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By Doug Gallant

The Guardian

In an industry that is notorious for chewing up aspiring young bands and spitting them out faster than you can say adios muchachos, staying together for 25 years is something of an accomplishment.

But hitting that quarter century mark and still being able to turn out top 10 records is an even greater feat.

And that’s the way the story continues to play out for The Goo Goo Dolls, who play the Charlottetown Civic Centre Feb. 12.

Something for the Rest of Us, the band’s ninth album and first new studio recording in four years, debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Home, the first single from the record, became the band’s 14th top 10 single, extending its record for the most top 10 songs on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart. That places them ahead of matchbox twenty, John Mayer, Nickelback and Sheryl Crow.

Having that kind of success has been very enabling for the band, which first saw the light of day in their hometown of Buffalo in 1985 as the Sex Maggots.

Guitarist/vocalist John Rzeznik, who’s also the band’s principal songwriter, says their success has made it possible for them to make records the way they want to — and on their own schedule.

“I’m at the point where I don’t feel that enormous pressure to produce another enormous hit,” Rzeznik said in an interview.

“With this record I wanted to go a little deeper than we have before. There are a lot of things going on out there that I feel I needed to say something about. I know people who’ve fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know people who’ve lost their jobs and their homes because of corporate greed, people who’ve been pushed to the breaking point. People are constantly under pressure of some kind. I wanted to examine the emotional underpinning of what people are going through.”

Rzeznik says, yes, he still writes songs that sound like singles and could be hits, but there are other songs on this record where he has really taken a left turn.

Recording Something for the Rest of Us was a labour-intensive, time-consuming project. The record was recorded over the space of two years in multiple studios in Los Angeles and at their home studio in Buffalo with a roster of producers and engineers that included heavyweights like Tim Palmer, John Fields, and Butch Vig.

“It had a lot to do with the time frame we were working with and who was available when. We did the majority of the record with Tim Palmer and then brought in Butch Vig. We wrote another song and went in again with John Fields.”

Palmer, whose credits include work with U2, David Bowie, the Cure and Pearl Jam, is Rzeznik’s favourite producer.

“He’s got a very English way of doing things and that shows on the album. He let me experiment with stacking vocals and big harmonies. I really wanted to do all that.”

But he also likes Vig’s style.

“Butch is one of those guys who can step into a room and get right down to work because you don’t have to negotiate with any egos. And he’s very meticulous.”
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