Title: Interview with Robby from Park Record
Post by Shannon on Aug 17th, 2011, 11:19am
Dolls go goo goo for return trip to Utah
Bassist anticipates return to Park City
Scott Iwasaki, The Park Record
Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac has a great memory of Park City.
"When we came to play during the Olympics, I got to ride the land luge," Takac said during an interview from the band's stop in Connecticut, a couple of weeks ago. "To me, that makes me a veteran of the Park City, Utah, experience."
The band - Takac, guitarist/vocalist Johnny Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin- will return to Park City for the Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series at Deer Valley on Thursday, Aug. 18.
"I'm looking forward to getting back there," Takac said.
For 25 years, the Goo Goo Dolls have been recording albums and playing music for fans, something Takac doesn't take for granted.
"Every morning when I wake up, I'm amazed we have lasted this long," he said.
Takac feels the secret of the band's staying power is in the songwriting.
"We love pop music, and when we were coming together as a band, we were into band like the Replacements and Husker Du, bands that were speaking truth to us," he said. "That, to us, has always been an important component of music making, so when we started writing our own songs, we needed to be out there with something to say.
We needed to explain something like emotions or whatever was on our minds."
While creating their style and lyrics, the songwriters - Takac and Rzeznik - looked backwards.
"We learned to appreciate classic songwriting of the '80s and '70s and, through the years, developed our own style," Takac said.
The Goo Goo Dolls' style of rock, pop and acoustic music hit a chord with fans and the music industry.
The group's Top 10 single, "Iris," was nominated for the Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for the 1998 Grammy Awards.
Two years later, the Top 20 single, "Black Balloon," received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.
The band won the 2008 Average Lives of Students Music Awards and Rzeznik was given the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame later that year.
While Takac appreciates the awards, he speaks for the band when he said the most important people who listen to the Goo Goo Dolls are the fans.
"They're the big ones for me and I'm not joking," he said. "Every night when I walk on stage, I'm like, 'Oh, my God. These people are still here with us after all these years.' It's crazy to me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that."
These days, Takac and the band see multi-generations of fans in the audience.
"We were touring with the Rolling Stones a few years ago and Mick Jagger told me, 'There are mothers with their daughters and their daughters out there.' And I was like, 'That's cool, but a little creepy, Mick,'" Takac said with a laugh.
Nearly a year ago, Goo Goo Dolls released their ninth studio album "Something for the Rest of Us" on Warner Bros. Records.
"We started writing songs in Buffalo, New York, in a studio Johnny and I established back in the '80s," said Takac, who cited Kiss, Cheap Trick and the Stones as his musical influences. "We wrote some songs and then spent some times in Los Angeles and hooked up with (producer) Tim Palmer."
Palmer returned to Buffalo with Takac and Rzeznik and the three spent a couple of months tracking the album.
"Tim moved on to another project and we had this album that wasn't going to come out for another few months, so, we worked on the record ourselves again with a bunch of other producers, including Butch Vig, Rob Cavallo and John Fields."
The Dolls had their live-sound engineer Paul Hager remix the record.
"We had a lot of people work on the album with us, but we weren't worried too much about sound continuity," Takac said. "Ninety-eight percent of the record was recorded in that first two-month period, and from that point we toiled over lyrics and sounds.
"It's easy for us to be the band we're suppose to be at any given moment, instead of worrying about catching everything at one time, and we re-embraced the record and I think that was a good thing for us to do."
Although making CDs is a big part of the whole Goo Goo Dolls picture, the live shows are the jewel in the crown. So the band takes special care to create a live experience.
"First off, we need to say to ourselves that people are paying money to see us play," Takac said. "There is a certain amount of the audience who are casual fans who like the songs from the radio. There is a certain amount of fans who do go deep and know some of the older records.
"We have our favorite songs and the fans have their favorite songs and we're not going to satisfy everyone, but we can take a pretty good guess what the large chunk of the audience will want to hear," he said. "For example, we're not going to get out of the room if we don't play 'Iris,' and we know that."
There are 14 to 15 songs the Dolls know they have to play, which gives them time for six or seven other songs to choose from, Takac said.
"That's where the decision-making process comes in and it changes and morphs as we move around, but we're not about to let people down after they've made the effort to get away from their computer, out of their house and interact with other folks," he said.
"When people come to the Park City show, they won't be disappointed."
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