Josh Groban Talks New Album, Movie Theater Event
January 31, 2013
By Melissa Ruggieri
Some artists take to the Internet to promote a new release, but Josh Groban is going a bit bigger – like, movie screen big.
The genial pop-classical singer unveils “All That Echoes,” his sixth studio album, on Tuesday, a rich collection of new material and interesting cover songs (“Falling Slowly,” from “Once” and Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe [When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever]” among them). Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and Italian pop singer Laura Pausini also make appearances.
To roll out the release, Groban will host a 90-minute live concert and Q&A session from New York’s Allen Room at 7 p.m. Monday on movie screens nationwide.
He checked in earlier this week from Los Angeles to discuss the new album and the theater special.
Q. Why do this type of an event to roll out the new album?
A. We wanted to do something that gave back to the fans and allowed for as many fans who wanted to come to see something special to do so. It’s not just your two-minute song on a morning TV show. As you get introduced to new ways of promoting and reaching out to fans, it’s always been important for me to do that. This one seemed to be all the things that we wanted– surround sound, great visuals, a live concert atmosphere to reach tens of thousands of people. It seemed like a fun thing we hadn’t done before.
Q. Are you performing live or just fielding questions live?
A. Oh, no, we’ve got the full band. There will be a good combo of new songs and we’ll hit all the favorites and hopefully sing some new favorites. It’s not a passive experience. (Fans) can tweet in advance or the night of the show to send us questions for the live Q&A.
Q. How much rehearsal does something like this require?
A. We’ve been rehearsing all week in L.A. and more in NY (later this week). We’re woodshedding. We’ve been off the road for a year so we’ve been diving into these songs the last week and a half. We want to keep the questions loose and the music tight.
Q. Are you at all nervous about what fans might throw at you, or is it similar to what you’ve done on tour with taking questions from the audience?
A. One thing I’ve learned about that interaction is that when it goes great, it’s great. But when it’s embarrassing, it’s still great. You can’t lose at that stuff.
Q. You have several covers on the album – why those particular songs?
A. It’s a tricky thing finding covers that you feel you can bring something new to and honor the original version. We basically started the album process with a bunch of songs that we’ve found that we love and midnight iChatted about, and that’s combined with a bunch of half ideas of original written stuff.
These are songs that either came to me as a complete surprise or were songs I’ve loved for a long time, like ‘Falling Slowly.’ When I first heard it, it just captured me. As a singer, I said to myself, when is the right time to sing this song? It needed to be the right time, the right producer. The Stevie Wonder song was brought to me by Gayle, my manager, who said I’ve got this crazy idea. I knew the song but it seemed like an immediate odd fit. It was the right group of musicians and it just felt right. But even out of the ones we pick, five or six will make it out of 25. It’s a very picky process.
Q. Between the covers and the appearances from Laura Pausini and Arturo Sandoval, do you feel like this is your most eclectic album?
A. In some ways it is. For me, this is an album that best blends the two worlds. As I get a little older my mind is balancing out to my sound. The experience is starting to pay off a bit as far as being thrown into the master class of this business. (Producer) Rob (Cavallo) pushed us to be a little more eclectic, but we wanted to be eclectic in an intelligent way. There’s never a moment where we aren’t thinking about the fans and what they want to hear, I always want to excite them and give them something new.
Q. Tour plans for the new year?
A. At the moment we’re going to start doing European and Australian dates. We’re going to hit them with full force and in the summer we’re going to do some orchestral shed shows, like playing Ravinia (in Chicago) and three nights at Hollywood Bowl for July 4th weekend, before we hit a big indoor tour in the fall.
“Josh Groban Live: All That Echoes” is showing at 7 p.m. Monday at 14 movie theaters statewide, including North Point, Perimeter Pointe, Hollywood 24, Sugarloaf Mills, Merchants Walk, Barrett Commons, Galleria Mall, Valdosta Stadium Cinemas and Stadium Cinemas in Centerville. Tickets are $15. Visit www.fathomevents.com for information about submitting questions for the live Q&A.