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Interview Goo Goo Dolls: Steam June 2014

Writer: Derek Signore

Interview With: Rob Takac

Photo Credit:  Chapman Baehler

Show: Concrete Street 6/24

STEAM: In a recent interview with the band Garbage they said that the most important thing they had to learn over the years was to be able to have a life outside of music. Looking at where you guys are now, John Rzeznik’s recent marriage and you just having a baby, do you agree that the real success is that life outside of music?

GGD: I agree especially if you start in this business when you are a kid, eighteen or nineteen years old. When you try to do anything for a prolonged period of time you are going to miss out on a lot of things. In this business those life events seem to happen later on when you have the time to do so. I think you have to have that life because the current music industry can warp your perspective on things if you don’t.


STEAM: In a recent interview John said that with every new album release he buys a copy himself and self analyzes everything, almost to the point of superstitious tradition. Are you that way with your new material or do you feel that as we are a very social society and nearly everyone has a voice to become a critic online that there isn’t much sense in overanalyzing?

GGD: I have to admit that I find myself online checking out the different reviews from both fans and critics. The trick is to not take it too personally. We’re lucky to be doing what we are doing so that’s the only real payoff at the end of the day.


STEAM: Everyone remembers the 1999 Grammy Awards and John’s T-Shirt that will live in infamy (John’s t-shirt read “I was nominated for three GRAMMYs and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”- Ed.) have you accepted that no one was beating Celine Dion in a year where Titanic was such a massive hit?

GGD: I think we’ve come to terms with it (laughing). It was all in fun at the end of the day though I still won’t watch that movie (laughing).


STEAM: A slew of artists have covered your material over the years including most recently Taylor Swift performing ‘Iris’ at some of her concerts. Do you credit those younger musicians as the reason you have such a wide age range to your fan base?

GGD: I love when bands cover our material. What I find best is the unique spin they all put on the material because when their fans search out who we are it opens their mind to our musical styling’s in comparison.


STEAM: The tour you are on with Daughtry and Plain White T’s is your largest to date. With that in mind is it difficult to put together a set list comprised of your classics and new material?

GGD: Actually there was a very lengthy heated discussion about as we were trying to figure out what would go into our seventy five minute set list. We love playing material from the new records so I can say there will be a good balance between new material and our hits.


STEAM: Unlike other veteran rock groups whose album sales are diminishing an only really serve to be part of their memorabilia the Goo Goo Dolls still have the availability to sell out concerts and still top the album charts. What makes you different from a band like Van Halen or even more recently Aerosmith who failed to grab a spot on the charts?

GGD: I think it’s our fans. They have been great in supporting everything that we do. Management also plays a role as well making sure we are performing in prime locations and providing great promotion for our album and concert events. I think the other thing to note is that while there might be some internal drama you won’t catch any of us on TMZ. We’re a tight nit group with amazing chemistry that is respectful and grateful to the jobs we have. We would never jeopardize that by making tabloid fodder; that only serves to hurt, not help. 

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