Train at Tanglewood tonight: Something new, something familiar


LENOX -- Train's summer tour so far has been just a little bit different, according to Train guitarist Jim Stafford.

"Usually, we don't tour until our latest album is out," he said in a recent phone interview. "But this year, we're can't do that, because [the album] won't be released until next month.

"It's a shame," he continued. "Because we're dying to play the new material, but people aren't familiar with it yet."

But Train fans who come to Tanglewood tonight (Aug. 29) at 7 p.m. hoping for a few new songs need not fret too much, said Stafford. The first single from the record, "Angel in Blue Jeans," has been released. In addition, a few more tracks have been released for download.

The entire album, "Bulletproof Picasso," is slated to be released in the U.S. on Sept. 16 in digital download, CD and vinyl by Columbia Records.

This is Train's seventh studio album, and it is the first disc undertaken without founding member Scott Underwood, who has drummed for the band for two decades. He has been replaced by drummer Drew Shoals.

"Well, this is something we've been expecting for a few years," said Stafford on Underwood's departure. "There was a bit of, I don't want to say discomfort, but maybe staleness is the right word.

"I think it's similar to a marriage where both sides feel uncomfortable," he said. "It's nobody's fault, really. You just have to move on.

"But for the rest of the band, it's a little bittersweet," he said. "Scott's been with us for 20 years. That's a big deal."

Shoals, he said, "is awesome. Drew played with [lead singer] Pat [Monahan] in about 2006 when Pat was doing a solo thing. And when we knew Scott was leaving, Pat called Drew up to fill in.

"The funny thing about that," said Stafford, "was that Drew had sort of given up on music, He went back to law school, got his degree and had become a lawyer. But he jumped at the chance to play for us. We tell him all the time that's he's the only guy in the band who has something to fall back on if this all goes south."

Train, said Stafford is looking forward to being back at Tanglewood.

"It's an amazing place," he said. "It's got kind of a picnic atmosphere that we all really enjoy. We play outdoor amphitheaters all the time, and most of them have this rock and roll feel. But Tanglewood, man, it's so great to get here and spend the afternoon here. It's such a chill vibe."

To reach Derek Gentile:,
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile


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