Q&A with Goo Goo Dolls bass guitarist, Robby Takac

InterviewSeptember 28, 2010The Daily Orange

The Goo Goo Dolls will make Syracuse its next stop of its 2010 tour. The band is coming to Mulroy Civic Center's Crouse-Hinds Theater at the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The band's bass guitarist, Robby Takac, talked with The Daily Orange about the band's long history with the Syracuse area and its new album, "Something For The Rest Of Us."

The Daily Orange: Have you ever played in Syracuse before?

Takac: Tons of times. We played at the (New York State) Fairgrounds about three to four times over the years. Being from Buffalo, (N.Y.), this is one of the places we could drive up to. We used to play at the Lost Horizon and the Pyramid Gallery. Of course there are so many other beautiful theaters as well.

It's pretty close to your hometown of Buffalo. Do you get that hometown feel when you do play here?

It means I can get a night with my cats. I just moved back to Buffalo after spending 13 years in L.A. I opened a studio, which is where we recorded a lot of our new album, and I kept it open commercially once we were finished.

Is there a certain place you make sure you hit on every tour?

My wife is from Japan, so I really enjoy going to Tokyo and hanging out. It's like being on Mars, and it's a lot of fun. We've been there a thousand times. It's one of my favorite places on the planet. If you ever get a chance to go to Japan, go there. It's really an amazing place.

Your new album just came out at the end of August. What types of issues do the songs deal with? What were you hoping to accomplish with these lyrics?

I don't think it is a stretch to think that some folks are going to be able to relate to what's on this record. There are still 10,000 people shooting guns over in Iraq and Afghanistan. It sure doesn't seem like an end of the war to me. It's really a terrifying time. You have to take a real look at what's going on. When it is time for us to start writing about stuff, we just sit down and write, and within a few months, the record takes on a theme. You look out into the vast equation, which comprises humanity, and it's not always a happy situation. That was something that needed to be addressed.

How is this album's sound different from your previous works?

We're obviously a little bit older, so when we go into the studio, physically we have a producer leading us through the process. But this time, we weren't really looking for him to guide us through the process, but rather work with us through the process. We thought we were done, and we turned it in. Then we started listening to the tracks and ended up bringing up the files again. We had all the songs out, and we were working on all of them again. We brought in a few of our other fans to help us out. The difference with this record is we were a little more in control than we were in past records. It was our record to make and up to us to get it done. It sounds more like a record we would make because we had more input.

Will you play mostly new songs? Or can we expect to hear some of the classics?

We usually play about half our new record. We know there are a good 13, 14 songs that we need to play because people would be really upset if we didn't. That's a really good problem to have.

Are you getting the type of response you were looking for with this album?

The response we are looking for is that people relate to what we are doing. We have been making records for a long time. Each time we go and try to put one out, we get an internal crisis. You sort of forget about that stuff and just write about what's on your mind. We did 100 shows before this record came out. Videos from those shows were making it onto YouTube and Facebook pages, and a huge amount of the audience knew these new songs. The Internet is always something we are terrified of. It could single-handedly be the demise for the radio industry. For the first time on this tour, I got to see something positive happen. People actually understand how it works and are having real relationships. People are discovering music and discovering songs. For someone to be singing a song we haven't even put out yet, that has never happened before. We have 600,000 people on our fan page, and I can reach those people in 10 seconds. Take that away from music and put that into real people's lives. I do see a way this thing can start to bring people together. I notice it in my little world, and my little world is making rock music. The impact this can have is a pretty exciting thing.

Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

We do a canned good drive at all our concerts. It's called USAHarvest.org. We have raised over 9 million meals. Please bring canned goods or nonperishable items to the concert. Whoever brings the most gets to come back and meet the band and take pictures and things like that. We appreciate all the help we can get, so please come and support our cause.