The AG Interview with Robby Takac

InterviewJune 9,

The AG site was fortunate enough this past week to interview Robby Takac, founding member and bassist for the Goo Goo Dolls. After playing catch up, we dug into some of your questions, which he had already seen on the AG Twitter, Facebook and Message Board.

AGS: So wow, Magnetic. Drop day is almost here.

Robby: Yeah, wow, right?

AGS:  So how is drop day different now than it was 25 years ago?

Robby:  Wow, well, drop day 25 years ago was the day the Xeroxes for our cassette cover art were done, you know? Or the day stuff showed up in our mailbox. Now there’s a different mechanism for everything, and so much of it is in someone else’s hands. We had the album done before the May release date, but the label decided to push it back, so you know, what are you going to do? They had certain things that needed to be in place before it was released, and that’s their job, so yeah, it’s a whole different mechanism.

AGS: I don’t think some people realize that the band doesn’t choose a release date, just like the singles …

Robby:  Yeah, like the singles, they choose the singles, that’s their job, you know. We do our thing, and that’s theirs.

AGS:  A fan asked how involved the band was in mixing this time out. I know the production of this record was different in a lot of respects.

Robby: Well, actually we did this pretty much like we’ve done the last couple records. We came up with a demo, an idea, you know; John working with Greg, or Andy or whoever, and he makes a demo with the drum machine and all that. Then we listen to it, and come in with our ideas, and lay down the tracks. It really works pretty well.

AGS:  Another question we got from several fans was, would you ever re-release an old album, remastering or remixing it again?

Robby: Well you know, we sort of did that, you know, already.

AGS: Right, EOAC

Robby: Right man, exactly. I don’t think we’ll do that probably again, but you can never rule it out I guess -- who knows what will happen. Maybe some sort of box set someday or something, but you know man, I think right now we have enough “greatest hits” things out.  And it’s not like we’re one of those bands that has extra stuff sitting around we haven’t used.

AGS:  I don’t know, I think people would buy it, if it was out there. I know the merch goal is always to sell as much per person in merch as the ticket price they paid, but you know ...

Robby: Right, yeah, we’re not really one of those bands man, you know.

AGS: Not the Gene Simmons merch plan.

Robby: (Laughing) No man, there’s not going to be any Goo Goo Dolls coffins for sale soon. We do have water bottles though I guess, so you know, that’s something.

AGS:  A lot of fans have commented over the years how great it was when you covered “You Shook Me All Night Long” at the 9:30 Club. People loved it and the video has been floating around -- any chance you’ll ever cover it again?

Robby: (laughing) No man, no way; I couldn’t talk for days after that, it killed my throat. It was fun, you know, it was for his birthday,

AGS: Seth’s.

Robby:  Yeah, Seth’s and you know, he was on drums, and it was fun, but no, probably never again man. I think Damage played then too? It was really fun, it was, but no.

AGS: And if you could cover any song you haven’t?

Robby: Well, we did a cover a few years ago of “Rough Boys”, and I’d really like to do that live, man.  We recorded it but then we’ve never really got around to rehearsing it to do it live, but that would be cool, I’d really like that.

AGS: So, you’re getting ready to head out pretty soon with Matchbox 20 on this co-headlining tour. I know a few years ago we talked about how you guys were thinking of having Rob Thomas out with you, but that didn’t really pan out ... are you looking forward to this?

Robby:  Oh man, I think it’s a really great opportunity, for both bands, you know. If you think of all the records that have been sold, you know, between both bands over the years, it’s really amazing. Just really amazing.  And apparently it’s been selling well, you know.

AGS: And some more shows have been added, or will be added soon, right. And now the Darien Lake show is officially listed.

Robby: Yeah but that’s just us, of course.

AGS: Yeah, and you know, Darien Lake .. not always a favorite Buffalo venue. I know a lot of fans would rather have had the band at Shea’s or the waterfront or another venue, but you know-

Robby: Yeah well, you know, they looked at doing it a couple different places but really, we’re sort of locked into this now, with Darien Lake and all and it works well, you know.

AGS: Yep.

Robby: Yeah

AGS: So, another question from fans, any pre-tour rituals or traditions?

Robby: Right now I’m just focused on spending as much time with my daughter as possible before this thing gets going. She’s 16 months now, and she’s flown all over; Japan, the US, and now, while she’s not in school yet, you know, I just want to spend as much time as possible with her.  Hana is learning both Japanese and English, mostly from Miyoko. My Japanese isn’t that great, but I’m trying, learning.

AGS: On your Twitter recently you answered questions from fans in Japan in Japanese. Was that actually you typing all of that?

Robby: I did a little, but mostly it was my wife and the person from the record company and there. Dude, I lost 400 followers from doing that, it was crazy!

AGS: So is there hope for Goo Goo Dolls fans outside the US and UK for the band touring there during the Magnetic run?

Robby:  We really want to get out of the US more if possible, and tour more, yeah man. I’d love to do Southeast Asia, South America and all over. I just did press in Japan and John did in the UK plus Italy and some other countries, so you know, I think that’s a pretty good indicator that maybe they might be sending us over there, hopefully.  We’d love to man, those fans are great.  We sort of oversaturate the US with shows, but you know, people seem to like us here, so hey.

AGS: Any venues on your bucket list? Yours personally?

Robby: I’d love to do, we’d love to do, an O2 Arena tour.  But you know, the odds of that happening, I don’t know.

AGS: Hey, with Iris back up on the charts again there, and the new record, who knows ...

Robby: Yeah, who knows man.

AGS: And .. indoor or outdoor shows, fans ask which is your favorite?

Robby: Well, when it’s 110 degrees out, indoors. And I’m sure we’ll have some of those days this tour, so you know. We seem to really hit the weather.

AGS:  Sometimes when John talks about each new album, he tends to sort of bag on the album before it, on the past, not really denigrating them, but sort of, you know, having a different focus.  Do you feel the same way about your past work, and especially about the early albums? How do you see that work?

Robby:  I look at our past albums a little differently than John does, I think.  John likes to look forward, not back, always forward, but I think that some of those early albums, the first couple albums or so, that there was a .. beauty, in them, in a way. I know that’s an odd word to use, beauty, but I believe it’s there. It’s part of you, you know? And not just in our music, in other music that you listen to from back then, from your past, you know?  It’s like, it takes you back to that moment, to being there. It’s like your personal soundtrack, it’s part of you.

AGS:  I think a lot of Goo Goo Dolls fans would say that your early work is part of the soundtrack of their lives.

Robby:  Yeah man, that’s cool, it’s like, there is beauty there. There is.

Many, many thanks to Robby for taking the time to call us for this interview, plus everyone at WBR and PMMLA -  you all rock!