Goo Goo Dolls Talk About How “Angels” Helped Them Out Of Writer’s Block

After scoring a mainstream breakthrough three years ago with “Name” from their “A Boy Named Goo” album, the Goo Goo Dolls set their sights on a new album, and found themselves faced with the daunting task of following up a commercially successful breakthrough album.

After staring at blank pages, opportunity and inspiration knocked in the form of the “City Of Angels” soundtrack. The band was asked to write a song for the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan film, and after a screening, found a number of their creative problems solved.

“I went back to the hotel, and sat down with a guitar and it just sort of came,” guitarist/vocalist Johnny Rzeznik told MTV News this week of how the band’s current hit “Iris” [700k QuickTime] was born.

“I thought it was really easy because I was sort of having writer’s block at the time. I was really uptight about, ‘Oh my God, I had
a hit, and what do I do next, and what if it fails, blah blah blah.’ And that was going on for about, what, two years? [750k QuickTime]

“I was able to assume a different character and it really helped me complete my own song because I was writing from the perspective of Nicolas Cage so it was interesting. I was able to say things that I might not say normally.”

Despite the ease with which the song flowed out of Rzeznik, it wasn’t immediately apparent that he had penned another hit.

“I was perfectly ready to accept the rejection of the film company,” Rzeznik said. “But they liked it, so I was like, ‘Wow, cool.’”

Apparently a number of other people liked it as well as “Iris” is currently sitting atop the modern rock singles heap, and has helped the “City Of Angels” soundtrack become a regular near the top of the album chart. The song will resurface this fall when the Goos release their next album, “Dizzy Up The Girl,” on September 22.

“I
feel like some of the pressure is off, and it was a good way to segue into the next record,” Rzeznik said, putting a positive twist on the seemingly odd timing of having a hit well before his album is going to hit stores. “You couldn’t ask for a better set-up for your next album coming out, and it really sort of bought us some time because we were still writing it and putting it together when ‘Iris’ came out and became a hit. [650k QuickTime] So we were like, ‘Thank God.’ It was definitely a gift.”

Folks eager to catch even more of the Goo Goo Dolls will want to tune in to “The Late Show With David Letterman” Tuesday night when the band turns up with a string section in tow to play “Iris.”