Goo Goo Dolls will ‘Slide’ in some new music on KeyBank stop
The Goo Goo Dolls may have established a comfortable niche as a well-respected rock band with pop leanings reflected by the 12 million albums they’ve sold worldwide and much-loved hit singles like “Iris,” “Slide” and “Name.” But as far as founding member/lead vocalist John Rzeznick is concerned, they’re never too far from their West New York roots. This blue collar mentality continues to be the guiding moral compass for Rzeznick and longtime friend/bassist Robbie Takac.
“We’re from Buffalo and we always carried that pride of the hometown that we’re from — and we still do,” Rzeznick said.
With the band on the road with fellow alt-pop outfit Train, the Goos are preparing to also introduce fans to material from their forthcoming 12th studio outing, “Miracle Pill.” It’s a collection of songs Rzeznick was working on just as he and Takac were coming off the road from a string of fall dates last year celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Dizzy Up the Girl,” the band’s sixth studio album.
The Train/Goo Goo Dolls show rolls into Burgettstown’s KeyBank Pavilion Aug. 7.
New songs, well-loved gems
“I was already writing songs and collecting material for the record. The title and concept for the album just came to me at once. It hadn’t happened to me in a long time, but I just got hit over the head for “Miracle Pill,” Rzeznick recalled. “It was sort of a metaphor for the instant gratification. Are you sad? Take a pill. That’s sort of the culture that we live in. Are you fat? Take a pill. Everybody is looking for some easy, short-cut way to find happiness and fulfillment and there just isn’t. But it’s work. It sucks, it’s hard and it’s consistent. ”
In hitting the road with Train, Rzeznick admits that beyond the new album’s title cut, he and Takac are going to give fans just what they want — well-loved gems from the Goo canon. It’s even more important to do that given how long the duo have wanted to go on the road with Train.
“We’re going to play the new single when we go out. I don’t know how many other songs we’re going to play from the new album, at least this summer. Because we’re out with Train (and its frontman Pat Monahan), you’ve got to play all the hits, when you’re out with a band like that. C’mon Monahan, try writing a crap song or a B-side once in a while,” Rzeznick said with a laugh.
Making it last
While most music fans might think of the Goo Goo Dolls as being a ‘90s alt-pop band, thanks to some of those aforementioned hits, the Goos were actually looked at as Replacements Lite (that band’s Paul Westerberg co-wrote the 1993 single “We Are the Normal” off that year’s Goo Goo Dolls album, “Superstar Car Wash”) and were actually college radio staples up through the early 1990s. And while fame eventually came knocking, Rzeznick and Takac were quick to heed the word of an early adviser.
“The first little bit of money that we made was kind of weird. Robbie and I literally had nothing. We had a roommate, so there was three of us living together in an attic in Buffalo. We had nothing. All of a sudden you get this check in the mail and it’s more money than my dad made in like 10 years,” Rzeznick recalled.
“Then our manager scooped us up and said, ‘Listen. This ain’t gonna last forever. Put the money away, pretend it doesn’t exist, keep your head down and keep working. Forget about being a rock star. Just keep working.’ That stuck with me. Then there was the rule of (investing) — Don’t buy a bar. Don’t buy a restaurant. Don’t buy a Ferrari. We’ve been going for 25 years making a living doing this. This has been my job for 25 years, with no other job. For the 10 years before that, I’d play in the band and be a bartender. I’d play in the band and Robbie was a DJ. We always had odd jobs we had to do when we came home. I was very blessed because the local punk rock club owner would always have my job waiting for me when I came home from a tour. It was really a blessing and he was so proud of us that we were getting out there.”
Headed to South America
For the immediate future, the Goo Goo Dolls will be heading down to South America with Bon Jovi after wrapping up their summer jaunt with Train. And while Rzeznick may have tasted multi-platinum success, he’s still grateful for previously untapped opportunities the Goo Goo Dolls are still getting to experience.
“Going to South America with Bon Jovi is so exciting to me. I can’t believe Jon asked us to open for them. We’re doing Rock in Rio then we’re going to Peru. We’ve never played down there,” he explained. “The last time we toured and opened for those guys, they were so good to us, man. It was a cool scene. I’ve got to say that Jon is doing us a real solid because he’s helping us break open a new market that we’ve never been to.”