WHOM Radio Interview
Portland, Maine
February 11, 2004
(Thanks to Belinda for this transcript)
G.V. : Iím talking with Josh Groban who is coming to town on February 25th. Heís doing a show at the Merrill Auditorium. Weíre all looking forward to your visit. Hi, Josh.

J.G.: How are ya?

G.V.: Not bad. Now is this going to be your first trip to New England?

J.G.: Not my first trip to New England but my first tour stop in New England. I canít wait to finally be there live doing a show.

G.V.: Iím gonna warn ya. Itís a little cold up here.

J.G.: Itís been cold the last, (laughs) uh, 6 or 7 shows actually. But itís okay, weíre getting used to it. Weíve got big jackets.

G.V.: So, whereís home for you? I meant, both originally and now?

J.G.: Home is very warm Los Angeles at the moment.

G.V.: Yeah.

J.G.: Actually, born and raised. I grew up there and have a place there now.

G.V.: Are you bringing a big orchestra with you?

J.G.: Iím going to be picking up local musicians actually.

G.V.: Oh, really?

J.G.: Yeah, we pick up local orchestra members every single city we go to. So, it will be local New England strings and horns and harpists and choir, in fact, too.

G.V.: Thatís fabulous. Now, how do you go about training with these people? Do you just send them the music and they knowÖ

J.G.: I send them the music beforehand and weíve got an incredible concert master violinist that travels with us. She works with them at the rehearsal the day of the show and runs through all the music with them and theyíre always just so great that they just pick it up right away.

G.V.: Now, youíve got a brand new album out, Closer.

J.G.: Mmm hmmm.

G.V.: Youíve got some great collaborators on that album including Dave Foster, who, uh, he produced your first album, didnít he?

J.G.: Yes, he did and, you know, working on a second album, I wanted to definitely get back in the studio with him because we just know each other so well and we work so well together. And, yeah, it was great to work with him and as well as branch off and work with some other people, too, like Deep Forest and Walter Afanasieff. It was really fun making this album.

G.V.: Yeah, I was curious about that. As I was reading some of your bio and some of the stuff on the web page, some of the people that youíre bringing together now. Are these people who came to you or are these people that you knew about and sought out because you really liked what they did?

J.G.: Oh, yeah, all of them in fact, absolutely. I was a huge fan of both Deep Forest and Joshua Bell.

G.V.: Uh huh.

J.G.: These are people that I thought would be interesting collaborations, not the usual singer/singer duet. You know, something that would require a little more thought and so, you know, it was fun. And working with Deep Forest, you know I went out to France and hung out with them at their house for a couple weeks and that was entirely different. Just starting with a beat and just kinda working off that and doing a lot of stuff on the computer.

G.V.: Now what kind of training have you, you know, gotten over the years?

J.G.: Um, you know, besides just the music training, Iím constantly training my voice. Iím still very much a student at 22. You know, my voice, who knows whatís going to happen to it in the next 10 years?

G.V.: Itís just going to continue to get better.

J.G.: As it grows. Yeah, I hope so, you know, with the right technique and the right training.

G.V.: Now, I donít know whether itís just a personal observation but you seem to have more sad songs on the earlier albums than on this new one.

(Josh chuckles)

J.G.: Well, I love singing sad songs. I wanted to find songs that were a little more positive without breaking into a dance beat. You know, I wanted to find stuff that had a great positive message. I think a lot of the times a lot of the slower songs are the sadder songs. And, so, you know, with my kind of voice, itís hard to find stuff thatís up-tempo and still soundsÖ not corny.

G.V.: Now, do you choose stuff partially on a personal basis or is it just that you appreciate the story?

J.G.: Well, it has to be both at the same time. You know, it has to be something personal that I can connect with and that makes it so much easier to tell the story.

G.V.: Now, are you a big football fan? Because I think there were probably some people who were surprised to see you at the Super Bowl.

J.G.: (laughs) Well, good, thatís okay, I donít mind surprising people. Yeah, Iím a bit of a football fan. I think itís great. Iím a sports fan, in general. I loveÖ I think thereís something so great about seeing live sport. And, you know, my brotherís at USC so itís nice to see the college football thing going on today.

G.V.: Especially there, too.

J.G.: Yeah, itís nice to see them go all the way. But, professionally, you know, we donít have a team in L.A. So, itís hard to get excited about one particular team. But certainly, I think I was definitely rooting for the Patriots this time around.

G.V.: Oh, that was going to be my next questionÖ Patriots, Panthers or Janet Jackson?

(both laugh)

J.G.: I think definitely the Patriots over Janet Jackson this time around. They play with, uhÖ(laughs) yeah, Iíll leave it there.

G.V.: Okay. Josh, I appreciate the time.

J.G.: Well, thank you very much for the interview.