Goo Goo Dolls tour stops at King Center in Melbourne

InterviewNovember 3, 2011Florida Today

The multiplatinum and Grammy-nominated band the Goo Goo Dolls’ performance at the King Center on Saturday night is to promote their latest CD, “Something for the Rest of Us.”

It was released on Warner Brothers Records in August 2010. Perhaps best-known for their hit single “Iris,” which spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. charts in 1998, the Goo Goo Dolls have had 14 Top 10 singles in the U.S. and have sold more than 9 million albums worldwide. Recently “Iris” rejuvenated their success and was a No. 1 single on the U.K. charts this year after a cover version was sung on the U.K. version of “The X Factor.”

Formed in 1986 in Buffalo, N.Y., by friends John Rzeznik (vocals/guitar) and Robby Takac (bass) and joined by Mike Malinin on drums in 1994, the Goo Goo Dolls have been steadily churning out hits for more than 25 yearswith their radio-friendly sound that is deep lyrically and strong musically.

I spoke with Robby Takac about the band’s beginning, maturation and new CD. Let’s Shake Rattle & Know: the Goo Goo Dolls

Q:“Something for the Rest of Us” is still considered a new release. despite being over a year old now. Why do you think it has taken almost a year for the album to gain momentum?

A: I don’t really know why. There is a lot of info out there and people have to be diligent and work hard to find out what’s going on. We as a band have to be touring and branding ourselves. A “flesh and blood” approach replaces the old ways of doing things because it’s more about the experience than ever before. The business has compartmentalized itself. You have your Top 40 and then everything else. Although it is easy to put out a record, people buy singles online, and it’s not so much about a full album anymore. It’s harder to keep track of who is doing what and when.

Q: Most bands last only a few years, yet you have managed to stay together for over 25 years. What has been your key to longevity?

A: I think it is because we are still interested in seeing what happens next. We still have the same motivation to find out what’s around the corner for us. On the other side, people are still interested in what we are doing, as well, and still want to be a part of what we are doing. I think that is why it works.

Q: How different of a band are you now than from your early years?

A: We were crazy back then. We just wanted to drink beer and meet girls. As you grow up, the band matures and the music follows. If we had stayed that crazy, punk rock whatever-you-want-to-call-it band we were as kids, we wouldn’t still be around.

Q: Do you think you would have had success if you had kept your original band name, “The Sex Maggots?”

A: (Laughing) No, I am pretty sure we wouldn’t. Heck, I’m surprised the name we did choose kept us going all these years.

Q: In the 25-plus years since you first started in the music business, record labels and the approach to the business due to Internet downloading has changed everything.
How has it changed the way you, as a band, have to approach the business?

A: We have to be cognizant of the way the product is consumed, and we have to be active in it. People now discover music, news, weather and everything else instantly and electronically, so we have to be a part of that now. People think the digital era destroyed the music business, but it really changed how you have to approach it. Music will always be a part of people’s everyday lives. The pay is a lot less because of downloading, so you have to tour, and keep yourself out there in front of the people.

Q:Some people have said that lyrically “Something for the Rest of Us” is a more somber, even darker record. Did the band go into the recording with any preconceived notions of what type of record you wanted to make or is that just the way it turned out?

A: The record reflects just what we see around us. It’s a dark time out there and people have no optimism while people are struggling. We write with honesty, so it was inevitable that reflects in the lyrics of our songs.

Q: Creatively, what do you enjoy more, the recording process or playing live?

A: Both are pretty awesome because you approach the two very differently. I think our new CD reflects more of what we sound like live since, for the first time, some of our touring musicians played on the CD as well. It’s hard to pinpoint one aspect you enjoy more than the other, because of the differences in approach.

Q:When the tour is over with, how much gas will you have left in the Goo Goo Dolls fuel tank?

A: I don't know. A lot I hope. We don’t ever want to become a nostalgic act. If we ever start to feel that way, we will probably have to have a sit-down conversation on what to do then.

Q: What do you have in store for the King Center fans at the show?

A: We promise a great show, that’s for sure. Also, through USA Harvest and our street teams, we are asking fans to bring nonperishable foods goods to the concert that we will distribute throughout the community. One person donating food goods will win backstage passes to come hang out with us.