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John Rzeznik (Guitar, Vocals) and Robby Takac (Bass, Vocals) formed The Goo Goo Dolls in Buffalo, New York back in 1986. They were joined by drummer Mike Malinin in 1994 and rose to mainstream success with 1995’s A Boy Named Goo album. With 15 more years of musical success around the globe under their collective belts, the trio just released their ninth studio album and sat down with Team Buzzine at the offices of their US Record label, Warner Bros., in Burbank, California.

Bridget Voeck: Now that you’re celebrating 24 years of The Goo Goo Dolls, what is your wish as you blow out that birthday candle this year?

John Rzeznik: I wish for world peace. How’s that? I just hope everything keeps going well for us and we can still have our jobs for the next couple years.

Robby Takac: I think, after blowing out that candle, just being able to take the next breath in is a good wish!

BV: Your brand new album seems to have been quite a process recording--both in Buffalo and here in LA. What was different and memorable about the experience this time around?

JR: We built our own recording studio in Buffalo…and that was a lot of fun to do because we wasted so much time there--we were just kids in a candy store. We could do anything we wanted, and if we blew it up, it didn’t matter because it was ours.

RT: Which we did.

JR: We started a couple things on fire, which was really intense. We wound up working with four producers and five different recording studios and the three different cities, actually, because we worked in Nashville on some stuff at the end as well.

RT: And Vegas, actually... You know what else happened during this record? We were in Paramount Studios the day Michael Jackson died, and he had recorded a bunch of the early Jackson 5 stuff in that room we were in, and I just remember it being kind of...creepy. Dudes were poking their heads in. Just being in LA during that whole thing and watching it all come down while our record was happening was just bizarre to me.

JR: Probably the weirdest thing that happened while we were recording the album, when we were at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, was a guy was just shot down dead right in front of the studio and…just sort of like: wow.

RT: I pulled up and went to walk in the building and there was tape around the entire sidewalk in front of the building. Crazy world out there…

BV: You mentioned before that this album was for those who have had to bear the brunt of the hard times going on--the people who have been on the front lines... How did their struggles speak to your music, and how do you want the music from this album to speak to them?

JR: I just hope people can relate to this and know they’re not alone and that somebody is thinking of them, and we have to stick together and come up with a better way of doing things because the way things are being done now is obviously pretty inefficient and ineffective.

RT: I think the way people look at soldiers now…people who aren’t necessarily supportive of war in general. It’s a lot different now. People are supportive of soldiers and the troops now. I don’t think it was that way many years ago. People understand a little more that the decisions the government makes--it's not necessarily in the soldiers' heads. They’re just doing their jobs, bravely and selflessly. It’s something we can see a little more clearly.

JR: The thing I always wonder about is...the most valuable asset truly that you have are the people that are willing to put their lives on the line. I think that’s very important, and I don’t think that’s something that should be taken lightly by the government or by a bunch of lobbyists that want to profit from war. I just hope the troops are being used in a righteous mission that is really going to make our country better. I’m just trying to find out if that’s the case. I hope so--these are people’s lives. They have dreams and families and children and goals and aspirations. Personally, I’m against an all-volunteer army. I never thought I would say that, but I’m against an all-volunteer army because I truly believe that when you turn 18--man, woman, rich or poor--when the Congressmen and Senators' children have to go fighting in the wars, that will have a direct impact on American foreign policy.

RT: Might vote a little differently.

JR: I met a woman whose husband was injured in Iraq, and she was telling me about it and how he didn’t want to come home because he was permanently changed in an instant. He just felt as though he didn’t belong anymore and he was avoiding going home because he didn’t want to be seen as this person or this freak or whatever. She really loved him and was trying to reach out to him, and I was moved by that story so I decided I’d write him a love letter from her and maybe he’ll understand it and stop acting like a fool.

BV: From a musical standpoint, what can a fan expect from this ninth studio album?

Mike Malinin: Gosh, it’s been a while since the record has come out. I think we are all happy with how it sounds. It sounds like us. A lot of bands, especially these days, just tend to put out records that don’t really sound like they sound as a band, but I think this one is more of a representation of that.

JR: I think we took a lot of chances and we were definitely more in control of shaping the sonic landscape of what was going on on the album, just because we’ve been doing it for so long. It was a real challenge trying to do left turns and do things that you might not particularly be comfortable with but are really worth exploring.

RT: I think the world is four years older and four years wiser now--the whole planet. So hopefully the places that we went on this record were representative of those things.

BV: Now you’re about to pack up and hit the road. What are you looking forward to on the road, and what’s going on for the rest of the year?

JR: We’re going to be out touring for pretty much the rest of the year, and we’re doing smaller cities in America again, which is always fun because a lot of bands don’t do that. Then we’re going over to the UK, and then we’re going to come home for Christmas, obviously, and then I think we’re going to tour Canada in January. Go figure!

RT: But we’re from Buffalo. We don’t mind driving in the snow...or at least that’s what I hear. We have about 90 shows under our belt already before we actually started the actual proper support--the touring support of the record--so we’re pretty well-rehearsed; we’re pretty good right now.  You should come out to see it…           

The Goo Goo Dolls' Something For The Rest Of Us is out now on Warner Bros. Records.
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