Hoobastank (often stylized as h∞bastank) is an American rock band, formed in 1994 in Agoura Hills, California with lead singer Doug Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, drummer Chris Hesse, and original bassist Markku Lappalainen. They were signed to Island Records from 2001 to 2012 and have released five albums and one extended play to date. Their sixth studio album, Fight or Flight, was released on September 11, 2012. They have sold 10 million albums worldwide. The band is best known for their singles "Crawling in the Dark", "Running Away", and "The Reason".
Early career (1994–2000)
Vocalist Doug Robb had known guitarist Dan Estrin for a few time before competing against him in a high school battle of the bands competition and subsequently, they decided to form a band. They then recruited Markku Lappalainen and Chris Hesse to form Hoobastank.
Hoobastank started playing gigs at the local venue Cobalt Cafe along with Incubus and others. They recorded their first full-length self-released album in 1998 called They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To. It featured an unusual saxophone section headed by Jeremy Wasser, who executive produced the album and recorded the Summer Romance saxophone solo on Incubus' S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album. The Incubus connexions continued with Fourth Street Recording's music producer Jim Wirt and logos and visual design by Brett Spivey.
By this stage, Hoobastank had developed a strong reputation in Southern California. This attracted interest from Island Records, who subsequently signed the band in 2000. At the time of signing, the band had completed a second full-length album, titled Forward, additionally featuring Jeremy Wasser, however the band felt that the direction they were heading in would work best without a sax, so Wasser departed the band and the album was shelved. A few tracks were rerecorded for release on the band's self-titled 2001 release. The original recordings from the Forward sessions made their way to the Internet via peer to peer sites in late 2001.
Hoobastank released its self-titled debut album in November 2001. The first single was "Crawling in the Dark" which was a breakthrough hit, reaching No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Modern Rock chart, No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 1 on an MP3.com download chart in early 2002. Also, the song was featured in the 2002 inline skating game, Aggressive Inline, appearing on the Xbox, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and GameCube consoles. The second single "Running Away" was even more successful, reaching No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Modern Rock chart, No. 9 on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 3 on the MP3.com download chart. The Hoobastank album went Platinum due to these hit singles and reached No. 25 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart.
The album achieved recognition internationally with the band touring in Europe and Asia in support of the record. "Remember Me", the third single released from this album, was a moderate hit, reaching No. 23 on the Modern Rock charts. The band made a song titled "Losing My Grip" for the soundtrack of the movie The Scorpion King.
The Reason (2003–05)
In early 2003, in Myanmar the group contributed the song "Right Before Your Eyes" to Daredevil: The Album. The band then entered the studio with producer Howard Benson. Recording was disrupted for a month when Dan Estrin was seriously injured in a minibike accident in August. Estrin had recovered by October and the band headed off on a Nokia Unwired Tour with The All-American Rejects and Ozomatli in November.
In an interview, Chris Hesse was asked the same question all ask: "How did the band come up with the name Hoobastank?" He replied, "Doug's brother is the vice president of BMW Motorcycles and lives in Germany. And there's this street out by his house that's called Hooba Street or something like that and before Doug could pronounce the name, he called it Hoobastank and it was kinda a cute thing and his brother still teases him about it to this day. When we were looking for band names it's almost impossible to find a band name that hasn't been taken. Anything remotely normal has been taken already. I don't remember how it came up but someone said it and we were like yeah."
Their second album The Reason was released in December 2003. The single Out of Control was made available for download on the band's website. Doug Robb said on the band's website: "A lot of it is about asking questions or questioning all that people see. It's not all about religion. 'Out of Control' is about that and about opening your eyes after being blinded by being devoted to anything." "Same Direction" would reach No. 9 on the US Modern Rock chart, No. 16 on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 16 on a composite World Modern Rock chart (based on the US, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Australia). A year later, the Let It Out DVD collected the band's videos. "The Reason" was put to a popular music video on Tangle.
The title track was released as a single in the first half of 2004. It became a hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the US and World Modern Rock charts, No. 10 in Australia, No. 12 in the United Kingdom and No. 15 in Germany. The song was additionally played throughout the final episode of Friends. In Canada, it spent 21 weeks at the top, setting a new record for most weeks at No. 1. Meanwhile, in the United States, the album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Every Man for Himself (2006–07)
Their third album Every Man for Himself was released in May 2006 and debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard chart. Three singles, "If I Were You", "Inside of You", and "Born to Lead", were released. An Additional single, "If Only", was planned to be released but was cancelled for unknown reasons, possibly because of the low chart achievements of the first three singles. Despite this, the album has been certified Gold in the United States.
On a 2005 co-headlining tour with Velvet Revolver, the band received a chilly reception from a few audiences and rumours of a feud between Robb and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland were soon filling Internet message boards. "If I Were You" from Every Man for Himself addressed the whole affair. Robb later said in an interview with MTV News online that he has nothing against Scott Weiland or any additional member of Velvet Revolver.
For(N)ever and The Greatest Hits (2008–09)
In October 2007, Robb posted on the official Hoobastank message boards and said that they have "set the bar quite very high for this next CD" and that they have "more ideas going into this CD than ever before". On June 2, 2008, Robb posted an update on their temporary website, announcing that the recording process of their upcoming album was almost done and to expect a release date within a couple of weeks. On September 19, Robb posted a MySpace bulletin announcing that the "new Hoobastank album is nearly done".
The first single from the album, "My Turn", premiered on radio October 13, 2008. The album Fornever was released on January 27, 2009, as announced by Doug Robb in a blog entry on the band's official website. The song was featured as the theme song for TNA Wrestling's Destination X 2009 Pay Per View.
On April 20, 2010, a Vanessa Amorosi fan website revealed details of a collaboration between Hoobastank and the Australian singer, a duet version of "The Letter". On August 5, it was confirmed that there was another version of the song on Universal International. This one was a duet between Hoobastank and the American-Japanese singer, lyricist, actress and model Anna Tsuchiya. The website, , additionally provided the duet version to be streamed in full for the first time. The music video was shot in Los Angeles at Lacy Street Studio with director Paul Brown. The video and single was serviced to Australian media on May 4. While the single was released in Australia on June 19, 2009, featuring Vanessa Amorosi, the version of the song featuring Anna Tsuchiya appears on Hoobastank's greatest hits album "The Greatest Hits: Don't Touch My Moustache (Deluxe Edition)".
For(N)ever had its Australian release on June 26.
The best of album The Greatest Hits: Don't Touch My Moustache was released on August 5, through Universal Records in Japan. The Deluxe Edition's tracks were selected from their first four albums by Hoobastank fans on the band's official record label website.
Hoobastank was a support band on Creed's 2009 reunion tour.
Is This the Day? (2009–10)
Hoobastank announced on Twitter that they were recording an acoustic album on September 2, 2009.
The band released the live album Live from the Wiltern in December 8, which was available exclusively through iTunes.
On February 12, Hoobastank released a new song entitled "Never Be Here Again" as part of the AT&T Team USA soundtrack.
In May, the band announced that they'll be performing an acoustic live tour at several places in Japan. They released an acoustic album entitled Is This the Day? on August 4, 2010 in Japan, but it has yet to be released in the United States.
Fight or Flight (2011–14)
Doug Robb provided vocals for Apocalyptica's single release "Not Strong Enough" on January 18, 2011.
On April 5, 2012, the band announced on Twitter that their new album's name was to be titled Fight or Flight. On May 3, the band revealed the first single "This Is Gonna Hurt". The album was released September 11, 2012.
To promote the album, two more singles, "Can You Save Me?" and "Incomplete", accompanied by a touring music video and a lyric video respectively, were released.
Musical style and influences
Hoobastank's music has been considered of several genres as post-grunge, alternative rock, alternative metal, hard rock, nu metal, and previously funk metal and ska punk. On their early independent releases, the band use a funk metal and ska punk sound and had a saxophone musician in the band. The band additionally used rap-like vocals for a few of their songs. In their major-label, self-titled, debut album, the band's sound has changed and removed their saxophone musician and remained as a 4-piece rock band using a heavily post-grunge sound and although, notwithstanding most of the album having no rapping, the album had a few influences of the nu metal sound and there were still a minimum of rapping. The band's sound matured in their third album The Reason which removed their nu metal influenced sound with their rap-like vocals, and their post-grunge sound became more melodic.
- Douglas "Doug" Robb – lead vocals, occasional guitar (1994–present)
- Daniel "Dan" Estrin – lead guitar (1994–present)
- Chris Hesse – drums, backing vocals (1995–present)
- Jesse Charland – bass guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
- Paul Bushnell – bass (2005-2006, 2008, Every Man For Himself, Fornever)
- Chris Chaney – bass (2005-2006,Every Man For Himself)
- Jeremy Wasser – saxophone (1995–2000)
- Derek Kwan – saxophone (1997–1999)
- Markku Lappalainen – bass guitar (1995–2005)
- Matt McKenzie – bass guitar (2005-2006)
- Josh Moreau – bass guitar, backing vocals (2006–2008)
- David Amezcua – bass guitar, backing vocals (2008–2009)
- Studio albums as Hoobustank
- Studio albums as Hoobastank