The Goo Goo Dolls continue to blossom

InterviewJuly 24, 2011Washington Examiner

The Goo Goo Dolls make staying cool 20-plus years after you formed look too easy.

Think about how the Goo Goo Dolls, who brought us such classic rock hits as "Iris" and "Slide," still draw the 20- and 30-something crowds for their king-sized shows. What's even more telling is how the band's new music -- including the just-released song "All That You Are" from the movie soundtrack "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" -- is continually embraced by fans. After a bit, anyway.

"Have you ever seen a dog just tilt it's head to the left [in a curious pose]?" asked bassist Robby Takac with a laugh when discussing the group's recent concerts. "That's what we're seeing in the audience when we come out on stage and start playing and people are waving their arms around and then sort of stop."

The reason, he said, is the band is starting to play some new songs including ones that are on its recent EP "iTunes Live From Soho," that was recorded last December. The band recorded the EP, in part, as a way to begin to introduce new music that will be out later this year on a new studio album.

"This band is sort of rooted in a different place than a lot of different bands," said Takac. "We can go from playing in a dirty bar making the best of a couple mics and a broken drum set and grew into a band that is more recognized. We still keep the idea that we go out and do small gigs with a couple little amps and a tiny drum set we can carry ourselves just because we can and we think it's important to do."

Staying true to the band's roots has always resonated with fans as evidenced by their upward trajectory despite some critical pans especially when the band came to prominence in the mid-1980s.

"People always ask me about the longevity and it boils down to we stayed together. That is just what we did," said Takac of his band mates' singer-guitarist John Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin. "We were having a conversation on the bus the other day about when we were kids making records and all of our friends were saying we'd be more successful if we were in the post-punk kind of thing. But we were a weird band, too heavy for alt, too wussy for punk, too wussy for metal. Plus, we didn't want to be tied down to one thing or another so we kept to our way of thinking. Obviously, we started to develop a fingerprint that people recognized, but we still don't want to limit ourselves."