Goo Goo Dolls co-founder, Robby Takac, talks family, music and the bands legacy


Ed Gregory & Dan Cooper

Goo Goo Dolls

Robby Takac and John Rzeznik co-founded the alt-rock band, The Goo Goo Dolls in 1986. After  four Grammy nominations and over 12 million albums sold, the band has released their 12th studio album, “Miracle Pill.”

After recording and touring for over 30 years, bassist and vocalist Takac, overcomes any musical fatigue through music itself. 

“I just want to keep making music, that’s what motivates me,” Takac said. “Everytime you go out there, you want to do your best so you feel like there’s a reason for you to keep doing it.”

Like most musicians, Takaac draws inspiration from everything in life, including Japanese Pop music he listens to with his family. 

“My wife and daughter listen to J-pop music all day and night….So to me I hear these melodies and I sing these melodies to myself all the time, I can’t imagine that they don’t make their way to my psyche when it comes time to sit down and start coming up with ideas,” Takac said. “Most certainly, ideas don’t come out of nowhere- they are inspired by something. I think whatever you’re experiencing at the time – be it musical or otherwise- it’s going to affect what your producing.”

Although he still feels passionate about his career, he admits that being a full-time musician does have its difficulties. 

“Every moment is not paradise. We spend an awful lot of times sitting in hotels and airports, just waiting for stuff to happen, meanwhile your kid’s at home growing up,” Takac said. “The world is spinning around you when you’re just doing this thing. We’re glad to be able to do this everyday of our lives, but the older we get it takes up different spaces in our lives.”

After his daughter was born, Takac said him and his wife tried their best to balance Takac’s career and their personal life. 

“Well, number one, my wife is awesome. We’ve been together for over 20 years but when we met, this was already in process- we were rolling,” Takac said. “So this is what our life has been like. When my daughter was born, we just had to make that a part of what our life is.”

He would bring his daughter with him on tours, backstage and made sure to introduce her to the rest of the team early on.

“She knows all of the players – Johnny, all the guys in the band, the crew, and she’s been with them ever since she was a little kid,” Takac said. “So, to me that was really important- for me to have her understand what goes on out here everyday so that she didn’t think that I was just gone.”

Having entered the music scene in 1986, Takac has witnessed the changes and developments of the music industry first hand. 

“It’s completely unrecognizable. It used to be that you have to get your music into people’s hands. Now, you just have to them to listen to it, they already have it, like it’s on their phones,” Takac said.

The moment streaming made its appearance, it took over the industry and business and labels were having difficulty adapting.

“When this all started happening the music industry just fell apart. They didn’t know what to do. It panicked…. I don’t know how they could’ve done it right, but it was all just done wrong,” Takac said. “There was no money being made, people were scrambling, jobs were being lost, and record companies were closing. But the shift has happened now. And just like anything else, once something shifts, everything else just eventually finds level and people just start rebuilding again.”

As the industry keeps developing into a more dynamic powerhouse, Takac believes that the traditional value of music has been forgotten. 

“Music doesn’t have the physical importance that it had….For the sake when I was a kid: walk three miles to go buy a single and then walk home, put it on the turntable and physically set the needle on it, open the package, look at the artwork, go through and read all of the credits, see who engineered it and see where they recorded it and read the lyrics,” Takac said. “That all went out the window. It doesn’t exist anymore. If people want to go deep, they can, but generally won’t. Because music doesn’t generally take up that enormous part of people’s lives anymore, there’s a lot of stuff out there. It is just a part of the noise now.”

Although music has changed to become more digital instead of physical, Takac is still a big fan of streaming himself.

“But streaming to me- I’m honestly a huge fan. I have been discovered so much new music man, its crazy… it’s exciting to me,” Takac said.

The Goo Goo Dolls are best known for their 1998 hit “Iris” which took over thousands of wedding receptions in its prime. Although grateful for the success the hit brought the band, Takac describes “Iris” as a “big shadow to try to get out from behind” and hopes for the legacy of the band to be more simple, yet meaningful. 

“Our hope is just to be a band that keeps putting out records that have great songs on them. That’s all,” Takac said. “That’s really all we are looking for here, to make a record full of songs that are worth listening to. That’s been our goal from the beginning”

The Goo Goo Dolls are currently on their North American tour and will perform at The Orpheum Theatre on October 30. General tickets start at $39.50.