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Q&A

You wouldn’t think Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac listens to a lot of dance music, but thanks to satellite radio, it’s become one of his most recent guilty pleasures.

The 46-year-old Buffalo native still spends much of his time on the road with his multi-platinum selling band, which lends plenty of opportunities to catch new tunes in his downtime.

Credit, or blame, the music industry’s changing business model for keeping Takac and his band on the road, but fans have to appreciate reliving hits like “Iris” and “Name” at such convenience in a live setting.

As the Goo Goo Dolls return to Summerfest in Milwaukee Friday, fans will once again have the chance to sing along to the Dolls’ old and new hits at the Miller Lite Oasis stage.

You’ve accomplished so much in the music industry; what do you aspire to do at this point in your career?

We’ve got another tour coming up so my immediate hope is that we put some bodies in some seats and have a great summer. We just got out of the studio, recording some new stuff. (Lead singer) John (Rzeznik) has been writing pretty furiously at the moment, so I think it won’t be long before we’re recording again and probably back into the process again.

How is your process of writing music different now than it was in the ’90s?

We tour a lot more than we used to and we live in different places now, so music gets written a lot differently than it used to. It used to be about getting into the rehearsal space and kind of making it happen. Now it’s a little bit more of a piece deal because this job has really become, I always say, like a carnie job, kind of (laughs). You’re out bringing the ol’ vaudeville show around. We used to tour a lot but we’ve pretty much toured continuously since the last record, be it a month off here, a month off there. There always seemed to be opportunities out there because of the way the recording music business operates right now. It’s much more necessary to be out there and let people know that you’re still relevant.

Has the digital revolution helped or hurt the Goo Goo Dolls?

For a band in our position, we’re still able to be out there and make a living. … The whole complexion of radio has changed completely because of the Internet. The whole complexion of retail has changed because of the Internet. The whole complexion of how we reach out to our fans has changed because of the Internet. I mean, it’s stolen sales from me. It’s stolen money from us, but it’s also allowed us to, at the click of a button, reach 1.5 million (fans), I believe it is, on our Facebook site. I can reach them directly. … It’s really changed the way people look at the business now, especially the way the business used to operate.

What’s your best memory from Summerfest?

All my memories of Summerfest are awesome. I don’t know how many times we’ve played but it’s been many over the years. I remember I met Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick) at one of ’em. That was fun, man. We’ve played a parking lot there. We’ve played the amphitheater there during Summerfest. We’ve done a lot of different things, but that’s the great American rock concert right there as far as I’m concerned. … I’m totally jazzed about being involved again this year. It’s great.
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