Hoobastank formed in the Los Angeles County suburb Agoura Hills in 1994. Vocalist Doug Robb met with guitarist Dan Estrin in a high school battle of the bands competition and decided to form a band. They recruited Markku Lappalainen and Chris Hesse to form Hoobastank. In an interview with Launch Yahoo Doug Robb said the name had no particular meaning. "You're going to ask me what it means. It doesn't mean anything. And it's really cool, it's one of those old high school inside-joke words that didn't really mean anything." Rob Bourdon of Linkin Park attended the same high school as the members of Hoobastank.
Hoobastank started playing gigs in their local area and, with their unique saxophone section headed by Jeremy Wasser, recorded a self-released album called They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To in 1998. By this stage, they had developed a strong reputation in Southern California. This attracted interest from Island Records who signed the band in 2000. The bands reputation grew further on tours with Incubus who come from the same area of Los Angeles and Alien Ant Farm.
Hoobastank released their self-titled debut in November 2001. The first single was "Crawling in the Dark" which was a breakthrough hit reaching #68 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the modern rock chart, #8 on the mainstream rock chart and #1 on an MP3.com download chart in early 2002. The second single "Running Away" was even more successful reaching #44 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the modern rock chart, #9 on the mainstream rock chart and #3 on the MP3.com download chart. The Hoobastank album went platinum on the back of these hits and reached #25 on the Billboard 200 album charts and #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. The album also achieved recognition internationally with the album touring in Europe and Asia in support of the record. "Remember Me" the third single was a moderate hit reaching #23 on the modern rock charts and #9 on the mainstream rock charts.
The band entered the studio in 2003 with producer Howard Benson who has produced records by P.O.D., Cold and The Crystal Method. However, recording was disrupted for a month when Dan Estrin was seriously injured in a freak 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.
Their second album The Reason was released in December 2003. The first single "Out of Control" was made available for download on the band's website. Doug Robb says on the band's website: "A lot of it is about asking questions or questioning all that people see. Its not all about religion. "Out of Control" is about that and about opening your eyes after being blinded by being devoted to anything." "Out of Control" would reach #9 on the US modern rock chart, #16 on the mainstream rock chart and #16 on a composite world modern rock chart (based on the US, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Australia). The Reason initially reached a peak of #45 on the Billboard 200.
The title track was released as a single in the first half of 2004. It became a massive hit reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the US and world modern rock charts, #1 on a world airplay chart in May 2004, #10 in Australia and #12 in the UK. The Reason album received a new lease of life on the US album charts reaching #3 on the Billboard 200.
The band's international profile was increased by a support slot on Linkin Park's Meteora world tour in early 2004.
- Douglas Robb - Vocals and Guitars
- Dan Estrin - Guitars
- Markku Lappalainen - Bass
- Chris Hesse - Drums