John Rzeznik, songwriter and lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, founded the band in 1986 with Robby Takac. The Goo Goo Dolls’s long-term success kicked off in 1998 with the release of the song “Iris,” written by Rzeznik. With the recent release of “Something for the Rest of Us,” Rzeznik commented, “I wanted some of the material on this album to address the disillusionment of the difficult period we live in; I wanted to give a voice to the emotional uncertainty that accompanies hard times. So many people are struggling to keep it together through tough economic conditions and two wars that seem to have no end in sight. The ones who bear the brunt of these burdens are everyday people. That’s who I want to speak to.”
Rzeznik and the Goo Goo Dolls support many charities, including USA Harvest, the Food Bank of Western New York and the Autism Action Partnership.
ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?
JOHN RZEZNIK: Real and meaningful campaign finance reform.
RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be?
JR: Use the bully pulpit to speak your piece directly and fully to not only corporate leaders and Congress, but to the American people. We need strength and confidence in our leader.
RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?
JR: Why didn’t you take advantage of your majority when you had the chance?
RB: What book would you offer to lend President Obama? Why?
JR: The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. It finally made me understand how we got into this mess and gave me strong opinions on how to get out of it.
RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?
JR: I would send him to my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., so he could see in full detail what happens when a strong manufacturing town is destroyed by unfair trade practices and union busting.
RB: Would you ever consider a political career?
JR: Not in a million years.
Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization. www.thecreativecoalition.org