Hoobastank's Doug Robb: 10 records that changed my life

Since forming the band in 1994, Hoobastank frontman Doug Robb has expertly guided his post-grunge quartet from their early days of unapologetic Mike Patton worship to becoming one of the biggest rock bands in America. 

Having enjoyed considerable success since the chart-breaking performance of 2004 single The Reason, the band have been largely dormant since the release of 2012's Fight Or Flight. Now returning with their sixth studio album, Push Pull, the band honour Robb's Patton fixation with the appointment of Faith No More producer Matt Wallace behind the production desk, and polish up their trademark sound with the addition of both modern funk and a generous dose of glistening pop gloss.

Here, Robb takes us through the 10 albums that influenced him and his band's evolving sound over the years.

Van Halen - Diver Down (1982)

"This was the first 'album' I bought with my own allowance money. A friend from school had turned me onto the band. When I realised that the song Cathedral was actually a guitar, I was blown away. It literally started my love of playing guitar. It also was the start of my love for Van Halen. I subsequently bought all the albums they put out from Van Halen I through 1984 and followed them through the 'Van Hagar' years. My favourite Van Halen album is actually Fair Warning, but Diver Down was what started it all for me."

Metallica - And Justice For All... (1988)

"My first foray into heavy metal. I was obsessed with the song One. I had never heard anything like it – especially the ending. So heavy. So powerful. So dark lyrically. It was one of the first songs I learned how to play on guitar. This album opened the door for me to fall in love with Metallica’s entire catalog, eventually trying to learn how to play all their songs on guitar."

Faith No More - Angel Dust (1992)

"I had already loved their previous album The Real Thing and was very excited to hear what direction they were going to go with the second album. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think, but after a few listens I was hooked. They could’ve played it safe but they didn’t. It was like a huge middle finger to the critics' expectations. I loved it, still do. This album single handedly had the most influence on my desire to sing and my singing style overall, especially early on. I love the fact they can bounce between a song like Jizzlobber and a song like RV. One is super heavy, dark and frantic while the other is sarcastic, self loathing and piano-driven. It’s a masterpiece and probably has influenced more bands than most casual music listeners would ever realise."

Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)

"Up until Nevermind came out, I had grown up on a steady diet of Metallica, Van Halen and other bands that played music that showcased the band members' incredible musical skills. Basically, shredders. Therefore, I had never dreamt of becoming a professional musician – I didn’t have the discipline to become what I thought was required to be one. So when I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio, I freaked out. So much power; so much energy. I immediately bought the album and was changed. It opened my eyes to a new way of conveying energy and emotion through music. It made me feel like I didn’t need to be an incredible guitar player or know how to play a shredding solo to be a professional musician even though all the members of Nirvana respectively were insanely talented at what they did."

Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle (1991)

"I was in high school when I was introduced to Mr. Bungle by a friend who already knew I was a huge Faith No More fan. I remember thinking it was the strangest music I’d ever heard. I was already a fan of Mike Patton and this was a whole other side and style I’d never heard from him. It was fun, offensive, dark and chaotic. It was the blueprint for what I wanted my band to sound like once we started rehearsing. It greatly shaped our band’s early years."

Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape (1997)

"For the first few years of the band’s existence we played a blend of heavy riffs, funk and ska. Songs were long and meandering in nature – not too dissimilar to Mr. Bungle. When I first heard this Foo Fighters album, it was so good. So focused. So to the point. It really helped me understand the craft of songwriting better. Everlong and February Stars, to this day, can still give me goose bumps. I wanted our band to start writing songs like these. It was a catalyst for change in our bands song structure and over emotional vibe."

Fiona Apple - When The Pawn... (1999)

"Lyrically, this album, and pretty much all of her albums, is what I think lyricists should aspire to. She paints images so cleverly and yet so emotionally heavy. Combined with her unique voice and delivery and you have the recipe for some powerful music. This album made me see that music could be heavy without any distorted guitars. It’s weighty, deep, relatable and was my companion through some tough relationship times."

Pearl Jam - Ten (1991)

"The first song I heard off of Ten was Even Flow. There was something about that chorus melody and its harmonies that made the hair on my arms stand up. I think I listened to that song 50 times on a weekend snowboarding trip – I went and bought the album shortly after. Eddie Vedder’s emotional delivery and voice had me hooked. One of the first bands that I would sing along to in the car as loudly as I could. Of course, I was always alone. Strangely it kind of showed me what I was capable of singing. Where my voice was strong and where it sucked. It planted a seed that 'maybe I could be a singer?'"

Radiohead - OK Computer (1997)

"Up until this album, all I had really known of Radiohead was the song Creep (which was amazing, by the way). I knew a little of The Bends, but not much. I feel like this album bridged the gap between my 'teenage' musical taste and my 'adult' musical taste. Paranoid Android was a modern day version of Bohemian Rhapsody to me. The tones of the drums and guitars were different than anything I had been listening to at the time. The vocals were haunting and perfect for the songs and the times. I think I sat around with my guitar, playing and singing Karma Police for an entire summer, much to the annoyance of those around me. It marked another shift in the direction of what would inspire me as a singer and where i wanted the band to go musically."

Tool - Ænima (1996)

"Already a huge fan of Tool’s first album Undertow and their EP Opiate, I remember ditching class and sitting in the local Tower Records parking lot, waiting for it to open so I could buy the new album, Aenima. Every song on this album is epic. Tool has a way of taking the listener on a journey with each song and there’s always a point in each song where it comes to an emotional climax. It’s instant goosebumps every time. Stink Fist, Eulogy, Hooker With A Penis and Aenima are not only some of my favourites on the album, they are some of my favourite songs of all time. This album always makes me want to be a better songwriter."

Hoobastank's new album, Push Pull, will be released on May 25 via Napalm Records. It is available for pre-order now. Check out the video for latest single, Push Pull, below:

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.