Why Johnny Rzeznik Isn't Ready to Pop the Goo Goo Dolls' Black Balloon

As part of E!’s Backstage Pass, Johnny Rzeznik shared a behind-the-scenes look into the Goo Goo Dolls’ first tour since the pandemic.

By Mike Vulpo Sep 01, 2022 1:00 PMTags
Watch: KCON:TACT Online Concerts Are Changing the Future of Live Music

Congratulations! You just scored a backstage pass to the hottest tickets in town.

After COVID-19 put a pause on live entertainment, your favorite artists are ready to hit the road and entertain audiences safely with brand-new tours and experiences. And regardless of where you are, we're offering an all-access ticket to every must-see concert of the year. Welcome to E!'s Backstage Pass.

Johnny Rzeznik isn't ready to slide away from the microphone.

More than 35 years after the Goo Goo Dolls released its first studio album, fans would understand if the group wanted to slow down and stick to their classic hits like "Iris" and "Black Balloon" at live shows.

But as the rock band celebrates their 13th studio album Chaos in Bloom with a nationwide tour, Johnny says he still has a lot to sing about.

"I get bored and I get restless," the Goo Goo Dolls frontman exclusively shared with E! News. "There's always a different way of approaching it. I'm always thinking I could do this this way. This album was a big jump for me trying to take over most of the production on it. I made a decision that I may not get a song on the radio, but I gotta go for it." 

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

In their first concert run since 2019, the Goo Goo Dolls say their fans are loving their newest material. In fact, Johnny is surprised with how quickly concertgoers have picked up on their latest songs.

Jim Trocchio / @hurleyhurley

"It's interesting because when you play the song for the first time live, people are sort of looking at you stumped as to what's going on," Johnny said. "But the next night after the first time we played, there were people in the audience singing it because it was on YouTube."

But fans can also count on the group to play their biggest hits, as well as a must-see cover of a Tom Petty classic. Out of all the songs on the setlist, however, Johnny said there is one that continues to blow him away with its everlasting popularity.

"I think it's ‘Iris,'" he said. "I wrote it really quickly and I never expected it to be that big of a hit. It was interesting that we actually came out and sort of had the big hit off that City of Angels movie soundtrack."

As the band prepares for a special intimate theatre tour, Johnny is sharing more behind-the-scenes details into the Goo Goo Dolls' shows. Keep scrolling to learn more and find out when the band is coming to your neighborhood.

Pack Your Bags

In celebration of the Goo Goo Dolls' newest album, Chaos in Bloom, Johnny Rzeznik and the band are hitting the road and performing their biggest hits at amphitheaters across the country. 

Under the Stars

While the Goo Goo Dolls have played in iconic indoor venues, the band's favorite places may just be outside. "Everybody likes to have a night out during the summer and listen to live music," Johnny said. "I think it's something that really brings people together and highlights the similarities that we all have, rather than the differences which are being thrown in our faces constantly." 

Rock and Recharge

After spending more than 30 years on the road, Johnny can't help but notice some differences during his recent tours. "You start to realize, ‘Oh my god, I'm three years older. Ow, my shoulder. Ow, my foot,'" he joked. "All that stuff that people think goes on backstage and behind the scenes...no! It's just a lot of sleep and icing yourself down." 

Treat Yourself

While Johnny spends more time resting in between tour stops, that doesn't mean there isn't some time for fun. 

Paying it Forward

For the Chaos in Bloom tour, the band partnered with the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation to raise awareness about the charity. "The organization helps kids escape violence and bad situations at home and provides someplace safe to go and to get the education that they deserve," Johnny said. "I don't know if I'm superstitious, but when you add that component to the tour, it just makes everything feel better."

Two Paws Up

During a recent tour stop at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tenn., the Goo Goo Dolls received a special visitor from a four-legged friend. Have you met Doug The Pug?

Sparking Joy

After the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on touring for nearly three years, Johnny shared the moment that brought him the most joy was reuniting with the crew. "I think it's when you first get together and you see everybody after not seeing them for a few months," he said. "It just feels like I belong here." 

Want more insider access? Here's how Michael Bublé promises to share the love during his "baby making tour." Plus, see how This Is Us star Chrissy Metz is sharing her heart through live music.  

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.