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Translated by EmeraldLatias:

I got the chance to meet the sympathetic rockers of the Goo Goo Dolls a couple of hours before their Wednesday night concert at l'Olympia of Montreal. Relaxed, polite and very generous, Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac, the two founding members of the group as well as Mike Malinin who joined them in 1995, talked to me about Montreal, their two decades of rock and the difficulties to write material with modern technology.

"Montreal's a splendid place. That being said, I always feel embarrassed when I'm here because I don't speak French at all." explains the leader of the group, the oh-so-seductive Johnny Rzeznik, who is also comical pointing out what he wishes to order on the menu when he'll find himself at the restaurant.

The group, who recorded their first album 24 years ago already, vows that at the start, they were an 'indie-underground' garage band who never thought they'd see the light of day.

"Until 1995, we always came back to our day jobs one time the mics closed,"(?) recalls Johnny.

On top of the fashions and musical styles that have really changed over all these years, he confided in me that the presence of the internet -- and the pirating of music -- rendered things a lot more difficult for musicians and especially for their chance to live as artists.

"Today, we find ourselves with a generation of people who have grown up without the concept of buying albums," the musician says disapprovingly.

"Before, we wrote songs to sell albums. Now, it's an industry where you have to survive through all the other aspects of the music that still exist." adds the bassist, Robby Takac, visibly shaken by the turn of events.

One of their tricks to sell albums? Include the CD in the price of the concert ticket, that's what makes an interesting combo for the fans who travel to come see them play.

They promised to play their hits -- and there are numerous hits -- for their concert at l'Olympia that night, in addition to their new songs off their most recent album Something For the Rest of Us.

"Having songs that a good number of people can recognize and relate to is a blessing. It'd be bad not to offer them to our fans," explains the singer, who also finds the fact that some groups refuse to play their hits absurd, "It's because they're bastards...!" he adds while laughing.

(Ah, the joys of swears that are completely incompatible, but I digress.)

About the new album, the singer explains, "It's an album that examines the emotional side of this America who sometimes seems to be in full-destruction, economically and socially, in between other ways." An album that expresses that state of alert in which we have to live in.

What's the most interesting thing about being a rock star?

"Doing what you really like to do as a living, doing what you've got some talent in. And knowing that when you write a song, it can change, or at least be apart of someone's life." answered the singer, more talkative than his two counterparts.

If he vows that writing songs is an extremely egocentric process, the singer adds that he likes writing songs in a manner so that there's always room for interpretation.

"When they stop me in the street to tell me that one of our songs had played an important part in their life, that's the most satisfying part," he adds.

Simple, amusing and disconcertingly natural, the three musicians shook my hand and thanked me, adding sincere "Nice to meet you"s. I was left floating in a musical cloud, light-hearted and with a certain song, Iris, running around in my head.
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