After over 20 years together and a career that includes four Grammy nominations, multi-platinum album sales, and chart-topping hits like "Name", "Iris", "Slide", and "Here Is Gone", the New York trio the Goo Goo Dolls is on the road to promote their latest album, "Let Love In". Founding members Robbie Takac and Johnny Rzeznik sat down with VOA's Larry London to talk about their journey.
The bandmates of one of the world's most famous rock bands with one of the most unusual names, the Goo Goo Dolls, describe how they have managed to last since their 1986 debut. Band member, Rob Takac explains. "We get asked that a lot and it seems to change by the -- the answer seems to change by the day. Depending on what is going on and I think that that is the biggest answer, you know."
Their new CD, "Let Love In", was released in April. Their eighth studio album was recorded in a 100-year-old building in Buffalo, New York, complete with cobwebs and what the bandmates describe as ghosts. Looking back over 20 years together, lead singer Johnny Rzeznik has no regrets.
“I think if we would have changed anything we would not be here right now. Have we made mistakes? Yes, incredibly huge ones, in front of a lot of people. It is embarrassing but you move on. I have a history of really bad haircuts over the past 20 years, and you have got to laugh at yourself. You can not take things too seriously.”
Rzeznik was deeply affected at age 16 when both his parents died within the same year. “When something like that happens to you when you are a kid, you always sort of … just sort of feel this constant sort of low grade alienation from everybody and everything. I mean it is like … intimacy and friendships and things like that become a little difficult sometimes. But it also launched an incredible adventure that I have been on for the past 25 years. It is really pretty amazing, you know?”
In 1998, the Goo Goo Dolls scored a number one hit off the film soundtrack from "City of Angels", starring Nicolas Cage. Rzeznik explains what the song "Iris" is really about. "I do not know. That is a good question because it is a -- that song was not written from my own perspective. I wrote the song for a film and I sort of was -- I wrote it from the perspective of the guy in the film. He is this guy. He feels these emotions for this woman. How would I, if I were him, say those things to her, say what I was feeling to her? I'm just really trying to hit the right note (laughs).”
Do the Goo Goo Dolls plan to take their tour abroad? "We have recently started playing in front of people in different countries. We have always, we have gone to Japan a few times and we did okay. We went to France and bombed miserably [did poorly]. We did well in Italy. They seem to like us in Germany and (Britain) but we are mainly concentrating on (Britain) right now because it seems we are doing really well there and it is a different sort of world. The music world is so different over there than it is in America. The fans seem to be much more loyal, less fickle, and once you convince them that you are their band, they stick by you. That is what we are working on now.
To think that somebody on the other side of the world relates to is a pretty powerful thing. Not in an egotistical way but it is a surprising thing. It still amazes me.”
After a career that began more than 20 years ago, Rzeznik talks about the future of the Goo Goo Dolls. "It is really hard because in the music business it is, like, it just changes so fast. You do not know when you become irrelevant, which is always why I say I do not know if we are going to make another record. If we are relevant, yeah. If we are not, then no.”
MUSIC VIDEO COURTESY OF WARNER MUSIC