Though he’s been on the touring circuit for a few years, Josh Groban still has some tricks up his sleeve for his coming album, “All That Echoes.”
In a recent phone interview with the Inquirer (from Los Angeles, California, his current homebase), the US singing star who became famous—and a favorite of Pinoys—for pop-classic hits said, “I derive my inspiration from the energy that fueled everyone on stage during last year’s tour.”
Groban said that touring had left him with valuable insights on how to approach his latest project. He explained: “I wanted to bring that concert dynamic, some of that largeness we experienced onstage, to the album.”
He pointed out that “Echoes” was recorded live, instead of the usual piece-by-piece sessions for each instrument, “because the synergy, that palpable energy on stage, invigorated my sound.”
No fixed genre
However, he said, the album should not be boxed into a specific genre. He noted that his sound is starting to evolve into its own thing, not to be classified simply as pop music, classical, pop-classic or pop-rock.
“I was already performing such ‘mature’ music when I was 17 or 18 years old. I think that my sound and my mental and emotional states are kind of starting to balance out.”
He added that entering the studio with no definite plan as to how the songs for “All That Echoes” were going to sound—while “paying homage to the music that my fans have loved”—made his new album and current sound progressive.
Adding excitement to this was album producer Rob Cavallo.
Cavallo—known in the biz as the man who signed punk rock band Green Day and produced its first albums—gave an edgier, rock-leaning sound to “Echoes,” said Groban.
He described Cavallo as a consummate musician: “I’d come up with song ideas, or chord change ideas, and he’ll have his guitar out to find ways to make those ideas even better.”
Cavallo’s inputs helped him push the sound forward, Groban said. “Rob is someone you can really collaborate with.”
Speaking of collaborations: Asked which artists he wished to work with, the singer named Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman. He’d also like to make music with Icelandic artist Bjork, Groban said, and share the stage with British singer Adele. “I’d love to sing with Adele, she has a wonderful voice!”
In addition to making music, Groban has appeared in films and television shows.
As a follow-up to his appearance in the romantic-comedy, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” he’s set to act in College Humor’s first feature-length film “Coffee Town,” directed by Brad Copeland of “Arrested Development” fame.
Also in the cast are Glenn Howerton, Steve Little and Ben Schwartz. Groban will play a disgruntled rocker working as a barista—a fun role, he said, not only because he gets to sport fake tattoos and wear a goatee.
Groban recently guested as a cohost in “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” an Emmy award-winning morning talk show in America.
Acting in films has always been one of his goals, Groban said. “Movie opportunities have cropped up in the past months; I’d really love to do comedies because my music’s already serious.”
Groban first performed in Manila in October 2007 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
He described Manila as one of the “nicest” touring places he’s been to in his whole career. “I’m dying to return to the Philippines. The hospitality of the people and the energy in the shows I did there are quite unforgettable.”