From Mergers to Music

Drew Shoals '05 lays down his law books for a drumming career with the Grammy Award-winning band Train.

I had toured with Pat Monahan [lead singer for Train] for about a year in 2007-2008. They made fun of me when I said I was studying for the LSAT. At that time, Train was on something like a hiatus, but then in 2009 the album Save Me, San Francisco kind of relaunched the band. I was studying for the criminal law exam when I saw they'd won another Grammy. The band parted ways with [longtime drummer] Scott Underwood. Pat initially texted me, saying, "So, are you sick of being a lawyer yet?" Honestly, I think they thought I'd say no.

My parents were really excited. I have the best parents in the world. They've been there for me since I was a kid-drum lessons, all my gigs, coming to the random coffee shops and now bigger venues where I played. I think they think I'm being my truest self when I'm being a musician. They always thought I had the potential to be in one of these kinds of bands.

Train has had, what, 13 top 10 hits throughout the years? There are a lot of songs we play every show. They are different every time we play, and we feed off the way people respond. "Drops of Jupiter" is a beautiful song. It means so much to so many people. Actually, Pat wrote it about his mom when she passed away. So I try to consider the sentiment behind it, and it's exciting to play every night.

Musically, it worked really well right away. Don't get me wrong; it was intimidating. Scott's a great drummer. He'd played on six albums; clearly he'd done something right on the drums. I had to learn his drum parts pretty precisely to play the older songs. Now, I'm adding my own style.

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