To highlight Friday night’s show at the Palestra, I was given the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Stafford, the guitarist for the band Train. After a slight echo problem, Jimmy and I were able to have a nice conversation about “Spiderman 2,” the Grammys and golf.Campus Times: So where are you right now?Jimmy Stafford: Right now I’m at home in Las Vegas. We’re on break from touring.CT: Did you tour for the whole summer?JS: We toured for about a year straight for “My Private Nation” and ended it at the end of July. A few dates popped up here and there that we decided to play and Rochester was one of them.CT: After the shows what can we expect to see from Train?JS: You can expect a live album coming Nov.. 3. After that comes out we’re going into the studio to write and record our next studio album that will be released in the spring.CT: I remember hearing “Train” in “Spiderman 2” and other movies – what does it feel like to have your music in a movie?JS: We did that song for “Spiderman 2” – it was more exciting to write and have it get picked for the movie. We’ve been performing it during live shows – people are starting to recognize it. CT: Is there any song that the crowd just goes wild over more than others?JS: That’s gotta be “Drops of Jupiter.” We usually save it for the very end. There’s enough songs out there that people know – different people like different songs. People like to hear “Look to the Sky.” And then there’s “Calling All Angels.” When the fans get excited for a song, it adds a different dimension to the show.CT: Do you have a personal favorite to play?JS: I like them all. I think we’re a good live band. We like to play for new audiences. We look forward to play for people who haven’t heard us before – they’re pleasantly surprised. They walk away saying “Wow, that was more than I expected.” I see guys get dragged to the show by their girlfriend, who leave and say “Wow, they rock!” CT: I have to ask you about something that has kind of been bugging me – on the first two albums there is a guy with a crown. Where is he on “My Private Nation”?JS: After we started the band, it was my idea to have a symbol connected to the band like how the Rolling Stones have the tongue. We put our heads together and came up with a crown. For the first album we found an interesting piece of art with the crown. It became our thing – people showed up at our shows wearing Burger King crowns. By the third album, I guess the guys got tired of it. I’m a little upset about it, but it’s a democracy in the band. I’d like to bring it back on the studio album.CT: You started out independent, right?JS: Yeah, at first. We were denied by Columbia Records, so we made our own album with money from friends and family. We sold them out of a box at shows in San Francisco – we were selling out of them. A year later Columbia came back and re-released the album.CT: Are there any shows that stick out?JS: Performing at the Grammys was pretty amazing. Playing “Drops of Jupiter” on stage looking at the crowd and seeing your heroes – U2 and Bonnie Rait and Celine Dion – singing along. It was kinda wacky.CT: What about group dynamics? How do you all put it together?JS: It’s like a five-way marriage without sex. We read each other’s minds. When someone’s in a bad mood, it brings everyone down.CT: Sounds like a busy schedule – what else do you have planned for today?JS: Well, I’m going to play golf in a little bit.CT: Are you a big golfer?JS: I’m not that good, but I love the game. It keeps me away from the blackjack tables. All the guys golf. During the tour, Pat and Scott would go out golfing a lot. CT: Are you planning on playing any golf in Rochester?JS: It’s a four-day trip – fly out and do four shows in four days then fly to Atlanta. I haven’t thought about it – maybe I will bring my clubs.Train will be playing in the Palestra on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Common Market – $20 for the floor and $18 for the bleachers for students, $27 for the floor and $25 for the bleachers for faculty, graduate students and the general public. Borchardt can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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