Steel Train Biography
The band soon signed to Drive Thru Records/MCA and flew to Los Angeles to record with Jon Naclerio at Hans Zimmer's Media Ventures Studios. The outcome of this session was the band's first EP, 2003's "For You My Dear.".
After months of touring, the band moved to San Francisco to record their first full-length record with Steven Barncard (The Grateful Dead, CSNY, Joe Cocker). Released on April 19, 2005, "Twilight Tales From The Prairies on the Sun" features appearances by famed mandolinist David Grisman (The Grateful Dead), as well as pedal steel guitarist Gene Parsons (Flying Burrito Brother/Byrds).
In 2005 the band toured heavily and was also the beginning of Steel Train's festival career. They played a midnight set on the first day of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, as well as the Wakarusa Festival, Warped Tour, SXSW, and another appearance at Bonnaroo in 2006.
After two years straight on the road, original members Matt Goldman, Matthias Gruber left the band to pursue other careers.
At this point, Antonoff and Winiker moved to Silverlake, CA to record the band's second full-length album, "Trampoline" with Marc Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Rilo Kiley). After recording, the band once again embarked on the road, this time recruiting three new members: Jon Shiffman, Justin Huey, and Daniel Silbert, who up to that point had been the band's tour manager.
"Trampoline," released in October 2007, debuted at No. 10 on Billboard's Heatseaker Chart. In support of the album, Steel Train toured with Ace Enders and A Million Different People, Socratic, Kevin Devine, The Starting Line, Paper Rival, Bayside, and Forgive Durden, among other bands. They also played prominent spots at the Lollapalooza Festival as well as their third appearance at Bonnaroo.
In the summer of 2008 the band would make their national television debut on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Following the Late Night with Conan O'Brien performance and a tour with The Hush Sound, the band headed back into the studio, this time to record their third full-length album with producer Steve McDonald[disambiguation needed] (Be Your Own Pet, Fun). It was at this time that the band's relationship with their label, Drive Thru Records, fell apart. Steel Train decided to buy off the label and fund their record themselves.
Once again the band hit the road, touring with Tegan and Sara, Ben Folds, and Fun, as well as playing 2010's Coachella Music Festival and making their 2nd appearance on National TV on the Late Show with David Letterman.
The band released their 3rd full length "Steel Train" on June 29, 2010. The record debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Heatseakers Chart, No. 4 on the New Artists Chart and within the top 50 on the independent albums chart.
Shortly after the release of the self-titled album, the band released a companion album of their songs covered by female artists, including Scarlett Johansson, Tegan and Sara, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Doll's, Deradorian of The Dirty Projectors, Anna Waronker of That Dog, Charlotte Caffey of The Go Go's, Holly Miranda, Rachel Antonoff, as well as many others.
The band hit the road once again with appearances at Yo Gabba Gabba, the hit children's show, as well as tours with O.A.R., Fun and the Get Up Kids.
On November 1, 2010 the band was the first musical guest on Conan O'Briens new show, Conan, in a joke episode titled "Show Zero". The band, along with actor Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) performed one chord off their new record, "Steel Train," in a short version of the show.
In early 2011 the band performed on NPR's World Cafe with David Dye as well as NPR's Free at Noon.
On January 11, the band returned to Conan O'Brien's Conan, performing their single "Bullet.