January 21st, 2013
04:10 PM ET
The Goo Goo Dolls' headlining performance at tonight's non-partisan Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., shows that it really is all about who you know.
Although the multi-platinum pop trio played a benefit for the Obama campaign in 2007, frontman Johnny Rzeznik says the offer to perform at this year's gala didn't come through agents or managers. It came through a friend associated with the Hollywood-based organization.
"I was buying a new car, and I ran into him at the car dealer," Rzeznik explains. "He asked if I would be interested in playing their inaugural ball, and I was like, 'Sure, we'll do it!"
The Goo Goo Dolls' set list will include old favorites like "Slide" and "Iris," as well as a couple of tracks off their upcoming album, "Magnetic," which is scheduled for release in May. Rzeznick says the new CD is much more upbeat than their 2010 offering, "Something For the Rest of Us."
"I quit drinking," he tells CNN. "And that lightened up my perspective on the world quite a bit."
Rzeznik says this is the first time he's spoken publicly about his demons.
"It's a strange thing to even talk about because it's such a cliched thing. You're having trouble with alcohol and you're depressed. The whole world is depressed and has problems with alcohol, so it's just a question of whether you decide to do something about it or not. But when I was down in it completely, I was the most selfish, self-pitying person that I knew - and my life was amazing," he says shaking his head.
His new outlook has helped his relationship with his bandmates, bassist Robby Takak and drummer Mike Malinin.
"A lot of bands have friction. We just keep ours covered up really well," Rzeznik confides. "I've learned over the past two, three years that it's very important to say you're sorry. Admit you're wrong as soon as you can, if you ARE wrong. And try to be magnanimous when you're right."
"I think our last album was kind of a bummer," he adds, chuckling ruefully. "But the only way out is to go through, so that was going through. And now we're out on the other end. It's a pretty good day."
The singer/songwriter has something else to celebrate: He popped the question to his girlfriend of eight years, Melina Gallo.
"I'm getting married in July, and I'm looking forward to that," he says. "It was one of those situations like, 'I'm not going anywhere. Grow up, get married, have a good time. So that's what we're doing."
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