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This summer, Goo Goo Dolls are teaming up with Daughtry and Plain White T's for a tour. With Plain White T's doing an acoustic set, and with new albums from Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry, this is a concert you will want to catch. Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls discusses the upcoming tour and more.

Author Marisa Williams: Can you describe the transition from studying radio and working at radio stations to being in a band that became a force to be reckoned with on the radio?

Goo Goo Dolls: I went to school for broadcasting, and it was sort of a bridge to knowledge of the music industry and how it works. Things have changed dramatically actually. In the 90s, when the band first tried to get played, radio was a driving business, but as the internet gets popular, there's more and more options. Radio has to transform itself from how it was. I think it's a full circle.


Marisa: I was reading on the upcoming tour that Plain White T's will be doing an acoustic set. I think that's an interesting combination with Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry. How did you decide on them?

Goo Goo Dolls: We had talked with Daughtry camp about putting a summer tour together, and it never came to fruition, but this year, we were both in right place in our records. We were looking for a third band, and I was honestly blown away with Plain White T's. It makes for a pretty strong package. I'm pretty excited about it. It's going to be a great summer.


Marisa: Does the name Goo Goo Dolls have any correlation the candy Goo Goo Clusters, or has anyone given you a huge box of those candies because of the band name?

Goo Goo Dolls: Especially in the early days, when we were at clubs and stuff, we used to get hit with them all the time, so that's how my relationship is basically. It's less these days than 20 years ago, but yes, we do know of them. At one point, in Tennessee I think, they sent us some complimentary boxes.


Marisa: Also on the topic of name, the band had changed names early on, and looking back, could you have pictured your hits belonging to the original band name, or do you ever look back and wonder what if you wouldn't have changed the name?

Goo Goo Dolls: If we hadn't changed it, we probably wouldn't have had a first hit. The current name of the band is sort of odd for the body of work we have, but the beauty is it's real, and that's what we were born as. We are still going through life as that, so that's pretty cool.


Marisa: What do you feel is the key to the band's longevity in the music industry?

Goo Goo Dolls: I think it's a combination of wanting it, the people who are involved wanting to see it happen, willing to make sacrifices, and other side is that people have to be interested. They have to want to see us. We can't do it if nobody's buying the music, so it's a combination of those. Also, there's the chemistry that has to be able to happen within a band. I think we've been really lucky in that way to find that chemistry and make changes to move forward.


Marisa: With everything you've done, is there anything left on your bucketlist?

Goo Goo Dolls: My wife and I had our first child, so that's pretty awesome. Life opened up in a lot of ways. There's lots of things I want to do with a daughter in my life that I haven't done yet. Musically, I've done so many things, I can't begin to list them. I think just being lucky enough to get opportunities to come about, take advantage of them and hope there's going to be more - not limited, just happy


Marisa: I was reading that your label, Good Charamel Records, has some female fronted Japanese acts. How did you go about discovering them?

Goo Goo Dolls: My wife and I, we used to work with a Buffalo band. We took The Juliet Dagger to Tokyo to do shows and record. Shonen Knife, who's been around for 30 years, we got to be friends, and they asked us to release an album in States for them. Other bands asked us if we were interested in releasing records, so we went over to see bands. We released a lot of bands over here, and we actually just had three recent releases.


Marisa: What was your first concert that you attended, and how did that compare to the first concert that you played?

Goo Goo Dolls: Very first concert I purposely attended - because I was at places for other things that had bands, and I happened to be there, didn't meant to be there - first concert was Emerson Lake and Palmer, in Buffalo, in an arena. It's funny, because when our band started, arenas and things were the last things we were thinking about. All the bands we loved, at most, were playing in a college gym somewhere. They were not big bands, but you know as a band sort of matures and grows and gets bigger, those concerts I went to as a kid are things I feed off when playing a theatre or arena. As we were growing, we didn't consider those things. We didn't think we'd play those places, but looking back, it's awesome we did triumph. Those were great shows; seeing bands like the Kinks was great.


Marisa: What was the first album you purchased?

Goo Goo Dolls: First album was Through the Past Darkly by Rolling Stones, a greatest hits record.


Marisa: How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?

Goo Goo Dolls: Personally, I can't really start with music, just chord changes and such. I make unbelievable horrible demos. I'm not paying attention to how it sounds. It's drum machines. I write over the top, and I might use a portion, and start again, and refine it down to the point where I have a song. I'll bring it into the producer, and it changes even more when I bring it in.


Marisa: What is your favorite musical technique?

Goo Goo Dolls: I think being able to use space is something that is a cool thing. I don't do it too often, but the use of space and silence in music is something that is very unique.


Marisa: What's your biggest musical fantasy?

Goo Goo Dolls: My biggest is that I can totally shred guitar and could like pull off shredder guitar solos. I'm always jealous when I watch people do that. Also, I would go back in time, and squash Ted Nugent's musical career. I actually like his songs; I just don't think he should be on radio right now.


Marisa: If you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and would you have any special powers?

Goo Goo Dolls: I tend to lean towards black, but if I could have a silver horn. Special powers, I would just be a generic magic to be able to do anything; don't limit yourself.


Marisa: If you were yogurt, what flavor would you be (feel free to be creative, as this does not have to be a traditional flavor) and how would you be served?

Goo Goo Dolls: I would be a Pez flavor, cherry Pez, and I would be served in a half coconut, because everything is always fun in a half coconut.


Marisa: Do you collect anything?

Goo Goo Dolls: I collect Pez. I have many. I have some amazing stuff, Swarovski covered Pez, Japanese Pez, a 1950's vending machine, 1950's Casper the Friendly Ghost, and a 1950's Mickey Mouse. I am close with the company, so they often fill me in on stuff. I'm not even close to being as geeky as some. I take them out of packages and set them out. Some collectors have five or six versions of each. One of my favorites is Badtz Maru, the Hello Kitty character. My daughter, she's 2-years-old, and we have a room downstairs in basement. Instead of a man cave, it's filled with toys that I'm sure she will want, but she can't have them, not right now, maybe someday though.


Marisa: What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

Goo Goo Dolls: I like watching Japanese television programs that I can barely understand. I watch them often actually, shows and things like that.


Marisa: What's the most important thing to remember?

Goo Goo Dolls: Wallet, phone, keys.

For more on the Goo Goo Dolls, visit www.googoodolls.com, www.facebook.com/googoodolls, www.twitter.com/googoodolls, and www.myspace.com/googoodolls. The author of more than 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master's in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University. For more on Marisa, go to www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz.
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