ION INDIE MAGAZINE December 2014, Volume 7 - Page 63

By Mark Uricheck Chances are, if you’re composing music as early as elementary school, there’s a great likelihood that such skill, and the artistry that usually accompanies it, will serve you into adulthood. Such is the case with vocalist, songwriter, and tour-de-force performer JANE TRAIN. The Queens, NY-born, current Northeast Pennsylvania resident, who cut her teeth musically growing up in the clubs of Northern New Jersey/New York, remembers the first time she put pen to paper with the intention of crafting a melody: “I was about ten years old, and a friend and I were just hanging out, and we wrote a song together,” she recalls. “After that, though, I wouldn’t create my own songs for another nine years or so.” Train’s musical evolution and to-and-fro journeys into the great unknown of the entertainment business makes for an interesting story, as these rather innocent beginnings would lead to a myriad of opportunities–from recording with ex-RAINBOW vocalist JOE LYNN TURNER, to backing LIZ PHAIR on a “Lilith Fair” tour, to acting on television programs like “Sex and the City” and “30 Rock”. Her latest, and perhaps most important artistic statement, can be found on her newly released debut solo album, “Diary.” The album is a monster, in more ways than one. We’ll get to that in a bit, as we continue to delve into the background of the Jane Train timeline. “I really considered myself a keyboard player until I was about 18,” she continues in an exclusive interview with ION Indie Magazine. The powerhouse vocalist now synonymous with club-filling cover acts like her current top-draw, M80, never thought she had what it took to take her voice to the next level. “I really didn’t think I had any special talent in that area,” she amazingly admits. “So, between the ages of 10 and 19 I played keyboards in a Led Zeppelin tribute band. I actually also played keyboards around that time in a Yes tribute band. So I really just thought of myself as a keyboard player.” It wasn’t long after this period that Train was “discovered,” in a sense, by ex-BADLANDS/BLACK SABBATH vocalist RAY GILLEN. It turns out that Gillen would stoke Train’s confidence into pursuing her vocal abilities, transforming her into the performer she is today. “He was only in a cover band at the time,” Train recalls of the career-inspiring moment. “Our bands used to play the same circuit in New Jersey, and we were just riding in a car together--another girl and I were singing in the backseat. He just turned around, and when I opened my eyes, he was looking at me smiling. He said, ‘You know, you’ve got a really great voice!’ I was like ‘Oh my god, RAY just said this to me?’ (laughs).” Building upon from this epiphany, a friend of Train’s had asked her to front a cover band, so she was, for a time, playing keys as well as singing. Not long after, Train, the woman who lists her biggest vocal inspirations as JOURNEY’S STEVE PERRY and KANSAS’ STEVE WALSH, would form her own original band, then moving on to her second—LITTLE SISTER--who actually opened for Hard Rock acts like SKID ROW. The wheels were now in an unstoppable motion for her as a front woman. “After that, I didn’t touch keys,” she says. “I was like, ‘This is great, now I don’t have to carry anything (laughs).’” Train mentions the band Little Sister as a particularly important stepping stone in her career--fronting that band giving her the motivation that perhaps, success was within reach. “We became pretty well-known in the area,” she remembers. “Opening up for people that were more successful at the time sort of gave me hope that I was just at the door. The reason that I know a lot of successful people is that I feel I belong there. I don’t mean that in an egotistical