The Goo Goo Dolls are on their 10th studio album. They’ve been around since the 80’s and eventually broke out as one of the biggest bands in the world in the early 90‘s. Since then, they’ve remained relevant for more than twenty years. That distinction is held by the rarest of bands, but there’s also a problem that presents itself in that situation. How do you keep from making the same album again and again? Catching up with bassist Robby Takac about the band’s latest album, Magnetic, Robby said that the band knew they needed to do something different with the record.
“We talked about it and we thought that the last couple of records were starting to sound the same,” said Takac. “We were trying to figure out a way to break out of that, so we decided to make the record the way we did. I think that this was a good result.”
The band decided to work with more than one producer and have the band’s chief songwriter, John Rzeznik, co-write with a few different collaborators. It’s a similar approach that the band took on Let Love In but there’s a little more of it this time around. Takac discussed the different producers and co-writers that helped the Goos shape Magnetic.
“We worked with Gregg Wattenberg, Jon had worked with him in the past. He worked with him on Let Love In a little bit. Jon Shanks worked on some songs too. Greg Wells helped us as well. It was a different process this time. The band would come in and listen to the song, learn it and then do our interpretation of where we thought it should be taken. It was a pretty quick process. A lot of the ideas were pretty much fleshed out by John and the producer by the time we got in there, so it was pretty quick.”
With Rzeznik doing a lot of co-writing, that meant that Takac and drummer Mike Malinin had a lighter workload with the new album. Takac wasn’t opposed to the way things worked because of family and work commitments at his home in Buffalo, but he said things weren’t really that different in that way than they had been in the past.
“Those songs always came from somewhere before they hit the practice space anyway. We weren’t always there when those ideas were pounded in to shape and when they were brought it. He just had the opportunity to do that with someone else other than doing it at home or in his demo studio.”
Takac still has his typical cameo as vocalist on Magnetic. In fact, he has two songs where he takes the mic and sings on the record, “Bringing On The Light” and “Happiest of Days.” On both of those songs he got to work with Wattenberg. Takac said that they were both different songs compared to what he had recorded for the Goo Goo Dolls on previous albums.
“I had a challenge put in front of me by Gregg,” said Takac talking about the two songs. “I brought in a handful of stuff that I had worked on in Buffalo when I was getting songs ready. I probably had about ten ideas. I like straight-forward rock songs, that’s what I gravitate to when I’m writing. Gregg challenged me to get out of that box a little bit. I had done some of that stuff in the past, but never anything I expected to get on a Goo Goo Dolls record. Those always sort of remained in the demo studio. I had a good time trying to work on new ways to present the ideas I had. Gregg helped me with that and I think they turned into some pretty interesting songs,” added Takac.
The Goo Goo Dolls just finished up their co-headlining tour with Matchbox Twenty. Next up, they will be doing some spot touring through the rest of the summer and into early fall before they embark on a couple of cruise dates back with Matchbox 20 in December. Magnetic is available now.