Archives For john rzeznik

In addition to a new live album that’s currently in production and slated for release later this year, Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik revealed to me that the band is also currently writing new music.

“You got to keep it going,” he told me inside Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17. “You’ve got to move a lot quicker these days.”

In some sense, that’s why the Goo’s most recent body of original work was last year’s “You Should Be Happy,” an extended play rather than a full-length album.

“I had a couple new songs that I really liked, and we found some other stuff that we didn’t release and I was like, ’Well, let’s just put it out,’” he explained. “Then we went out and toured again and we had a great time.

“I’m still debating, ‘Do I do an EP? Do I do an album?’ What do you think?”

That wasn’t a rhetorical question by the way; my response somewhat echoed Rzeznik’s reasoning behind the EP, noting that amount of content and timing would ultimately be the factors. That certainly seems to have influenced the undertaking of the live album, a project that will eventually be served as a double-vinyl filled with various performances over “a couple-hundred shows.”

“It goes from places that are a thousand people up to like, 15,000 people,” he said. “It’s kind of interesting how the songs change around a little bit.”

Speaking of live performances, Rzeznik’s main reason for stopping by was to promote Friday night’s “Concert For Dreams” at Beacon Theatre, benefiting the Garden of Dreams Foundation. O.A.R. front man Marc Roberge, who received the charity’s 2018 Hero Award, personally asked him to participate.

“They’re like monsters; they’re crazy-talented musicians,” Rzeznik noted of O.A.R. “Yunno, (Goo Goo Dolls are) just a bunch of guys that learned how to play guitar in a garage.”

But hey, there’s something to be said for a couple of kids from Western New York with big dreams (ed note: I’m from Niagara Falls, New York so yes, I’m biased). And it’s pretty cool that four GRAMMY nominations and 12 million albums sold later, Rzeznik still values the importance of paying it forward.

“It’s a good thing; anything for kids is worth doing,” he said of working with Garden of Dreams, which helps kids throughout the tri-state area overcome obstacles.

We’re only halfway through March but it’s already been quite the year for Of A Revolution. The band found itself in the headlines for a rather unlikely reason to kick off 2018: Russian participants in the Winter Games were referred to as Olympic Athletes from Russia or… O.A.R. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for a little (read: a lot) of free, unexpected publicity; that week, the band O.A.R. announced a new single and the “Just Like Paradise Tour” featuring Matt Nathanson.

But well before the cross-country trek kicks off in July, the quintet from Maryland is hard at work on a benefit show for the Garden Of Dreams Foundation called “Concert For Dreams.” The lineup includes the aforementioned Nathanson along with fun frontman Nate Ruess, Run D.M.C. co-founder Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Goo Goo Dolls’ singer Johnny Rzeznik, Counting Crows lead Adam Duritz, Robert Randolph and Gavin DeGraw.

“When you come in and the lights go down, you’re going to hear some O.A.R. songs, you’re going to hear hits from each one of those artists, you’re going to hear cover songs of us performing them together and at the end of the night you’re going to get to hear everybody out there doing some very classic songs in a very big way,” O.A.R. lead singer Marc Roberge told me. “It is a real concert; this is not a fundraiser, it’s not a corporate event. This is a concert and that’s what it’s going to feel like and be.”

That said, funds will be raised; all proceeds from “Concert For Dreams” will be donated to Garden Of Dreams, the non-profit arm of the Madison Square Garden Company. The charity helps to improve the lives of children across the tri-state area while also helping them overcome obstacles.

Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster for the event, which takes place March 23 at the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side.

Ryan Cabrera holds a special place in “Ralphie Tonight” history. The artist is one of two celebrities to be interviewed by me in my car. He is also the first to take part in a new game we have called “Celebrity Jukebox.”

The game places celebrities on the street in a situation where they have to perform random songs that strangers request to raise money for a charity of his or her choice. Cabrera raised $50 (the max) for and chose Habitat For Humanity as the beneficiary.


Cabrera also stopped by to talk about and perform his new single “House On Fire” from his forthcoming EP. His first album, Take It All Away turned 10 years old in June, so the Texas-born singer looked back at the creation of that LP with co-producer and Goo Goo Dolls’ front man John Rzeznik.

Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik characterizes the band’s last LP, Something For The Rest Of Us, as a reflection of how the band viewed its surroundings: at times dark, depressed, and without hope.

“I mean, that’s one of those albums that every artist says, ‘Well, I had to make that album,’” Rzeznik told Cumulus Media’s “The Ralphie Show” during a radio broadcast backstage at the 55th GRAMMYs. “(The new album) is very upbeat, up-tempo.”

Many artists on a major label don’t have the freedom to simply record and release an LP simply because they feel the necessity to. And while Rzeznik quipped that he “almost got dropped,” from Warner Bros. Records, the front man is now looking forward to Magnetic.

“Most of it was written in New York,” Rzeznik said of the album, due out May 7. “The energy was just fantastic there; I’d never done anything like that before.”

It’s almost hard to believe that a 27 year-old band with over 10 million albums sold worldwide is still experiencing new things in the studio. Here’s something even more surprising: that same band has actually shared a stage with pop singer Ke$ha, twice. The last time was earlier in the year during the Creative Coalition’s 2013 Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C.

“I was saying to myself, ‘Do I really have to go on stage after that?’” Rzeznik recalled after witnessing the “TiK ToK” singer perform. “There’s like 20 people on stage; everybody’s dancing around, playing tubas and stuff, and you’re like, ‘What am I gonna do?’”

If The Goo Goo Dolls can’t call the shots after 17 top-10 singles and almost 9 million albums sold, at the very least, the band’s lead singer can express his honest opinions about the Dolls’ new music video.

“I don’t like the video,” front man John Rzeznik revealed, referring to the music video for “Home”, the first single from The Goo Goo Dolls’ forthcoming album, Something for the Rest of Us. “I think the song has a little more gravity to it, and I think the way they put it together was just a little fluffy. But that’s just my opinion, it doesn’t matter.”

Whoa, wait a minute. It doesn’t matter? I looked a little baffled, so Rzeznik continued.

“I mean, at that point, it was just like, ‘Whatever,’ yunno what I mean?” he said. “We were done arguing with everybody about everything.”

Download the interview



The Goos also chat about the band’s partnership with USA Harvest and a special promotion with US Weekly.


Drummer Mike Malinin likes the video, while bassist and vocalist Robby Takac may have summed up the video’s attributes the most succinctly.

“I think it’s a good commercial for the record… which is pretty much what a rock video is.”

Rzeznik hasn’t exactly been hiding his disenchantment with the treatment for the video. In a clip posted to The Goo Goo Dolls’ official YouTube account, Rzeznik is talking to a camera inside the grocery store where part of the piece was filmed.

“Shopping… practicing a little guitar,” joked Rzeznik when asked by the camera person what he was doing at the store on that particular day. “(We’re) shooting the video for ‘Home’, and we meet in a Japanese super market which (shrugs his shoulders, pauses)… I feel like I’m just going along with it, going for the ride!”

On a lighter note, the lead singer said he that went for a ride, literally, when filming a scene where he walks across a table in the Japanese restaurant. Rzeznik walked across actual food, making an actual mess in the process.

“I slipped on a piece of, I think it was sashimi,” Rzeznik said. “There was a camera woman right over here (points to his left). I grabbed her (reenacts by pulling Malinin’s hair) to hold myself up, and I grabbed her and started pulling her hair, and she starts screaming… it was real.”

It seems almost everything The Goo Goo Dolls do, or say, is. Something for the Rest of Us hits stores August 31.

The wait is almost over for legions of Goo Goo Dolls fans everywhere: the Buffalo, NY band completed its ninth studio LP, for real this time.

“I’m going to New York tomorrow to do the mastering, so I guess it’s finished,” revealed lead singer John Rzeznik. The front man along with fellow founding band mate Robby Takac sat down on “The Ralphie Radio Show” Sunday afternoon. Takac added that he’s heard a June release is planned, but is unaware of an official date. The LP is entitled, Something for the Rest of Us.

Even though the band has sold over nine million albums in the states alone, the standard for a successful LP hasn’t changed too much.

“I think at this point it’s one of those things where, you just have to be satisfied with the work that you did, and hope that you craft it into something that you’re proud of,” said Rzeznik. He then reaffirmed his first statement, but added, “That’s fine, but it would be really nice if it sold a bunch of copies. That always helps. If it gets on the radio… but, we’ll see what happens.”

Download the interview



Yes, the music landscape has changed quite a bit since the ’96 release of Let Love In. In an interview last September with The Buffalo News, Takac noted that radio isn’t “there the way they were before.” Certainly the influence of the medium has decreased a little, but Rzeznik feels the airplay can still play an instrumental role in the band’s success moving forward.

“Even if you don’t sell a lot of records, getting played on the radio, yunno, keeps your touring business going and then you get out and play, make a living on the road.”

When I caught up with The Goo Goo Dolls, the band was in the midst of doing exactly that. The Goos extended the current tour to over 40 dates, playing mostly smaller, theater-type venues. Rzeznik confirmed that after the LP’s release, summer dates at primarily outdoor venues will be announced.

Coincidentally enough, my third concert ever found me sitting on the lawn of Artpark in Lewiston, NY watching The Goo Goo Dolls – right before Dizzy Up the Girl hit stores, in August of 1998. If I need another reason to head back home and visit the parents, Rzeznik did confirm that the show for the nearby Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is already booked.