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Hoobastank

Hoobastank

It'd be easy to recap the career of Hoobastank: a couple of guys meet in a Battle of the Bands in Agoura Hills, CA, in 1994. They grab a bassist and a drummer, damn themselves with a weird band name, build up a local following, get signed, put out two records that earn accolades like "post-grunge ear candy," release a monster ballad ("The Reason"), get nominated for three Grammys ... well, we can go on. But here's why you should really give a damn about Hoobastank, and their third album Every Man for Himself.
Seven Amazingly Fascinating Things About Hoobastank

1) Guitarist Dan Estrin has a great story involving brain surgery and a catheter.
In 2003, during the band's tour for its multi-platinum second album The Reason, Estrin made a fateful purchase. "Everyone in the band rides street bikes and motocross bikes," says the guitarist. "I was fucking around on a mini-bike that I just bought. I was riding one around after a show ... and I smashed my head into concrete." The result? "They had to cut my head open. I just remember, before the surgery, I had two fears: they'd have shave my head and I'd wake up with a catheter in me. So I wake up, and lo and behold, my head's shaved and there's a tube in my dick."

2) There are flutes and seven minute songs on the new album (blame Pink Floyd).
If you liked the infectious pop-rock stylings of the last two Hoobastank albums, you'll enjoy Every Man for Himself just as much, if not more. That said, Every Man does offer up some variety, even while maintaining the band's core sound. The epic "More Than a Memory", for example, features flutes, accordion, chimes and trumpets. "I was listening to a lot of Pink Floyd at the time, especially The Wall," remembers Estrin. "I like albums, and songs, that take you on a journey, that almost come across as a movie. And that song definitely does - it's like Floyd, the Beatles, and even tails off like "Sir Psycho Sexy," that old Red Hot Chili Peppers song. I just like applying lessons from bands I admire."

3) Did we mention the Journey influence?
Listen to "Moving Forward" and prepare to recognize a very familiar classic rock refrain. "We wrote that song when Doug was driving one day and heard Journey's 'Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' on the radio," says Estrin. "We like Journey; we're not huge fans, but I really liked that 'na na na na' part of the song." He laughs. "I don't think it's stealing. We made it our own style."

4) Music critics despise them. The feeling is mutual.
"The album comes out in April. I expect we'll do some shows, meet fans, and have critics ready to tear it apart," says Robb. "Honestly, I want to go 'fuck it, it's not for you, it's for me and the guys in the band.' If we're happy with it, that's what counts. We get a lot of shit because we don't go out of our way to be 'different' ... we're just trying to be who we are. And that's actually the theme of the album - being yourself."

5) Speaking of message boards, you can find a lot of fun, weird stuff about Hoobastank on theirs... and some of it might be true.

* Dan used to be a roadie for Incubus.
* Chris worked in a plant nursery for 5 years.
* Doug and Dan used to be counselors at the YMCA.
* The name of the band? It's the "H" in Jesus H. Christ. At least, that's what Doug will tell you.

6) That's a real drill sergeant on the album. He's there for a reason.
"Born to Lead" features the barking cadence of Sgt. Dale Guy. "I wouldn't want him there all the time, but he was cool," says Robb. "The song was about people wishing and praying for things instead of doing something to accomplish their dreams. It's about getting off your ass, and I think the Sarge added a lot to the song's vibe."

7) They recorded Every Man for Himself in a really backward, inefficient, grueling kind of way.
The band started work on the album during Hooba's last mega-tour. Estrin would come up with musical ideas during sound checks, then record a demo later, hand it off to Doug for melodies and lyrics, and finally, fly home with the whole band to record the finished product during non-tour weekends. "It wasn't an ideal way of doing things," admits Robb. "But I think, strangely, it affected us in a positive way. Maybe it was the energy of being on tour, but I think the results came out far better than our previous two records."
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