Sioux City Journal: After all these years, the Goo Goo Dolls come to Sioux City

Earl Horlyk

SIOUX CITY — Robby Takac knew he was making a difference when Peruvian audiences understood the lyrics to “Slide” just as well as he did….
“You can substitute Peru with any other country,” the veteran bassist and vocalist said during a phone interview. “The Goo Goo Dolls has had an impact all over the world.”

Takac isn’t kidding.

Formed in Buffalo, New York, by Takac and guitarist and lead vocalist Johnny Rzeznik, the Goo Goo Dolls has sold more than 12 million records worldwide, snagged four Grammy nominations and has had 19 top ten singles on various charts.
Best known for such seminal hits as “Iris,””Dizzy” and “Name,” the Goo Goo Dolls will be in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre, 528 Pierce St.
The show coincides with the recent release of “Miracle Pill,” the band’s 12th studio album.

Congratulations on the new album. It’s been getting really great reviews, hasn’t it?

“That’s really cool because we know the recording industry has changed so much since we got our start. People listen to music differently and they purchase music differently. Nowadays, singles are what sells and we produce albums accordingly.”

You mentioned Johnny, whom you’ve had an artistic partnership for close to 35 years. How do you explain that longevity?

“We met as teenagers. I grew up listening to bands like Kiss, Cheap Trick and Rolling Stones while John was heavily into the punk scene. John opened my eyes to different types of music and something just clicked.”

Obviously, but I imagine your relationship has evolved over all that time, right?

“When we were young, we were all about living the rock and roll lifestyle. John and I were drinking buddies as much as we were musicians. Things change and we matured. John and I can go months without seeing one another. But when we’re together, it’s incredible. Having said that, I think we’d be dead if we were still acting the same way we were as twentysomethings.”

Yet the Goo Goo Dolls were never the type of band you’d see in the newspapers. You and Johnny were never the bad boys who trashed hotel rooms and stuff.

“No, you’re right. We were popular but we were never the ‘hip new band.’ Instead of jumping on bandwagons, we prefer consistency.

That’s not a bad thing. After all, how many bands stick around for as long as you and Johnny have?

“Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see the Goo Goo Dolls sell out the Staples Center but I love producing music that is meaningful to me and I love seeing how our fans react to it.”

But you now have a generation of Goo Goo Dolls fans. It’s amazing that (the Triple Platinum-selling album) “Dizzy Up the Girl” turned 20 years old last year.

“I know it. We’re seeing plenty of old fans and, now, we’re seeing their kids. John and I are bringing mothers and daughters together through our music.”

So, what are you listening to nowadays?

“I’m a total Spotify fiend, which is cool since it is introducing to an entirely different world of music. Right now, I’m into J-Pop.”

You mean, as in Japanese Popular music?

“That’s it. There’s a J-Pop group called Perfume that is amazing. I’m also a fan of (the Los Angeles-based rock band) Starcrawler, which is a young group with a heavy, almost retro sound. Plus I was into a ‘deep funk’ phase and fell in love with a soul singer by the name of Betty Davis. She was married to (jazz legend) Miles Davis for a while and was just an awesome performer.”

Wow, that’s a pretty eclectic mix of favorites.

“I don’t know what my Spotify algorithms look like but they always direct me to interesting places.”

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