Goo Goo Dolls bassist on longevity and new music

InterviewJuly 6, 2011Windy City Times

The Goo Goo Dolls made no one forget their "Name" with their fifth album, A Boy Named Goo, in the '90s. With hits such as "Iris" from the City of Angels soundtrack and "Slide," the group has remained on top and sold almost 9 million albums in the United States.

Bassist Robby Takac talked about the tour and new album Something for the Rest of Us.

Windy City Times: Hi, Robby. Are you currently touring right now?

Robby Takac: We are in the middle of a tour but I am actually back home for a day. We were in Oklahoma where they had a huge tornado. We missed it by one day.

Windy City Times: I was born there, and have relatives that live in Oklahoma City.

Robby Takac: Really? Kansas on the border there got nailed, pretty crazy. So we are in the middle of a tour, take three weeks off then we go on tour with Michelle Branch and Parachute.

Windy City Times: I haven't heard about Michelle in a while.

Robby Takac: Yeah, we actually just heard her new track and it is pretty cool.

Windy City Times: You have played Chicago several times in the past.

Robby Takac: I was just watching a video on YouTube that a friend of mine sent a link of our show at the Metro in 1993. We toured sporadically from 1986 until then and consistently ever since.

Windy City Times: How does it feel to have nine albums?

Robby Takac: It feels like the setlists are harder to make because there are more songs we feel we have to play. But, hey, I am proud. Not a lot of bands get to see things through to that point. We will quietly have been together for 25 years tomorrow.

Windy City Times: Congrats! That is a big deal.

Robby Takac: It is so funny with the Internet now. Somebody sent me an article from back in 1988 and it said the date that we started playing. I never would have remembered it. I guess that is the right date or the closest I am ever going to get!

Windy City Times: Are you guys going to go celebrate with a drink?

Robby Takac: I don't know, man. I think the reason we are able to do this is because I can't go out and get a drink. I don't allow myself anymore. [Laughs] It is a hell of an accomplishment. We are more about looking forward than looking backward. It is nice to know we have been doing this for this long.

Windy City Times: I remember listening to your music at the beginning and you were the singer off and on.

Robby Takac: Yes, when we were a punk-rock band I was the singer. We were trying to be our favorite bands like The Replacements, The Clash and Husker Du. We loved all of that so we were trying to lift stuff from them and make our own band. We did a pretty crappy version of it for the first couple of years. But it gave us the ability to get out and in a van and learn what the whole thing was about. We would play 25 nights in 30 days. We would go back home and find a couch to stay on. Doing that for ten years makes you appreciate when you finally get a tour bus.

Windy City Times: Have you been happy with the commercial success of the Goo Goo Dolls?

Robby Takac: Well, it has allowed us to stay together. If we were the same band driving around in a van then I don't think we would be around that much longer. We all have to eventually get jobs and stuff. It does put pressures on an organization by the nature of larger record companies being evolved. Things that are branded put a series of pressures on people. We have been one of those bands that keep doing what we do. That has been our credo.

Windy City Times: You are working with some amazing producers on the newest album.

Robby Takac: We thought we were just working with Tim Palmer at the beginning and then the lid was off. When Tim was busy then he allowed us to work with more producers. It turned out to be a very rich sounding record for us.

Windy City Times: I heard you are already working on more new material. Is that true?

Robby Takac: Yeah, we usually do is go out on tour for a couple of years then park our asses for a year and do nothing except write. John would take that time to start writing, make demos and go in the studio. The way the business has changed these days you have to be out there all of the time. You can't disappear when people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. I am a circus monkey at this point! We are doing a lot more writing out there on the road.

Windy City Times: You have your own music label, also.

Robby Takac: It is a label that brings Japanese girl bands to the masses. We have released a whole bunch of Shonen Knife records and a few other bands. We are releasing a DVD called Live from Toyko that comes out in August.

Windy City Times: Tell me about your Music is Art Festival.

Robby Takac: It is in its ninth year this year. We have over a hundred bands play, DJs, and artists. It is a pretty crazy scene. It is on the tenth of September this year in Buffalo. I am still planning it from my laptop as we do our summer tour.

Windy City Times: It is like your little Lollapalooza.

Robby Takac: It is great to watch. Each local band plays about three songs and goes on for 12 hours. I am keeping busy. I don't like gathering moss!

The Goo Goo Dolls perform at Charter One Pavillion July 16. Visit for ticket details about the tour at http:// .