From: SonicNet

Goo Goo Dolls Try To Shake Pop Stereotype With New LP

Buffalo, N.Y., trio's blend of power rock and acoustic sounds is its hallmark since 1987 debut.

Contributing Editor Colin Devenish reports:

Singer/guitarist John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls has cause to feel a little confused about how people see his band.

Since 1987, the Buffalo, N.Y., trio has crafted five albums loaded with raucous rock tunes. Yet the band is best-known for the dusky, acoustic tune "Name" -- the hit single from its 1995 breakthrough LP, A Boy Named Goo -- and more recently for the pop ballad "Iris", off the City of Angels soundtrack.

"We've always done acoustic songs ... but it's the one [thing we do that] people seem to latch onto." -- John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls singer/guitarist  

Rzeznik said that he doesn't mind if that's what people like to hear. Still, he said he decided to toy with the expectations of his fans and the music industry on the Goo Goo Dolls' sixth and latest LP, Dizzy Up The Girl, slated for release Tuesday (Sept. 22).

For example, there's the abbreviated album-track "Acoustic #3."

"I made that song a minute-and-a-half long on purpose," Rzeznik said. "I didn't want some guy from the record company coming along and looking to make that our next single. We've always done acoustic songs. It's one part of what we do, but it's the one people seem to latch onto."

Buoyed by a larger budget and a longer recording schedule, Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac -- along with new drummer Mike Malinin -- created the 13-song Dizzy Up The Girl as an extension of all the work they have done since their 1987 self-titled debut album. The new material ranges from the brooding "Iris" to the exuberant pop of "January Friend" to the defiant, uptempo rock of "Hate This Place."

Despite Rzeznik's machinations and the band's attempts to paint its sound in a new light with the public, the Goo Goo Dolls' latest lush, acoustic track, "Iris," lit up the charts this summer upon its soundtrack release. Once again, the focus was put on the softer side of the Goo Goo Dolls' work.

Takac offered a philosophical take on why the band's quieter work seems to capture the most attention. "I don't think 'Name' or 'Iris' are any more emotional than other songs Johnny writes," Takac said, "but they really have a slant on them that works in so many places."

The Goo Goo Dolls hired producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day) to help them record Dizzy Up The Girl. They also brought in keyboardist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and longtime underground legend Tommy Keene to flesh out the album's catchy pop-rock tunes.

In writing songs for Dizzy Up The Girl, Rzeznik said that he tried to combine his love of the kind of wordplay favored by authors Tom Robbins and Mark Twain with his belief in the importance of making lyrical sense.

This methodology resulted in tunes such as "Broadway", a tribute to a poverty-stricken section of the band's hometown and the people that inhabit it.

"That song's about the neighborhood [where] I grew up ... in Buffalo," Rzeznik explained.

"A lot of towns have gas stations on each corner of an intersection. In Buffalo, there's a street called Broadway, where every block has a bar on every corner," he added.