Hey Robby - Got A Minute?

InterviewUnknownUnknown source

Hey Robby - Got A Minute?
Your Interview with Robby Takac of the
Goo Goo Dolls
(As told by Debbie Seagle)

Well . . . well . . . well . . . You just never know who you are going to run into in the Rock n World. You never know when you are going to find yourself in someone's neighborhood, even if it takes an airplane, a subway and a taxi cab to get into that neighborhood! Always thinking of you guys, I have been searching for the perfect little something to tuck in your holiday stockings this year and I just happened to stumble across it . . . or did he stumble into me? Yeah, that's what happened . . . here I am, minding my own business back stage on the MP3 Technology Tour recently when down the halls comes Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls, riding on a beach bicycle, an infectious grin on his face. I stop him to tell him I like his bike and he can't contain his delight when he confides that "It's not mine, I stole it from him," as he motions towards a group of people stooped over a cache of audio equipment.

Some of you regular Rock n World readers may remember the Goo Goo Dolls feature we ran this summer when we asked you to be the armchair interviewers and tell us what you would ask the members of the band if you had the chance. Of course there is no way to guarantee that we can make your dreams come true . . . but I've always said that anything can happen in the Rock n World. Now, as luck would have it, and completely by coincidence, I happen to find myself in the same city and the same building with Robby Takac. And, you wouldn't believe what I have in my brief case . . . the Goo Goo Dolls interview questions! What are the chances? (Its my job to make sure those chances are pretty good!) Those of you who took the time to put your imaginations to work and submitted virtual questions to Robby this summer are now going to be calling me your best friend . . . and those of you who didn't - shame on you! Don't you feel like you missed the train?

So, Rock n World readers, here is my little stocking stuffer to you. Your interview with Robby, just the way you wanted it. I had it pretty easy. I didn't have to do the usual preparation for an interview. I could get used to this! Your questions for Robby were taken from the web site feature and I used them to have a great conversation with him. It turns out he was very happy to hear what our readers had to say when they reached into the cyber void at him. Now here he comes, reaching back at ya . . .

"So what is he like" you ask? Well, while some rock stars are dark and brooding, Robby Takac is the kind of guy that makes you want to run out onto the playground with him and swing upside down on the monkey bars. The barefoot Goo bass man seems to have the spirit of a child who just wants to have fun. He is funny, thoughtful and serious about making music. I can't wipe the stupid grin off my face as we talk. Pull up a chair and get comfortable, here's how it went:

Debbie Seagle/Rock N World: The first question is from Nigel, and Nigel wants to know when you will be doing your next album, and the overwhelming opinion is - Lets hear some rockers!

Robby Takac: "Well I think, I know that we’re gonna start writing for the new record probably soon, like within the next month. We have to sort of land ourselves first, sleep in the same bed for a little while. Start concerning ourselves more with real life than this odd world that we’ve been put in for the past five years, you know? This isn’t the real world and I think us sitting here and writing songs about this is sort of inappropriate. I’ve always sort of felt that, so every time we come back from tour we sit down and try to regroup a little bit before we start making decisions about what our next move is going to be."

RNW: Are you most comfortable doing that back home or do you get away to Jamaica or something?

Robby: "It just depends where home is. Home is always Buffalo and someplace. That’s sort of the way its been working for us over the last bit. The business end of this makes us be in a lot of different places so we’ll probably spend most of our time between Buffalo and Los Angeles."

RNW: What about the comment about the rockers? Do you have any good rockers left in you?

Robby: "Well, that’s generally what I do, period."

RNW: I know. I’ve noticed that about you.

Robby: "For me its sort of more of the same. For John, John is going to move as he always does, in both directions. I think Dizzy had some of the heaviest stuff, as well as some of the most melodic and interesting acoustically put together songs that we’ve ever done. I think that that’s sort of what we try to do with every record. We try to push the walls up in both directions, instead of just going one way or the other because you tend to limit yourself at that point, I think."

RNW: And it makes the project more interesting for the consumer too, the music fans.

Robby: "Well we have this bizarre concept of trying to make good albums. I don’t think a lot of people do that any more. I know that sounds ridiculous, I don’t think that no one does, but I think a lot of people just write a bunch of songs and hope they have those two that are going to sell records for them. And I don’t think we’ve ever really felt that way. We’ve always tried to make sure that our records have gone enough interesting places that you could sit and listen to 40 minutes worth of music, which is really difficult I think, sort of."

RNW: If its all the same, it would be really difficult.

Robby: "You know, in this day and age, like I said, most of . . . I don’t want to offend any bands."

RNW: Do you want me to stop the tape (laugh)?

Robby: "No, you’ll get what I’m saying. Like most bands have a couple of songs that are sort of unique from the record and very, very produced and very calculated. And the rest of the record seems to be full of one sort of music. That’s what I’ve noticed, so those records get boring, you know? You want to take people on a - not to sound pretentious, too pretentious anyway - you want to take people on sort of a trip through your record. A journey through your record so it remains interesting as does a book or a movie."

RNW: Right, because your character and a little bit of who you are is going to be reflected in what you are putting out anyway.

Robby: "Exactly."

RNW: So you’re kind of telling them your story or someone else’s story?

Robby: "Exactly."

RNW: Okay, next question: Lilly says "I’ve heard you say that you would change the band’s name if you could. What would you change it to?"

Robby: "I would change it to something other than Goo Goo Dolls."

RNW: I liked Sex Maggots (the band's first name) myself, but that’s me, I don’t know.

Robby: "I think that’s the only thing that we could have named it that was like, worse, actually. You know, I mean we did take a step up. Not too much but you know, we jumped up on the curb."

RNW: I don’t know, I think that shakes people up. There’s something to be said about that.

Robby: "Yeah, well it did back then, I’ll tell ya."

RNW: Jonie wants to know why it took so long for you to catch on in the mainstream.

Robby: "I think in the first few records we made, they weren’t records that could have worked in the mainstream. Actually these last three records we made, I don’t think could have existed in the mainstream that existed when we were putting out our earlier records. I think we just sort of came around to where radio was coming around to, completely coincidentally, trust me."

RNW: The mainstream is pretty much a moving target though, isn’t it?

Robby: "Yeah, you can’t really say I’m going to do this sort of thing and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be successful, when it comes to the sort of world we try to live within, musically. You know, we’re just making records, guitar records."

RNW: "I don’t think hooks and singles really come into the song writing process, am I right?"

Robby: "Well, the hooks do. The hooks always have, but singles, we never wanted to pick a song on a record and say 'okay, we’re going to work on these two songs as singles.' Then you tend to deny a lot of the record. Songs that we put together for records in the past and we never thought would be singles became singles. Like, what’s a good example? Like "Long Way Down." We never, ever thought that would be a single. But it ends up being one, interestingly enough. Cool song, but who would have known that radio would have played it?"

RNW: You never know . . .

Robby: "Exactly, that’s my point I guess. All you can do is do what you do, and do it as well as you can."

RNW: Amanda says: "I’m sure a lot of things have changed for you since you became so successful. What do you miss most about being a regular guy from Buffalo?"

Robby: "I guess the thing I miss the most is, like I said, being able to have some stability. I’m not complaining, because I think that’s a really rude thing to do when you are blessed with life like we have, but I will say that I think the thing I miss the most is being able to have that sort of physical relationship with people and your things, and your community and circle of friends and stuff like that. I think that’s probably the toughest part. All the traveling."

RNW: Having a house and a dog?

Robby: "Yeah, just the things that make you you."

RNW: Summer softball league and such?

Robby: "Yeah, or whatever. Like, its funny, I carry a suitcase that I only use on days off. It’s just full of the stuff I need to be me. It’s cool. I have all my little toys and all my little things that I like to have around my house and now I’ll take that suitcase and drop it in my new living room and on I go."

RNW: Just a couple questions of my own now Robby - I’ve noticed that the last two times I have seen your shows the ticket prices have been really reasonable, allowing younger fans to participate a lot more. Has this been a conscious effort on the part of the band?

Robby: "Yeah, we never wanted to make things too expensive so obviously kids couldn’t come in. But I think that along with Levi’s helping us out in the summer and MP3 helping us out on this trip, we’ve been able to keep the ticket prices down and still bring a big rock show to town."

RNW: You’re pretty much unique in that respect.

Robby: "You want to try to keep things reasonable and we do our best to do that."

RNW: Tell me about this toy drive you are doing on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December.

Robby: "Sure, we’re collecting toys for three days and you get a signed 8x10 if you bring a wrapped toy (to one of these concerts in Buffalo, NY). Once we collect all the toys, we’re going to leave half of them in the city of Buffalo for some kids there and then we’re going to, the Navy has offered to take half of them to Bosnia with us and we can help out some kids there who are probably in a pretty bizarre situation right now. I would imagine it would be tough to be a kid over there right now."

RNW: Absolutely. Well, I know you need to be going. I will be there tonight at the show.

Robby: "Cool, do you have passes and stuff?"

RNW: Well, I have interviews and I’m going to be photographing a couple sets.

Robby: "Okay, so you’ll be back here."

RNW: So, I’ll be hanging out and I have a little gift (a book) to bring you for taking the time to talk with me this afternoon. I'll find you.

Robby: "Oh, no problem. I’m the short guy with the red hair."

RNW: Yeah, you’re the one I can never get a good shot of. Every time I photograph you, you look like a sheep dog with your hair hanging in your eyes.

Robby: "That’s groovy, that’s just the way I like it!"

RNW: Okay, see ya.

Robby: "Later dude."

RNW: Thanks, bye.

And there you have it . . . just another groovy day in the Rock n World!