Digital Journal – Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznik talks new EP, touring, longevity

By Markos Papadatos

Johnny Rzeznik, the lead singer and lead guitarist of the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, chatted with me about their new EP, summer touring and he opened up about longevity in the music industry.

On the song selection process for his You Should Be Happy EP, he said, “It was kind of quick. I had some ideas I was working on, so rather than putting them on the shelf, I decided to put these songs out. I was feeling them and I thought they were cool, and they were a good epilogue to the Boxes album, so it just felt right. We got together with the producer, went in the studio and we banged them out. I was pretty happy with it.”

Rzeznik listed “Used Me” as his personal favorite song on the EP. “It’s interesting to me. There are a couple of tracks on Boxes, and that song is more vibey. It is something that I haven’t really done before. I just enjoy the vibe of it. I just love playing around in the studio,” he said.

This past November, the Goo Goo Dolls played at the Beacon Theatre in the heart of New York City. “That was amazing. I love to play there,” he admitted.

On August 13, they will be performing at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, where they will be sharing the stage with singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips. “Jones Beach is always the spot on the tour that is my favorite spot. It’s always a great time. That’s one of the highlights of the tour,” Rzeznik said. “The whole area around New York is great, since people always come out and see the shows. We have really great nights in those places.”

Each day, he is motivated by fear. “I’m kidding but I’m not. I’m still looking for that one piece of music that just connects. I still believe that I have something inside me that can connect with people, and I chase that,” he said.

When asked to reflect on the last three decades, he said, “I see a lot of mistakes that actually turned into a pretty good life.”

Regarding the key to longevity in the music industry, he said, “You have to know your audience, embrace them and stay in touch with them as much as possible.” “I’m grateful that people come and see us play. I love them,” he said. “They are the reason that we have a career, so it’s nice to go out and see them.”

On his future plans, the Buffalo-born rocker said, “I plan on getting through this tour, and spending as much time as I can with my wife and daughter, Liliana. Hopefully, a lot more music, and a few more years to do this.”

Rzeznik listed Halsey and Sydney Sierota from Echosmith as his dream female duet choices. “Halsey has such a great voice, and I got to record a duet with Sydney from Echosmith and that was a great song that we did,” he said.

For aspiring bands, he encouraged them to have a hard work ethic. “Work as hard as you can. Don’t expect to get rich. Fuck fame cause it’s not that important, and just be honest and accept what you are given, and be grateful,” he said.

Aside from his musical endeavors, he also serves as a radio personality on SiriusXM. “Once a month, I have a radio show on SiriusXM’s Volume channel, it’s called ‘Chorus and Verse,’ and I interview songwriters, where we talk about songwriting. We geek out on songwriting,” he said.

The Goo Goo Dolls front-man defined the word success as follows: “Knowing that I’ve got enough, and not feeling like I got to get more.” “Being comfortable in my own skin and just having people around me that really care about me. Having family and some friends, that’s a good deal,” he said.

Johnny Rzeznik Talks New EP, Touring, Longevity 

Digital Journal – Review: Goo Goo Dolls glorious on new EP ‘You Should Be Happy’


Grammy-nominated group Goo Goo Dolls are back with their new EP “You Should be Happy,” which was released on Warner Bros. Records.

It was recorded at EastWest studios in Los Angeles, and subsequently produced by Drew Pearson (who has worked with such diverse artists as OneRepublic and Katy Perry) who first collaborated with the Goo Goo Dolls on their previous studio album, Boxes.
The EP opens with the upbeat and rocking “Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy,” which instantly lures the listener in this new five-track collection of songs. It is followed by the mid-tempo single “Use Me,” where Johnny Rzeznik’s vocals are rich and haunting. He co-wrote the latter song with his producer, Drew Pearson.
Robby Takac sings lead on “30K Feet,” which is an added treat. “Walk Away” is a masterpiece on acoustic guitar and Rzeznik’s captivating voice. It closes with the Alex Aldi mix of “Boxes,” which features soaring percussion.

The Verdict

Overall, Goo Goo Dolls stay true to their musical roots, and their distinct sound on their new You Should Be Happy EP. The band is still at the top of their game musically, in a music career that has spanned over three decades. This collection is well-crafted and it garners an A rating.
For more information on Goo Goo Dolls, their new EP and touring dates, check out their official website.

Goo Goo Dolls Glorious on New EP


Win Tickets and Meet & Greet Passes to the Goo Goo Dolls Show at Stir Cove!

The fantastic people at Stir Cove have given us 3 great prize packages to give away to the Goo Goo Dolls show on July 21, 2017, in Council Bluffs, IA! One lucky Grand Prize winner will score 2 tickets to the show, 2 meet & greet passes to meet the band, and 4 drink tickets! One 2nd place winner will win 2 tickets to the show and 4 drink tickets and a 3rd place winner will receive 2 tickets to the show and 2 drink tickets! To enter, send an email to with STIR COVE in the subject line, the answers to the questions at the link, and your name and address for identification when picking up tickets if you win!  Entries must be received by midnight CST on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Click the link below for the contest questions. Good luck!

Win tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls at Stir Cove


Goo Goo Dolls Enter Top 50 at Hot AC Radio

Singles by Selena Gomez, Goo Goo Dolls, Liam Payne, and LeAnn Rimes earn Top 50 rankings at hot adult contemporary radio this week.

Played 168 times during the May 28-June 3 tracking week (+84), Gomez’ “Bad Liar” ranks as the Mediabase Hot AC panel’s #45 song. It was #54 last week.

Up four spots, Goo Goo Dolls’ “Use Me” takes #47. It received 152 tracking week spins, besting last week’s count by 47 spins.

Credited with 139 spins (+89), Payne’s “Strip That Down (featuring Quavo)” jumps fifteen spots to #48.

Rimes’ “Love Is Love Is Love,” the last of this week’s Top 50 additions, rises three spots to #50. It received 128 tracking period plays (+33).

Goo Goo Dolls Enter Top 50 at Hot AC Radio

Goo Goo Dolls and Our Lady Peace to Headline at 2-Day Queen’s Plate Festival

TORONTO, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ – Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls will headline the 158th Queen’s Plate on Sunday, July 2, while Canadian rock icons Our Lady Peace will play a live concert on Saturday, July 1 to open the inaugural 2-DayQueen’s Plate Festival at Woodbine Racetrack.

General Admission tickets will go on sale to the public Saturday, June 3, with $1 from every ticket sold being donated to Rethink Breast Cancer. Tickets include 2-day access to both concerts as well as an extensive offering of attractions such as the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois and the main event, the running of the 158th Queen’s Plate horse race.

“After shattering attendance records last year, the Queen’s Plate will be bigger and better in 2017,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment Group. “We are building events that offer a great guest experience at Woodbine and the blend of live music, food, fashion and thrilling horse racing will introduce the sport to many in a terrific setting.”

The Queen’s Plate Festival kicks off on July 1 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday with live racing, incredible activations and a show-stopping post-race concert by home-grown talent, Our Lady Peace.

On July 2, fashionable crowds will flock to the track to witness the jewel of Canadian horse racing – the $1 million running of the Queen’s Plate. This year’s event will have live music across three stages, fashion, food and fantastic horse racing. The 2-day festival will come to a spectacular finish on Sunday evening with a live concert by the Goo Goo Dolls.

An event-within-an-event, the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois remains a race day favourite among young urbanites and style-setters donning dapper suits and floral frocks. After walking the red carpet, guests can play lawn games, learn to place a bet, and participate in the Fashion at the Races Best Dressed contests for men and women.

New for 2017 is the American Express Lounge. American Express Canada is a major sponsor of the Queen’s Plate Festival this year. Through this sponsorship, Amex Cardmembers will have access to a Front Of The Line presale before the general public, as well as exclusive onsite benefits, including:

  • American Express Lounge Access: Cardmembers can enjoy the exclusive, onsite lounge situated in the heart of the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois on July 1 by just showing their American Express Card to gain entry.
  • Premium Seating: There will be access to premium seating as part of the Front Of The Line ticket packages for trackside viewing during the race and access to the premium viewing area for the headlining concert for both days.

“At American Express, we’re always looking to enhance the Cardmember experience with unique offerings – that’s why we’re thrilled to sponsor the Queen’s Plate Festival for the first time,” said Tina Santoro, Director, Advertising & Sponsorships, American Express Canada. “With a wide range of events and activities to attend all weekend long, our Cardmembers will enjoy elevated experiences from beginning to end.”

Guests of the 158th Queen’s Plate can sip on Lily Sparkling Wine or enjoy a Blue Diamond, the race’s signature cocktail, while feasting on gourmet summer fare from the city’s best food trucks. Options include seafood from Buster’s Sea Cove, sustainable local fare from Heirloom, grilled cheese from Meltdown Cheesery, and an array of fun foods from the Apple Fritter Factory.

Follow along @WoodbineRacing for style inspiration, track tips & tricks, horse racing lingo lessons and the latest updates on everything #QP17.

General Admission tickets for the 2-Day Queen’s Plate Festival are thirty dollars ($30) and include access to both concerts, grounds, and the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois. American Express Lounge presales begin Thursday, June 1 at 10 AM. Tickets will go on sale to the general public Saturday, June 3 at 10 AM.

Tickets for the VIP Paddock Party held in Woodbine’s rustic and chic Old Standardbred Paddock are available now for seventy-five dollars ($75) and offer exclusive access to the Paddock Party and private trackside viewing area, in addition to a premium concert viewing area on July 1 & July 2.

American Express Lounge VIP packages will be available beginning June 1 for three-hundred and fifty dollars ($350) and provide an elevated guest experience. Packages offer all the benefits of the VIP Paddock Party ticket, plus gourmet food and alcoholic beverages, valet parking, and exclusive access to the VIP tent in the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois.

Grandstand seating, including access to both concerts, is available now starting at forty-five dollars ($45) and selling fast.

All tickets are available for purchase by visiting

The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s oldest thoroughbred horse race and longest continuously run race in North America. The prestigious event attracts horse racing fans, style-setters and entertainment-seekers, with more than 37,000 people in attendance last year. In 2016, the 1 ¼-mile race for three-year-old thoroughbreds was captured by Sir Dudley Digges.

Inaugurated with royal blessing in 1860, the running of the Queen’s Plate stakes has taken place each year since. The history of the race is closely linked with that of Toronto, and is regarded around the world as an event of international importance within the horse racing community. Each year, a member of the Royal Family or representative of the Monarchy in Canada attends the event and presents the Queen’s Plate trophy to the winning owner.  

@WoodbineRacing  #QP17 

Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls — made up of vocalist-guitarist John Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac — will be touring in support of their latest release, entitled Boxes, from Warner Bros. Records.

The Goo Goo Dolls are one of the most globally respected and influential forces in popular music, selling more than 10 million albums since 1986. They have scored 14 Top 10 radio hits (more than any other artist in the history of the Hot AC format), including “Name,” “Slide,” and “Iris,” the latter spending nearly 12 straight months on the Billboard charts and holding the No. 1 position for 17 consecutive weeks. The band has toured the globe countless times, performed in front of millions of fans, received numerous awards (including four Grammy nominations), and recorded and released ten studio albums, including their latest, Magnetic, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and at No. 2 on the Top Rock Albums chart, propelled by the single “Come To Me” — the fastest-growing single in the Goos’ history. Rzeznik has also been honored with the Songwriters Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award.

When Mark Van Doren, the American poet and teacher, wrote his famous work, “Our Lady Peace” in 1943, he couldn’t have imagined the concept of rock’n’roll, let alone that a Canadian rock group would adopt his title for their name. Consisting of Raine Maida, Duncan Coutts and Steve Mazur, Our Lady Peace is one of the most successful bands in Canada today. The band has sold over 5 million albums worldwide, won four JUNO Awards and ten Much Music Video Awards – one of the most MMVA’s ever awarded to any artist or group. The band’s latest album “Curve” debuted in the Top 10 of Canada’s national album sales chart. The album’s first single, “Heavyweight”, charted at #1 on Canada’s Mainstream Rock radio airplay chart.

SOURCE Queen’s Plate

For further information: For more information on the Queen’s Plate or to request interviews with spokespeople including musicians and Woodbine Entertainment Group staff please contact: Keith McCalmont,, 416 675 3993 +1 x2229; Signe Barlow,, 416 966 3421 x206

Goo Goo Dolls to Headline Queen’s Plate Festival

Headline Planet – Goo Goo Dolls Enter Top 55 at Hot AC Radio

by Brian Cantor

Goo Goo Dolls’ “Use Me,” Selena Gomez’ “Bad Liar,” and Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish (featuring Nicki Minaj)” are gaining traction at hot adult contemporary radio.

The former two move into the Top 55 this week, while the latter joins the Top 60.

Spun 105 times during the May 21-27 tracking week, “Use Me” ranks as the Mediabase Hot AC panel’s #51 song. It was #65 last week.

Up fourteen spots, “Bad Liar” takes #54. It received 84 tracking period spins.

“Swish Swish” meanwhile jumps from #84 to #59. The “Witness” single earned 59 tracking period plays.

Goo Goo Dolls Enter Top 55

Team Rock – Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik – The 10 Records That Changed My Life

by Grant Moon

A boy named Goo and the soundtrack to his life…

Goo Goo Dolls main man John Rzeznik has been productive lately, in every sense. His wife Melina Gallo gave birth to their daughter, Liliana, in December. “She’s awesome,” he says. “It’s hard to be away from her, and I would have never thought that. I look at her and think, ‘Oh God, please don’t let me fuck this up!’ I was such a bad drunk for so long. I’ve been sober for three years now, and every now and then I think, ‘Hmm, maybe I could smoke a little bong before I go to bed’. But, no. I don’t do anything now.”

The Dolls’ 11th album Boxes came out last May and hit the US Top 30, and now they’re back and set to tour the US with their new EP You Should Be Happy. “The way the world’s going, it seems people won’t wait around for an album any more – you keep having to put songs out as you write them. And I’m a lazy bastard too, if I can I’ll wait two years before I write a song. But I had good material, so we just decided to put it out.”

And as for the ten records that changed his life? “It’s so hard to pick just ten!” he shouts with happy anguish. “Damn The Torpedoes is my favourite Tom Petty album, I loved [Genesis’s] Duke, Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream, but these are the albums I got into early that have just stuck with me…”

Sweet – Desolation Boulevard (1975, (US))
“This is the first one that really did it for me, and opened my eyes to what music could be. I was in grade school, about 11 years old. I love that guitar sound, and I’ve always been a sucker for a hook – I mean, Ballroom Blitz is on this album [the US release].”

Kiss – Alive II (1977)
“One of older guys in my neighbourhood gave me his copy. It was when I was first fiddling around with music, starting to pick up the guitar. This was Kiss at the height of their powers, for me it was the whole spectacle of the thing. I never did get to see them – my mother wouldn’t let me go – but I listened to that record a lot.”

The Enemies – Products Of The Street (1980)
“The Enemies were a local punk band in Buffalo, a bit more straight-ahead influenced by the New York Dolls and the Ramones. They were the first band I snuck into a club to see. Products Of The Street was their first EP, and I loved the cover, a cartoon of the band breaking out of prison. The song I really like on it’s called Disconnected.”

Various Artists – Urgh! A Music War OST (1982)
“This record was always around our house, my sister got me into it. It’s a documentary with no narration, all about the punk and new wave bands of the time. It’s crazy how much good music I got turned on to through this: The Police, XTC, Gang Of Four – bands I really loved when I was starting out.”

Echo & The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here (1981)
“Echo & The Bunnymen were on Urgh! too, and they were massively influential on me. I was dating this really cool girl from the other side of town, her parents were these intellectuals who let her smoke in her bedroom when she was 15. Where I grew up there was a slaughterhouse and an oil refinery, and she lived in this heady world. She turned me on to Heaven Up Here, and I came to really love it, and the band.”

The Clash – London Calling (1979)
“I didn’t really have any friends in high school, but then I made friends with a guy who took me under his wing. All his friends were into music like this, and London Calling just reminds me of the great, great times I had with them. And it taught me a huge lesson: you can write songs that aren’t about cars and girls. There was this amazing urgency to it that was completely lacking in mainstream music where I was at the time.”

The Clash – Sandinista! (1980)
“I know, another Clash album, but I was so into this band. Sandinista! has this melancholy feel to it, it’s like you’re digging in the dark for where you’ll end up. I think they were trying to expand their sound, to grow, which is what you have to do. I made a playlist of my favourite songs on it – you can make one incredible album out of it [it’s a triple album]. It’s a record you listen to while smoking some pot, and get into it, for a whole day!”

Joe Jackson – I’m The Man (1979)
“It’s just a brilliant record. It starts with On Your Radio which is a super great fucking song, Different For Girls is on there. Then there’s Look Sharp! too. I used to have a 10-inch maxi single and it had a Look Sharp! button [badge] you could pull out and wear, and I would. Joe’s such a great songwriter. I really have always been a sucker for a hook, no matter whose it is.”

Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again (1983)
“I always thought Martin Gore’s songwriting was incredible. Their lyrics were so good, and it was something different, they made a unique sound that I’d never heard before. I really liked the videos they did with Anton Corbijn too. We tried to do a cool acoustic cover of Somebody [from Some Great Reward] but the way he sings it is so British there was no way I could wrench it away and make it my own.”

The Replacements – Tim (1985)
“I’d just started college when I heard Tim, and it just filled the hole in my soul. It was romantic, in a tough way, and it had so much swagger. There’s some duds on there – Dose Of Thunder and I’ll Buy are throwaway tracks – but Left Of The Dial was the one for me. In the States, all the college radio stations were way down, left of the dial. For me it was all about that underground college scene we grew up playing. It speaks of another time. It’s over 30 years old now – I’m so fucking old!”

John Rzeznik – The 10 Records That Changed My Life


Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik Feels ‘Home for the First Time’ as a Father: ‘I Never Thought I’d Be a Dad, Until I Got Sober’

By Elizabeth Sporkin

John Rzeznik’s song “Home” has never been more appropriate.

The Goo Goo Dolls frontman, 51, opened up to PEOPLE for this week’s issue about being a first-time parent with wife Melina, whom he married in July 2013.

“I never thought I’d be a dad, until I got sober,” the longtime musician and dad to 4-month-old daughter Liliana Carella tells PEOPLE. “Then my life really started to take shape.”

Rzeznik recalls, “Somebody told me that kids force you to become the person you should have been all along,” sharing that from the moment his baby girl came into the world, he felt that corresponding mental shift.

“When I held Lili for the first time and saw her being born, the first thing I thought was, ‘Don’t screw this up,’ ” he says, joking, “The second thing was, ‘I gotta work — to be able to afford a kid!’ ”

Rzeznik was born and raised in Buffalo, New York — where he met bandmate and longtime friend Robby Takac — but now resides with his family in New Jersey.

And though the “Black Balloon” singer has strong Buffalo ties, he admits he feels like he’s “home for the first time” with his wife and daughter and “[loves] being a dad.”

“I had a crazy family growing up. I never felt like I was home,” he explains. “When I got sober, I became emotionally sober. It took a few months and a lot of crying. Then everything opened up and I was able to see the possibility of things, and I’m with this awesome woman who turned out to be the best friend I ever had.”

Speaking of his wife, Rzeznik praises, “Melina has always been so good for me. She’ll gently push me in a direction, but it’s always the right one.”

The rock duo has released 11 studio albums to date, which means there’s a very expansive discography for Rzeznik to choose from if he wants to sing to his daughter. But just like during his nuptials (“We made it perfectly clear that I would not be singing at all at our wedding,” he previously told PEOPLE), the musician doesn’t tap into his own tunes when it comes to entertaining his baby girl.

“I hum to Lili. Never my songs,” he says of his daughter, whom he calls “a doll” and whose middle name, he shares, is taken from Melina’s mother’s maiden name. “Melina played my music for her before she was born. I have a really loud voice, so I don’t want to scare her.”

Music is only a small part of the way Rzeznik connects with his daughter, though. “I like to read to her,” he shares. “She’s a few months old, but she has to know who the Presidents are. I’m showing her a book about the Presidents. Late at night, I will watch Noam Chomsky documentaries with her. I’m so happy and grateful she’s a girl.”

Adds Melina of her husband, “He is an amazing dad. [Lili] has him wrapped around her finger. He’s very protective, very aware. He has a million parenting books [about] what to expect. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do when she’s more alert and in her fun stage.”

For now, Rzeznik is reveling in the present, though he can’t help the natural inclination of having positive hopes for his daughter‘s future. “I want her to be independent — to be able to live in the realm of what she wants rather than what she needs,” he says. “I want her to be strong and make the right choices.”

Goo Goo Dolls’ upcoming Long Way Home Tour across the U.S. with Phillip Phillips kicks off July 14 in Mountain View, California, concluding Sept. 17 in Goldendale, Washington. And this time, the new family member will be along for the ride (at least part of the time).

“On tour this summer, my wife and Lili will be able to come out and see me a lot. Melina can telecommute,” Rzeznik explains. “Robby lives in Buffalo and has a 5-year-old girl, Hannah. Hannah will be Lili’s big sister [on tour]!”

The duo’s brand new EP You Should Be Happy, a follow-up to their 2016 album Boxes that includes a remix of that album’s title track, is available now.

For more from John Rzeznik’s family life and plans for the Goo Goo Dolls’ upcoming tour, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik Feels ‘Home for the First Time’ as a Father


Rock N’ Load – Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘You Should Be Happy’- EP Review

The Goo Goo Dolls are back! This time with a beautifully packaged five track EP You Should Be Happy, a follow up to their highly successful 2016 album Boxes. Immediately you get all the Goo Goo Dolls’ wholesome qualities from the get go. The opening track ‘Tattered Edge’ is an up-tempo and highly addictive number rich in melody and engaging hooks. It is everything you would expect from a band with the wealth of experience and quality of the Goo Goo Dolls.

A highly polished EP, production is as always first class. It was recorded at EastWest studios in Los Angeles, and produced by Drew Pearson (OneRepublic, Katy Perry) who first collaborated with the band on their most recent album, Boxes.  The first single off the EP, ‘Use Me,’ carries on that slick and melodic feel with this beautifully written number. Thumping bass lines and a magnetic vocal display from front man John Rzeznik will ensure this one is a winner on the airwaves.

‘30k’ and ‘Walk Away’ carry on with the captivating and skilful compositions ensuring their audience is fully wrapped up in Goo Goo Dolls goodness. A totally compelling EP, it’s hard to imagine any diehard Goo Goo Dolls fan not lapping this up. The EP ends with the utterly charming ‘Boxes’ with its Techno Trance intro and raspy vocal display once again from Rzeznik. It just pulls you into its huge and enslaving melody.

A band forever known for their global hit ‘Iris’ from the City of Angels movie soundtrack, this song propelled the band to stardom, as it stayed on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks and spent 4 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart. Later that year, it was nominated for three Grammy awards. All of the quality and appeal that found ‘Iris’ in the hearts and minds of millions worldwide is evident in abundance in You Should Be Happy.

Goo Goo Dolls fans and beyond should be happy that they have yet another top drawer offering from one of the all time great Rock bands.

You Should Be Happy is available now to stream and download via Warner Bros. Records and will also be available on CD from June 9th.

Listen to and purchase the EP Here: ‘You Should Be Happy’

Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘You Should Be Happy’- EP Review