Hoobastank Finds Its Footing On 'For(n)ever'

artist: hoobastank date: 05/20/2009 category: general music news
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Hoobastank is appreciative of the success of its rocking single "My Turn," but the group prefers not to hear good news. "It's good not to take anything for granted," said singer Doug Robb. "All the good news we hear from the record and things going on, I kind of put in my 'good news' file in my brain and then just forget about it and keep going, as if there weren't any good news That's the work ethic the band is at right now." "My Turn" appears on Hoobastank's latest album, "For(n)ever." "The album is called 'For(n)ever' because it is a combination of words: forever and never," Robb said. "They are two words that are powerful on their own, exact opposites. There's a lot of that on this record, lyrically, and actually mood-wise, too. There's a lot of love/hate, pushing/pulling. You can keep going with that forever. I think the whole love/hate phrasing is just too overused. I tried to think of other words that are strong like those two other words, but can actually mean the opposite. It came to forever/never." Produced by longtime collaborator Howard Benson, "For(n)ever" sees a rejuvenated Hoobastank - which also includes guitarist Dan Estrin and drummer Chris Hesse - returning to the amped rock roots of its first two releases: 2001's platinum-plus-selling self-titled debut and 2003's double platinum-plus-selling follow-up, "The Reason." The band's rejuvination came during the songwriting process. "We started recording and coming up with ideas, but we just weren't satisfied," Robb said. "None of us really, really dug the music that much. It seemed a little stale to us and like we had gone through the motions. So we removed the studio date. We said, 'Let's openly say we're going to record when we're ready.' We just kept writing and writing and writing, [and] the next thing we know we had so many ideas for songs, so many more than we've ever had in the past. "It was cool because we got to pick the songs we really enjoy the most. A lot of times in the past, we recorded 16 songs, 12 made the record, we had four for B-sides. Besides those 16, there wasn't really anything else. That's what we wrote for the record. This last time, we had 11 songs go on the record, five to six extras on top of that--we have just a boat load of other ideas that we never really fully completed but could be songs." Robb called working with Benson "familiar yet difficult." He admitted that Benson wasn't the band's first choice. "I think, going into this record, it was never our intention to use Howard--not on a personal level, but just because we did the previous two records with him and we were thinking about just having a fresh face in the studio," Robb said. "He really lobbied hard though for it. To his credit, he really pushed hard. He was really enthusiastic about doing this record. We met with him a couple times about it. We had this A-list producer who really, really wanted to do our record. Plus, we have a good personal relationship with him. "We ended up doing it, but under some certain conditions. We wanted to make sure he was heavy handed. We wanted his opinions to be heard and we wanted him to be tough on us. Because of that, the recording atmosphere was kind of tense at times with the band and himself butting heads. The times we've worked the best [have been] when we've had some sort of creative conflict. He's squeezed our best ideas out for us." Thanks for the report to Livedaily.com.
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