Steel Train

Steel Train Biography

Lost in the music, they were surprised to look up and find that a small crowd had gathered on the A train platform. People of all walks had paused in their daily grind to take in the music, people who had absolutely nothing in common except the fact that each seemed to be moved in their own way by the music. "It was incredible to see that something we had created could actually affect people like that," Jack recounts, "but what really affected us was that a homeless man who had been standing nearby approached us and gave us a dollar from his cup. It was amazing and bizarre and unforgettable, definitely one of those crazy experiences that only happens in New York."

Early in 2000, Jack was busy writing songs that he would play on the commons of his high school, and while Scott was making his career as a singer. The two of them met and started playing together. Steel Train was born. Raised in Harlem, Scott Irby-Rannier had been singing professionally since the age of two, and had more recently played "Young Simba" in the original Broadway production of Disney's "The Lion King." Jack, who grew up in New Jersey, names his biggest influences as Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, and what he calls "the greatest band of all time", The Beatles. His eclectic taste in music is as evident in his songwriting as Scott's is in his singing. Jack's laid-back, soulful songs are easy on the ears, and when combined with Scott's rich, melodic tone, the product is something truly unique. The two quickly became friends and practiced whenever they could. They laid down a few tracks at a friend's studio, and before long, record labels were talking about this duo. "It was the obvious choice. Drive-Thru was the only label that told us if we were making the music we loved, they would put out our records. They stand for everything in music that we do." Evan Winiker, a childhood friend of Jack's, then joined the band. Evan, a skilled bassist, brought a real sense of completion to the project. The three complemented each other perfectly. They were finally a band.

"Each of us has something different to bring to the table," Evan says. "Jack envisions a melody, and then Scott makes it his own with his voice, and by the time we have added all of the music, it sounds nothing like it did in the beginning. It's a constantly evolving process." Scott's feeling about the band is simple. "Three people coming together, each doing what they love more than anything else in the world, is just an amazing thing." This sentiment perfectly categorizes everything that the boys in Steel Train stand for, that is, a genuine love of music. "I think it all really comes down to your definition of success," says singer Jack Antonoff. "If success to you equals magazine covers then you may be searching for a long time. We are really lucky in that we're just three guys who love to play music."

The band has managed to produce a collection of beautiful, poignant melodies that will stick in your head and stir your soul. The effect of Steel Train's music is as complex as it is innocent. This past summer, Steel Train had the honor of adding to the wide range of sounds on the Vans' "Warped Tour," kick starting their live performance career.

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