By Gary Graff
Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik wrote the group's latest single, "Fearless," as a kind of reflective meditation -- about "just having the courage to truly be yourself."
A confluence of events, however -- notably the novel coronavirus pandemic and, last week, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis -- has turned the song into something of an anthem for its time.
"Unintentionally, yeah, it really does find itself applying to the times," Rzeznik says by phone from his home in New Jersey as the Goos release a new concert performance video of "Fearless" filmed last fall during a concert at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo.
"Fearless" appears on the Goos' 2019 album "Miracle Pill," and the quintet collaborated on a Zoom-style video for the Global Citizen "Together At Home" series. Rzeznik also performed it solo on a front porch for a We Love Local virtual festival in New Jersey.
"My mind things about that, the idea of truly being yourself and being OK with yourself, a lot," Rzeznik adds. "That's one of the things I want my (three-year-old) daughter to understand. Sometimes being yourself sucks, and not going along with the crowd an get lonely. But you've got to be brave and know you're right. Whatever way you are, that's the way it's supposed to be.
"That's where my head was at, at least. It seems to be taking on another kind of meaning now, which I'm more than OK with."
Rzeznik, 54, is making use of his enforced time off during the pandemic to spend time with his daughter and to work on "a bunch of new music." He's also staying in touch with the other band members and notes that the Goos have taken measures to take care of crew members and other support staff while touring is sidelined.
"We're just kind of chilling," he says. "We're not going out this summer for the first time in 20 years or whatever. It's kind of interesting to be able to take this break and spend the summer at home.
"I know it's gonna drive me nuts, but at the same time it's for the greater good."