Post-grunge quartet Hoobastank formed in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills in early 1994, after vocalist Doug Robb met guitarist Dan Estrin at a high-school battle of the bands competition. The two chose to join forces, and after adding bassist Markku Lappalainen and drummer Chris Hesse, Hoobastank were born. While the heavy alternative sounds of acts like Tool and Alice in Chains were primary influences, Hoobastank tempered the gloomier elements of that music with a suburban California groove and an eye for accessibility. The self-released, clumsily titled They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To generated strong local buzz upon its 1998 release, and soon the band had moved from backyard gigs to shows up and down the Cali coast.
Island took notice and put Hoobastank on the payroll in August 2000, and tours with the likeminded Incubus and flavor-of-the-moment Alien Ant Farm followed. Hoobastank’s eponymous debut dropped in November 2001, and the singles “Crawling in the Dark” and “Running Away” were hits at radio and MTV. The LP went gold, and the quartet supported it with a jaunt through Asia and Europe that summer. By early 2003, the band was back in the studio, laying down tracks for its sophomore effort. They then played a few dates in June and July, but were forced to cancel the remainder of the club tour when Estrin was injured in a freak minibike accident. The guitarist was back on his feet by October, and Hoobastank headed out with the All-American Rejects and Ozomatli for the Nokia Unwired tour.
The quartet offered the lead single “Out of Control” as a free download from its website before releasing the full-length The Reason at the end of the year. It showcased a harder-edged vocal performance from Robb. A year later, the Let It Out DVD collected the band’s videos. On a 2005 co-headlining tour with Velvet Revolver, the band received a chilly reception from some audiences and rumors of a feud between Robb and VR frontman Scott Weiland were soon filling Internet message boards. “If I Were You,” the first single from their 2006 album Every Man for Himself, addressed the whole affair. A new single (“My Turn”) appeared in October, 2008, followed by the arrival of Fornever in 2009. - Johnny Loftus