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John Dingwall

GOO GOO DOLLS frontman John Resnick knew the band had touched a nerve when one of their songs helped a fan overcome the sadness of her husband being wounded in Afghanistan.

The US rockers are back to classic rock form with their ninth studio album, Something For The Rest Of Us.

John - who has previously admitted to suffering from songwriter's block - got the perfect response when one fan met him to explain how much one of the songs, Notbroken, had touched her.

He recalled: "We always meet fans before a show and somebody always has a story or a note about the music helping them through a particular time in their lives. It makes me proud it can have that much of an effect on somebody.

"There is a song on this album called Notbroken. I met a woman at one of those meet and greets. She spoke to me for a minute and gave me a letter. It was about her husband being wounded in Iraq and not wanting to come home to her.

"He didn't know if he was going to be loved and accepted. That was an interesting moment. It makes you realise the real cost of war."

John admits the economic crisis and the fall-out from the war in Afghanistan helped shape the material.

He said: "With this album, I wanted to look outside of myself and look into other people's lives. In America and elsewhere, everybody is going through such economic hard times. I have friends who have lost their homes. We are involved in two wars. What I wanted to get down to was the emotional impact of those situations."

Having helped raise funds and campaigned for Barack Obama during the last Presidential campaign in the US, he admits he is one of many disillusioned by a lack of change in the US and the pursuance of the war against the Taliban.

He said: "The war doesn't make any sense to me. During the last Presidential election, I did a lot of work for Obama. I got to meet and talk to him a couple of times and I was so convinced all our problems would be solved.

"I'm sure the guy is scratching his head, saying, 'What happened? I thought I could deal with this.' "In the songs, I wanted to deal with how that affects people on a personal level."

Formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York, the Goo Goo Dolls - John, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin - have sold nine million albums in the US alone.

By far their biggest hit was 1998's Iris, which stayed at the top of the US chart for a staggering 18 weeks.

John said: "It's one of those things where you feel like you've won the lottery and you know the chance of having a song that big again is slim."

The song was also covered by Ronan Keating.

After beating the songwriter's block that plagued him in the Nineties, John and the band are enjoying another fertile period and perform a sold-out show at Glasgow's O2 Academy on Sunday. He said: "I sat down and started writing when the opportunity came about to do a song for a film.

"I did that and broke through the problem. I don't really believe writer's block exists unless your arm gets chopped off.

He said: "My record company has always left me alone to do what I want for the most part and that's been great.

"But many artists tell me how they have written 100 songs for the record company and every one has been rejected.

"All the record companies care about is selling singles. One executive told me I was competing with Lady Gaga. I said, 'No. Have you even listened to my band?'

"You start to understand what their bag of tricks is, because we all have a bag of tricks. Now I listen to the radio and I'll know who wrote a song. It has homogenised the sound of radio."
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