Exclusive: Robby Takac Talks About The Reinvention of the Goo Goo Dolls

InterviewJanuary 27, 2017billboardPH

“Change is the only constant” is the one cliché that actually holds true, and has even stood the test of time. There are only two ways that people adapt to change: you swim with the tide or you go against it. In most cases, going against the tide ends up swallowing you whole, leaving no room to backtrack and start over again.

For bassist Robby Takac, the motivation to make it work is pretty simple: “We (Takac and vocalist/guitarist John Rzeznik) just managed to keep it together because we wanted to keep it together,” he says.

Change would be most evident in a band that’s been around as long as the Goo Goo Dolls have. Having been actively making music for the last 3 decades, one of the first things that would have a taste of this change would be their songwriting. From plucking chords out of thin air during rehearsals and coming up with 15 half-finished songs, the band has started taking a more subtle approach which began with 2010’s Something for the Rest of Us, and has been made more evident in 2016’s Boxes, their most recent offering. Takac narrates, “About three records ago, we started where we would do a few songs at a time, a couple songs at a time; one song at a time, and then collect all, and that would be a record.” He adds further that the change in the process was brought about by changes that were happening in the world, with technology allowing the components artists would make music from to change, as well, but still maintains the authenticity of it all. “It couldn’t be any more different but it’s still pretty genuine, I think,” he says.

As the songwriting methods of the band change, so did their sound; Takac himself acknowledges it, saying it was largely about feeling like they could move forward with each record and grow from the ones that came before. He did say, though, that one can only hear these changes when listeners make a jump in between albums. “From record to record, you don’t hear it so much, but if you skip a record? You’ll be like, ‘whoa! This is completely different!’” he emphasizes. He was quick to point out that listening through each of their records in chronological order – starting from 1987’s Goo Goo Dolls – would let one realize how much sense it makes that their current sound is completely different from how it was when they started. “Number one, I sang the entire record; John didn’t sing on that album,” Takac added.

So, what’s the secret to reinvention as far as the Goo Goo Dolls are concerned? “Number one, John and the band really strives to move forward and try to make it jump every single record,” he opines. “The other end of it is that your band has to stay together.”

The Goo Goo Dolls are set to perform at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on February 11, 2017. The event is presented by Random Minds.