Eight years ago, Daryl Hall and Train frontman Pat Monahan first got to meet when Monahan took part in a studio session on Hall’s popular MTV Live show Live From Daryl’s House in August 2010. The two have kept in touch ever since, with hopes of one day taking their collaborating on the road — and come summer 2018, that desire is finally becoming a reality.
Hall & Oates and Train recently announced a joint summer tour that will hit cities across North America, featuring hour-long, hit-filled sets from the superstar groups, as well as a joint set at the end of the show. It’s an exciting venture for both sides, but particularly Monahan, whom calls Hall one of his legends.
“In 20 years, I wanna be like Daryl Hall and John Oates,” Monahan tells Billboard. “They just go up on stage, do an amazing job, and off stage, they’re just great guys to be around. It’s a scary thing meeting people you admire, [but they’re] totally regular, amazing guys — you hope you can be the same way.”
Just after the tour was announced, Billboard chatted with Monahan and Hall about what the trek means to each of them, reflecting on the still-strong careers their respective groups are commemorating with these joint shows — which, naturally, resulted in a bit of a fanboying session from both singers. Check out the chat and the tour dates below (and get your tickets here).
How did this tour idea come together? Was it sparked from your collaboration on Live From Daryl’s House?
Hall: We were looking around for somebody to tour with, and one of the first people we called was Train and Pat. And he jumped on it right away because he really liked the idea.
Monahan: I asked Daryl, “Do you ever wake up and look in the mirror and go, ‘I’m fucking Daryl Hall, I’ll do whatever I want’? and he said, “No, I don’t really do that, but maybe I should.” [Laughs.]
When it comes to this tour, honestly, if Daryl’s interested in doing something… he’s a legend to me. So we should do what he has a vision for. Unless it sounds ridiculous. And this wasn’t ridiculous, it was an honor. Like, “Really? You wanna let me intrude on this great stuff you’ve done?”
What do you think makes you guys great tour mates?
Hall: We have, I think, a lot of respect for each other’s music. And I just like Pat — he’s a good guy.
Monahan: It was kind of like a mutual admiration society. We’re both from Pennsylvania — I’m from Erie, he’s from Philadelphia. He’s one of my favorite singers, and I think he likes the way I sing, and we just get along really well. We’ve tried to do things for the last five years together, like me joining him on a Daryl’s House tour to other things, and now it’s finally worked out.
I think the best part about Daryl is that we both get the joke. We know that playing in front of an audience, that’s our job, that doesn’t make us the type of people that can take advantage of what we do. We walk off stage and we’re like regular human beings. If you take yourself too seriously, I probably am not gonna wanna hang out.
Hall: It’ll be really fun, and really great musical spirits in general. We kind of want to leave it loose, we don’t want to overthink it.
Do you have a favorite song of each other’s?
Hall: “Hey Soul Sister.” I love that song, that is so unique. I love the simplicity of it. I love Pat’s voice on it. And we do a nice thing together with harmonies on it.
Monahan: It’s gonna be hard to beat “Sara Smile” for me but, you know, I wake up almost every day singing [Sings] “I’m a family man,” so maybe it’s “Family Man.”
Is there a song you’re particularly hoping you’ll perform together?
Monahan: There’s a song called “Stay With Me” that we did on Daryl’s House that I hope we get to do live every night, because I think it was a lot of Train fan’s highlights of the Daryl’s House episode. Daryl wrote [Sings], “Everytime you go away,” and Paul Young recorded it. If I could perform those two songs with those guys, I would be so psyched.
Pat, didn’t you say something on Daryl’s House about how you don’t think you could sing “Sara Smile”?
Monahan: That’s one of those songs that — you know how someone does a version of a song, and someone else lies and says, “That’s better than the original!” No, it’s not, man. There’s never going to be a better than the original of “Sara Smile,” so that’s the song I’d like to not have to sing. As a fan, I don’t really want some other guy singing that song. The selfish part of me would be like, “Yeah, bro, let me take a stab at it!” But the fan in me would be like, “Please don’t.” [Laughs.]
You guys both have plenty of hits in your respective catalogs – are there any you’re sick of singing?
Monahan: Well, you know, when you’re a teenage kid who goes to a bunch of concerts and dreams that someone someday will be singing along to something you do, I don’t know how that gets old. I know people that don’t play their hits, but I don’t go to their shows. It’s not really about me anymore. There’s a moment where you’re like, “This is about me and everything inside of me, and I just want people to understand,” and then when they do and sing it louder than you do, you’re like, “That’s your song now. I did my thing, and now it’s your turn to do your thing.”
Hall: They all mean something to me. Everyone wants to hear the hits, because they’re the ones that move the most people. I get excited about the act of singing — I like to get out there and open my mouth and let whatever it is that’s in my head come out spontaneously. That’s a great joy to me, and that’s why I do what I do.
Pat, did Hall & Oates have an influence on Train in the beginning of the band?
Monahan: That Philadelphia soul is a big part of what I love. I think maybe Daryl created blue-eyed soul — that was very influential. Songs like “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile” were early influences.
Basically, my band was almost obsolete before “Hey Soul Sister.” And those guys had a similar run where they didn’t go away, but the ‘80s were a second life for them, and they had 14 No. 1 songs or whatever. So that was very influential as well.
Daryl, have you and John had a chance to sit back and soak in the legacy you guys have created over the last 40 years and the impact you’ve had on bands like Train?
Hall: I’m too busy creating. I’m not reflecting about myself, I’m just in it. And I’m still as in it as I ever was, and will continue for forever, really. I’m not gonna sit back and say, ‘Oh, look at what I did.’
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud. I’m extremely proud of it, and I’m respectful to people who’ve followed me and attempted to understand what I’ve been trying to say to them, and what I’ve been trying to sing to them. It’s a great joy in my life.
Anything else you’re particularly excited about with this tour?
Hall: It’s gonna be fantastic. I know Train and Pat, and I know his music and how well it’s gonna fit with us. I’m excited to sing on stage with him, and we’re gonna have a good time.
Monahan: I have a lot of friends, even fans who have my email address and stuff — they’re already buying suites and having 100-people parties that night. I’m tempted to just skip the show that night and go get all wined up and watch Hall & Oates with my friends. [Laughs.] I’m looking forward to all of it.
Hall & Oates and Train Summer Tour
5/1 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 – Center
5/4 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
5/6 – Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
5/8 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
5/10 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
5/12 – St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
5/16 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
5/18 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
5/20 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
5/22 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
5/24 – Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
5/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ HoagieNation Festival
6/5 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
6/7 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
6/9 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
6/11 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
6/14 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
6/18 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
6/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Center
6/22 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
6/24 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
6/26 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
6/28 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
6/30 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
7/13 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
7/15 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
7/18 – Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center
7/20 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
7/22 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
7/24 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
7/26 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
7/28 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
7/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
8/4 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
8/7 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
8/9 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
8/11 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena