El Comercio – Goo Goo Dolls: between punk and the heart

Translated from the original

By Czar Gutierrez

If there’s a trajectory that has spun the antipodes of rock—that spectrum that goes from punk to pop and along the way is seasoned with grunge and soft rock—that’s that of the collective multidudidine made up of two subjects born in Buffalo, New York. The visceral screaming of his first discs followed a sound rather intended to uncover the heart valves without necessarily meaning softening or capitulating. Conversely, John Rzeznik (53) and Robby Takac (55) seem to retain the revulsive fur that threw them on the road like the Goo Goo Dolls.

It is not otherwise explained that they just decided to go to Plaza Bolívar while our Congress was in the process of dissolving. “It was very exciting to see people celebrating, wrapping themselves in their flag and making their voices heard. That doesn’t happen in America. There are small protests, but not to change the decomposition. Which is pretty sad because we’re so unhappy. We would like to see this in our country, this is pure democracy in action,” they say.

-About living-

They also say it’s the first time they’ve come to South America. They just gave five concerts in Brazil and are flattered that the people of these payments sing their songs. That their transition from underground to the mainstream for them occurred naturally and without trauma “because even the grunge of Seattle became massive; then our music slipped through the media and suddenly a song like ‘Name’ became a world event and the first surprised by it was us.”

That as an appetizer of the hecatombe that would mean “Isis” (1988), refined composed of mandolin, violins and cellos that would climb to the top of the Billboard chart to not move for 18 weeks. Until it was considered one of the most successful pop ballads of all time. They say that song ate the group, how did they survive? “Confining ourselves in a circle of friends getting smaller and isolating us from the world, full of rather cruel people. People who don’t do anything but think they have a right to judge,” Rzeznik says.

His face is slightly overshadowed when he recalls his long season in the hell of alcohol. But it lights up again as we turn to the new spherical—Miracle Pill, 2019—that speaks of chronic anxiety about a depersonalized, semi-robotic world. “We want to alert people to be more connected. We’re very far away, the kids don’t take to the streets to run, they’re sitting with their cell phones.” Wouldn’t it be more like they’re building a new structure of feeling? “I don’t know, what I do worry about is that in that transit humans become obsolete.”

-Sweet and fast-

With twelve studio albums, two live albums, three compilations and a sustained rotation inside a showbiz rich in excesses and bad reputations, the Goo Goo Dolls have ended up settling into the most romantic and tender apex of rock. Will so much beauty be true or do they have a rather perverse and hidden ‘b-side’? Simultaneous laughter before Takac explains, “We are married, have children, and care for ourselves. But I remember that time we were playing and suddenly a mob of cincuentones like us were in a ferocious pogo and black leather. At that moment I felt that all the labels that had been put in our pieces.”

Delighted to be in a country whose music you enjoy every day on the New York subway —”it’s especially beautiful when Andean flutes mix with the noise of trains down there” — it’s nice to see that the Dolls keep the bodywork intact and Overloaded. Enough for the papers to be reversed and it’s Bon Jovi who opens the recital for them. “There must be a lot of people in the stadium who wouldn’t agree with that, but it’s the best thing we’ve been told on this tour,” Rzeznik says before the majestic Let Love In began to play on his earpiece.


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