The Goo Goo Dolls
After more than two decades as a band, with nine albums, a catalog of songs that have become ingrained in the pop consciousness and countless concerts for millions of fans, the Goo Goo Dolls are feeling particularly good about their new album: Magnetic.
More to the point, the Goo Goo Dolls are feeling particularly good. Period. “This album was really upbeat and fun,” says John Rzeznik, the trio’s primary singer, songwriter and guitarist since it was founded in Buffalo in 1986. “I don’t think we’ve made a record like this in a while. Just had a great time doing it.” It’s a great time overall for the musicians. Bassist Robby Takac, whose partnership with Rzeznik has been the band’s foundation since the start, and his wife have just had their first child. And Rzeznik is getting married this summer. Not to mention that recently three of the band’s songs placed in Billboard’s Top 100 of 1992-2012, with “Iris” standing at No. 1. That song has also connected with a new generation, as Dolls fan Taylor Swift has been performing it in her concerts.
That joy is all there in the spirit of the 11 new songs on the album, for which Rzeznik, Takac and drummer Mike Malinin — the lineup steady since 1995 — recorded in New York, London and Los Angeles with Gregg Wattenberg (Train), Rob Cavallo (Green Day), John Shanks (Bon Jovi) and Greg Wells (Katy Perry). From the celebratory single “Rebel Beat” to the love-rediscovery ballad “Slow It Down,” from the blue-collar anthem “Keep the Car Running” to the meltingly romantic “Come to Me,” Magnetic is an album bursting with a spirit of renewal. And nowhere is it more explicit than in one of two Takac-penned songs: “Happiest of Days.”
“All the writing is an extension of ourselves,” Rzeznik says. “My life’s amazing. When I sit and think about my life, it really has been incredible.” No argument from Takac.
“It’s pretty amazing to me,” he says. “All these years now we’ve been playing in this band together and we still somehow manage to grow. That allows us to keep making it happen. We never denied what the situation was at the moment. Right now we’re here and living this moment, and some cool things are happening in our lives.”
It’s a contrast from the poetically introspective tone of 2010’s Something For the Rest of Us, which reflected some personal turmoil.
“This album feels like this is where we came out the other side and are in the daylight again,” he says. “Got a little dark on the last record. But that was something I needed to do, where I was at. This is where I am now. Yeah, you know — I got myself up, brushed myself off and looked around, and things were fine. Why not celebrate?”
Even a dark-sounding title, such as “When The World Breaks Your Heart,” reveals a world of happiness.
“That’s a song about friendship,” he says. “Real friendship. About when you find out who the people are who really care about you and love you, like on moving day, or times of need.”
With that in mind, the making of the album represented a break from past methods too. Rzeznik first worked with those collaborators on writing and pre-production of the songs.