The band Goo Goo Dolls will be playing at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on June 29 in support of their latest CD “Magnetic”, their 10th studio release. For this tour they will team up with Daughtry and will hit lots of cities this summer. St. Louis is the 11th stop that will take them through the end of August. Bassist/vocalist Robby Takac spoke to me today about the tour and a few other fun things.
Sean Derrick: Thanks for taking time out to talk with me.
Robby Takac: My pleasure.
SD: Congrats on the album (“Magnetic”) and the tour with Daughtry. How’s that going so far?
RT: Thanks. It’s good. We are only about three shows in and we are still tightening all the bolts on the show and stuff but it is good. It’s a good combination of crowds between Daughtry, Plain White T’s and ourselves it’s a big, big show.
SD: What is the biggest gap between styles between you and another band that you have played with?
RT: Wow, we played a lot of gigs with Bon Jovi. I loved doing it but musically we were just different. Oh, we opened for Motorhead a couple times.
SD: Haha really?
RT: Yeah, and we opened for Korn a couple times, that was a little weird haha.
SD: Hahahaha wow! Well, since you have played in front of such diverse audiences what is the weirdest thing you have seen?
RT: Oh man, we played in hurricanes, in a volcano, on an aircraft carrier and in a bunker in Bosnia.
SD: Nice! What about fan experiences. I have talked to several bands that mention a guy crowd surfing in a wheelchair.
RT: Yeah! I’ve seen that in the early days. Also, I saw a guy with one leg try to get in the mosh pit in the early days and he’d fall down and someone would pick him up and he’d keep going. Been a lot of stuff over the years but in general fans are pretty cool and we like it.
SD: Who’s decision was it to grab Daughtry for this tour, it seems like a very cool fit?
RT: It had been something we had been talking about and the idea had been floated out a few times. We could never make it work before ad now the stars have aligned to make it happen.
SD: So “Magnetic” came out out June 11, 2013, just about a year ago. When you are getting ready for the next album do you start writing it when you are on the road? Have you started writing anything yet?
RT: We are so busy when we are on the road we don’t get a chance to do things like that. We are traveling from city to city and doing all the requirements we generally start writing when we get off tour. For this one (“Magnetic”) John started writing with the producers after the tour. Once he had an idea we would go and record that and prime it up and go on to the next idea. As opposed to the way we have been making records our entire career which has been walking in and going through half-baked ideas. Or going through a huge pile of songs and trying to figure out how to climb your way out of it. The process was a lot easier this time around and I think you can hear it.
SD: It sounded lie it flowed easier.
RT: Yeah we could go in and not have our heads clouded and we could gauge things. It was good experiment. I’m not sure how the next one will go but it was a good experiment.
SD: How do you keep things fresh when you are on tour and going through the monotony of travel?
RT: I think the monotony you speak of is the thing people miss the most when they are not touring. I mean the monotony of the shows Is non-existent because that is what we are there for. But the grind of travel and the going between shows aspect, being on the buses, in hotels, in airports is a grind. You just have to find something to keep you anchored because when you tour for a year and a half at a time it messes up your head a little bit. I like to find something and make it normal, make it my routine. Like a shower curtain ring salesman who has been away for a year, year and a half at a time would be striving for that as well, I think.
SD: Were you making reference to John Candy in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”?
RT: I sure am! Haha
SD: Haha Nice! Speaking of that movie, I take it you watch some movies on the road.
RT: Yeah, yeah we are watching a David Cross piece “Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” Have you heard of that?
SD: Actually no.
RT: It’s amazing, an American, David Cross, gets hired by a British company to sell a British Energy Drink. Will Arnett is in it and it is way cool, you should check it out. The comedy is sort of in the vein of Arrested Development.
SD: Cool I will have to do that. How is the set list for the tour? Are you playing the same set list or does it change from city to city.
RT: It’s evolving. Still trying to find what fits best. We will get settled on one later in the tour, right now we are just trying to see what fits.
SD: Who were your influences growing up?
RT: KISS. That kind of stuff, the Stones, Roberta Flack and War and stuff like that.
SD: I read you like to sight see at every stop.
RT: Yeah, yeah
SD: I know you have toured a lot. Is there any place you haven’t seen before that you would want to?
RT: I have this app called Roadside America, and it’s really cool. It has all that weird stuff like the world’s largest ball of string haha. So I see a lot of fun stuff. Haven’t had much time so far because we are getting to the venue early and working on the lights and stuff. I will get out though as it progresses for sure.
SD: About four years ago you played in St. Charles, MO and you mentioned someone had given you a gooey butter cake (St. Louis delicacy) and you were a bit unsure about it.
RT: Yeah, I remember that!
SD: So, the cake notwithstanding, cause it is normal here, what is the weirdest thing you have gotten backstage?
RT: Someone gave us hair once.
SD: Do what??
RT: Hair. A bag of hair once haha. Yeaaahhh. I thought that was pretty weird. I never got the whole back story on why, but yeah someone brought us a bag of hair. Just weird.
SD: That IS pretty weird. I don’t think I could top that for any other questions haha.
RT: Haha yeah probably not.