Josh Groban Targeting Studio After Tour: 'We've Got Two Albums' Lined Up

Josh Groban is gearing up for the Oct. 2 start of his In The Round North American tour, but he's also looking beyond that to what he projects will be a prolific return to the studio.

"We've got two albums now we're kind of tossing around," Groban tells Billboard. He says he and producer Rob Cavallo plan "to get back in the studio as soon as the tour's done. Rob and I have a lot of work to do." One of those, Groban says, is "traditional. We're finding and writing songs for that." But the duo also "has something else up our sleeves. It's kind of secret. Hopefully we can say something as soon as the tour's done (Nov. 13) because I'd like to tell the fans what we're up to. We have a few ducks to line up as far as scheduling it, so I want to be conservative right now and not say anything yet."

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Meanwhile, Groban has been doing plenty of planning and rehearsing for the 23-date arena tour, which he says "has been on my creative bucket list for awhile now." It's an outgrowth of the satellite second stage he employed on his Straight To You Tour in 2011, Groban says, explaining, "Every time we got on that little stage there was an energy that broke the walls of a normal concert and became something that made the audience such participants in the energy of the show. That's the most honest and exciting as you can get as a singer. There's nowhere to hide. We were always kind of sad to leave that little stage and go back to the big, fancy one. So as I was planning this tour, I thought, 'What's a way to build on that energy but still keep it intimate and have the best of both worlds?' So doing this tour we're doubling down on the idea of being in the middle, so there are no bad seats and the crowd all around me."

Groban acknowledges a couple of predecessors who have also inspired his in-the-round approach.

"I've always loved seeing some of the bigger rock acts do it," he says. "I figure if U2 can do it in football stadiums we can certainly do it in half an arena. And I loved seeing people like Frank Sinatra do it at Madison Square Garden; all he had was an orchestra on the side of the stage and a microphone with a wire. That's the most bare bones you can get. If we can find some kind of happy medium, but within the energy and spirit of both, I'll be happy."

Groban also has his acting career in gear these days. He'll be appearing in an episode of "The Crazy Ones," the new David E. Kelley comedy CBS, in a guest spot that he hopes can turn into a recurring role. He's considering other scripts and ideas, and Groban is also pursuing a pilot's license.

"I figured it was time for a hobby," he notes with a laugh. "I'm loving it. It's great. I'm up in the freakin' air probably 75% of my life, anyway, so I may as well know how to actually fly the things, y'now?"

Josh Groban's 'In the Round' North America tour:

Oct. 02 - Taco Bell Arena Boise, ID
Oct. 04 - KeyArena, Seattle, WA
Oct. 06 - Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Oct. 07 - HP Pavilion at San Jose, San Jose, CA
Oct. 09 - US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
Oct. 11 - EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 13 - MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Oct. 16 - Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
Oct. 19 - Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 20 - United Center, Chicago, IL
Oct. 22 - Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
Oct. 23 - The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI
Oct. 25 - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Oct. 27 - Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
Oct. 28 - TD Garden, Boston, MA
Oct. 30 - Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Nov. 02 - CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Nov. 03 - Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 06 - BB&T Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 08 - Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, FL
Nov. 09 - Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Nov. 12 - Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Nov. 13 - American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX