interview

Josh Groban: "my ears are my life"

What was it like shooting with Bryan Adams? 
It was a wonderful session and the photos were beautiful. I was very happy to be part of it.

Why did you choose to support Hear the World by posing for an image by Bryan Adams?
It’s a wonderful organization. You’re saving a lot of ears. Keep up the great work!

Why is the ability to hear well so important to you?
My hearing is extraordinary important to me. My ears are my life. I value my good ear for everything that I have in this music business.

Do you have any personal experience with hearing loss?
Not in my family. And not among my immediate friends. But I do know a lot of rockers and I know a lot of people who have been around before the in-ear monitors were available. And those folks didn’t have the benefit of having a way to protect their hearing on stage. They just kept cranking the monitors louder and louder and louder and louder. And now you don’t want to be on stage with them during a soundcheck as they crank up the volume so much.

Do you worry when you see how young people treat their hearing today?
I do. I also think that young people at least in the performing world are conscious of it. A lot of them are wearing in-ears or ear plugs now. It’s important that young people pay attention to it.

Do you think hearing devices could ever be “cool”?
Well, you say to yourself you don’t want to wear that be-fore you’re 80 years old: Start now, turn down the volume! Of course hearing “turn down the volume” from Josh Groban probably isn’t the most inspiring thing. Get Axl Rose to say turn down the volume. My volume’s already low.

What sounds do you love?
I love the sounds that my dog makes when he’s dreaming. He’s a very active dreamer and kind of doing these halfbarks. I can hear them all the way across the house and I know that he’s dreaming because I can hear these little barks. That’s a real favorite noise of mine.

What sounds do you hate?
When I’m on the sidewalk and a group 20 speed bikers like those Kawasaki Ninja guys all zoom by you at the same time. I find that noise pretty annoying.

Do you protect your hearing?
I do. I’m very careful about everything from volume to making sure that my in-ear monitors are sealed properly. Sometimes you get 50,000 high-pitched screams that can do it – there are a lot of loud decibels when you are on tour. When I play drums I never do it without ear plugs. I get my hearing checked regularly.