Robby Takac speaks on Goo Goo Dolls tour, Music is Art, favorite things to do in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Goo Goo Dolls are back home this weekend, playing in front of a packed KeyBank Center to close out their long-awaited summer tour.

The band is slated for a 7:30 p.m. show on Saturday, with Blue October opening.

Bassist Robby Takac spoke with News 4 on Thursday morning, discussing the upcoming show, the band’s newly released album, “Chaos in Bloom,” the success of the Music is Art festival, and his favorite things to do in the Buffalo area.

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Takac said it “feels great” to come home to Buffalo and expressed his love for playing in the city limits when the band plays in Western New York.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played a huge show in the city limits. I think the last time we played a show at the arena there was as an opener with Bon Jovi,” he said. “So I think it’ll be exciting to be there with all our people, closing out what has been — dare I say — the best tour we’ve done in decades.”

He also talked about what playing the arena means to him.

“When I was a kid, I grew up going to see shows at The Aud. And I would see KISS there and Cheap Trick and Genesis, and I could go on and on and on. We got to play The Aud before it got knocked down, and that was a big deal for me. I remember my family was there, my grandmother, who passed many years ago, was there, and I remember seeing her in the crowd and just thinking to myself, ‘My God, I’m seeing everybody here,’ and that was huge. And then we played the opening of the KeyBank Center.”

He continued, saying it’s not the type of thing he thought he’d be doing when he was a kid, but he’s ready to fill the arena and have a great rock show in front of his home crowd.

The band released “Chaos in Bloom,” their 14th album, in August. Takac said that though records the Goo Goo Dolls have made in recent years have been “record-making by committee,” with a lot of producers involved, he and guitarist John Rzeznik were presented a unique opportunity during the pandemic — to record an album with minimal outside input. He described it as “the most pure record” the band has made in a long time.

“This album, due to the pandemic, we couldn’t be around any other people; it was against the law,” Takac said. “We rented a church out in Woodstock, N.Y. — an old converted church that they converted to a recording studio — and we just sat out there for months and played. We hadn’t had that ‘isolated band experience’ in probably 15 years — since people didn’t care about the records we were making.”

The band was finishing a stint with Train and was ready to embark on their own outing promoting their album “Miracle Pill” when the pandemic hit. Takac said that when live shows stopped. Rzeznik began working on their Christmas record, and as they began thinking about rescheduling their tour, they agreed that they needed new music for their tour.

After two reschedulings, the band was able to get back on the road, playing venues including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland.

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Takac will be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in October, as part of the 40th annual ceremony. The Goo Goo Dolls were inducted in 1995.

“Goo Goo Dolls have been in there for a really long time, so we’ve always been part of that family,” he said. “But it’s nice to get recognized for Music is Art and the studio and all of that stuff.”

The Music is Art festival, founded by Takac, celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sept. 10, with over 50 bands on over 20 stages, in addition to art installations, DJs, and various other performances. The event was held at Buffalo Riverworks and River Fest Park. In addition to the yearly festival, Music is Art is a nonprofit organization making music more accessible to the community.

“Just like my band, I don’t think you really think about (how big it will get) when you first start, you’re just sort of doing it because it feels right,” Takac said of the festival. “I guess if it feels right and you keep moving forward, 20 years later, you can look back and go, ‘I guess it was right, I guess it was good,’ and we figured out a way to make it through all of the ebbs and flow of life… I’m really proud of everybody that’s involved with Music is Art, for sure.”

FAST FIVE: Robby Takac’s favorite things in Buffalo

Restaurant: Taisho Bistro, other Hertel Avenue restaurantsWings: North Street SubwayVenue: None – there’s too many good onesSong to perform: SlideActivity: Riding bikes with his kid in Delaware Park

What he’s been listening to lately: Deep funk/old ’70s funk, like B.T. Express and Parliament

Thursday morning, the Goo Goo Dolls also announced a new collab with Buffalo-based business Oxford Pennant.

For tickets to Saturday’s show, click here.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

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