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Intelligencer Journal
Lancaster New Era
Apr 08, 2010 17:28 EST

By Jon Ferguson, Staff Writer

Robbie Takac didn't think there would be a four-year gap between albums for the Goo Goo Dolls.

Takac, who plays bass, thought it might be just three years because he and his band mates briefly believed they had finished the follow-up to 2006's "Let Love In" last year.

But Tim Palmer, the album's producer, decided to take a break and, while he was gone, the band started going over what they had recorded.

"We thought we were done at one point and we kind of went back and listened to it and said, 'Ah, we should probably work on it a little bit more,' " Takac says. "Our producer took some time off so we had some time to listen to it. All of a sudden, there's 50 things you want to change."

The band, which will perform Tuesday night at the Hershey Theatre, also decided to bring in some more producers to help them make the changes.

They included Rob Cavallo, who worked on previous Goo Goo Dolls' albums, including "Dizzy Up the Girl" (1998) and "Gutterflower" (2002), and Butch Vig, the drummer for Garbage who produced albums for Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth.

Sometimes when that many producers get involved in the making of an album, it spells trouble. Takac, however, doesn't believe that's the case with "Something for the Rest of Us," the title of the album now scheduled for a June release.

"I think we managed to retain a lot of what we wanted to hear on this album," Takac says. "Jim's largely one of those join-the-band-and-get-this-record-done kind of guys. These other guys (Cavallo and Vig) are kind of good at jumping in and making things pop.

"With the combination of all these people working together, I think we did some real cool stuff."

Spending this much time making an album would have been unthinkable when the Goo Goo Dolls, which includes singer-songwriter-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin, was getting its start in Buffalo, N.Y., in the mid-1980s.

At that time, the band was a punkish outfit with a Replacements fixation. Everything changed in the mid-1990s, however, when Rzeznik started churning out acoustic-driven ballads like "Name" and "Iris" that catapulted the band onto Top 40 radio.

The band never looked back, racking up fistfuls of hits and selling millions of albums.

Takac, 45, says the band was hoping to capture more of a live groove on the new album by going into the studio and recording as a band, including longtime touring guitarist Brad Fernquist.

The bassist, however, says some of the desired roughness of the initial recordings was lost in the studio. He says something similar happened during the recording of the band's last album, "Let Love In," which was produced by Glen Ballard, who has a reputation for mistaking blandness for high production values.

"There's a wrestling match that happens between being human and being correct, being a machine," Takac says. "I think you've got to straddle that line to make yourself appear to be competent. You've got to watch out for stripping all the life out of yourself and making yourself sound like a robot, which seems to be very popular these days."

Takac says the band will be previewing some of its new songs at the Hershey show, including a tune called "The Sweetest Lie," which likely will be the first single and can be heard on YouTube. He says the band is conscious of the need to get its singles on the radio, though he never knows which songs might be hits.

"We had no idea 'Name' was going to end up on the radio — no idea at all," he says. "And it was one of our biggest songs. You just never know when it's going to happen. 'Better Days' — same thing. That was another one of those songs. It was a B-side we did for a Walmart record and all of a sudden it was like some Christmas record. All of a sudden, boom, it was No. 1 and all over TV.

"We just keep delivering them and whenever anybody asks if there's any singles, we say, 'Yes — 12,' and move on from there."

The Goo Goo Dolls

Tuesday, 8 p.m. $37, $47

Hershey Theatre

15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey

534-3405 www.hersheytheatre.com

Source: http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/250861
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