Considering he fronts a band with a pretty juvenile name, Hoobstank lead guitarist Dan Estrin has a very mature outlook on his band’s music.
  “People don’t realize we’ve been together as a band since 1994,” said Estrin, conversing with Up & Coming Weekly via a cell phone as the band travels in support of its new CD, Fornever. “We are all older and write songs from a different perspective … a more mature perspective.”
  Local fans of the post-grunge superstars will get a gander at Hoobastank’s “maturity” when the band plays Jesters Pub on March 12 … the group’s first-ever stop here at the home of Fort Bragg.
  “Our new album has heavier themes… it’s about relationships … the good and the bad,” said Estrin. “It’s definitely a little different from what we’ve done in the past.”
  Not that Estrin has to apologize for any decisions the band has made career-wise: the band’s self-titled first album went platinum, while 2004’s The Reason was certified double platinum. The latter was a blockbuster that earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album, and its mega-huge title track garnered Grammy nods for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group. The track was also an international smash that rocketed to No. 1 on the Modern Rock, Adult Top 40 and Top 40 Mainstream charts and No. 2 on the Hot 100.
  {mosimage}While it offers the benefit of more mature songwriting, Estrin says the band’s latest, Fornever, also returns to the rock roots of those aforementioned heavier smahes.
  “The songs have been really well-received on the road,” said Estrin. “The fans seem to really dig them.”
  One of the songs generating a lot of positive response on the current tour is “So Close, So Far” — a song sure to strike a note with the band’s Fayetteville fans as the subject matter of the ballad concerns a soldier being stationed in a combat zone away from his family.
  In fact, the opening lyrics just might have the military spouses in the audience reaching for the Kleenex box as they flick their collective Bics in true rock crowd style:
  “I wake up all alone, somewhere unfamiliar.
  Been gone so many days, I’m losing count.
  When I think of home, I see your face.
  I know I have to wait…”
  “Yeah … I expect the military crowd in Fayetteville will really identify with it,” said Estrin. “Everybody likee it everywhere we’ve played it.”
  Not only will local music fans get lyrics to identify with, they’ll be seeing a band at the top of its game; after an 18-month layoff, Hoobstank has been touring arenas with 3 Doors Down and Seether, and, according to Estrin, is “energized” to be back on the road in front of sell-out crowds, playing enormous venues. However, Estrin says the band is also looking forward to the smaller setting of Jesters.
  “There’s something to be said for playing before just 500 or so people,” said Estrin. “It’s more intimate … There can be more of a connection with the crowd.”
  While local fans may get a kick out of “So Close, So Far,” nationally, the self-motivational anthem “My Turn” is climbing the charts like a chimp on amphetamines — the track has already gone to No. 6 on the Alternative chart.
  The video for “My Turn” is also drawing lots of chatter. Designed to be viewed online, the “My Turn” video has the look and feel of a video game, complete with different characters and varying scenarios. Wearing different costumes and swapping instruments, each member of the band performed and was shot individually against a green screen. Together with a gaggle of guests (bikini models, senior citizens, lead vocalist Doug Robb’s mother and father-in-law, among others), the band created a video that’s truly unique — one that offers fans a new experience with each viewing.
  You can check out the video, plus several of the band’s downloads on its MySpace page, www.myspace.com/hoobastank. Tickets for the show at Jesters are $25. For more information, call Jesters at 423-6100 or check out the club’s Web site, www.jesterspub.com.

Contact Tim Wilkins at tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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