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Goo Goo Dolls Interview
With Original Member Robby Takac

By Bill Lamb, About.com

In advance of the release of the band's first Greatest Hits collection, I caught up with the Goo Goo Dolls founding member and bass player Robby Takac.

Bill: Congratualations on 21 years as a band.

Robby: Crazy, right? Yeah, it's crazy to me.

Bill: It looks like with the Greatest Hits collection there are 13 top 10 hits here...

Robby: Yeah, 13 top hits and also a song that we're going to work as a single and hope that people just think is a top 10 hit and it will be one, perhaps.

Bill: Is that the remix (of "Feel the Silence")?

Robby: Yeah, you know, it's funny. I guess we never thought of ourselves a band that needed a greatest hits record. I don't know why. I guess we don't really look at the band that way. You know, we read an article at some point that someone had sent us, and it said the band had 13 top 10 hits, and we said, "Oh, well that is a greatest hits album."

You know most bands' greatest hits records are a bunch of songs that were top 10 hits and a bunch of songs they love, which is awesome. That's where the idea for Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 came from. Why don't we do a Vol. 2 which is what's normally done with a greatest hits record and send out a bunch of our favorite songs. You know, that's probably what prompted that whole idea.

Bill: Can you tell me a little more about what's going to be on the second greatest hits set?

Robby: You know, we don't know yet, really. We've been spending a lot of time looking at a list of archival footage that's available to use from Warner Brothers...stuff from televison, VH1, older stuff that we had done years ago, and live recordings from PBS, those kind of places. So we really have quite a collection of unreleased live versions. We're gonna look through that list, and I think we talked about having a DVD and a couple of CDs package with, possibly, interactive software. That kind of stuff. We're pretty excited about it.

Bill: I know this is a hard question, but on the current greatest hits collection is there a favorite song or a most meaningful one for you?

Robby: That's kind of an impossible question for me to answer. We get asked it every time we do an interview. It's really hard. Obviously, I listen to every one, and some of those songs I've played thousands of times. So they probably hold a pretty special part of my heart, but at the same time I don't really want to sit there and listen to it, because it's one of those things that's played so many times through my head that I can't get to the turntable fast enough. I can't get to the audio device of choice quickly enough to shut it off.

At the same time they're songs that I love. I always feel that's a potentially loaded question.

Bill: The band has gone through some tough times in the past, but, from the outside, it seems you guys are in it for the long haul...

Robby: Well, the world changes, drastically, around us, and our world changes drastically. Within our little bubble things happen, and realizations occur along the way that make you look at what you do a little bit differently.

Like I said, it was hard to conceive of ourselves as a band that would release a greatest hits record. It was also difficult for us to conceive that there was an actual career in this thing for us...I think we had, along the way, watched the industry change around us. Just kind of out of what we do, this thing that we do, we just sort of stayed to it. I think that people kind of appreciated that.

We're certainly not flavor of the moment. I don't think we have been for a good 12 years, but at the same time we seem to be accruing fans.

Bill: You've still got a very strong fan base.

Robby: Yeah, the weird thing is over the past 3 or 4 years for us, 3 years since we put out this last record, the crowds just seem to be getting younger and younger which really wasn't something that had been happening for us for a few years there after Dizzy Up the Girl and that period. It never really went away...but now it's a lot of kids out there, and that's exciting.

Bill: After Katrina and you released "Better Days," there seemed to be a lot of new people discovering your work.

Robby: Yeah, it's a name that people knew. You know, that's why with this TV show (The Next Great American Band), John (Rzeznik) was really on the fence about taking it at first. After he thought about it awhile, he thought if there are people out there who don't know what we do...well, they're gonna now. That was a great point. Watching the way things operate right now, it's not about selling CD's anymore, it's about being this thing that you are, and it takes a long time to develop that.

I think we picked a good time to look at this and say that it's something that's really real. We've finally started to treat it that way, perhaps. I don't know, we'll see. (laughs) I'm not sure. I hope.

Bill: I read there's going to be recording of new songs in early '08?

Robby: Yeah, I'm actually sitting in the middle of a huge pile of plaster dust and wires and lumber right now as we rebuild our studio here in Buffalo. We'll be movin' our stuff here, and we just bought a big recording console for upstairs. This is the actual building that we did our first 3 records in back in '86, '88, and '90.

We came in and brought in John Storyk who was the original designer of the room back in the late 70's and early 80's. We brought him back in. He's a pretty notable guy. He did the Record Plant and all these places back in the 70's. Since then his firm has designed, I think he told me, 3,000 rooms. This was one of the first 12 rooms that he designed himself.

He actually flew in here and sat in the room with us and told us "I've got a picture of the place hangin' up in my kitchen." So we ended up hangin' out here with him, and he redesigned the room for us. We're puttin' it all together, and we're gonna come here and make a rock record.

Bill: I know you do a lot to support music and the arts back home in Buffalo. Can you tell me any more about what you're working on right now?

Robby: I got a thing here called Music Is Art which is an arts in the schools, arts in the community organization. We do a television show which has been on for 6 seasons and 40 episodes now. We run a curriculum at a performing arts academy here in town for music industry leadership skills, team building skills for kids. We have instrument drives. We do school assemblies and things like that with rock bands dealing with positive role model stuff. We've been pretty active here and having fun.

Bill: You'll be in Johannesburg December 1st for the World Aids Day concert. How did that happen?

Robby: Well, we got a call from Nelson Mandela's people, and they told us about the show, and what do you say to that? You say how quickly can we get there to help you. When you take something that you do, that you love to do, and you can help people out, it's sort of a no-brainer.

We've been to Africa once before, but that was to play soccer stadiums with the Cult and Lenny Kravitz, so I'm sure that this is going to be much different. That was the quickie South African party circuit, and this one's going to be much different from that. We're just really glad we can help.

Bill: Will we see you back out on the road here at home next year?

Robby: Yeah, as soon as the record's done. That's how our lives operate. I'm finally fairly confident to say we'll be out there makin' another record and doin' another tour. I can't wait.

Source: http://top40.about.com/od/m/a/googoointerview.htm
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