The Goo Goo Dolls are still making the insightful rock that won over the world back in 1986. Their new album Something for the Rest of Us features the band’s new single, “Home,” which is now available through TheImproper.
Written and recorded over the past couple of years, Something for the Rest of Us showcases Johnny Rzeznik’s vocal, writing, and guitar talents and Robby Takac’s bass and vocal stylings.
Joined by drummer Mike Malanin, who has played with the band for 15 years, the Goo Goo Dolls have made themselves known with such hits as “Iris”, “Better Days”, and “Here is Gone.”
Takac took a moment from the Goo Goo Dolls’ current tour to catch up with TheImproper.
TheImproper: When did you first know that the Goo Goo Dolls had made it?
Takac: When “Iris” was chosen as the song to be played as the winners of the Stanley Cup skated around in triumph in front of millions of people. I knew that we had crossed into something different from what we knew. And that was a huge moment for me, because then I realized that we were now in a world that I didn’t understand.
IM: How has the industry changed since you and John started the band in 1986?
Takac: This is the first time that we’ve really been able to see some of the positive backlash from all of the negative stuff, like when the music industry went digital. At first our biggest fear was people stealing stuff, like ‘Oh my god, they’re going to steal this song!’ How are they going to steal it? Either they’re going to download it or they’re going to burn it. I don’t really think about that anymore. That went away so fast, because I know that people aren’t going to buy it anyway most of the time, they’re just going to listen to it. They’re going to listen to it wherever they’re going to listen to it. It’s time to do what everybody should have done at the beginning, and start treating this whole thing as your compatriot and friend and next step, as opposed to the enemy. We’ve done fifty shows already on this tour, and the record’s not even out, and because all the new songs went up online, we have whole rooms full of people singing songs that we haven’t even released yet. We couldn’t have dreamed of that years ago! It has changed the complexion of this a little bit.
IM: What are the major themes behind Something for the Rest of Us?
Takac: It’s all things that are pretty obvious right now and I don’t think that that’s any different from any other record that we’ve ever made. We have a tendency to look around us and go, ‘Wow! This is messed up!’ Or ‘Wow!’ I think the general moods that affect the band between each record are pretty representative of the time, there’s not a lot of bullshit in what we write. We write about what we see. I think you can’t help, if you’re writing honestly, to write about what’s around you. There’s a lot of indecision and injustice and uncertainty that’s surrounding everybody right now, and it’s going to make its way into what we do, as long as what we do is true.
IM: How would you say those themes apply to your personal life?
Takac: Economically obviously, the way the world operates has changed dramatically. I think that emotionally that’s a huge toll on people, especially people who are supposed to be the breadwinners. Especially in a city like Buffalo, we’ve been experiencing that since the early eighties when all the industry moved out. I moved back to Buffalo a couple of years ago just because I felt like it was a place I wanted to be. I’m away from home a lot more, but I really like being there.
So how does it make its way into my life? I don’t only deal with people in the music industry, as a matter of fact I try to deal with as few people as possible who are in the music industry (laughs). I think it’s just the general attitude of what goes on out there that has a huge effect on your orbit. And also, this country is so unbelievably divided on just the basic premises of how you’re supposed to treat other people and how you’re supposed to live your life.
With those two radically different ideas, from the conservative right and from the other side, that’s got to be confusing, man! For people who are in some sort of internal struggle to get those hard left and hard right views thrown at them all the time… I think it has made people choose sides, and that’s a difficult thing in this country. You really are forced to subscribe to one radical form of thinking or another. That can get dangerous.