Under Celluloid they released their first eponymous album on a 0 budget (later the re-prints would be referred to as "First Release").

Rzeznik believes writing is not just an inspirational act but that writing music is "ninety nine percent perspiration." He says that when writing a song, he often "runs tape and screws around with stuff," and his songs are often both biographical and autobiographical.

According to Rzeznik, before penning down the song "Iris", he was on the verge of leaving the band because he had been writing songs for the past nine years and it had been a low.

For the next few years the band toured, produced albums and held down regular jobs.

Following the album Gutterflower, John wrote "Always Know Where You Are" and "I'm Still Here" for the Disney film Treasure Planet, which were also released as a single independently from the band.

Rzeznik also performed Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" with Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit for the victims of September 11 as a tribute to the heroes.

On July 4, 2004, Rzeznik and his bandmates returned home to Buffalo and played a free show to give back to their loyal fans, over 60,000 of whom attended.

Both of Rzeznik's parents were musicians, playing the clarinet and flute.

Rzeznik had a strict Catholic upbringing in Buffalo's working-class East Side Polish neighborhood and attended Corpus Christi Grammar School.

at the time, "We made it perfectly clear that I would not be singing at all at our wedding.