Johnny: I'm fine. How are you?
Edge: I'm great. It's nice to hear your voice again. You're in Portland, Maine today.
Johnny: Yah. I'm mastering the new record.
Edge: So that's kinda an exciting thing, right? Sorta like the final little bit before you have to let it go.
Johnny: You know what was really funny? Last night was actually the night that I actually slept more than four hours in about six months. Yah, it's like WOW, it's almost done.
Edge: So I would think with the joy, there'd be some trepidation mixed in because, I mean, this has been something you've been working on for a long time. And these songs were your babies and they've evolved and grew and there's that great quote that records are never finished, they're just sorta abandoned.
Johnny: Haha! Well, believe me, I'm ready to abandon this one.
Edge: Well, how do you feel? Do you feel confident. Do you feel any trepidation about it?
Johnny: um...well, you know, I can't say what's gonna happen once you let it go...once you 'abandon' it. Um..bum I'm pretty proud of it. I'm happy that I actually got to do it. There were points that I went, "Oh my gawd. I'm never gonna finish this. How the hell did I do this before?" And you know, you sorta buckle down and get to work and then it's done. I'm pretty proud of it, and what happens once it leaves us, you know, it's beyond my control. I'm not gonna drive myself nuts thinking 'bout it.
Edge: Well, I think there's all indications that it will be well received. The fact that it's prefaced by a song like Iris, it has been such an enormous hit for you. It's put you firmly back in the public mind.
Johnny: Yah, I know. Iris was like a blessing! It really was! It just came out of nowhere! WOW! WHEW! It really kinda took the heat off me for a while.
Edge: But you know what's sorta interesting about this song, if you permit me. It's similar in, if you remember, when the song 'Joey' came out, Concrete Blond, some years ago, and it was such a beautiful song. It was a really big hit for a band, but it was probably the least representative of their sound of a whole. And although you've certainly written tender songs before, I mean, Iris, doesn't really give the full Goo Goo Dolls picture.
Johnny: No. But I keep saying, I want a chance to rock in public pretty soon. You know what I mean? It's nice to have a nit like that, but it's definitely just one small component of what the band is about. We've always had slow tunes, or ballads, or whatever you want to call them, on every record. And the two songs we've had the most success with have been ballads. In between we sorta had a minor hit with Lazy Eye from the Batman and Robin soundtrack or Batman Forever. One of those movies...I don't know which one. But, you know, I definitely want to have some heavier stuff get out there.
Edge: What I was gonna say was, there's some interesting guests on this record. So it's beyond just a trio. Tell us a little 'bout that.
Johnny: We did the record in Los Angeles with the guy who produced Iris. We felt a little weird doing a record on the left coast cuz we were always like, "oh man, I don't know...I don't dig the vibe out there." But I'm really glad we did cuz everyone else lives out there, and it was really cool to get some people involved with us. We got Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers. And Tommy Keene. Great singer/songwriter.
Edge: and guitar player. Johnny: amazing guitar player. I was watching him playing guitar and was like, "ok, that's good. That's enough. Go home." So we got him real loaded and poured into his house at about five in the morning. He was fantastic. He was just SO good. Gosh, who else played? A guy named Louis Conti Did all the percussion. Nathan December, who's actually playing guitar with us on tour. He did some guitar. And David Campbell did all the string arrangements. He did the string arrangements for Iris. He put strings on a couple of other songs. He's actually done some stuff for the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. He does a lot of other stuff. He worked with Cracker. Strangely, he's Beck's father, which was an interesting footnote.
Edge: Yah, that guy's done a lot of interesting work.
Johnny: Yah. He's amazing. He's SO brillant. It was really kinda intimidating working with all these really amazing musicians.
Edge: yah. I'm pretty sure they were thrilled about you. They wouldn't have shown up unless they songs were good. I mean, if it wasn't so fundamental they would of been nodding off in the studio and you would have known something was wrong. It works both ways.
Johnny: Yah. I think we made a couple of friends, which is always good.
Johnny: Yah, we've got some other stuff coming up on the next tour. Like, we hired a second guitar player to work with us on the road. And, we're bringing out a keyboard player for a couple, four songs. Kid's from Buffalo.
Johnny: Yah, i'm really excited about it...and here I am..just BLAH BLAH BLAH!
Edge: No! People want to hear you. Well, if you're gonna put it that way, I'm gonna make you stop for just a second, put on a song, and then talk some more, if that's alright...
THEY PLAY IRIS...
Edge: Music from the Goo Goo Dolls. That of course, was Iris from the City of Angels soundtrack. I do believe included on Dizzy Up the Girl...coming out on September 22nd, in this part of the world. And we're speaking to Johnny Goo Goo right now. Is it ok? Can I call you Johnny Goo Goo?
Johnny: Actually, my last name is Rzeznik. That's ok. You can call me whatever you want.
Edge: Yah, cuz bands sometime take their own band name.
Johnny: There you go...
Edge: We were speaking just before we got to that song, we were talking about recording in California, and the various guests who came by. There is also this great story that escaped on a less important level that you guys were having these things called Lemondrop parties. True?
Johnny: Oh boy! Yah, the infamous Lemondrop parties. We went into mix the record with this guy, Jack Joseph Puig Right? And he works at ocean Way Studio. Which is this famous recording studio in Hollywood. Like, the Beach Boys recorded Pet Sounds there and all these other crazy stuff. So there's this room. Jack set up this room that looks like an opium den with a mixing board. You know, we work so late every night so we need to set up a bar cuz we can't go out anymore cuz all the bars close at one in LA. So there's this paper called the Recycler where they resell old stuff, so I just looked for a bar. So I found this brown nogga hyde bar in there for a hundred bucks, and he brought it down to the studio and just went out and brought a few cases of vodka and some martini glasses. And just started inviting people over. And all these people started showing up that we didn't even know. So we just started having these great Lemondrop parties. You know, if you want the recipe, I'll give it to you.
Edge: So word on the street is, you make a martini that may be as good as mine.
Johnny: I make a badass martini and a really good lemondrop. Robby's a little different. He leans heavier on the vodka than me.
Edge: and you just pass over ???? on the glass right?
Johnny: Just a whisper. Just a hint. You don't want to bruise it. But are you a vodka-martini drinker, or a gin-martini?
Edge: absolutely vodka. We probably shouldn't be talking too much about alcohol, but let's just say, I have a warm loving relationship with vodka.
Johnny: There you go! Vodka's good. Do you drink the Belvedere? Cuz that's the one you really drink. The rest is barbaric like industrial solvent.
Edge: uh, I can't say I've had the pleasure but if you'd like to bring me a bottle perhaps we can try it on air.
Johnny: You know what? I'm gonna do you a favour and bring you a bottle. It's dangerous though, cuz you don't get a hangover. And it's really strange cuz Bevedere will not give you a hangover. And it's stranger cuz there's no price to pay for your indulgence. I start drinking cheaper vodka just to remind me of the misery I could be hetting into.
Edge: You may be well my new best friend.
Johnny: I'll make you a lemondrop! A badass lemondrop.
Edge: Alright. I'm looking forward to it. I'll take the challenge.
Edge: So let me end on this point. We are going to see you before the end of this month, I believe, August 31st, you're gonna be here just doing a promotional thing. Can you sorta guesstimate for me when you might be in our town, when respect to live shows?
Johnny: oh, probably near the fall, before thanksgiving, cuz the record's coming out on the 22nd. I know we're starting the tour in Phoenix, I think the day before the record's coming out. And then we're heading right towards the east coast. So we're probably out there definitely before Thanksgiving.
Edge: American Thanksgiving?
Johnny: yah, I'm sorry bout that. Not Canadian thanksgiving! When is Canadian thanksgiving?
Edge: Sometime in October I think...I don't even know...
Johnny: which one do you think came first?
Edge: Well, it would have to be American!
Johnny: But you'll never know. There might be some fur travellers up there.
Edge: There still are.
Johnny: go, "well, you know, we've got a lot to be thankful for."
Edge: "let's kill something and eat it..." Well, on that note, I'm just gonna mention again, your performance this weekend is in Artpark, this Saturday, in Lewiston. And we have a contest we're running right now. So we'll invite some people to call 870-EDGE to get your name on this list. And if we draw you name we'll send a bunch of listeners down to see you. And throw in some food and stuff like that. And Johnny, just want to tell you how lovely it was to speak to you. Best of luck on matering. I'm looking very forward in hearing the album on September 22nd and see you live and in person on the 31st of August. You've been looking great in the video.
Johnny: Oh thank you very much. We'll have a good time when we see you. Alright, thanks a lot.