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Groban brings rock energy to ‘Echoes’


Josh Groban, 32, has sold 25 millions records and DVDs worldwide and recently added more oomph to his operatic pop with the 2013 album “All That Echoes.”

The album was produced by Rob Cavallo, Warner Bros. Records chairman and one-time Green Day and Kid Rock producer.

Groban also shows ample personality away from music, acting on NBC’s “The Office” and hosting “Live” with Kelly Ripa when she was between permanent co-hosts.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q. Your album “All That Echoes” has a slightly more rock feel to it than previous albums. Was that from working with Rob Cavallo?

A. I think Rob Cavallo has a natural rock energy. ... My live shows have a lot of energy to them. So we thought to ourselves, “OK, well, rather than make an album that’s super-intimate and super-sleepy and have an amazingly energetic time (live) that everybody’s loving, why don’t we try to bring that live energy to the album?”

We recorded things live (with all the musicians) in the room, and in a way where you say, “How do we get people to clap when this is over?” ... So I think because of that, there was an intensity and an energy to the music. But I would never pretend that what I am doing is rock music – in the same way that singing in a foreign language doesn’t make it opera.

Q. You have expressed interest in doing a Broadway role. Will that happen anytime soon?

A. I think next year I will at least start putting the ducks in a row to start planning a Broadway run of something. ... The Broadway community has been so nice to me and so open-armed when I have dipped my toe into those waters – doing (a sing-through of) “Chess” at Royal Albert Hall, doing various Broadway events for Barbara Cook, or Stephen Sondheim’s birthday concert, or whatever else. ... I think the only thing missing for me now is to take on a part and dive into it eight shows a week.

Q. You’ve had several roles on television and in movies. What does acting fulfill for you, as an artistic pursuit, that singing on stage does not?

A. When you’re as yourself, and it’s your microphone and your spotlight and your name and your face, there’s a certain responsibility. Sometimes really focusing on “Am I being my truest self?” all the time can be exhausting. So to be able to dive into a story and a character and to take away the pressure of “this is who people see me as, and this is me being myself,” is an amazing escape.