Hoobastank Take Control

Cali rockers ready new album, teach Velvet Revolver Pro Tools

Southern California rockers Hoobastank are recording the follow-up to their mutli-platinum 2003 effort, The Reason, in time for a November release.

According to frontman Doug Robb, those expecting the quartet to repeat themselves will be in for a surprise. "Everyone was saying 'What could be the next thing?'" says Robb of following the success of the last album's title single. "All of us were like, 'Who knows? Who cares?' We don't write that way. I like to be able to do whatever we feel like and not be pigeonholed into a certain style of song over and over again."

Hoobastank started writing for the as-yet-untitled release while on the road supporting rock supergroup Velvet Revolver earlier this year. Practicing and recording their ideas on a daily basis caught the attention of the metal headliners, who told Robb they were inspired by his band's diligence.

"We have a traveling recording/Pro Tools rig, and we set it up in dressing rooms and at rehearsals," he says. "And every once in a while, Duff [guitarist McKagan] and [guitarist] Slash would walk in and start listening and go, 'Damn, this is cool. How do we get one of these?' They wanted to start writing on the road too. About halfway through the tour, they had the stuff, and they were coming to us to ask us how to use the equipment."

Though they've been on a mammoth trek for the last few months, Hoobastank have been taking flights home to Los Angeles on Mondays in order to hit the studio with producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, P.O.D.), who also produced their last effort. So far Robb says the band has sixteen tracks they are narrowing down to a dozen, including the titles "Inside of You," "Born to Lead," "If I Were You" and "The First of Me," all of which tackle more mature themes.

"I look at this record, and it's just got truth," he says. "There are definitely some politically inspired songs here. I think the general theme is taking control of your own life, knowing what your life is about, knowing it's all in your hands, and if you want something you've got to go and get it."