Goo Goo Dolls extend their record for most Adult Pop Songs top 10s, as “Home” becomes their 14th. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to our audience for keeping us busy for the last 15 years,” Goo Goo Dolls’ frontman John Rzeznik told Billboard. “It’s an honor to be ranked with the other great artists that have dominated this format at radio” …
FOSTER (voice-over): With songs like “Iris,” which featured in the
1998 film “City of Angels,” the Goo Goo Dolls have won an army of fans. In fact, “Iris” was so popular, it spent almost a year in the US Billboard charts, including a phenomenal 18 weeks at number one.
And that was just the beginning. The Goo Goo Dolls are behind some of the most memorable songs of the 1990s, including “Slide,” “Big Machine,”
and “Name.” Even Barack Obama is a fan. The Goo Goo Dolls sang songs like “Stay With You” at a concert in 2007 to raise money for his presidential campaign.
Today, they are back with a new album, “Something for the Rest of Us,”
and I began by asking them about it.
JOHN RZEZNIK, LEAD SINGER, THE GOO GOO DOLLS: During economic hard times, people sort of tend to go to escapism in music.
FOSTER (on camera): Yes.
RZEZNIK: And I did the exact opposite on this album. I wanted to give a voice to a lot of people who are feeling kind of desperate and uncertain of where they’re going. We have friends who are losing their jobs and losing their homes, and it’s — or they’ve been affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
FOSTER: Kim O. “What are the upsides and downsides to being traveling musicians?
RZEZNIK: The downsides to traveling as a musician is getting your laundry done.
FOSTER: It just doesn’t get done.
ROBBY TAKAC, BASS PLAYER, THE GOO GOO DOLLS: Consistently.
RZEZNIK: It just doesn’t —
FOSTER: What do you do, just buy new stuff?
RZEZNIK: It’s the most frustrating thing, it’s the most frustrating part of it. And finding decent food to eat.
TAKAC: I think the greatest part, obviously, is being able to share what you do with people all over the world.
FOSTER: And does it always surprise you, the reaction you get in places?
TAKAC: Well, it’s crazy, when you think about an idea that maybe you came up with on your couch —
TAKAC: Is all of the sudden being screamed back at you on the other side of the world. It’s — if you don’t get some sort of excitement from that, then you’re in the wrong business, I think.
RZEZNIK: It’s pretty amazing, especially when we’re in the UK, just how active and involved in the shows the audience is, and the amount of adrenaline that I get from the audience here, you know? It’s — in America, it’s a little more passive of an audience. They’re just sort of –
FOSTER: — the rest of the time, probably.
RZEZNIK: Everybody cheers —
FOSTER: How does that go?
RZEZNIK: It’s really fun, because music means more to people here than it does —
FOSTER: Do you think?
RZEZNIK: I — absolutely.
RZEZNIK: Just judging by the all festivals that we’ve done here. It’s insane. It’s a rite of passage. Did you ever go to a festival when you were a kid and put your wellies on and drink and —
FOSTER: Yes, yes. And you’re there for days, and you can’t — you still remember bits, but it’s all a little vague. Jurgen R. Brul in Suriname, “What is behind the name Goo Goo Dolls?”
MIKE MALININ, DRUMMER, THE GOO GOO DOLLS: Where is he from?
TAKAC: Wow. Should make up —
RZEZNIK: I hope it’s not a Surinamese insult.
MALININ: Because we’re not sure what it means.
FOSTER: Did you check that out?
RZEZNIK: No, but our name in German is “Schmiere-Schmierepuppen.”
TAKAC: Which can’t be good, either.
RZEZNIK: It just doesn’t sound right.
FOSTER: Heather. “If you could choose any artist to work with, who would it be, and why?”
RZEZNIK: Wow. If I could choose any artist to work with, who would it be and why? I’d like to work with someone like Matt Bellamy from Muse because his — I think that band is really pushing music forward a lot.
And you hear the influence, their influences, but the whole thing is just so intense and, like — it’s like this post-apocalyptic soundtrack, you know? It’s just so intense, I’d love to see what he would do with one of our songs.
FOSTER: You guys, anyone in particular?
MALININ: No. I just play drums.
FOSTER: You can’t express a preference about the singer, I don’t think?
MALININ: Obviously, there’s a lot of musicians that we all admire, and it would be great to work with any of them. There’s a huge gamut of them, so I don’t even know where to begin.
FOSTER: OK. Michael Julian. “What has been your biggest source of inspiration?”
RZEZNIK: On “Something for the Rest of Us,” the biggest source of inspiration has just been really sort of — talking to people and listening to what’s going on in their lives. We meet people every day. There’s a song on the album, it’s called “Not Broken,” which is basically, I met a woman at a meet-and-greet, and she handed me a letter, and it was a letter about how her husband had been wounded in Iraq, and he did — he was really apprehensive about coming back and settling back in with her because his entire life and his physical form was changed in an instant. I just wanted to write a litter to him from her, saying that, it’s time to come home and start our lives over again.
FOSTER: And did you get a response to the song from them?
RZEZNIK: No, I don’t — I have no idea who she is. It’s just — you do these meet-and-greets, and people, they always — we never get the supermodel’s phone numbers, you know? We have —
MALININ: We get the really sad stories.
RZEZNIK: We always get a lot of stories about the music and where it fits into people’s lives.
FOSTER: That’s a compliment, isn’t it?
RZEZNIK: I think so. But — getting a supermodel’s phone number once in a while wouldn’t hurt, right?
MALININ: I’m hearing that.
Daniel Beyeler of Swisscom Talk sat down with the Goo Goo Dolls on 11-21-10, watch the interview![vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/17523565[/vimeo]
The Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac shares his thoughts on the cultural differences between the UK and the US, the power or radio formats and the sometimes absurd world of social media.
Aaaaahhh, sitting having a nice, nice cup of coffee.
(Well in an age of extreme internet specificity I will correct myself, a nice, nice macchiato – actually, let me go on this for a minute – thousands of tweets, tweeps, status updates and blog-o-thingys later I’m trying to re-evaluate the actual value of each piece of information leaving my cyber-launch pad on a daily basis. I mean, I really don’t need to know what Rob Thomas had for lunch, Questlove bought at the fruit market, or anything that a Palin family member has to say at all. But when in Rome, or closer to Rome, you know the rest. You tend to get caught up in the flowing current, so sorry. Actually, to be fair, if it weren’t for Twitter I wouldn’t have known James Phelps, the actor who plays “Harry Potter,” was at our last London gig…and maybe, as noted, his fans could care less about that fact, we’ll never know. I do know the random information channels helped me out at the that moment. Either way, there’s a lot of information humming down these lines, and it’s all out there for your consumption – and of course to help aid in the rise in status of the machiatto within our immediate GGD fan base. Wow, where did that come from?)
Okay, where was I ? Ah yes, at the glorious Café Nero High Street in Kensington. This is one of my favorite parts of travelling around these areas during our “Something for the Rest of Us” UK tour, a great place to steal a few minutes to yourself, charge up on some seriously hi test espresso and to find a refuge to type up a monthly blog for The Comet!
We’re here in London today, it’s cold rainy outside, and warm and cozy here inside as I type away on the ever present wireless signals available here in England. We’ve been here for the past two weeks touring w/ a band called Unkle Bob in the support slot, making our way from Glasgow, Scotland to our second show in London during this visit (the first London show was at the Brixton Academy – sold out to the rafters – so we added a second night at the HMV Forum tagged on to the last night of the tour). These shows really have been pretty amazing. I forget every time I leave to do shows across the UK I start to notice crowds are notably different when we play on this side of the pond.
I’m not discounting our US audiences by any means, we appreciate and are more than grateful for our amazingly dedicated fan base in the US, but there’s a definite difference in the way average people are “fed” and they way they choose to “consume” and make their musical artists a part of their everyday life. Having had the opportunity over the years to experience many different levels of notoriety, critical acclaim and commercial submersion.
The main difference seems to be that in the States, to the general public you’re momentum rides largely on the performance of your latest single release within the current “radio atmosphere,” but the UK audiences seem to really become part of the entire experience, fans of the musical experience in general as opposed to the last thing they’ve heard on the radio.
I must say I believe it’s due to the difference in the radio formats here. With less outlets the airspace available it seems the stations share airtime w/ multiple genres they feel fit their listenership, and with less of a choice of being absolutely pounded mercilessly by a specific format, the musical palette presented on a daily basis is much more varied, making for a more diverse musical experience in your every day travels.
The miracle that is the World Wide Web has now offered us multiple choices of outlets to grow our musical landscape, and share our musical ideas with “like-minded” folks around the world, not just at the end of our broadcast area. I think, once music is in the hands of the people, we have a chance to make an educated decision based on what’s out there, not just what we’re offered. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere, I’ll let you wrestle with that one in whatever context you see fit…
WHOA, I’m late for bus call!!!!! I’ve gotta haul ass to Liverpool for a show tonight, don’t forget to check out the new GGDs disc “Something for the Rest of Us” on Warner Brothers Records and don’t forget to visit www.goodcharamel.com for some bad ass rock from a bunch of Japanese Grlzzzzz (cuz that’s what we do around here).
All the best to you. Going to go visit the Cavern Club this afternoon. For those of you who might not know, it was the Beatles first real gig here in Liverpool. It’s sort of like the Beatles version of the GGDs Continental club in Buffalo, except that they just knocked the Continental down. No GGDs statue. No plaque. Just a big hole in the ground where a building used to be. Just like WTC7. Bummer. But then again, we’re not the Beatles. Oh, and the Beatles…i don’t want to be tossing rocks around in a glass house, but that’s a pretty silly name to…LOL…