The Goo Goo Dolls come to Santa Barbara alongside Train, focused on the old hits, but also with something new to share
Goo Goo Dolls w/Train
Where: Santa Barbara Bowl
When: 6 p.m., Tuesday
Information: sbbowl.com or 962-7411
By NICK MASUDA
DIRECTOR OF NEWS
Robby Takac admits that when the Goo Goo Dolls first put out music, that it was their way or the highway.
“The band was a real bubble. We’d go from demos into rehearsal,” said Mr. Takac, a vocalist and guitarist in the band. “We’d pick a producer, but other than him, there wasn’t much input.”
But with any band that has more than two decades of experience, you learn a lesson or two along the way that help you stay relevant.
“Over the years, the value of bringing people in that know stuff that you don’t has helped us,” said Mr. Takac, who alongside lead signer Johnny Rzeznik are the only two remaining original members of the band.
“They might be able to influence you, maybe do something you wouldn’t have gone for instinctively on your own. That can bring something unique to the situation. That’s the way we go about things now.”
This summer, they’ll tour with Train, another band that has found success by morphing to the environment around them — albeit producers or the fan base.
And touring has become a staple for the Goo Goo Dolls, allowing them to showcase more than a dozen studio albums over the years.
While Mr. Takac admitted that touring became rough in the early 2000s, the maturity of the band over the years has given them a different perspective.
“If you can’t take that moment when you’re doing something that you thought of on your couch, other side of the country or world, and the fans are singing it right back at you, if you can’t live in the magic of that moment and make that special still, then you are in the wrong business,” Mr. Takac said. “For me, that’s what it’s about, living on that excitement that happens on stage.”
And there will be some new energy with the band this summer, as they are inching toward a new studio album, “Miracle Pill,” that will be released in the fall. A new single is expected to drop in mid-June, shortly after the tour starts.
Mr. Takac promises that fans can expect to at least hear the new single, including at Tuesday’s show at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
After countless years together, Mr. Takac points to Mr. Rzeznik for the push to keep creating.
“John has a drive to see what is out there, see how we can incorporate those new ideas into something we’ve been doing a long time,” Mr. Takac said.
But, don’t be mistaken, this summer is all about nostalgia.
“It’s going to be big singalongs,” Mr. Takac said. “There’s going to be a lot of hit songs spread over the night (by both bands). Our fan bases cross over very well.”
The band’s biggest hits — “Iris” and “Slide” — are both 21 years old now, having hit the top of the Adult charts in 1998, also ninth and eighth, respectively, on the overall charts.
Mr. Takac says he doesn’t tire of playing the hits, as it is an opportunity to connect or reconnect with every city they visit.
“We’ve done the songs for decades now,” Mr. Takac said. “But, like we are here in St. Louis, and we are able to share those songs with this specific audience. And they are appreciative of what you bring to them and we appreciate them right back.”
The band has frequented Santa Barbara over the years, with Mr. Takac enjoying the stellar weather.
“I’m a walker, I like to get out and walk around,” Mr. Takac said. “To play a place like Santa Barbara, you just have to make sure you have your sunscreen. You know it’s going to be amazing.”