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Goo Goo Dolls will play in Raleigh tonight.

By Kristi Singer
Star-News Correspondent
August 28, 2002

If you plan to attend tonight's Goo Goo Dolls concert in Raleigh, you might want to empty your cupboards first. The band has teamed up with the volunteer organization USA Harvest to collect non-perishable food items at its shows to distribute to local shelters. In addition to doing a good deed for the day, concertgoers who bring the most items will have a chance to hang backstage with the band.

The incentive seems to work. Since the Gutterflower tour kicked off July 29 with Third Eye Blind and Vanessa Carlton, the band already has collected nearly 200,000 cans.

"It stays right in your area and gets distributed to the shelters and missions in your town. It's just about people helping out their neighbors, so bring a lot," lead singer and songwriter Johnny Rzeznik said.

A husband and wife brought around 75 cans and packages to one of the concerts, Mr. Rzeznik said.

"It's amazing how generous everybody's been. You just put the word out, and everybody does it, which I love," Mr. Rzeznik said.

Touring has been a major part of bassist/vocalist Robby Takac, drummer Mike Malinin and Mr. Rzeznik's career. The band has stayed on the road for two years over the past three records, the frontman said. It's been four months since he's visited his new Los Angeles home.

"I want to sleep in my own bed and see my cats," Mr. Rzeznik said.

But he's not complaining about life on the road. He loves his job and is thankful for how far he's come since the band formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1985.

"Sometimes you sit there and go 'God, you gave me this really amazing life. What do you want me to do for you?'" Mr. Rzeznik said.

Mr. Rzeznik will have two songs, yet to be titled, appear on Walt Disney's upcoming animation Treasure Planet, scheduled to reach box offices in November. The space adventure is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

"It was interesting to get involved in a project where you could get out of your own head. I could assume the character of somebody else and try to write from their perspective," Mr. Rzeznik said.

A typical day on tour for Mr. Rzeznik includes waking up around 9 a.m. to start interviews, which continue until noon. He then calls his manager and "tortures him about something for about an hour" then goes to the gym to work out. After that, he goes to the gig for sound check and then plays an acoustic show for a radio station. Before the show he does a meet and greet to sign autographs and take photos. After the show he meets and greets more fans before the night ends.

"We do that and sit down for a couple of minutes, have a cocktail, sometimes 10. Then take a shower, get on the bus, get the hell out of town and do it all again," Mr. Rzeznik said.

While on the road, Mr. Rzeznik entertains himself by thinking of band names – he said he would pick another besides Goo Goo Dolls if he had five minutes more. Some of his favorite names are Jack Ruby Tuesdays, Suicide Doors and Laundry Bomb – a name he came up with while in Japan.

"My all Japanese girl pop band. I was going to write all these songs and get all these hot Japanese girls to pretend like they were a band," Mr. Rzeznik said.

He also enjoys reading to pass the time at airports and on the tour bus.

"I've been reading insanely, just devouring books, cause I don't want my brain to atrophy. That's so easy on tour because you're sitting there playing video games and talking and it always amazes me, your brain can turn to Jell-O if you don't keep flexing it," Mr. Rzeznik said.

Mr. Rzeznik is currently reading Ruled by Secrecy by Jim Marrs and The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy, sequel to American Tabloid – a book Mr. Rzeznik described as the best he's ever read in his entire life.

Gutterflower is the band's seventh release following 1998's Dizzy Up the Girl which sold close to six million albums. The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week.

Mr. Rzeznik said he didn't feel pressured to achieve the same success of Dizzy Up the Girl when creating Gutterflower.

"You're like, 'What if it doesn't happen again?' Give yourself a little tough love and go on, quit whining. Do your best, and forget about everything you can't control," Mr. Rzeznik said. "In a way, you just have to throw your hands up in the air and go 'you know, whatever' and then you'll be OK. You sort of learn to become comfortable with uncertainty, which is a difficult thing."

The album's title came from a term used by poet Pablo Neruda in The Beggars to describe homeless people. Mr. Rzeznik wrote Gutterflower's material after his divorce and moving to L.A. from Buffalo, NY.

"I might as well have moved to Mars. I had all the music written and then I was writing the lyrics and September 11th happened and I kind of had this paradigm shift about where I was focusing my attention. It was kind of like 'Wow – what about my family, what about being in love' – the thoughts got a lot closer to home," Mr. Rzeznik said.

Source: http://kristi_singer.tripod.com/id179.htm
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