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keep this thing going?’ Obviously there’s the standard things that tear most bands apart – egos, money and women - but none of things has seemed to bother us up to this point, so we’re doing OK.

Now Robby, I’m not going to labour the point about ‘Iris’, but I’m not going to ignore it either. When you wrote the song – and I think it was John that wrote it – were you aware that you’d just written a classic? Did the stars align? Yeah, John was in L.A., I remember, and I was in Buffalo; we were both living there at the time and John was out meeting the music supervisor. I remember him playing it over the phone to me and I was like, ‘yeah, that’s a good song’, but John’s written lots of good songs [laughs]! I don’t think it was until we were kind of sitting there and watching the orchestra play the strings that we were like, ‘wow, this is pretty epic!’ It was on the City of Angels soundtrack and we turned the song in to the movie and they rejected it –

- No, really?! Yeah they did! John ended up actually going in and playing it on acoustic guitar and that’s what they ended up using in the movie, with just John singing. Yeah, there are interesting twists and turns that these things take and it was a big one, for sure.

We certainly seem to have a relationship with it in the UK – it’s re- entered the charts four times, and that’s just in recent years. Apart from its inclusion as cover versions on primetime talent shows, what do you think it is about the song that translates so well across all countries? I think that number one, it’s just a great song and I don’t think you’d get anywhere without that, but you know, it’s about the stars aligning too. For some reason was the right time, it was the right moment, radio really picked up on it and it started a different sort of career for us. In the UK and elsewhere, we actually got the chance to be a little more of a rock band than we did here because I think in the mass consumption of the band in the USA, some of our edges got shaved off a little. But without that, I probably wouldn’t be standing here right now, speaking with you countless years later, so it was definitely a leg up for us.

Now, if we moved on to ‘Magnetic’ – I’m no musician, but there seem to be way more major chords than your usual output. Tere seems to be a shift

22 /October 2013/

in mood, is that fair to say? Yeah, yeah, absolutely; once we were done with the last record and had a chance to look back over what we had done, everything seemed a little dark. Tat’s just where we were at the time, and where the world was at, starting in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Tere was a dark sort of cloud that especially came over the US at that time, and I think we kinda got caught up in it. So I mean the idea with this record was to go in and have fun with it a little bit, make it a little more fun to listen to and put a bit more optimism in it.

I read a great quote from John actually that said, “For my 10th album I really needed to learn more and collaborate with people and see how I could be challenged and grow as a writer.” A lot

of people would be cocky or complacent but there’s a humility to what you do – do you think that’s important to the way you work? Yeah, if you’re surrounded by too many ‘Yes’ men, you need to keep focused as much as you can. Life’s crazy, you know, and to be a guy in a band who’s been doing this as long as John and I have, and then you’re trying to figure your real life into being in a band – which you have to do at some point and we didn’t for many years – it’s a whole balancing act, you know. I just think you’ve got to keep it in perspective, man. If you get too high on your own fumes, you’re gonna end up pretty dizzy.

Emma R. Garwood



Goo Goo Dolls come to the Nick Rayns LCR at the UEA on October 21st. For tickets, go to Read the uncut version of this interview at

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