Buffalo, New York-based rockers Goo Goo Dolls are back on the road for a summer tour and will be making a stop at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater next week. The headlining show will be featuring opening act Phillip Phillips.
In preparation of the tour and the Tennessee stop, vocalist and bassist Robby Takac chatted with Chattanoogan.com about the tour, their new EP, and the band’s success over the past three decades.
The band’s latest EP, You Should Be Happy, features five songs and was released on a digital format this May through Warner Brothers Records. The physical CD was officially released June 9. Takac discussed the mindset of producing an EP this go around instead of a traditional full-length album. “We’ve been talking about it for a long time actually. We thought that it might be a wiser way to put out music. We recorded three brand new songs with Drew Pearson. It happened really quickly. It was a more productive way to release music.“
You Should Be Happy wasn’t the first time that producer Drew Pearson (OneRepublic, Katy Perry) has worked with Goo Goo Dolls. In fact, Pearson also produced Boxes, the band’s eleventh studio album It was that past experience that made him the go-to choice for the EP. “More than anything he’s just a lot of fun to work with.” With such a long history of success and dedication, fun is now taking a priority over the daily grind of music production for the multi-platinum Goo Goo Dolls.
This summer’s Long Way Home tour kicked off on July 14, in Mountain, CA and will wrap up in mid-September in LA. Goo Dolls are known for their summer tours. “This is what we do in the summer,” says Takac. “Emotionally it’s the completion of the cycle. You have an idea, that’s just in your brain and then you go into a studio and bring in a band, and a producer… then you present that idea to a person right in front of you and it goes from your mind to their mind and it’s very fulfilling.”
The Ascend Amphitheater show Monday will not be the group’s first stop in the Music City. Takac recounted the many memories made in Nashville. “There’s so much that sticks out. I remember one time coming through Nashville, it was probably ’88 or ’89, and we were going by the front of some little club on the street and heard someone playing that song “867-5309” by Tommy Tutone; we looked through the window… and it was Tommy Tutone. It was a mind blower in a lot of ways.”
Phillip Phillips will be the supporting act for the tour, which Takac is hopeful will make for a “great summer.” On the topic of Phillips, Takac noted that “he bring on a little different segment of America” than the traditional Goo Goo Dolls fanbase. Last year’s summer tour included Collective Soul and Tribe Socitey, and the band is excited to see how the different pairing will add to the experience.
With 14 top 10 radio hits, it’s hard not to play a concert full of sing-along songs; and that’s part of the connection with the fans that keeps the band out on the road. With that said, there’s also been talk of this year’s setlist going longer and deeper into the Goo Goo Dolls’ extensive catalog. “There’s this hard line to walk when you’re a band… you could fill an entire hour and half with every single song that people want to hear, but is that the show you want to give them? Honestly it’s been an issue in our minds for the last ten years actually. It’s like we’re running out of room here. You have to figure out how to make the most out of your ninety minutes. We’re kinda giving ourselves a chance to go a little bit deeper and maybe go off track just a little bit more than we normally would to try and make it something a little bit different.”
Goo Goo Dolls’ Long Way Home Summer Tour with Phillip Phillips kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 31, at Ascend Amphitheater. Tickets can still be purchased through Live Nation at the following link: https://www.livenation.com/artists/167832/goo-goo-dolls-long-way-home-tour-with-phillip-phillips