Back in the late 2000s, Hoobastank was on top of their game. You could almost say they were “bouncing around the Web like a beach ball at a Nickelback concert.”--- Since signing with Island Records in 2001, they've sold over 10 million records, were endorsed by Creed and even had a burrito at Denny’s named after them (The Hooburitto). If you're still scratching your head, I'm sure you've heard that song “The Reason,” while marinating in a Jiffy Lube waiting room. No? Now you have:
This song is about that burrito.
For many -- or maybe just me -- Hoobastank first appeared on the radar in the 2007 film Hot Rod. Remember the scene where Andy Samberg’s character Rod Kimble eats it after a massive motorcycle stunt? Well, the first word he uttered once he regained consciousness was, “Hoobastank.” We should watch that again:
For the longest time, I had no idea who or what the hell Rod was talking about. For a minute, I thought he said Hoboskank. Which would have been a way better name. But, I stand corrected. If you must know, the shitty moniker “Hoobastank” isn't a nickname for slutty transients or even bong water, it actually comes from a mispronunciation of a street near lead singer Doug Robb’s childhood home. So, there you have it.
Now, despite the crappy name (and the crappy music), Hoobastank has over a million fans on their Facebook page. And here I thought Ronnie Wood’s 26-year-old girlfriend was the only one. But besides her, who the hell are these people? Since I had to find out, I headed over to In The Venue/Club Sound last Wednesday to meet some of the diehards who were waiting in line for the show. It was more than riveting:
How long have you two been Hoobastank fans?
Megan: Since 2002, probably.
Katie: Yeah, at least five years.
How do you identify other Hoobastank fans?
Megan: I go, “Hey, you a Hoobastank fan?! Wha Wha!”
Katie: If a song comes on the radio and you see their lips moving. Then you’ll be like, “Ahhh, you’re a fan!”
OK, so what is a Hoobastank?
Megan: We were just discussing that today.
Katie: I don’t know. What is it? Do you know?
Is it A: the name of a street? B: the name of a hotel room at a Best Western in Des Moines? Or C: something you say after a stunt?
Megan: I say B.
Katie: All the above. Just kidding I would say B, too; it sounds very specific.
The answer is all the above. I'm sure there's a hotel room in Des Moines called the Hoobastank room.
Katie: Hah, yes! I shouldn't have second-guessed myself.
Doesn't it blow your mind that Hoobastank's parents are the dudes from Goo Goo Dolls? Isn’t that crazy?!
Megan: It wouldn’t blow my mind at all because the Goo Goo Dolls have been around for a long time.
Katie: Are they really?
Katie: That is legit!
Megan: That is tight.
What if Hoobastank were a food? Would you eat it?
Megan: It would be my favorite food.
What if it were a Glade Plug-in?
Mega: Uhh, yeah. Yum.
Katie: Why would you eat a Glade Plug-in?
It’s an apple-cinnamon-flavored Glade Plug-in
Megan: Yeah, definitely!
Katie: Hmm, I don’t know.
It’s also non-toxic.
Katie: Oh, yeah, I’d eat it.
What genre of music is Hoobastank?
Scott: Alternative metal or metal alternative.
Kyler: I’d say alternative rock.
Well, how metal is it that they won their recording contract by winning Legends of the Hidden Temple?
Kyler: I didn’t know that.
Scott: I didn’t know that, either.
Really?! How big of fans are you?
Scott: Pretty big, I think.
Kyler: Yeah, I'm a huge fan.
OK, then, so what’s the best Hoobastank song?
Skyler: I like "Running Away." It’s got a fast beat and I like it.
Scott: Hmm, this is a really good question. Uh, either "Running Away" or "From the Heart."
You don’t like "The Reason?"
Scott: It was overplayed.
Skyler: Yeah, and it’s the only song people know and they have so many other good songs.
Scott: Like the ones we just said.
Kyler: Ehh, I don’t know.
Scott: Uh, that guy.
Nice pick. Okay, Kyler, choose with your heart man.
Kyler: Fine. I guess this dude.
Ah, gross. That’s the lead singer of Crazy Town.
OK, besides Crazy Town, what bands do Hoobastank fans not like?
Kyler: Oh, I hate Nickelback … a little bit.
Scott: I love Nickelback.
That was a dumb question. You're wearing a Canada T-shirt. Of course, you love Nickelback.
Scott: Yeah, they're awesome.
Shay and Katie, Farmington
So, how big of Hoobastank fans are you guys, from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest?
Shay: I’m like a 7 or an 8.
Katie: I’d say like a 6 or a 7.
That means you’re huge fans. All right, what kind of people are Hoobastank fans?
Katie: I think they're people who are more alternative and not run-of-the-mill. [Hoobastank is] not for people that don’t know who they are.
Shay: Definitely. You can also identify them by the sideways 8 logo some have tattooed on ‘em.
You mean an infinity sign?
Shay: Yeah. Xfinity.
Shay: Na uh? That does not surprise me.
Katie: We might be the only ones here who are Wayne’s World fans!
Here’s a serious question:If you’re stuck on a desert island, and you can have either a lifetime supply of hot dogs or a lifetime supply of Hoobastank guitarist Dan Estrin, which one do you choose?
Shay: Oooh, a lifetime supply of Dan.
Katie: Yup, I hate hot dogs. Is he a good conversationalist?
Katie: Easy, I know what a hot dog looks like.
Shay: Yeah, that’s a hot dog.
You wouldn't want a pile of hot dogs to talk to?
Shay: Hot dogs can't talk.
Oh, yeah, right.
(Photos by Colin Wolf)