A few years ago Abby and I had the pleasure of working on a Valentine's Day CD project for Josh Groban. At that time, Abby talked with Josh about his thoughts on the CD, Valentine's Day, and his music in general. This is part one of that interview.
ABIGAIL: Hi, Josh. This is so exciting to chat with you. We want you to feel comfortable and we’re really just trying to get an impression of how we can accurately represent you on this CD.
A: Now, first things first—I have to get this out of the way. You know we’re all about sincere emotional connections and kindness and love and the “touchy-feely” stuff. So, keeping that in mind, and as a way to get to know you a little better, I’m going to start with a kinda tough question so … are you ready?
A: If you could choose only one, which would it be: being a character on The Simpsons or hosting Saturday Night Live?
J: Oooh...that’s a very good question. That definitely represents, emotionally, the touchy-feeliness that goes on inside me. That’s all I think about, really, are those two things. They’re both very, very cool, but I have to say the biggest one would be hosting Saturday Night Live.
A: Why would that win out over The Simpsons?
J: They’re both incredible institutions, but on SNL you get to be there instead of just being a sketch. I think that both The Simpsons and SNL could use a bit of a facelift at the moment.
A: Well, maybe they should be calling you, then. That might be the boost they need!
J: Hey, that’s a phenomenal idea. A little Groban magic!
A: What most people think of when they think of Valentine’s Day is hearts, flowers, love, romance, that type of thing. But Valentine’s Day means so many different things. I’d like to talk to you about any memories or stories that stand out in your mind about Valentine’s Day, whether funny, romantic …
J: For me, Valentine’s Day has always been, you know … in elementary school, it was just a day that you got to make things in class and then go home. But for me, elementary school is really when Valentine’s Day is at its peak. You’ve got the girl in the class that you’ve been really fond of all year, and it’s a time when you finally get to give her that little card that you’ve bought and the little candy heart or whatever that says “Be My Valentine” on it … and see the reaction.
And … generally, I did not so much get the kind of reaction back that I wanted! But, however, it was a fun day. And I was always kinda the goofball romantic, meaning I would always buy a gift that was completely non-romantic.
But I’ve gotten better at that! I’ve realized, “Oh, wait a minute—girls really do take this day seriously! Oh, okay, cool … ah … I guess I’ll get some roses.” Or a Hallmark card. [laughs] In the past, it’s been everything from a budget kung fu movie to, I don’t know, a trip to Sea World. But, yeah, it’s a funny, fun day, and it’s one that really I hold very near and dear to my heart.
A: Why did you choose a budget kung fu movie?
J: It just looked really funny. It was … what was it called … it was called, like, “Heart of the Fish Five” or something like that. It was a joke! And neither of us watched it. She didn’t like it.
A: Well … I’m getting from you that obviously your concept of Valentine’s Day is perhaps not so much the roses and flowers and –
J: No! No! I’ve gotten much better! That would be the old me. [laughs] I’ve learned. Ever since then I’ve really tried to make sure I’ve got the flowers going and the dinner reservations and, you know, all that stuff.