'On the Rebound' Jimmy McGorman talks Goo Goo Dolls, Touring and more

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Jan 2019

About Goo Goo Dolls
sunfired: You were with Gwen Stefani in 2017 and you are with the Goo Goo Dolls now!  How did it happen?

Jim: Early in [2018], I was asked to do some recording sessions with the Goos. During the course of the sessions, it organically grew into the idea of us working together in a live setting as well.

sunfired: This is what you said on the social media “Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be asked to join this awesome group of musicians. It’s been everything it should be: interesting, challenging, surreal and most of all fun.” Do you care to elaborate on that a bit? I am sure the Goo Goo Dolls fans would like to hear more!

Jim: I have really been enjoying working in this band. Musically, it is right in my wheelhouse. The shows have been awesome - and their fans are really cool and engaging. All the guys are smart and really funny. We laugh a lot - which I love.

sunfired: This is your second stint with the band. Is anything  different this time around? Of course apart from  the year (2018 instead of 2009) and all that goes with it…

Jim:Yeah - the last time we worked together, I was just filling in - so, it feels a lot different this time. Also, we are all in similar places in life: John, Robby, Brad and I are all dads and we all have daughters!!! So, it’s really nice to have that connection - and we are all competing for Dad of the year.

sunfired: You’ve performed with many artists. From songstresses like Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch and Cassadee Pope, international stars like Shakira and divas like  Cher and Gwen Stefani and  a few bands  in between: (Weezer. Poison, Paul Stanley, New Radicals…). Now you’re with the Goo Goo Dolls. Can you describe their concert “vibe” and is there anything unique about it?

Jim: You are right, every show experience is different. One of the things I love about playing in the Goo Goo Dolls is how live everything is. We are a band in the true sense, where we are not really relying on tracks/computers. In that setting, you really have to be paying attention to what everyone is doing, and I really enjoy that. Also, the energy that John and Robby put out is pretty incredible. It’s fun to be a part of that and to try and add what I can.
sunfired: What song is the hardest for you to perform? And which one is most fun?

Jim: Hmmm - some of the songs are pretty tricky in trying to sing and play parts at the same time. Off hand, there is a part in So Alive (second verse) that I had to practice, but I have it down now. But, that song is one of my favorites too. Over and Over is really fun too.

sunfired: You own almost every keyboard known to man. How come you have only one on the road and why Roland RD 2000 in particular?  Do you own it?

Jim: Actually, I don’t really have that many keyboards anymore. With things moving more towards software based sounds, I tend to work a lot more with computer based sounds than actual hardware. One of the things we wanted to do was to have a very streamlined setup. I have always preferred a one keyboard setup and we were able to work with Roland and get everything I wanted/needed done with one board.

sunfired: What’s on the two MACs beside your keyboard?  (Sorry, as an IT professional I am curious)

Jim: I am using a program called MainStage, which allows me to use several different soft synth programs and combine them to get all of the sounds we use on albums to be used in a live setting.

sunfired: Favourite Goo Goo Dolls concert so far and why?

Jim: Hard to say - we had 3 shows in a row in Buffalo (where the band is from) and the first night was pretty special. The crowd and energy in the room was warm and electric. The perfect blend of excitement and emotion.

sunfired: Where was the best crowd?

Jim: Buffalo - but, we also had some amazing shows in Europe.

sunfired: What are John and Robby like?

Jim: The greatest people ever.

sunfired: C’mon, spill the some dirt on the Goo Goo Dolls!! Just joking, I know you wouldn’t even if there was any. But… what do you admire most about John and Robby?

Jim:Aside from their music, which is everything music should be (honest, melodic and lyrically meaningful), the fact that they have kept the band not only together but continuing to make great and successful records is a testament to their professionalism and loyalty - which is pretty rare in this business.

sunfired: What is your favourite Goo Goo Dolls song - beside Iris which is everyone’s favourite?

Jim: I really like So Alive. I’m sure the piano part as something to do with it :) It’s a great sing along chorus and I love playing that dirty piano sound.

sunfired: If John lets you sing one of his leads (I know, I know, it’s not gonna happen, but let’s pretend) – which one would you pick and why?

Jim: Well, Name is a pretty special song. I love that lyric.

sunfired: You haven’t played guitar in concerts in a while. Do you miss that?

Jim: Honestly, it has been a nice change and return to my roots of being a piano player. It also cuts down on all the gear I have to be aware of/keep track of/etc. There are a few times when the band is rocking and I wish I could be a little more mobile, but you can’t have it all!!!

sunfired:  And lastly, you and Brad (Fernquist) go way back. How did you guys meet and what’s special about your friendship?

Jim: Brad and I met on the audition for the New Radicals at S.I.R in Hollywood in 1998. We instantly became friends and it is pretty amazing that we are still not only great friends, but still playing together 20 years later. He is a great friend, incredible guitarist and pretty damn handsome too. What more could you want out of a friend???!!!

About Jim

sunfired: You write music all the time, but you took part in this song writing event last year.  Can you say a little more about it and how does the song writing process happen in such an environment?  How many of the 20 finished songs did you co-write and are they going to be released?

Jim: Yeah, this was a really interesting experience. I had never done a writing camp before and it is really fun to have so many creative people in one spot. We were paired in groups of 3 or 4 people and each group had 4 hours to work together. I was a part of 2 sessions in one day - and we got a really cool song from each one. The process was in some way very different from what I am used to - so, it was fun to get out of my comfort zone. And, after being on the road for the past 6 months, it was great to be back in the studio environment. The songs were geared towards different objectives (some for movie trailers, some for ads, etc.) I know some of them are being pitched already. I’m not sure about them being released just yet, but I will let you know if they come out.

sunfired: Your CV is impressive.  You are singer/songwriter, producer, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist…   If someone put a gun to  your head and asked you to pick one thing – what would you pick? Or you die?

Jim: Well, I really don’t like those types of choices, where death is involved but I would probably choose songwriting above the others. The creative process during songwriting is something that I really enjoy - and the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when you create something out of thin air is pretty special.

sunfired: You write music all the time.  It’s been ages since The Word is Falling Down.  Any plans for a  release of  new Jim McGorman  record? Or… the music album release is dead?

Jim: I started working on a batch of songs last year for me to sing and I do plan to release them at some point. Unfortunately, between my work with other artists and being a very engaged dad - the passion project takes a back seat. I will definitely let you know before I put anything out there.

sunfired: Who did you write last with and can we hear any of that?

Jim: I write almost every week, so it’s always changing. I’ve recently written with Brad (for the Goo Goo Dolls), Robb Vallier and Brandon Paddock. As soon as something gets released, I will let you know!

sunfired: Any project slotted for the future that you are excited about?

Jim: Not one in particular, but I am feeling inspired at the top of this year - and that’s always a great thing.

sunfired: How many guitars do you own at the moment? And don’t forget...

Jim: Oh, I have scaled way down. I used to have close to 40, but now it’s probably closer to 15. A few years ago, I ended up trading in a lot of newer guitars for vintage ones. Then, when I built my studio, I had to invest in more studio gear (mics, computer stuff, etc.) So, the extra guitars went bye bye.

sunfired: What bands/artists do you listen to these days?

Jim: It’s all over the map - but, from Thanksgiving until New Years, we listen to a lot of Christmas music at the house!!!

sunfired: Some movies that you’ve watched lately and which ones did you like?

Jim: Good question!! We saw the Green Book, and I thought it was really well done. Bohemian Rhapsody too! I was super excited about Vice - and though the acting was incredible, the story didn’t grab me as much. A Star Is Born was great in many ways - the acting, the directing, but again, I had some issues with the story line. That being said, I love Bradley Cooper and thought he did an amazing job directing it and Lady Gaga was incredible.

sunfired: How about TV shows?

Jim: I’m excited about the new True Detective - and of course, the new season of The Bachelor!!! hahahahaha

sunfired: What are you reading right now?

Jim: Right now, I am reading books about parenting.

sunfired: You have a 5 year old daughter. Has she seen you perform and what does she think of Daddy out there?

Jim:  She loves it. She got to come on tour last year, and it was one of the best weeks for all of us. She loved riding on the tour bus, and watching the shows. I don’t think she wanted to go home!