Take 5 with Robby Takac
LENOX — With hits "Iris" and "Slide," the Goo Goo Dolls' sixth studio album, "Dizzy Up the Girl," established the rock band as one of the biggest acts in music by the end of the 20th century. The songs are still plenty popular; in 2018, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac celebrated the record's 20th anniversary with a North American tour. Now, the band is the midst of some more concert dates with Train and singer-songwriter Allen Stone after releasing its latest single, "Miracle Pill." The song is the title track of the group's next full-length album, which will be out in September, according to Takac. Before the Goo Goo Dolls, Train and Stone perform at Tanglewood on Monday (7 p.m.), The Eagle asked the bassist about the band's new music, its old hits and his affinity for PEZ dispensers. The interview has been edited for length.
1. You're in the midst of this tour with Train. How much interaction is there between you guys and Pat [Monahan] and his crew?
Everybody's so unbelievably nice on this trip. Really, it's crazy. It's like a love fest. A lot of these summer tours, there's a lot of personalities, man. You know, it's three bands, and it's their crews and all the PA people and the lighting people and the stage managers and blah, blah, blah, blah. There's just so many people running around backstage, and it's always pretty evident in the first week how the next few months of your life are going to be. This has been great since the beginning, really. Everybody's super kind. Everybody's been doing it for a long time and just trying to make it easy for everybody. ... John goes out every once and a while and sings a song with those guys, and Allen Stone actually sings a song with Train sometimes, too.
2. You have this new single out, "Miracle Pill." For you, what is this song about?
Well, John wrote the song with a friend of his, but the song basically attacks the need for immediacy that everybody seems to have right now. Everybody's looking for a quick fix these days. And more than that, everybody's offering a quick fix. I think it's just an overview of that whole idea.
3. What are some other themes and topics that will be explored on the rest of the record?
As with most of our records, it's just the things that have been happening to us since the last time we put pen to paper. But I think that there's a parallel that happens between people's experiences, as these things go on, that people can relate to, just based on the larger things that go on in our country and our world. I think it's a lot of relatable topics: the need for people to fit in, the inevitable passing of time and the things that come with that, those types of things.
4. We're now more than 20 years removed from the release of "Dizzy Up the Girl." In past interviews, John said he doesn't mind playing the hits from that album. How do you feel about it?
Well, it was interesting playing the whole record. We had never done anything like that before; we went out and did a whole U.S. tour of just playing that album and had a whole bunch of deep cuts, kind of revisiting that record. We play an awful lot of it every night, anyway. You know, half that record did pretty well for us, so we play a lot of that record, anyway. But going deep on the record sort of puts you more in the headspace of where you were at the time when you're going deeper into the songs, some that we had never ever played live before. So, I think it really gave the songs that we had been playing for an awfully long time, nightly, night after night after night, I think it gave them a different feel when we combined them with the rest of the thoughts that we had as we were putting that record out.
5. I read somewhere that you collect PEZ dispensers. Is that true?
Yeah! I've been collecting them for years, actually, but I had a kid about six years ago, so I started to slow down a little bit. So, I'm not quite the rabid collector that I was, but I still have them all in my life in almost every drawer of my house. So, yes.
How many do you have?
Thousands, probably 3,000, I have. Most of them are in boxes now, though, unfortunately. They've been in jail for the last few years. I've been moving around a lot, and I'm pretty busy with a lot of stuff. But I sure do love PEZ, man.
Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.
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