For everyone who thought we were just hearing the same Goo Goo Dolls song over and over all this time, the band has just helpfully released "Greatest Hits Volume One: The Singles." In case the title doesn't make it clear, the disc contains a dozen of the New York trio's biggest songs, many of which simply happen to be string-driven, midtempo epics with one-word titles ("Name," "Slide," "Iris"). With that cleared up, we spoke with front man Johnny Rzeznik, who is also a judge on the new Fox reality show "The Next Great American Band."
Q: This album is called "Greatest Hits Volume One." Are you expecting to write enough hits to fill a second volume anytime soon?
A: That was the record company. I don't know why they wanted to call it "Volume One." I think the idea was to put out a "Volume Two" with oddities and rare stuff, but the name wasn't my idea.
Q: Maybe they were just being optimistic.
A: God bless them. It's lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. You don't see a band that can stick around and can tour and all that anymore. We've been doing it seriously for about 13 years.
Q: It's only been 13 years? It feels like a lot longer than that.
A: We've been around for 20 years, but we were goofing off for the first four records.
Q: When you started the band, did you think your greatest hits would sound remotely like this?
A: We started the band when I was about 19 or 20. At that age, it would have been kind of hard to imagine a lot of the stuff that I've written. We were playing garage rock. I wanted to dash out three chords and scream. But if you do that for 20 years, what's the point?
Q: Some of your old fans might disagree.
A: The songs on this album are just a part of our band that the record company found easiest to market and sell. It's not a fair representation of who we are. If you go back and listen to the album "Name" was on, there were a lot of garage songs on it. It was just a part of that. Even our last album had some rock songs on it. I like ballads and always feel like I could write a few to balance things out.
Q: Do you like all these songs?
A: Do I like them? Why?
Q: Just in case you hate one, now would be a good time to admit it.
A: I just feel really lucky to have had some hits because we had a lot of time where we didn't have them. It's better to have a hit. You can ask anyone - U2, Green Day - and they'll tell you the same thing.
Q: Coming out of the whole '80s college radio thing, did you ever feel like a sellout?
A: Absolutely. It was one of those things like, it happened and you would be an idiot not to accept it and not have gratitude for it. I got a lot of s- from friends in bands and other musicians. People would write letters saying I was a sellout. But you have to brush that off.
Q: I think the general point of starting a band is to play in front of a lot of people, not just 20 of your friends in the back of a pizza restaurant.
A: There's nothing wrong with that either. There are times I want to do a side band and just play some gigs and have fun.
Q: Maybe you'll finally get a good review.
A: I've taken a lot of crap. That's just the way life is. There are going to be writers who like you and writers who despise you. I'm getting older, so I don't really give a s-.
Q: During the past 20 years, which singer have you been mistaken for most often: Simon Le Bon or Jon Bon Jovi?
A: Jon Bon Jovi, by far. Occasionally, when people are drunk, they think I'm Simon Le Bon. But when they're sober, it's always Jon Bon Jovi.
Q: I hope you use that to your full advantage.
A: I don't, but that would be hilarious: "Don't forget my name!"
To hear the Goo Goo Dolls' music, go to www.googoo dolls.com.
Robot Guitar Demo'ed By Celebrity Musicians Across the Globe
Robot Guitar's Worldwide Celebrity Demos