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'Something for the Rest of Us' has something for everyone

The Goo Goo Dolls will bring their rocking sound to the Community Arts Center for a one-night performance at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.

The local concert stop is part of their fall tour to promote their ninth album, "Something for the Rest of Us."

Singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin, recently recorded a new song, "The Best Of Me," which will be heard on an upcoming episode of the CBS television show, "Hawaii Five-O," as well as on a soon-to-be released soundtrack album.

Takac recently spoke to the Sun-Gazette via telephone about the tour.

"The world does not allow you to slow down," he said about the band's hiatus between records and tours. "We were writing, recording, building a studio. We kinda fall into our cycle of record making every four years - but we're trying to beat that this time."

Takac said he has a special connection with the first song on the new album, "Sweetest Lie," which they started playing on tour last year before the record was released in August 2010.

"That's a special song I felt like we were sharing with the audience before it came out," he said. Although the band is best-known for their hits, "Name," "Iris" and "Slide," Takac said he doesn't tire of playing those songs on tour.

"If you lose the excitement of that connection, you need to get another job," he said with a laugh. "Yes, there are times when I'm standing on the side of the stage thinking about playing those songs again, but then I get out there and it slips away and becomes an amazing experience with the audience."

The Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls formed in 1986 in Buffalo, N.Y. 2011 marks the 25th year since founding members Rzeznik and Takac first starting playing music together. At a time when most bands come and go, Takac said this longevity is what gives the Goo Goo Dolls its unique sound.

"Part of it is Johnny's voice, and part of it is that we've been playing together for what amounts to more than half of our lives," Takac said. "We first started out as 20 year olds in a punk rock band, playing bars. If our concerts were just beer-fueled parties with punk rock kids, it wouldn't hold up so well ... we're more universal."

Takac said inspiration for their songs comes from "nervous breakdowns and stuff like that."

"I wanted some of the material on this album to address the disillusionment of the difficult period we live in; I wanted to give a voice to the emotional uncertainty that accompanies hard times," Rzeznik said on the band's website. "So many people are struggling to keep it together through tough economic conditions and two wars that seem to have no end in sight. The ones who bear the brunt of these burdens are everyday people. That's who I want to speak to."

Takac said there are many memorable performances - the Olympics, football games, 9-11 concerts and playing for the troops - but one that sticks out the most for him is the first time they played Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, N.Y., while on tour in 1995 with Bush and No Doubt.

"That was the place where it all happened. I saw Kiss there and The Who ... and then I saw it from the other side," he said. "There were so many emotions because a lot of our friends were in the audience. It wasn't what I thought it would be, it was so echo-y and weird."

Takac said the Williamsport audience can expect a good rock show, with songs they want to hear and songs the band wants to play - and maybe even some unreleased surprises.

"The casual listener will find that we're a lot heavier than they thought," he said.

He added that the band will again partner with USA Harvest, a nonprofit organization that provides food to those in need.

"We've worked with them for 15 years and have provided half a million meals at this point," Takac said. The band is seeking canned food donations at their shows and the person who brings the most food items will get to go backstage and have their picture taken with the band.

For more information about the band, visit www.googoodolls.com.

Tickets are $39.25 and $47.25, depending on seating, and are available at www.caclive.com or by calling the box office at 326-2424.



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