Fabulous, fiery front woman …
Jane Train is the fiery front woman of M80, an award-winning party band that delivers high-energy performances revolving around the unforgettable soundtrack of the ‘80s. Born in Queens, N.Y., Train relocated to northeastern Pennsylvania eight years ago and currently lives in the Pittston area where she balances her life between being a professional singer and a landlord. After performing with several acts in the tri-state area that focused primarily on original material, Train joined her first cover band without any expectations. Now with M80’s busy schedule, and many more artistic projects waiting in the works, Train is looking forward to M80’s growth, travel opportunities, as well as shifting her focus back to original music if and when the time becomes available. She has the pipes and she’s not afraid to use them. Meet Jane Train…
Talk about growing up and your exposure to music.
Both of my parents are musicians. My mother graduated from Yale School of Music. She did not pursue music other than teaching piano in the home. I heard piano almost every day as she was teaching students. She told me that as a small child (I wasn’t even speaking), I would get frustrated if the student wasn’t getting the song right and I would come over and play it. My father played trombone professionally with big bands like Benny Goodman, The Dorsey Brothers and Count Basie. My mother is the one who really encouraged me in my music. My mother used to do my homework for me in high school so I could go play clubs. She is an amazing writer. At graduation, my English teacher told me I really needed to pursue writing. I had to break his heart and tell him it was my mother’s writing.
When did you decide to start singing?
I was a teenager and playing clubs very young. I was in my first band when I was 12. A friend asked me to front a band and without thinking, I started doing it and playing keys at the same time, but then the keys starting getting in the way. I lost the keyboard bit and started fronting bands. I was in a band in New Jersey that was very successful called Little Sister and we opened for all of the hair bands. I was a kid opening up for Skid Row and White Lion.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I have an older brother and he introduced me to YES and Aerosmith and some of the classic rock bands. I really used to love singing along to his Kansas albums and Steve Walsh. And also Steve Perry. I would say those are my two main vocal influences. I used to sing along to Heart as much as you can. Also, my mother. My mother used to jam Stevie Wonder on the piano and I would sing along.
Talk about M80.
It is the most interesting band I’ve ever been in or fronted. Most bands start as cover bands and then they go on to do original music. I came from an original circuit and this was the first real cover band that I was ever in. I had already toured with Liz Phair for a while and toured alongside Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and the Dixie Chicks. After that, now I’m in a cover band! I have a lot of fun with it. I feel blessed that I can make a living and support myself. Right now, M80 is my mainstay. This year I’m focusing on my own music when I have time and taking that more seriously. I got caught up in M80 and wasn’t paying attention to my own music. I don’t want to let that go. I have a lot of things to write about and I’ve had a very interesting year to write about.
What are some of the highlights of your musical career?
I was a backup singer for Liz Phair. I was sharing a microphone with Sheryl Crow, Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks. Having Sarah McLachlan the next mic down from me in front of tens of thousands of people, I would say that was a highlight. When I was in high school, I played and sang “Open Arms” and my mother saw me perform for the first time and she cried. That was definitely a highlight.
What is it that you really love about ‘80s music?
I always liked being different. I like that we are not a cookie cutter band that plays all the current hits. I love ’80s music because I grew up with it and it’s just fun. It brings out a side of me that I didn’t even know I had. I didn’t jump around or wear crazy costumes. Now, this band is quirky enough that it licenses me to dance and act crazy. I love the music because a lot of it is just silly. “Girls just wanna have fun.” I love it.
Other than music, what are some of your other interests?
Acting and anything having to do with world travel. Because I really don’t get time off from M80, I’m trying to travel with the band. A few years ago, we performed for the troops in Greenland and I’m booking us to perform for the troops in Cuba and Curacao around Halloween. Some years ago, I was certified for scuba. Before M80 became so active, I would scuba dive around the world. I’ve gone on shark dives in Fiji, swam with a whale shark in Honduras and been to Palau and dove on a WWII Japanese battleship.
What are your plans for the future with M80 as well as other endeavors?
I would like to see us grow more. Right now we are in a transitional period where we are trying to figure out how to not be the same as we have been without turning into a cookie cutter band. I never planned on it taking off the way it did. I would love to see us grow and get stronger.
Do you have any kind of personal motto?
“We walk by faith, not by sight” from 2 Corinthians 5:7. It’s about keeping faith in things and not going by what you see and what you hear.
Visit www.reverbnation.com/M80band for more information on M80, including upcoming shows, song samples and more.