John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls talks about 20th anniversary tour

InterviewSeptember 22, 2018Digital Journal

New York - John Rzeznik, the lead singer and guitarist of the Goo Goo Dolls, chatted with Digital Journal about their 20th anniversary tour of their seminal album "Dizzy Up the Girl."

"It amazes me that it has been that long," he said, about Dizzy Up the Girl celebrating its 20-year anniversary. "It's interesting to go back to it and to re-learn the songs, and get into the guts of the songs. It is taking me back to where my head was at that time. It is bringing back a lot of memories."

From that landmark album, Rzeznik selected "Hate This Place" as the song that he enjoys playing the best.

Dizzy Up the Girl features their signature song "Iris," and a very memorable performance of that song for Rzeznik took place on July 4, 2004, when they performed it in their hometown, Buffalo, New York. "Most of the music equipment got destroyed, I need to be honest," he said, referring to the downpour. "We got lucky, and just enough of it was left."

When asked what motivates him each day, Rzeznik responded, "I still love what I do, which is great. I still feel potential in what I am creating, and what I create with other people. My daughter also motivates me. I have lived a pretty blessed life."

Rzeznik described fatherhood as "fun, yet terrifying." "I had to learn not to drop f-bombs every five seconds," he said. "It forces you to become the person you should have been all along."

On Monday, October 15, they will be performing at the iconic Beacon Theatre in New York City. "The Beacon is a great place," Rzeznik said. "We are doing the album front to back, and the second half of the show will be the deeper cuts from some of the records. We will go as back as Hold Me Up and play a few songs from there. It should be fun. This whole event was put together for the hardcore fans."

Rzeznik continued, "The Beacon Theatre speaks for itself. It is so full of ghosts that it really makes every show there special. I always love playing there."

If he weren't a musician, his alternate career choice would have been a schoolteacher during the day and a bartender at night.

Rzeznik defined the word success as "Getting to do what I want to do for a living, without screwing anybody over in the process."

Digital transformation of the music business

On the impact of technology on the music business, Rzeznik said, "Technology poses an interesting problem. Some of it will get sorted out with the passage of The Music Modernization Act. There's a certain democratization to the whole thing of having the Internet. Then, you can't put the genie back in the bottle, and just say 'you got the music for free for so long and now you have to pay for it.' Right now, it is a singles-driven world."

In his daily routine as a musician, Rzeznik records his song ideas in Voice Memos, and he does all his demos on his laptop. "There is no way around that. It is very convenient," he said. "Obviously, I use a lot of software for synthesizers and keyboards."

Rzeznik described the resurgence of vinyl as "pretty cool." "I never appreciated vinyl until I listened to it again," he said. "As a kid, I was always pretty bad with my records. I didn't save them, and I never put them away. Looking back, it really does sound different. Vinyl has a special sound."

For his fans, Rzeznik concluded about the 20th anniversary tour, "Come on out. If you knew that record when it came out, come and celebrate the whole thing with us. If you didn't know that record, and you are a fan of the band from the later material, come out and check out what we were doing."