Josh Groban is starting to plan a world tour to promote his new album, “Illuminations,” but he may just have to make some room for those musical recitations of Kanye West tweets that have become a viral sensation since he did them on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Now I’ve got a new medley, another two and a half minutes to kill in the concert,” Groban tells Billboard.com with a laugh, though he was pleased to see that West re-tweeted a link to the infomercial-style skit, “which made me think he got the joke, so I don’t have to look over my shoulder for harsh rhymes coming my way.”
Video: Josh Groban Sings Kanye West’s Tweets
The tour itself, which Groban expects to begin in the spring, will be another large-scale arena affair, though he hopes to incorporate some elements of intimate shows he’s continuing to do to introduce the Rick Rubin-produced “Illuminations” to his fans.
“It’s just me with no set list, no script, a piano and a guitar,” Groban explains. “The curtain goes up, I walk out, we do a Q&A and just kind of sing whatever winds up being right. It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had, and I think the most fun my fans have had and it really taught me a huge amount. Once you experience that energy, you don’t go back.”
Video: Josh Groban’s Live Q&A with Billboard.com
For the tour, then, Groban hopes to maintain “the looseness, the interaction with the crowd” that are part of the promotional concerts. “I think my last arena tour was pretty large-feeling and pretty pop oriented. And of course, we want to put some bells and whistles in there for everybody, but at the same time there’s an intimacy I think fans are really appreciating from the smaller shows that I have to incorporate into the arena tour — and even incorporate some smaller gigs throughout (the tour) as well.”
Before the tour, however, fans will be seeing Groban in yet another venue — movie theaters, playing an ill-tempered attorney alongside Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore in the comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” which is due out July 29. “I love comedy,” says Groban, who’s also planning to launch a new arts education initiative through his charitable foundation. “My music is so serious, so the kind of acting I like to do is purely comedic, and to play a part that’s so different from me and to be able to work with people like that was really fun. Just to have the chance to even audition for that film was an honor.”