In January John and Robby left for Los Angeles in search of a fresh start and a new drummer. They held an audition and the first candidate was Mike Malinin
, a 27 year old Texan.
In March A Boy Named Goo
was released by Warner Brothers. Work on the album proceeded at home and in a local studio as the songs and the sound of the album began to take shape. "At first we tried a real high-tech approach," explains Rzeznik, "with all sorts of bells and whistles. But after awhile we realized that the best way to get what we were after was to get a boom-box, hit the record button, and just start banging away". The "banging" was shaped and moulded into actual songs with the able assistance of the group's long-time collaborator, Armond Pietrie, and by the time Giordano (the group's first choice for producer) arrived in June, they were virtually ready to begin the recording process. Basic tracks were cut in New York, with additional recording and overdubs done in Buffalo. "What we were getting was very natural, very true to form," Rzeznik explains. "We'd done our homework...we knew exactly what we were going for and Lou locked right in." But the process was not quite complete. Additional sessions were scheduled in Los Angeles, this time with producer Rob Cavallo, the man behind the boards for Green Day's multi-platinum Reprise debut abum, Dookie. "Originally we were going to do some 'B' sides," explains Robby Takac
, "but the tracks came out so well we ended up using two of them on the album." The songs in question: a cover of Disconnected
, from the pioneering Buffalo punk band, The Enemies, and Slave Girl
, from Australia's Lime Spiders. Now, it's all come together on A Boy Named Goo
. "I look at our career as having three stages," remarks Rzeznik with a smile. "Drunk, hungover and sober. I wouldn't exactly say we're in our sober phase now, but we are dead serious about making the best music we can." Which is exactly what The Goo Goo Dolls
deliver on A Boy Named Goo
: the very best from one of the most promising young bands in America.
Album sales were still sluggish and the band criss-crossed America hoping to get their music heard, but few would listen. In June all that changed, when Kevin Weatherly of LA KROQ Radio decided to give A Boy Named Goo
another listen. Tucked between a dozen driven rock tunes, he found something unexpected, a pop-balled called Name
. Radio stations across the country followed KROQ and start playing Name
. Not long after that, somewhere in September, it hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts.
The single brought the Goo Goo Dolls
a whole new audience of top 40 fans, but the success of the single provoked harsh criticism from their loyal punk followers, who accused the band of selling out.
In November the soundtrack to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released, including the Goo Goo Dolls
' song Don't Change