Pat Monahan, frontman for the GRAMMY-winning pop/rock collective Train, and country singer/songwriter Ashley Monroe recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Monahan and Monroe discussed touring together, their hit collaboration "Bruises" featured on Train's 2012 album, California 37, and Monroe's latest project, Like A Rose, among other topics.
"I really wanted Ashley's voice on ['Bruises'] because I think that we sing well together [and] I love her as a person, "said Monahan. "I figured it would sound right and more authentic if I was really singing it with a friend."
"When I first heard ['Bruises'] … it just stuck in my head instantly," added Monroe. "It's an important song."
Formed in San Francisco in 1994, Train — Monahan, guitarist Jimmy Stafford and drummer Scott Underwood — got their start opening for artists such as GRAMMY winners Hootie And The Blowfish and the Counting Crows before releasing their self-titled debut album in 1998. Their sophomore effort, 2001's Drops Of Jupiter, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and garnered two GRAMMY nominations, including Record Of The Year for the title track. Train followed with Billboard-charting albums such as My Private Nation (2003), For Me, It's You (2006) and Save Me, San Francisco (2009). A live version of "Hey, Soul Sister," a track originally featured on the latter album, earned the group their first GRAMMY to date for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards in 2011. Released in 2012, Train's sixth studio album, California 37, peaked at No. 4 on the strength of hits such as "Drive By," "50 Ways To Say Goodbye" and "Bruises."
Knoxville, Tenn., native Monroe broke onto the music scene penning tracks for artists such as Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert. She released her debut album, Satisfied, in 2007 and subsequently formed the country trio Pistol Annies with Lambert and Angaleena Presley. The group's debut album, 2011's Hell On Heels, and sophomore effort, 2013's Annie Up, both reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200. Produced by GRAMMY winner Vince Gill, Monroe's second studio album, Like A Rose, was released in December 2012 and landed at No. 10 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.
Monroe recently wrapped her stint on Train's Mermaids of Alcatraz tour and will open dates on Hunter Hayes' headlining tour scheduled to kick off on Oct. 10 in Knoxville, Tenn. Train are currently in the midst of a U.S. tour. The band will embark on a cruise, Sail Across The Sun, Feb. 14‒18, 2014.
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