Goo Goo Dolls Ever-evolving rockers have come a long way from Cedars

InterviewApril 7,

Considering Buffalo, NY, is home, the Goo Goo Dolls — singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin — have quite a history in Northeast Ohio.

“Youngstown was part of the loop when we were driving around in our van in the early days,” said Takac, calling from Buffalo. “Cedars, man, we played there a ton of times back in ’87 or ’88.”

The rock trio makes its return to the area Tuesday at the Covelli Centre in support of its new CD “Something for the Rest of Us.” Among the new tracks that Takac is excited about are the album’s lead track, the rhythmic “Sweetest Lie” and the dynamic “Notbroken.” The latter tune has actually become a centerpiece of the group’s current show.

“The song itself takes a pretty diverse sonic journey and by the end it blows up into kind of like The Who,” Takac said. “It’s funny, ‘Notbroken’ we’ve been doing that as an encore track for the tour and there is something about the way it builds and the placement of it in our set that makes something really special happen with our audience. So when it finally reaches that ending crescendo, it has an explosiveness that kind of happens. I think you try to get those kinds of emotions to happen with a large group of people, and that one really hit the mark.”

Speaking of playing live, the multi-platinum trio has found itself in a place where its show set list is already written no matter what album the act is supporting.

“We’ve got so many songs that people come to hear,” Takac said. “I guess that’s the coolest thing about the set at this point is we’re going to come out and play a whole night of songs that 90 percent you’ll probably know if you’re an avid fan or a casual listener. That’s something you can only grow into as a band over a period of time.”

That means fans will hear everything from popular singles “Name” and “Iris” to “Slide,” “Here Is Gone,” “Big Machine” and “Home.” The latter is the band’s 14th top 10 adult top 40 hit, which means the Goo Goo Dolls have charted the most top 10 singles in that radio format.

When you look over the Goo Goo Dolls long list of radio hits, you can’t help but think about the band’s evolution. More so, the act finds itself in good company with the likes of Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sure, the three groups seemingly have little in common; however, despite each of the band’s roots – Bon Jovi’s hair metal, the Peppers’ funk/alternative and the Goo’s punk – all three found platinum success at adult top 40 radio. Can you imagine telling each of the band members when they were 18 where their group genre-wise would be most at home?

“Yeah, it’s funny, a lot of people who heard our earlier records say go back and make that record again, that hard rock or punk rock record,” Takac said. “It’s sort of like we’re not those punk rock kids that we were, so I don’t think we’d feel right about going in and making a record of that sort. It wouldn’t be authentic. Just being able to grow and move forward, that’s what we love to do. Obviously we’ve left a few (fans) along the way but I think we’ve done a good job at maintaining a lot of those fans who have been around for a while, and being able to add some new ones to that as well.”

What can’t be denied is the fact the Goo Goo Dolls have added plenty of ladies into the mix over the past 15 years.

Speaking of feeling authentic, Takac quipped, “Yeah, it beats looking at a bunch of dudes.”