Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bonus Q&A with Goo Goo Dolls

Here are more excerpts from my chat with Goo Goo Dolls bassist/vocalist Robby Takac, who was doing a little  gardening at home in Buffalo, N.Y. between phone interviews.

During downtime with the band, he runs the independent label Good Charamel []. It launched in 2003 and now concentrates on releasing music by Japanese rock bands such as Shonen Knife. Takac also started non-profit organization Music is Art [], where he has served as president since 2004.

Meanwhile, Goo Goo Dolls fans will want to check out frontman John Rzeznik's recent appearance on Daryl Hall's popular web music series, Life from Daryl's House:

Hall and his musicians play both GGD and Hall & Oates music, talk about the songs (I never realized "Iris" was such a difficult song to play live with its change in time signatures) and Rzeznik displays the best way to barbeque Buffalo wings.

A new Goo Goo Dolls song, 'All That You Are,' will be featured on the upcoming soundtrack to Transformers 3.

Today marks exactly 25 years since the Goo Goo Dolls' first rehearsal in Buffalo.

Read on...

Q: Media references have been made to lyrics on the latest album being in a darker vein than usual. Other than a few instances, I don’t see it too much. Where do you stand on that assessment?
It might address some darker issues, but I agree with you: I think that’s [often] taken the wrong way. You hear ‘darker record’ and you [probably] think, ‘oh, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Waits, Birthday Party’ – that kind of stuff. It’s not like that. I don’t think the record is a bummer. It's got uplifting moments. That’s a very astute observation.

Q: What did you take away from working with Tim Palmer, who produced the bulk of the album?
He jumped in and made [things] happen. That was a different approach for us. It really drew us into a direction that we were comfortable in moving. Funny thing was, when we finished the record with him, we ended up working on it a little more because he moved onto another project. We had the time to go back and actually listen to everything. So much of what we did was interesting, like texturally. We’d never really had that chance before, to go and reach back into the record again. I really think it’s a good thing to do actually, because so many times we finish a record, you’re in such a hurry. You’re done and you mix it and sit there saying, ‘we should have done this.’ With this album, we actually had the time to go back and do it again. It did delay the record for awhile, but for the better.

Q: I heard you’re working on new material again with producer Rob Cavallo.
We did a couple things over at his place. John’s been writing out on the road a little bit and collecting ideas. The business has changed. You’ve got to be out there making it happen. I don’t think we’re going to have the luxury of sitting around for a year, waiting for the muse to strike, then making a record like we were in the past. It’s really going to be a situation where we’re going to be moving quicker.

Q: I read that Good Charamel is putting out a documentary on underground Japanese rock music.
We’ve released a whole bunch of records by Japanese bands over the years. We have a new Shonen Knife coming out soon and this documentary out on DVD on August 23. Some of the money will go to the Red Cross for the tsunami relief fund over there. It’s still pretty nuts over there now.    

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