Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik, who once penned a song called “Broadway,” has gone Hollywood.
The songwriter penned two songs for the upcoming Disney film “Treasure Planet,” an animated space adventure adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic pirate tale “Treasure Island.” The first is a melodic pop song called “I’m Still Here,” and the second is the more upbeat rocker “Always Know Where You Are,” which will play over the closing credits.
Rzeznik was first approached about writing a song for the movie early last year. When the film’s producers heard “I’m Still Here,” they asked him to write another, but he wasn’t quite sold on the proposition.
“When they asked me to do it, I was like, ‘Uhhh, I don’t know,’ ” he admitted. “Then they showed me the movie, which is amazing. But I stressed to the guys at Disney, ‘I can’t write show tunes,’ and they said, ‘Cool, we don’t want something from “The Little Mermaid.” We want you to be you.’ ”
Rzeznik is proud of both songs, though he’s armed with an excuse for anyone who badmouths the tunes.
” ‘It was for kids,’ ” he exclaimed. “That’s gonna be my rationalization and justification to my critics. ‘It’s for kids. Leave me alone.’ ”
While Rzeznik sings both of his tunes in the film, BBMak will sing on the soundtrack album version of “Always Know Where You Are.” The rest of the record, which comes out November 17, will be composed of score music by James Newton Howard.
A video for “I’m Still Here” was shot last month by Tim Hope (Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World). Rzeznik was there for the shoot, but he couldn’t begin to say what the clip is about.
“They did the whole thing on green screen,” he explained. “So I was basically standing in this green room and then walking on a green treadmill and then running on a green treadmill. It was really insane.
“I think it’s gonna be me with a lot of animation from the movie in the background, but I’m not sure,” he continued. “They’re spending six weeks on post-production because it all goes in the computer. I’m just glad I ain’t paying for it.”
Rzeznik accepted the project not to get back in touch with the kids, but because he thought it would be fun. He also recognizes that Disney’s global trademark can offer him career longevity.
“Doing a song for a Disney movie is cool,” he said, “because long after my band is gone and forgotten that song and movie will still be here.”
Rzeznik and his Goo Goo Dolls bandmates will play themselves and perform “Big Machine” on an episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” tentatively scheduled to air November 1. At the end of October, the band will head back out on another national tour.