Train to pull into zoo for showWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Most drummers live for a solo during a concert. But Scott Underwood doesn’t even need his sticks for some time in the spotlight.
The Train drummer has been marrying couples on stage during the group’s tour this summer.
“We wrote the song ‘Marry Me,’ ” he said. “People were writing in saying, ‘Can I please propose at your show?’ And people were getting on stage and proposing. Or sometimes people would propose right in the audience, and we would just hear this uproar like back in the audience somewhere and you’d see a guy on his knees.”
Train’s manager suggested one of the band members become an ordained minister. Underwood got online with the Universal Life Church.
“It’s a really cool experience to be marrying people and to have such a pivotal role in their relationship,” he said. “I know it’s a pretty heavy role; if I look at it and think about it too much, I will get nervous, but I just am enjoying it.
“I was having actually too much fun when we first did it, and I’m jumping around the stage to get the audience going. And my singer, Pat [Monahan], was like, ‘Dude, you got to chill; this is like their moment, not your moment,’ ” Underwood said and laughed.
The Grammy award-winning group known for “Meet Virginia” and “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” definitely is having fun since taking a break from 2006-09.
“We were not getting along as a band or enjoying what we were doing,” Underwood said during a call from a tour stop in St. Louis. “I think we were just disenchanted with the whole thing and also took everything for granted. We just decided to take a break instead of just continue to be unhappy.
“During that break, we just realized, No. 1 that what we have in Train is very rare and precious, and it’s something that we’re really lucky to have. It’s a gift that was given to us, and we should appreciate it and respect it and treat it well.”
Underwood, Monahan and guitarist Jimmy Stafford also realized they wanted to write more up-tempo music.
And they did. “Hey, Soul Sister” from 2009’s “Save Me, San Francisco” topped the charts in 15 countries and was the biggest selling single of 2010.
“We want to make people dance,” Underwood said. “We come from the era of, like, grunge rock and indie rock and stuff back in the mid to late ’90s, so when we were first writing songs, it wasn’t about dancing; it was about being bummed out and nobody loves me and I’m misunderstood and all that stuff.
“We were those guys for sure, but we’ve evolved with the rest of the world into, like, let’s party and have fun. That’s the era we’re in, and it’s nice to write music that contributes to that — I want to be cheered up at shows.”
The band from the city by the bay continues to crank out good times on its sixth disc, “California 37,” which includes the hits “Drive By” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” which features David Hasselhoff in the video.
“David Hasselhoff is hilarious,” Underwood said. “He’s funny just being in a video; seeing him now is funny.”
Train will pull in for a 7 p.m. concert Aug. 14 at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. Andy Grammer and Mat Kearney will open. Tickets range from $39.50 to $65.