Artist of the Month: Emeli Sande
The Goo Goo Dolls are December's Artist Of The Month
The Goo Goo Dolls are an American rock band formed in 1985 in Buffalo, New York, by guitarist and vocalist John Rzeznik and bassist and vocalist Robby Takac. Since the end of 1994, Mike Malinin has been the band's drummer, a position previously held by George Tutuska. Although renowned for their commercially successful 1998 single "Iris", they have had several other notable and popular singles including "Name" from 1995's A Boy Named Goo, "Broadway", "Black Balloon" and "Slide" from 1998's Dizzy Up The Girl, an album which produced five successful singles, and "Here Is Gone", "Sympathy" and "Big Machine" from 2002's Gutterflower. The Goo Goo Dolls have had 14 top ten singles on various charts, and have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.
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.” Not to mention that recently three of the band’s songs placed in Billboard’s Top 100 of 2002-2012, 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.”
“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.”
“A lot of it got cut in a recording studio that sits 12 floors above Times Square, full of windows,” he says. “You’re at the cultural epicenter of Western civilization. It was unbelievably stimulating. In a lot of ways this is a real New York record.” Opening song “Rebel Beat,” co-written by Rzeznik with Wattenberg, sets that tone, growing out of a summer stroll the singer took in Lower Manhattan, coming across an Italian neighborhood street party. Rzeznik says “I think we definitely retain that. When I pick up an acoustic guitar and start singing, it’s me. We can’t be anybody else. I like what I sing. We like what we write. And if we don’t like it, we don’t play it.”