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With hits like “Iris,” “Black Balloon” and “Slide” in its music catalogue, Goo Goo Dolls have recorded some of the most memorable pop songs of the last 30 years, with “Iris” still a mainstay at weddings around the country.

“How many musicians would give everything they have just to have one millionth of what that song did for us? It was truly a gift,” said singer John Rzeznik, who, along with bassist Robby Takac, formed the band back in 1986 in Buffalo, N.Y. “When we first started, we were looking to make enough money for a case of beer and to meet some girls. We just wanted to get a headlining gig at a local bar in Buffalo.”

Not only did they get that gig, but thanks to some “shenanigans,” the band was banned early on and it changed the course of the band’s history.

“It sort of forced us to look outside of what we probably would have just done—having fun with our friends; and we went out and met some people and within a year or two we had a record released and were out doing shows,” Rzeznik said. “It took about 10 years before it came to any commercial success.”

Success, he said, has come from a great fan base, a great musical relationship with Takac and the ability to create music people want to hear. And the shenanigans have calmed down quite a bit as well.

“You’re driving around with two sober guys now so it’s a much different bus than it was 20 years ago,” he said. “It’s still fun but a different sort of fun.”

Over the years, Goo Goo Dolls have released 11 studio albums, including the critically acclaimed “A Boy Named Goo,” “Dizzy Up the Girl” and “ Let Love In.” The band’s newest release is “Boxes,” which has already produced a top single, “So Alive.”

Rzeznik understands that it’s a different music industry today than the one that gave birth to Goo Goo Dolls 30 years ago, but the band has embraced social media and all the changes that have come along.

“You can pinpoint who hears your songs these days and get your music to the people who are interested. They know how to find you,” Rzeznik said. “For a band like us, who have a core of people who are interested, it’s easy to get to those people. For younger bands, I think it’s a little tough and you have to climb your way to the top. We’ve worked ourselves well into this cyber-area of music.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, Goo Goo Dolls head to Wolf Trap as part of a triple bill with old friends Collective Soul and Tribe Society.

“We’ve been making records a long time and lucky enough to have some songs that have really resonated with people and as the years go on, it gets tougher and tougher to fit them all in, but that’s probably the greatest problem you could have,” Rzeznik said. “We’ll be playing a lot of songs people know, with flashy lights, loud amps and big drums.”

While “Boxes” has only been out a few months, its songs have already integrated nicely in Goo Goo Dolls’ set list.

“Sometimes you put out a record and play the new songs and people tilt their head to the side and have a big question mark over your head because they have no idea what you’re doing, but the nature of this record is more upbeat and swings a little more and translates really well into our show,” Rzeznik said. “We’re opening and closing the show with new songs, which is pretty rare, and they have been going over really well.”

Different generations of fans come out to support Goo Goo Dolls for its live shows, and while Rzeznik tries to make sure that both old and new fans are happy, he has a little bit different philosophy for new music the band produces.

“You hope the melody and voices and recognition of song structure that you have developed over the years brings them along, but we learned early on that you can’t make the same record over and over again,” he said. “We’ve entered a creative era for ourselves largely hand-in-hand with the way the music business has gone. The way you approach writing a song is so different now. We’ve kept our minds open to different technologies and new talent and ‘Boxes’ is a great representation of these ideas coming together and working.”
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