think people will listen to you and want to be a part of what you’re creating because it’s you, and take a chance, you know, take a chance on being you.

Pat Monahan: That’s all I got in closing.

Buzz: Anybody that you haven’t collaborated with that you’d like to collaborate with in the future.

Pat: There are a lot of people like King George I’d love to write with, and I love Jay Cole. I listened to a lot of hip hop and so all these guys like, they’re so talented, and I would just like to work with a whole bunch of hip hop guys and girls, and you know there are a lot of people.

Buzz: One of the most talented guys and one of the nicest guys, Pat Monahan, thanks for being on this virtual edition of the Taking a Walk Podcast, and good luck on the summer road trip with REO Speedwagon. I know it’s going to be a blast great.

Pat Monahan: I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully I’ll see out there. Thanks.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Takin a Walk Podcast. Share this and other episodes with your friends and follow us so you never miss an episode. Taking a Walk is available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts.

About The Author

Buzz Knight

Buzz Knight is an established media executive with a long history of content creation and multi-platform distribution.

After a successful career as a Radio Executive, he formed Buzz Knight Media which focuses on strategic guidance and the development of new original content.