Doug Robb, lead singer of Hoobastank, recently took time out of his busy schedule to chat about “Fight or Flight,” Hoobastank’s latest album. He was more than happy to discuss the new album as well as his plans for the future. “Fight or Flight” is their fifth studio album, and it seems they’ve only grown stronger, their music more mature. “Well, we’re really immature as people, so that’s ironic,” jokes Robb. But on a more serious note, Robb comments, “We made a conscious effort to keep it a little darker in tone…we wrote songs that didn’t make the record, more popular in feel, with more major chords and predictable chord progressions.”
And while there isn’t ever a singular inspiration for any type of music, as Robb noted, the album does seem more unified, with similar themes running through many of the songs. For those who are wondering when they’ll be able to watch Hoobastank perform their new songs, Robb says the band wants to tour as much as possible, although “we’re not going to tour just to tour.” They’ve actually been pretty busy since June, on the road for two weeks at a time with one week off to rest. Robb mentioned jetlag after coming back from their recent concert in Japan, but he definitely still enjoys touring.
As for his favorite part of releasing an album? “I think…creating to me is always my favorite part,” Robb muses after going on to explain that everything – writing, recording, touring – had always ranked level for previous albums, but not anymore. Even before recording, he enjoys the writing of the songs and the group collaboration. “Maybe I’m just getting old and boring,” he adds, laughing, before this writer assures him otherwise.
Being in the business for longer than a decade might cause one to evaluate how they’ve changed and progressed over the years. For Hoobastank, “as a live band, we’re playing better than we ever had…ten plus years ago, we were more excited to be on stage jumping around.” Now, they are much more particular during rehearsals, focusing on different aspects of their live performance. “Our audience has grown, we’ve grown,” Robb states. Their audience has in fact grown, but they still haven’t gotten tired of Hoobastank’s sound. For Robb, 10 years and five albums doesn’t seem all that long. “Call it success or call it sheer stubbornness to hold on,” he says wryly, exhibiting a humble and down-to-earth nature.
He just wants his fans to each take away something different from “Fight or Flight,” be it joy, sorrow, excitement, or love; “If it can crack the human shell and reach past the superficial listening of music I would be really happy.” The songs themselves definitely encourage a thorough listening. Maybe the message isn’t immediately apparent, just like the album’s title. Although “Fight or Flight” started out as a working title for the song “No Destination,” it quickly grew on the band and they began to assign it meaning as an album title – “For better or worse, we’ve chosen to stick it out. It’s just that instinct…cut and run or stick around.” It doesn’t sound like Robb and the rest of Hoobastank are going to cut and run any time soon.