Josh Groban knows success—and he knows it well. Each of the singer-songwriter’s first four albums went multi-platinum, and he has filled arenas around the globe. Before he takes the stage for his MGM Grand concert on October 13, Vegas caught up with the international sensation to discuss his latest album, the accompanying tour, and when we’ll see his name in lights on Broadway.
You play Vegas fairly often. What do you like to do when you’re here?
We’ve got a pretty hectic touring schedule, so it’s always nice, especially when we’re on the West Coast and we’re on our way home, to chill out and eat at some good restaurants and play some cards and have a good time.
You’re touring in support of your latest album, All That Echoes. What kind of set list can fans look forward to?
It’s important when you’re doing a live show, especially when you’re doing anywhere from 17 to 21 songs in a night, to just put on the best show that you can. And sometimes you have stuff that really works from the new record, and sometimes it’s great to pick stuff from your other records and do stuff that you’ve never done before. It’s going to be a good mix.
This tour is billed as the In the Round tour. Will this be a traditional in-the-round show?
Yeah, it’s always been a dream of mine to do an in-the-round show. I really enjoy getting into the audience. I like seeing who’s out there. The stage is going to be right in the middle of the MGM Grand Garden Arena. There really isn’t going to be a bad seat in the house.
All That Echoes is your sixth studio album. What was your inspiration?
This album was made pretty quickly after I had gotten off the road for my last tour, and the last album that I made, with Rick Rubin, was a very intimate experience. Anytime you work with Rick, it’s kind of like a Buddhist retreat. So I wanted to take from the energy that we had on tour and bring it into the record. So I got with another production hero of mine, Rob Cavallo. We went in wanting to bridge the worlds that I think have worked best for me in the past and bring some live energy into this record.
Arturo Sandoval appears on this album. How do you choose your collaborators?
Sometimes it comes to you just from having a dream list. We just thought, Okay, these are some pretty interesting chords—it’d be great to have kind of a Latin solo here. So, really, the first name we thought of was Arturo. It’s nice when one of your heroes also happens to be one of the nicest guys in the world and very open-minded creatively. We went to his house and recorded his trumpet part in his home studio, and what you hear on the record is his very first take.
You performed in a two-performance revival of Chess in concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Have you considered a Broadway run?
Yeah. I love the Broadway community and musical theater, and I’ve always felt that my voice would really lend itself well to that kind of world. I talk to [Chess lyricist] Tim Rice pretty much on the regular, just trying to think of ways for us to bring Chess to Broadway. So we’re looking at ways to find a Broadway run at some point for that show. Otherwise, 2014 I feel would be a great year, once I get off the road, to focus on some theater in New York—and we’ll see what happens. Josh Groban plays the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 13. 702-891-7777