PUBLISHED IN THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 10 1996 TO ADVANCE AUGUST 15 SHOW AT THE X CLUB WITH SMOKING POPES AND YOU AM I

 

BY NICK KREWEN

 

ROBBY TAKAC feels his band THE GOO GOO DOLLS offers something too many others ignore in this day and age: substance.

"I think we're one of the few bands that tries to make full length, good records," says Takac, 30, who plays bass and sings with the Buffalo power rock trio.

"We make sure that the 13 or 14 songs we write are good enough to make the cut. It's tedious work sometimes, but we have a guy named ARMAND PETRI who worked with us on our second and third albums, and he's been helping us with the consistency of our demos."

Tight, brisk melodies and explosive, agile songs have become the norm for Takac and co-founding guitarist JOHNNY RZEZNIK, who have been steadily improving since the release of their self-titled debut in 1987, and recently released their fifth album, A Boy Named Goo. And according to Takac, improvement is the name of the game.

"All you can ask is that you exceed a bit from your last effort," explains Takac from a recent tour stop in Louisville, Kentucky. "I feel we've done that. The writing's more cohesive, we're still having a ball doing it."

Part of the job is also traveling around the world promoting your latest album, and The Goo Goo Dolls have already played over 100 shows in 1995 to break in new drummer MIKE MALININ, who joined in January. They've journeyed across the U.S. and Europe, sharing bills with TEENAGE FANCLUB, FOSSIL and Canada's own hHEAD, and Takac says when they aren't on the road, they're lodged in Buffalo's Trackmaster studio working on new material.

"We rehearse a lot," admits Takac, who also had his own regular radio show on Buffalo station The Fox until the beginning of the year.

"There's not all that much going on in Buffalo. You can tell when you watch the news on TV, and the big news is a grease fire at Edith Kendall's house, with IRV(WEINSTEIN) front and center covering it."

Takac says Buffalo's music scene is also lacking, despite such varied exports as funkster RICK JAMES, revamped folkies 10,000 MANIACS, pop soul crooners JOE PUBLIC and death metal rockers CANNIBAL CORPSE.

"I know I'm going to be hammered by people saying this, and I have been before, but there isn't much of a music scene there," says Takac. "But not having a healthy music scene has nothing to do with the amount of talented people that live in Buffalo, and there are a lot of them.

"I remember being a college freshman, full of piss and vinegar, defending the territory. Living here over the years, I've come to realize there aren't a lot of venues. However, there are a lot of recording studios."

Takac isn't being critical, nor is he complaining. The lack of distraction offered by Buffalo's nightclub scene allows him to focus in on his music.

"I think living there leaves us open to do what we do without being affected," he explains. "If we were living in Los Angeles, there would be 100 shows every day."

When he's not wood shedding away at the next Goo Goo Dolls project, Takac loves hanging out near water.

"I love going down to the waterfront," he says. "We have a great marina, and Delaware Park is awesome. But I'm gone so much I don't get to see it, being in airplanes or traveling in cars to the next gig."

Longtime underground favorites who seems to be on the brink of a breakthrough, Takac says the Goo Goo Dolls' longevity has a lot to do with signing a record deal shortly after their formation. He also says the band learned how to cope during an eventful tour with Boston punk rockers GANG GREEN during the summer of '87.

"It was two straight months watching people swallow beer and snort cocaine," says Takac. "We watched how stress affected a band to the point where they couldn't hack the pace, and ended up barely functioning. We've spent enough time being part of the underground scene to know that if you learn your lessons well, you'll survive."

While striving to maintain the high standards of such albums as 1993's Superstar Car Wash  and this year's A Boy Named Goo, Takac says he'd enjoy some extra cashflow should The Goo Goo Dolls ever been embraced by the mainstream.

"I'd love to get to the point where I could own a car, or I wouldn't have to worry about paying rent for a couple of months," says Takac. "Those are still concerns."

-30-

DISCOGRAPHY

 

1987 -- Goo Goo Dolls -- Mercenary/Metal Blade

1989 -- Jed -- Death/Enigma

1991 -- Hold Me Up -- Metal Blade

1993 -- Superstar Car Wash -- Warner

1995 -- A Boy Named Goo

1998 -- Dizzy Up The Girl

COLLABORATIONS

1991 -- Various Artists, Freddie's Dead

1993 -- Various Artists, No Alternative

1995 -- Various Artists, Angus

1995 -- Various Artists, Ace Ventura -- Pet Detective

1995 -- Various Artists, Tommy Boy -- The Movie

1996 -- Various Artists, VH-1 Crossroads

1997 -- Various Artists, Batman & Robin

1998 -- Various Artists, City Of Angels

1998 -- Various Artists, Legacy: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac's Rumours

 


 

THANKS: Joanna Dine, Grant Rorabeck, Wade Hemsworth

©1996, 1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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