Hoobastank - The Reason

"The Reason" is a title song of Hoobastank's second album, released in 2003.


Story behind the song

Hoobastank's frontman Doug Robb admitted that he doesn't know why the song became a hit, but he stated that for one reason or another, it's connected with people. People came up to him saying, "I feel like you're sitting right next to me and you picked my brain" or "It's everything I'm going through." [1]

In 2014 interview with DIRECTV, Doug Robb explained, "It was definitely different from the other songs that we've released. On our first record, we had a song called 'To Be With You' that was even more 'ballady' and more mellow. We have a pretty vast taste when it comes to what kind of music we like. We always like doing slower songs; all the bands that we listened to had the mellower songs as well as, the heavier songs. And when we recorded this song it wasn't like we sat around high-fiving each other like 'That's it!' When that record was done, the management, the band, and the producer sat around like 'What do you think gonna be the first single? What about the second one?', and I don't think anybody even said 'That song.'" [2]

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But various radio stations began playing "The Reason" on their own, the record label got wind of that and the song was chosen as the second single from the album. [3]

The song became Hoobastank's most commercially successful single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks. "The Reason" was nominated for the Song of the Year at the 47th Grammy Awards, but lost to John Mayer's "Daughters."

"The Reason" was featured in the final episode of "Friends." [1]

Music videos

Official music video

Brett Simon directed the official video for the song.

In the video, the band members organize an accident for the theft of a ruby gem from a pawnshop. The video ends with the band admiring their new acquisition, but then they hear police sirens from above, and the video fades out.

The official video for "Same Direction" extends this storyline revealing the details of the band member's roles.

"The Reason" won the MTV Video Music Awards Japan for best rock video in 2005.

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Live version

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Live at MTV2.

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Live performance with an orchestra.

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Acoustic performance.

Notable covers

Tom Jones covered this song in 2007.

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In 2016, Prince Royce covered the song in the television event The Passion.

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ApologetiX parodied the song in their song "Ephesians" in 2006.

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Gear and settings


Daniel Estrin

Daniel Estrin used several PRS Custom 24 guitars in various colors. The orange one appears in the official video for the song.

Markku Lappalainen

Markku Lappalainen used several 5-string Music Man Stingray basses. The pink one is seen in the official music video.

Amps and effects

Daniel Estrin

Dan Estrin is an endorser of Mesa/Boogie amps. He is stated as the user of Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Amplifier Head and Rectifier Cabinets 4x12. These amps appear in the official video.

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Head

Also, during the live performances, Dan uses Roland JC-120 amp, probably for the clean parts.

Roland JC-120

Roland JC-120.

Markku Lappalainen

Markku Lappalainen used a set of Aguilar amps: Aguilar DB 750 Bass Head and Aguilar GS 410 Bass Cabs.

Aguilar DB 750 Bass Head

Aguilar DB 750 Bass Head

Amp settings

  • Gain - 3 (chorus)
  • Treble - 3
  • Mids - 5
  • Bass - 7


Guitars: standard tuning (E A D G B E).

5-string bass: standard tuning (B E A D G).

Song key

The song is written in the key of E major.


Guitar parts of the song consist of arpeggios in the intro and verses, while choruses are based on power chords. Also, a notable feature of the song is the use of several guitar overdubs.

Song breakdown

The song has the following structure:

Intro - Verse 1 - Chorus 1 - Verse 2 - Chorus 2 - Bridge - Verse 3 - Chorus 3 - Outro

The intro starts with the piano line, then drums come in and after that, the main guitar riff begins. The bass line starts right before the first verse.

The main arpeggio riff continues through the verses. At the end of each verse, there is a guitar overdub, which is played as a long trill. In the second verse, the string instrumentation starts, reaching its peak in the bridge.

In choruses, there are two guitar overdubs besides the main guitar part. The main guitar part (which always performed live by Daniel Estrin) consists of power chords. One of the overdubs presents overdriven single notes, while the other one is an acoustic guitar part, which consists of chords.

The bridge and the outro of the song is essentially a variation of the chorus, so they are presented with the same guitar techniques.

Guitar lesson

This guitar lesson is in Portuguese, but easy to understand as it has corresponding tab notations.

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Bass covers

Bass cover performed on a 4-string bass.

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Bass cover performed on a 5-string bass.

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  1. 1 2 MTV.com "An the Reason Is ...? Hoobastank Singer's Not Sure"
  2. Youtube.com "Hoobastank 'The Reason' Interview Guitar Center Sessions on DIRECTV"
  3. Cryptic Rock. "Interview. Doug Robb of Hoobastank"