December 1, 2021

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Josh Groban’s ‘Bean Song’: Interview

“Don’t get me started on beans because we’ll be here all day,” he jokes to Billboard before sharing how the unlikely collaboration came to be. “I’ve gotten pitches for things in the commercial realm for a long time,” he shares. “So often, it feels kind of forced – you know, audiences are smart. They know when something is an obvious ‘Let’s get a celeb to fill in the blank here’ thing. So, I’ve always tried to be careful about not doing stuff that has felt phony.”

He adds that, at first, he was a bit apprehensive about the idea, but then thought deeper. “I’ve loved beans my whole life and I’m pretty much a vegetarian, and I did used to get made fun of for just having beans at the barbecue,” he recalls. “I’m telling [Bush’s] all this stuff on Zoom, and they’re cracking up and I’m cracking up and I’m just like, ‘You know what? This might be really funny.’ I just kind of sat at my piano for a few days, and I said to myself, ‘No pressure. If you can’t think of anything, just say thank you but no thanks and move on.’ Then, this song just kind of sprouted.”

“I went back to them and I said, ‘I think we have something, but it’s really weird and it’s funny and is it OK? Can we be tongue-in-cheek and funny and weird like this?’” he says. “They’re like, ‘We’re all about it.’ They went with me on this weird journey and it turned into something that on paper, it’s very WTF, but in reality, so much fun to do.”

While the “Bean Song” is full of clever puns and laugh-out-loud moments, the singer’s favorite lyric got down to science. “I’m glad I got to get the oligosaccharides in there,” he shares. “I’m glad I was able to get some scientific terminology in there as to why we get a little fart-y sometimes. There’s no shame in that.”

Another fun fact the singer gushes over is his real-life dad’s guest appearance in the video, when he names off the variety of uses for beans. “For a fancy affair or dad’s barbecue grillin’ / Or out of the can like a cowboy villain / Here’s to beans, oh, beautiful beans,” he sings.

“I was like, ‘Dad, if I write you into this video, would you do it?’ He was like, ‘Oh, boy!’” Groban said of the family affair. “He’s so shy and it was like, if I could get my dad barbecuing with tongs in this video, even just for a second, it will be the best Easter egg ever.”

And because beans are a great source of protein, what is Groban’s go-to legume-filled meal as a vegetarian? “I do love baked beans and I wanted to write about all the memes because it has really kind of broken my heart that baked beans have a bad rap,” he laughed before adding, “I love a quinoa dish with vegetables and beans. It’s good especially when I’m on tour and you want something that’s good protein but is also really light and lean. It’s a staple of my diet when I’m touring because it’s something that doesn’t make me feel sluggish onstage. It’s something that I non-ironically enjoyed every time.”

See Groban’s full “Bean Song” campaign here.

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