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Catching Up with Johnny

The Goo Goo Dolls

Guess who is back on the airwaves? The Goo Goo Dolls have returned with a new album and are dominating the playlists of pop radio stations worldwide. It has been a long four years since Johnny Rzeznik (lead guitarist, vocalist), Robby Takac (bassist) and Mike Malinin (drummer) have released a new album. Of course you remember their previous titles. Who could forget the hit song “Iris” which originally appeared on the “City Of Angels” soundtrack and spent almost a year on the Billboard charts, including a phenomenal 18 weeks at #1.  “Iris” was also nominated record and song of the year by the 1998 Grammy Awards.  The tracks “Slide”, “Black Balloon” and “Broadway,” were all top ten hits on the Billboard charts.

And now, with no further delay, “Something for the Rest of Us” is here! It was written mostly by Johnny himself, and recorded over the last two years. “The theme of the album unfolded to me” says Johnny, “I wanted to address those who have been deeply effected by these tough economic conditions, those who are filled with fear and uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring. So many people are really hurting and with two wars that seem to have no end in sight. Those are the people I wrote about, from their perspective.”

Turning words and intention into action, the Goo Goo Dolls proactively chose to lower the cost of their concert tickets to make a night-out-on-the-town more affordable to the average fan. They also ask concert-goers to support USA Harvest by bringing canned goods and non-perishable food items to the concert. All the food that is collected goes to local shelters. “On average, we deliver two to three thousand cans each night we play!” says Johnny proudly. The concept is a very simple one: Move food from people who have too much, to those who have much too little!  A little effort and planning by each concert-goer makes a big difference to local communities.

If history repeats itself, as it so often does, the accomplishment of previous ballads predict the bright success of newly released love songs on this new album. Curious to know if being romantic comes easy for someone like Johnny who writes deep lyrics such as ‘…I’d give up forever to touch you…You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be…’, Johnny answered “I have to work at it like all men do. I think all men try to be romantic although most women say we don’t. I love my girlfriend and since I am away from her a lot, I send her little love notes to let her know I am thinking about her.” Wow, that is really sweet. Take note fellas, this is super simple and it works!  Ladies, didn’t you melt just a little?

So what kind of music does Johnny listen too these days? “Hmm, well let me flip through my recently played list on my computer… The Flaming Lips (Transmissions From the Satellite Heart), Regina Spektor, The Killers, The Hold Steady, and The Black Keys…all I love!”

As an artist who is familiar with creative blocks, Johnny offers these words of wisdom for any artists who’s struggling: “Don’t chase a trend. Speak your mind. Do good work. Dig down inside until it scares you. THEN you found something special.”

After touring as long as the Goo Goo Dolls have, traveling for leisure is not high on Johnny’s list. “Home, in my own bed, is a vacation to me. All I want to do is relax and spend time under my own roof. I want to fix everything that is broken!” laughs Johnny. When pressed to imagine leisure time away from home, Johnny replies, “My next trip I think will be to Italy and Rome to really check it out… eventually.” A quick review of cities and dates of the current “Something for the Rest of Us Tour” and it is easy to see why a “stay-cation” is high on Johnny’s list of priorities.

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