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The Goo Goo Dolls on 'Gutterflower'

Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goo Dolls from left: bassist Robby Takac, singer Johnny Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin.

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(CNN) -- They formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1985. They hit the big time with the smash hits "Iris" and "Name" in 1998. And in 2002, the Goo Goo Dolls came forth with their seventh studio album, "Gutterflower," to offer more of what the band does best.

Frontman Johnny Rzeznik and company have created an album of catchy pop melodies led by the radio winner and chart-surfing single, "Here is Gone." Next up: the dance-friendly track, "Big Machine."

Although the band has been busy on the road delivering ballads to fans around the world, they took the time to sit down with The Music Room for a chat. Here's what the band had to say:

TMR: Tell us about your latest album.

Rzeznik: "Gutterflower" was our fist studio album in three years. The reason being we went out on tour on "Dizzy Up the Girl" for two years. At the end of that they rotate you back to the real world (and) we had to take six or eight months to reacclimatize, to really get down to some everyday living and some everyday situations.

Robby Takac (bassist): I don't know if you are in the right mind-set when you just get off a bus to start thinking about the new album. It's a little too much.

Rzeznik: When you're on tour you have to be this extroverted person and if you don't have time to sit down and get inside your own head for a while, then I don't think you're going to come up with any decent material. You have to get a life. Basically, I like to think of it like you have to get a life and screw it up, so you've got something to write about.

TMR: John, as the writer, where do you get your songs?

Rzeznik: I don't know where the music comes from. For me it comes from a weird, nebulous place. The music kind of influences the lyrics, whatever the mood the music has, you apply to situations in your life. I find I am being inspired by non-musical things more than being inspired by other musicians: Books, movies, TV, people I know, things I read in the newspaper.

TMR: Tell us about the first single, "Here is Gone."

Rzeznik: When the record company chose that as the single I felt it was a perfect segue into this record because I thought that song was more akin to the music on the last record. On the new record we really took a few left turns. We made a couple of new moves. A song like "Big Machine" is a different animal than anything I have ever written before. And that's cool to still be getting that little hit from picking up a guitar and finding something new that you never saw there before.

TMR: How did the making of the music video go?


Rzeznik: The music video was very, very dark and we were barely in it. It was an interesting concept about teen-age kids that are living in the cracks of their suburban wasteland, how they moved at their own pace when the world around them was moving so much faster than them. Conceptually I thought it was really good, very tastefully done.

Francis Lawrence is a great video director but I am definitely looking for something different on our next video, something more fun, more bright.

TMR: What will the next single be?

Rzeznik: The next single is going to be "Big Machine." It has a good beat. You can dance to it. It's about moving to the big city and all the little traps and twists and turns you find yourself getting caught in or observing other people getting caught in. It's kind of interesting.

A lot of the material I wrote on this record was kind of about my culture shock from moving from Buffalo to Los Angeles. L.A. sometimes seems like I moved to Mars when I see the way things operate there. People always say, "Then why are you living there?" I say, "I'm not living there. I'm hiding there." There are so many people consumed with their own little everyday lives that it is very easy to be anonymous there. And L.A. is one of the most unintentionally comical cities in the world. Nobody knows how funny they are actually being. It is fun to sit there with a cup of coffee just watching the comedy there.

TMR: How is touring in the United States different to touring in Europe?

Rzeznik: We draw a lot more people (in the U.S.). We're more established here but we have a new record deal overseas now, and we have already been over to Japan and Europe once with this record. We have never really broken on a very big level in Europe, so touring there is difficult. In a way it's good for you because it keeps you right-sized.

TMR: Who were some of your influences growing up?

Rzeznik: My first musical influences were obviously The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks and The Who -- all my older sister's records. I really got into those kinds of bands and my next set of bands was The Clash and Elvis Costello.

Back to The Music Room main page.

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