2013 MICHAEL BUBLÉ/REPRISE RECORDS
You cover a lot of great artists on your new album, To Be Loved : Elvis, the Bee Gees, Dean Martin. How do you make a cover your own while staying true to the original?
It’s a challenge. Sometimes you’re working with a standard swing song, so you swing as hard as you can and that’s all you can do. Surrounding yourself with talented people is key. This time around, we stuck everybody in a room, and we all hung out for months. My whole family was there; the producer, Bob Rock, was there. He has seven kids who were in and out.
In the studio? The whole time?
Yeah! We called it the Pop Jazz Sweatshop-we even organized potluck dinners. This is the most organic, authentic record I’ve ever made because it was all of us sitting together and riffing off each other, sharing ideas and talking about what inspires us.
How did that symbiosis play out in the arrangements?
Take “You Got a Friend in Me,” the Randy Newman song that every-body knows from Toy Story. My wife, Luisana, and I love Disney-land, and we had our honeymoon there. To celebrate our first anniversary I recorded that song for her for the album. Now, to go deeper, when Luisana was a kid, she was in the Spanish version of Married With Children. She played Kelly Bundy. There’s the theme song at the beginning of that show, which starts, “Love and marriage, love and marriage.” I took that arrangement and incorporated it into the Toy Story song. That’s the kind of weirdness involved in making a track your own.
You also did a cover of the Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving Who?” It isn’t what one would expect from a crooner.
I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. Huge. I’m a huge soul and Motown fan in general. I was in such a good place in my life when I was recording this album-being married and finding out that I’m going to be a dad-it allowed me to be brave and to try things that I wouldn’t necessarily have attempted before. I can’t wait to perform the song onstage.
Will you moonwalk?
I’ve already tried that. I’m the worst moonwalker ever.
You wrote the song “Close Your Eyes” for your wife. What’s the backstory?
It was inspired by how I felt about my wife, but as I got further into the song, it became a tribute to women, how strong they are and how much better we are with them.
You recently found out that your baby-to-be is a boy. Is it time to start shopping for tiny fedoras and suits?
Two of my best friends are Dan and Dean Caten, the designers from Dsquared2. I love their stuff, and they’ve said they’re going to make a bunch of cute baby gear.
As far as names go, are you of a traditional bent, or can we expect a Starbeam Bublé?
The name I love is Pavel, as in Pavel Bure, the hockey player. But I’ll never get away with it.
To Be Loved is available now.