Drive By

Album: California 37 (2012)
Charted: 6 10


  • The "drive by" in this song is a one-night stand. It finds Train frontman Pat Monahan doing his best to convince a girl that their encounter is not just a "drive by," but the beginning of a lasting relationship. Speaking with Digital Spy, he explained that it's about meeting his wife, Amber, whom he married in 2007.

    "I really did not expect I was going to fall in love with her that day," he said. "I said I'm never going to move to Washington where you live and I'm never going to have kids or get married, just so you know. So we've been married five years, we live in Washington and we have two children and that whole threat worked out great."
  • "Drive By" was the first single from Train's sixth studio album, California 37. Their previous album, Save Me San Francisco in 2009, came after some down years that were tough both professionally and personally, especially for Monahan, who went through a divorce around 2005. To get their mojo back, they brought in hit songwriters and top producers, resulting in the inescapable hit "Hey Soul Sister." That one was a collaboration with Espionage, the Norwegian songwriting and production duo of Espen Lind and Amund Bjorklund. This same team worked on "Drive By," producing the song and co-writing it with Monahan.
  • Train started performing this song during their 2011 Summer tour. It wasn't released until it was made available on iTunes January 10, 2012, a week after they played the halftime show at the 2012 Orange Bowl in Miami.
  • Pat Monahan called on some imagery from his youth for the line, "Just a shy guy looking for a two-ply Hefty bag to hold my love." Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, he worked at a restaurant where he and his friends would steal beer by putting it in Hefty garbage bags and retrieving it from the trash after hours.

    At parties when they drank that beer, he could be reserved. At one of them, someone came up to him and greeted him warmly as "shy guy," which he appreciated.

    Monahan says Hefty sent him free garbage bags after the song came out.
  • Train's singles tend to gradually build momentum, but this song came in hot. It debuted at #60 on the Hot 100 and was quickly added to playlists across various formats. Speaking with Billboard magazine, Monahan said: "We're not used to that kind of thing. Usually Train is a very slow build. 'Hey Soul Sister' and 'Drops Of Jupiter,' 'Calling All Angels,' everything took a long time to manifest into hit songs."
  • Directed by Alan Ferguson, the video finds Monahan wooing a tour guide, played by Linda Taylor, at a Napa Valley winery. It debuted on Valentine's Day 2012.

    Train has a thing for wine: They launched the Save Me San Francisco Wine Company in 2011.
  • The song featured on "The Package" episode of Hawaii Five-0, January 16, 2012.
  • Train sang a kid-friendly version called "Five By" on Sesame Street in 2012 as part of a counting lesson with Elmo and Count von Count.
  • Taylor Swift is a big fan of this song, especially one of its lyrics. Pat Monahan recalled to how the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer ran up to him at a CMT awards show and told him, "I can't believe I didn't think of 'Oh I swear to you, I'll be there for you.'"
  • Pat Monahan wrote the song during Train's 2011 tour of Australia.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The Devil

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The DevilSong Writing

Just how much did these monsters of rock dabble in the occult?

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Glen Burtnik

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Art Alexakis of Everclear

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.