Goo Goo Dolls leave the studio behind

InterviewApril 11, 2010Unknown source

BRAD PATTON For The Times Leader

Having been stuck in the studio too long, Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac says, the multiplatinum band really looks forward to playing some live shows, including one at the F.M. Kirby Center at 8 tonight.

“It always takes longer than you expect,” the 45-year-old from Buffalo, N.Y., said. “This was the very first time we went into the studio right after touring, and we didn’t have any songs ready beforehand.”

Those sessions saw the band recording with a number of different producers, including Tim Palmer (who has worked with Robert Plant, Pearl Jam and David Bowie’s group Tin Machine) and Butch Vig (best known for his work with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins) and ended up taking two years. The fruits of the effort will be released in June as the group’s ninth studio album, “Something For The Rest Of Us.”

“We just finished our last session with Butch Vig two days ago,” Takac said. “We did the basic tracks in Buffalo, and then we went out to L.A. and worked in a couple different studios.

“It is all being mixed now by Paul David Hager, who has been working with us for a long time and really knows our sound.”

While the album is prepared, Takac and his band mates, lead vocalist/guitarist John Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin, will play a series of shows at colleges and theaters (including the Kirby), wrapping up in the second week of June.

“When you spend so much time in the studio, you start to lose perspective, I think,” Takac said, adding that the band has worked up five of the new songs for the tour and will probably play three each night. “It took a long time, but this record allowed us to have the freedom and the time to do what we wanted.”

Goo Goo Dolls, named after a toy Rzeznik saw advertised in True Detective magazine, started in 1986 with Takac on lead vocals and drummer George Tutuska. After two albums, Rzeznik took over as lead vocalist, and the group started to find its sound.

The breakthrough came with fifth album “A Boy Named Goo” in March 1995 (original drummer Tutuska appears on the album but was replaced by Malinin shortly after it was recorded) and a song called “Name” written by Rzeznik and Takac, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the magazine’s Adult Top 40 chart.

The band hit the stratosphere in 1998 with “Iris” from the film “City of Angels” starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. A commercial and critical success, the song spent an incredible 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 (and 17 weeks atop the Adult Top 40 listing) and was nominated for three Grammy awards.

The group’s other big hits on the Adult Top 40 charts include: 1998’s “Slide” (two weeks at No. 1), 2002’s “Here Is Gone” (four weeks at No. 3), 2004’s cover of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” (eight weeks at No. 1), and 2005’s “Better Days” (five weeks at No. 3).

All in all, the band placed a record 14 consecutive songs in the Top 10 of the Adult Top 40 charts between 1995 and 2007. But, Takac admitted, that stellar track record doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in this day of iTunes, MP3s and the internet.

“The (music) business is in a very weird place now,” Takac said. “No one, including management and record labels, (has) any idea how to do this anymore.

“It is a terrifying time,” he said with a laugh. “But at the same time, it is a very exciting time.”