For an innocuous Disney sitcom about a fictional teen Pop idol, Hannah Montana was certainly responsible for a lot of real music. Miley Cyrus’ Pop career obviously took a stratospheric turn as a result of her starring role, and co-stars Emily Osment and Mitchel Musso released well-regarded albums during the show’s four-season run.
But Hannah Montana was also tangentially responsible for Metro Station, an energetic Pop/Rock outfit that hit enviable heights in spite of significant internal tensions. During Hannah Montana’s first season, Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso, brothers of the show’s co-stars, met on set and formed Metro Station based on their mutual musical interests.
The pair added Synthetic Joy keyboardist/bassist Blake Healy and recorded the song “Seventeen Forever,” which earned them the top slot on MySpace’s Unsigned Band chart. After bringing in drummer Anthony Improgo, the band was discovered by a Columbia Records intern and signed to the label. Metro Station was subsequently hailed by Alternative Press in 2007 as one of the “22 Best Underground Bands (That Likely Won’t Stay Underground Long).”
Metro Station’s eponymous 2007 debut took nearly a year to hit big. Although the album sold steadily, the first two singles failed to chart. But the release of “Shake It” six months later propelled the band to international fame. “Shake It” eventually notched double platinum sales figures, hitting the Top 10 in the U.S. and eight other countries. After contributing “Where’s My Angel” to the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack and touring with Fall Out Boy, the band began recording its follow-up, but friction between Cyrus and Musso led to a hiatus as each explored solo options.
Musso retained the Metro Station name, releasing new songs in 2011 and a five-song EP, Middle of the Night, in 2013. After dabbling with a solo project called Ashland High, Cyrus returned to Metro Station last year. He and Musso quickly recorded two new tracks, “Love & War” and “She Likes Girls,” and posted YouTube videos for them, which have generated more than 600,000 and 300,000 views, respectively.
Now down to just Cyrus, Musso and touring members, Metro Station is coming back in a big way, launching its own tour this spring and playing every date of the Warped Tour this summer.
METRO STATION plays Newport's Thompson House Thursday. Tickets/more info here .