Dave 'Til Dawn
December 13, 2002
(Thank you Mandy for the transcript)
Part 1- From His Roots
D: Morning, good Friday. Iím Dave Wingert.
J: Hey, Dave. Itís Josh Groban.
D: Josh! Hi..
J: How are you?
D: Never better, thanks. How are you?
J: Oh, very good. Thank you for having me on your show.
D: Oh, itís a pleasure. Sorry I missed meeting you in person last time you were in town.
J: Oh, thatís okay. Next time, for sure.
D: Please, Ďcause thereís a difference from meeting someone face to face.
J: Absolutely. Iíd love to come in.
D: That would be very special. First I want you to know that I loved your song ďTo Where You AreĒ first time I heard it.
J: Thank you so much. Well you are one of the very fist supporters of it
D: From what Iíve read in all the interviews and press releases, you went from Broom Sweep # 3 in Sweeney Todd (Josh laughs) in High School,
D: ....to a leading roll in the season finale of Ally McBeal without missing a beat.
J: Yeah, I know, itís, um, itís crazy but if it wasnít for that broom sweep #3 performance, I might not have learned how much hard work it takes to go up that ladder, to be able to star in Ally McBeal episode.
J: It was a great experience for me, Ďcause I wanted nothing more than to be Sweeney. I was 15 years old, my voice had just changed, Iím like Ďwow, Iíve got this big voice now, Iím amazingí. And so I said to myself,
D: And your parents said ďFine, go clean your room.Ē
J: Yeah, exactly. (laughs) No, my parents to their credit were so supportive, they were never show parents, they never pushed, but they have been so great ever since day 1, and they, and they got me a voice teacher to work on the Sweeney Todd song. And, I got there, and everybody was saying ďOh, youíve got a pretty good voice,Ē and I thought, ooohhh, Iím waiting for the casting to come out, and Broom Sweep # 3, Fantastic, alright. But, I learned from early on, I had four seconds on stage, and every other minute I spent sitting on the sidelines, listening to the music, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it anyway I could, and I knew as soon as I left that summer camp that I had to work my butt off to get there, so, and it helped.
D: Well, Josh, in my opinion, you were born to sing Sondheim.
J: laughs) Thanks. Well, I think so, too. (laughs) No, I love Sondheim Iím a huge Sondheim
. freak, and if I had my two favorite shows to do on Broadway at some point, it would be Sunday in the Park with George, and Sweeney Todd.
D: So you plan to some .... songs on your next album?
J: I hope so, yeah, um, you know, everybody at Warner has said wait a little while before you do theater songs, but I donít know how long I am going to be able to wait there is so much incredible material that needs to be brought to a new audience. You know, part of me says, Iíll continue doing the pop stuff, and the original stuff on the albums, and then one day Iíd love to make a great appearance on the theater one day, but weíll see, weíll see what happens.
Part 2- Growing Up
D: Iím Dave Wingert, having a great time hanging out with Josh Groban. Josh, youíre what, 21 now?
J: 21, yeah,
D: Still living at home,
J: I do live at home, although Iím moving out in a month,
J: Yeah, oh, big deal! BIG deal for me! ĎCause I, uh, I uh, Iíve been relying, Iíve been a mommaís boy for the past 21 years, so I gotta get out of there.
D: So, what are we getting, a mansion in Beverly Hills,
J: (laughs) Not a mansion quite yet, no, but Iíve made some money, so Iím going to find a nice place that I can stay for a little while.
D: I remember the Ally McBeal episode I first saw you on, and my memory is vague, it was the one you either sang ďYouíre Still YouĒ, or ď To Where You Are,Ē
J: Was this the Christmas episode?
D: You sang at a funeral.
J: That was the Christmas episode that David E Kelly wrote as a tribute to September 11th, and I sang "To Where You Are."
D: Thatís right, and I remember as the credits were rolling I dashed upstairs to my computer, mey Hewlett Packard, and logged on to Josh Groban, Josh Groban, who is this guy?! Came into the radio station the next day, and said, "Did you see that guy on Ally McBeal last night?"
J: Oh my God,
D: What an impressive debut.
J: Oh, thanks, it was an honor to be asked to do such an important episode. Yeah, I guess youíre one of the people who went to the internet, we found out right away that the place that everybody went was the internet, and the website just became overflowed with emails, and things like that, so we just started designing a website,
D: And I think whatís so interesting, to me is, my reaction was, and Iím sure you hear this all the time, your face doesnít match your voice.
J: I get that a lot, in fact, for the first episode I did on Ally McBeal, the season finale a couple years ago, my credit was kinda put in with three other people, and I was saying to my manager, Brian, you know, Iíve been getting people saying that my face doesnít match my voice, I donít think people are going to think Iím actually singing, are you sure people are going...and he says "No, no, donít worry about it, donít worry about it, theyíll all know, theyĎll all know" and sure enough, in every interview I did, people were saying, oh people want to interview you about Ally McBeal, and Iíd get the question, "Who was singing your part?" And, and, I was like, "Oh, well, oh, sorry, uh, Hello? That was me." So, um, yeah, so took a little while before people knew, but, yeah, I do get that sometimes.
D: Right now most people know you for TWYA, personally I find the song "YSY" is pretty magical.
J: Oh, thanks so much, that was, it was written by Ennio Morricone, and the lyrics written by Linda Thompson. Yeah, itís just, itís just, itís a wonderful story, and a wonderful lyric for everybody.
Part 3- His Fans and Family
D: I was looking forward to this morning, getting to spend some quality time with Josh Groban. Iím learning all these little details that I am sure all the Grobanites are already familiar with. Do you know about the Grobanites, Josh?
J: I know, I do have the Grobanites. They are incredible.
D: They know everything there is to know about you, in fact, thatís how I found out about your PBS special which was on this month.
J: Yeah, Itís, uh, they know things before I know things. I go on my website to find out what Iím doing, you know, Ďcause Iím working so hard, I donít get all the info, so you know if Iíve ever been in a magazine, Iím curious to know what the magazine photo looked like, or what the article read about, I usually donít have time to go out and the magazine so I, uh, read the website, Ďcause I know they have it on there. Theyíre great, they call in, they request, they um, they have written shows, theyíve written me, the letters that I have gotten from them have just been so touching and inspiring, the gifts theyíve (chuckles) given me have ranged from incredibly cleaver to incredibly creepy and uh, so I, I couldnít do this without them, theyíre an amazing support.
D: Well, thatís very gracious of you to say, uh, Ďcause when you get in the spotlight, it could be a little overwhelming.
J: It is overwhelming, and itís nice to know that youíre going to have those people in the crowd, theyíre going to be rooting for you, for what youíre doing, theyíve been there since the beginning, and theyíre there, so just to know theyíre there is great.
D: Well, this week werenít you over performing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Nor-vay?
J: Nor-vay, ja. Norway's just an amazing place, Iíve been there twice already, my whole motherís side of the family is from Norway, so I always feel a real nice connection when I go over there..
D: Whoís from Norway?
J: My whole motherís side of the family..sheís Norwegian, so, yeah, I always look forward to going back there..I love the food, Iím weird, I love the Scandinavian breakfasts, all the weird fishes,
D: The lutefisk?
J: Yes, the lutefisk, and the anchovies, and all that stuff, I think itís great.
D: What is the rest of your family? Tell me, is your father.. Iím guessing Jewish?
J: (laughs) My Dad converted when he married my Mom, actually, to Christianity, but his whole families side is Jewish, and, uh, and so, I do have that whole history with my family.
D: Brothers? Sisters?
J: I have one younger brother, named Chris, and he wants to be a film major, and um, heís just an incredibly bright, gifted guy, and heís been an amazing support.. Thank GOD he didnít want to be a singer. I know so many, I have so many friends who have younger siblings who want to be pop stars, and singers, theyíre all trying to do that, and just have feuds all the time. So, yeah, Chris has just been great.
Part 4- Oh Holy Night
D: I have the luxury of a nice long visit with Josh Groban, who Entertainment Weekly this week called "The Best Torch Singer of 2002." And Josh was so open, so willing to talk about anything, I really appreciated that.
J: Oh, you got it, anytime.
D: Your version of Oh Holy Night has arrived just in time for holiday programming, weíre going to play it in just a minute. Itís wonderful, as I expected it to be.
J: Thank you
D: Arranged by David Foster, Iím assuming,
J: Uh, it was arranged by Jeremy Lubbock actually. Orchestration by Jeremy Lubbock, and arranged by Jeremy and David Foster, yeah.
D: Very understated, beautifully expressed,
J: Thank you.
D: I was not familiar with the second set of lyrics, Chains shall he break, it think, for the slave is our brother. Itís very powerful.
J: Itís, itís, thereís some amazing lyrics in that song, and um, we took um, a couple of people have done that version, done that second lyric, Michael Crawford did it on a Christmas album once. So, we wanted to make it longer, we wanted to do the whole thing.
D: And thatís the only Christmas song we got from you. We didnít get a whole album.
J: Not this year. Um, I wanna wait a few albums before I do a Christmas album, maybe a couple albums, just Ďcause I got, I have so much music that Iím concentrating on right now, and uh,
D: Which brings, So, what kind of music are you being drawn to right now?
J: Iím being drawn to a lot of very interesting, uh, pop music, pop music from people who are deciding to break the mold of what is formula pop music. Iíve always listened to people like Bjork, Peter Gabriel and Sting, and people who kinda decided to take music from other genres take, uh, influences from other coulters, and bring them to a new audience. Thatís pretty much what Iím interesting in doing right now. Everybodyís hear Christmas songs over and over again, it wouldnít be a real challenge.
Part 5- Sir or Baby
D: Do people call you "Sir" or, "youíre so cute," they pinch your cheeks, "Oh, youíre such a baby."
J: Such a baby, (laughs) no, I donít get the Sir, because people always think that I am way younger than I a. Iím 21, but, but, yeah, I guess at 21 you get the "Sir". I get the Sir sometimes, but I immediately say "No! Itís Josh! Just Josh!"
D: Well, now (laughs) Just Josh. Thatís funny (they laugh) I clipped out this article from USA Today back in September, knowing I was going to talk to you eventually, "Sexy Singers with Substance"
D: Very complimentary article about you and John Meyer (sp?)
J: That was a thrill to be part of that, I think they only featured three people in that. Yeah, itís cool, Iím very optimistic about how young people are appreciating different kinds of music nowadays, a lot of the great new artists that are out there right now, like John, theyíre kind of, theyíre different than whatís been going on.
D: Right, for those of us that were beginning to lose heart, nothing against Backstreet Boys and NSync, because I love their music, and I think they are enormously talented, itís like, is this all the kids are interested in?
J: You know, I think that most media would have you believe that it is, because thatís all they are pumping out with right now, and I think it takes, kinda people my age to get out there and say "Nooo, Halt, thereĎs more!" You know, Iíve got nothing against those groups, you know, itís what makes the world go round right now, but I think people my age and people younger are a lot smarter than that, and I think there are a lot of them, weíve polled people on the website, you know, "What kind of stuff do you listen to?" and they say yeah, "We listen to Eminem, we listen to Britney Spears, but I found this Josh Groban CD, and I think itís really cool, too." That is all I can ask for in life.
D: For now.
J: For now, yeah. Before I do theater.
D: And then maybe a movie role.
J: And then maybe a movie role.
D: And then your own television show.
J: And then my own television show.
D: But other than that..
J: Other than that, I think thatís all I can ask for.
Part 6- Tonsils and Fountains
D: Iím Dave Wingert, really enjoying my visit with Josh Groban. Boy, you sound happy and healthy, Josh.
J: Iím happy and healthy. Yeah, there was a time where I was happy but not healthy, because I had terrible, terrible tonsils.
D: Oh, thatís right! You just, you had your tonsils out in the last couple months..
J: ..Had my tonsils out. They were driving me nuts! I was on Oprah, and I had to sing TWYA, which is a pretty difficult song, and it was with tonsillitis and strep throat at the exact same time, and I was bacstage, and I was able to speak a word, and I had to, I donít know, something happened, I was able to go on stage and talk to her and sing the song, but as soon as I stepped off the stage again it was, "Thank you, Oprah" [in a whispered voice]. So, it was difficult, my doctor said, "You gotta get those out." So as soon as I had them out, I just started feeling healthier, and was singing better, it was the best thing I ever did.
D: Thatís what your agent told me, that your voice came back even stronger.
J: It was, because I didnít have these useless, you know, things, in the back of my throat, that were causing me to tighten up, to get sick, and get singing to hurt, it was just bad all around. So when I got them out, it was one, mentally a weight off my shoulders I knew that when I flew I wouldnít have to land with a sore throat, and two, itís just more open, Iím able to sing better.
D: Well, and we all want to hear you sing more and more.
J: (laughs) Thanks.
D: There was one article here that says, "Josh Groban has a Las Vegas dream." It quoted you saying "My dream is to have my song in a fountain." Would you please explain that?
J: Oh, infamous Entertainment Weekly, they are uh, yeah, (laughs). That was, uh, I think I said that, I has a lot of espressos right in that interview, so, I could have said a lot of things, thank God thatís all they printed. I think I was just going on about this fountain outside the Bellagio Hotel. Thereís something powerful about not being able to sleep because you hear Pavarotti singing his music right down in front of thousands of people in the fountain there.
D: And you want to be one of those?
J: I would love to have a fountain choreographed, so to speak, to one of my songs, I think that would be just a beautiful thing to, you know. That would be awesome to just bring a girlfriend and just be like, "Oh, look, honey, a fountain. Oh, whatís this?" So, you know, that would be cool.
D: (laughing) Yeah, itís a visual.
J: Yeah, itís a visual. "Lets watch the fountain for a little bit." "Why are we here so long?" "Lets watch it a little more. Oh, hey! ItĎs my song!"