Steel Train is Here

Interview with Steel Train

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

In today’s increasing bland, vocoder-filled music scene, it seems like many bands have moved on, away from their roots to create entirely new and different sounds. Although this new sound can be a wonderful thing, I find reassurance when bands connect more with their roots. Steel Train is one band out there today that has created a contemporary sound that pulls from their classic rock and folk roots to create an entirely unique alternative rock experience. This genre transcending music has created a huge following from different groups of people. Steel Train has dedicated followers whom are psycadelic or classic rock fans, the band has played indie rock staples such as Bonnaroo or South by Southwest, and they’ve toured with alternative greats such as The Starting Line and Something Corporate.

In 2004, the band recorded an EP called the 1969 EP.  This album consisted of cover songs that were originally released in 1969. Bands featured on this album ranged from The Jackson 5 to David Bowie and The Beatles to Bob Marley. When asked about what went in to the decision to record the EP, Steel Train drummer Jon Shiffman explained to me that band picked songs that they felt really influenced them as a whole. He said that, “This is the music we love, so let’s try and play it the best we can, and hopefully people will like it.”

In 2007, the band released Trampoline to overall solid reviews, yet the album did not sell as well as the band had hoped. Jon explained to me that this album focused more on setting up lots of different layers. “On first listen people enjoy it for a certain reason such as a song sounding catchy to them, but on the fourth or fifth listen people hear a new guitar part or specific lyric that makes them think a certain thing.”

This next year brings forth a new album for the now unsigned band. Jon describes this album as “expanding on [Trampoline] with more rock orientation and louder guitars while keeping with the whole, Steel Train, not cookie cutter pop songs. It grabs from a bunch of different genres.” The band plans to go on a headlining tour in the new year and are hoping to play some festivals. I know that I’ve got my fingers crossed for a repeat appearance at Bamboozle Left or a set at Coachella. After seeing them on Sunday night, I know that I’ll be at their next Southern California show, singing along and watching the band rock out.

Check out the band’s myspace to download a free song off their new EP and to get a taste of the upcoming album. Make sure to click the link below to listen to the full audio interview with Jon.

Steel Train Interview