Q&A: Train’s Pat Monahan on Art, ‘Bulletproof Picasso’ and Why He Wants to Play the Bad Guy

By Annie Reuter

Train recently released their seventh studio album, Bulletproof Picasso, and frontman Pat Monahan says it was the hardest one for him to write. It even had him doing something he has never done before with his own music: revise it.

“I rewrote choruses 30 times,” Monahan tells Radio.com. “It was just brutal. I always felt like all these songs were close, but not there. That’s something really hard for someone like me. I would rather just start over.”

Related: Q&A: Train’s Pat Monahan on New Music, ‘Mermaids of Alcatraz’ & the Likelihood of Going Country

Before Monahan boarded a flight to New York, he told Radio.com about Bulletproof Picasso, what art he enjoys and why America still suffers from white privilege.


Radio.com: Tell us about your current single “Angel in Blue Jeans.” 
Pat Monahan: It’s more like a song that’s a dream. In your dream you’re chasing a dangerous woman and then wake up with the girl of your dreams. It was a western [movie] in my brain. Anything that’s positive definitely is a reflection on my wife. She’s a lovely person.

We spoke with you last year and you mentioned “Angel in Blue Jeans,” saying it sounds like it’d be a country song with the title, but it’s not. 
It definitely wasn’t inspired by blue jeans or by country music. My manager was worried about that actually. He brought up, ‘Are you sure she needs to be in blue jeans? That title is going to sound like a country song.’ I said, ‘Yeah I’m pretty sure.’ I don’t really care about titles. I guess if you’re going to judge a song by its title, and if you don’t like country music, it’s a stretch. But I think it’s been on the radio now long enough that people know. It sounds more like a spaghetti western. It sounds like a movie. The video, everybody who has described it said it sounds like Clint Eastwood is going to show up while the song is playing.

You can see that in your video. It seems as if Clint Eastwood is going to show up at any minute. 
I love being a bad guy. Danny Trejo got to be the good guy, which I think was strange for both of us because I’m always the good guy in these videos and he’s always the bad guy in everything. It was really fun.

You’ve written with country songwriters Tom Douglas and Matraca Berg on this album. Is songwriting different in Nashville?
When I go to Nashville it is different than anywhere else, and it’s probably because those people are legends. They’ve written hundreds of incredible songs. “The House That Built Me.” Those are songs that last hundreds of years. Working with people that write those country songs, it’s a crazy privilege to be in a room with them. It brings something out in me that’s higher quality as well. They make everybody bring their A-game.


Read more on Radio.com


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