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An Absolute Doll
« on: Feb 5th, 2007, 11:32am »
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An Absolute Doll: Goo Goo Dolls' Robby Takac BUFFALO, N.Y.'S GOO GOO DOLLS have reached dizzying heights of success, repeatedly, but if a recent conversation with bassist/songwriter Robby Takac is any indication, he has achieved his oft-stated goal of staying grounded and humble amid his band's popularity.
 
Takac and primary singer/guitarist John Reznik have earned reputations as two of rock's nicest stars, and they expect to preserve their status at Monday and Tuesday night's sold out 9:30 Club shows by continuing their tradition of collecting canned food for the needy and catering to their crowd by playing a healthy portion of their numerous hit singles, including "Iris," "Better Days," "Slide" and "Black Balloon."
 
Even though the following conversation was Takac's eighth interview of the day he, of course, impressed us as obliging and prone to laughter.  
 
EXPRESS: Is John a hopeless romantic?
TAKAC: [Laughs] Yeah. In his odd version of hopeless romanticism, yes, absolutely.
 
EXPRESS: Do you play all the hits every show?
TAKAC: If you're talking about all the songs that have been on the radio, no, we don't get to 'em all every night, because we wouldn't be able to play anything else. But we do play all the things that we feel huge dudes would beat us up [for] if we didn't play the songs for their girlfriends. [Laughs] If we don't play "Iris," we're in trouble. There's songs that we know people want to hear, so we try to get to those songs, but at the same time, we're out there promoting our new record [2006's "Let Love In"], so that's one of the considerations every time we put a set together.  
 
EXPRESS: Do you play "Name" every time?
TAKAC: Now we do. There was a brief period where we didn't and that's where the scenario of getting the crap beat out of us was born. [Laughs]
 
EXPRESS: I listened to you guys a lot back in the mid-'90s when you were a much harder-rocking band. What old songs do you still play?  
TAKAC: Let's see "Naked," "Two Days in February," "Burnin' Up," "Cause You're Gone," "Fallin' Down," "January Friend," a lot of stuff. We generally don't play the first two records we haven't played 'em in years. We started to feel that the disparity was a little much between what we have in the majority of the set.
 
EXPRESS: You've been quoted as saying that you have a lot of secretaries who come to your shows and you make their ears bleed.  
TAKAC: Beat them against the back wall is what I said, I think. [Laughs]
 
 
EXPRESS: Is that less true now?  
TAKAC: I think the world understands Goo Goo Dolls at this point. [Laughs] We've been blessed, man. We've got a career. Most bands can't say that word. Most bands play for a few years and move on. We've been doin' this 21 years now, man. It's nuts.  
 
EXPRESS: Do you think you'll ever return to the harder sound?  
TAKAC: I think we still do an awful lot of that, but that's become just part of what we do. I don't think we've ever left it.  
 
EXPRESS: What do you think of [fellow Buffalo musician] Ani DiFranco? Do you know her?  
TAKAC: Funny that you bring that up. I'm actually editing a song right now I have another band called Amungus, which is this electronic thing that I've been doing for the past seven or eight years. We're going to put a record out in May, and I'm working on a song right now with a sample from one of her songs called "32 Flavors." We also remixed "Tiptoe" on the record. We remixed "Napoleon" on another record.  
 
Musically, I've been having a great relationship with her through the re-edit world. [Laughs] But, being two people from Buffalo, pretty active in the community, for some reason our paths don't cross all that often. I respect what she does, beyond words.  
 
EXPRESS: Do you still live in Buffalo?  
TAKAC: I have a recording studio with an apartment in it in Buffalo, and I have a house in Los Angeles, so I live between both places. I'm there all the time. I have a record label there with about four or five bands from Buffalo on it.  
 
EXPRESS: What kinds of bands are they?  
TAKAC: One of them calling them an emo band is an insult to them. They're a little more classic rock-based and a little bit more live than most emo bands I hear. They're called Last Conservative.  
 
One of the bands is called The Juliet Dagger that's like The Descendents meets the Go-Go's. Another one, Carrie Sullivan, sounds like everyone from "Ziggy Stardust" Bowie to Ian Hunter to Gary Numan really weird.  
 
We've got a MySpace page, if you want to hop over there.  
 
EXPRESS: Has Johnny's songwriting improved?  
TAKAC: I think that John has always written great songs. I think that what he's getting better at, which he struggled with for a really long time, is accepting what he's good at and working with those things. We've been a band that has always strived to be the next thing that we can be, and we will always be that band. For us to make a reactionary record which is what I think we made when we made the "Gutterflowers" record, which is the only time we've ever done that I think when we make a reactionary record and we purposely don't do things because we're scared because of someone's reaction to what they may be, I think that's huge trouble for us.  
 
We just need to go ahead and expand upon what we do well and not constrict ourselves with other people's opinions of what our music is going to be, because that ultimately, I think, is what will cause us to make a record that is not as listenable or enjoyable for people if we put out a record that we don't believe in ourselves...  
 
We just keep doing what we're doing and hope that those pendulums of what's popular and what we do smash together every once in a while and keep us viable in the business of the music industry, successful enough to move on to the next thing.  
 
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; 8:30 p.m., sold out; 703-218-6500. (U St.-Cardozo)  
 
Photos by Ethan Miller/Getty Images and Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
Posted by Tim Follos at 7:49 AM on February 5, 2007
Tagged in Entertainment , Music , U Street-Cardozo  
 
http://www.readexpress.com/read_freeride/2007/02/an_absolute_doll_goo_go o_dolls_robby_tak.php
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Re: An Absolute Doll
« Reply #1 on: Feb 5th, 2007, 11:44am »
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on Feb 5th, 2007, 11:32am, the redo wrote:

EXPRESS: I listened to you guys a lot back in the mid-'90s when you were a much harder-rocking band. What old songs do you still play?  
TAKAC: Let's see "Naked," "Two Days in February," "Burnin' Up," "Cause You're Gone," "Fallin' Down," "January Friend," a lot of stuff.

 
Wait... what?  A little part of me is going "Holy crap, holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They're gonna switch up the set AND Fallin' Down has been brought back?  OMG, get me on a plane and some tickets for a show!"  And then the majority of me says "Waaaaait.  Are these songs on the setlist in the same way that Robby said they were playing 20+ songs on the last tour?"  I will reserve my judgements until after the two night stand in DC...
 
Quote:
For us to make a reactionary record which is what I think we made when we made the "Gutterflowers" record, which is the only time we've ever done that I think when we make a reactionary record and we purposely don't do things because we're scared because of someone's reaction to what they may be, I think that's huge trouble for us.

 
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.  Why does Robby hate GF so much?  I don't see what's wrong with having a 'reactionary' record.  A reaction in an honest representation of what you're feeling and aren't the Goos all about honesty these days?  What's more honest than a reactionary record?  I really think GF was an honest album.  John called it his divorce record and I think there was a lot of emotion in GF because of that.  A blatant 'reactionary' album, though maybe a little angry, is more honest than an album filled with contrived lyrics, vague explanations of meaning, and songs that all sound the same.  
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Re: An Absolute Doll
« Reply #2 on: Feb 5th, 2007, 2:15pm »
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Thanks for posting this. I was just coming here to do it.
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Re: An Absolute Doll
« Reply #3 on: Feb 5th, 2007, 3:20pm »
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Yeah, I really wish that they would stop dissing GF. Angry
I love that record.
 
It'll be interesting to see what they say about LLI after the next record comes out. I hope they diss this one more than any of the others....
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Re: An Absolute Doll
« Reply #4 on: Feb 5th, 2007, 9:03pm »
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on Feb 5th, 2007, 3:20pm, the orange o wrote:
Yeah, I really wish that they would stop dissing GF. Angry
I love that record.
 
It'll be interesting to see what they say about LLI after the next record comes out. I hope they diss this one more than any of the others....

 
 
GF is such a great album!! My favourite song from there is Truth is a Whisper...it's such a great song, and album!!
 
Thanx for posting this Nicole!!
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