The mid-2000s were a different time. Hoobastank had a hit in 2003 with “The Reason,” and the band would follow The Reason the album by getting to work on Every Man For Himself, which came out in 2006. Around this same time, Rihanna was on her way to becoming a star, as her 2005 debut single “Pon De Replay” was a major success. Believe it or not, in this era, Hoobastank and Rihanna’s paths crossed when the two collaborated.
After Rihanna’s recent Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, Hoobastank singer Doug Robb tweeted, “True story. There is a version of a @Hoobastank song featuring @rihanna when she was a ‘newer’ artist. Displaying a total lack of foresight, we didn’t use that version of the song for the album. We also didn’t think The Reason was a single though either so… Oops.”
True story. There is a version of a @Hoobastank song featuring @rihanna when she was a “newer” artist. Displaying a total lack of foresight, we didn’t use that version of the song for the album. We also didn’t think The Reason was a single though either so…Oops pic.twitter.com/NjIAj4IMGM
— Doug Robb (@HoobaDoug) February 14, 2023
Robb later expanded on that story, telling Consequence:
“Back when we were recording our third album, Every Man For Himself, we were approached by someone at our label, Island Def Jam, about potentially featuring a ‘new artist’ on one of the songs. This kind of stuff happens all the time. We said, ‘Sure. Who do you have in mind?’ It was Rihanna. I had never heard of her. I don’t think anyone else in the band had, either, at the time.
We gave her camp a song called ‘Inside Of You.’ I think they rearranged some of the music to create a pre-chorus section, that wasn’t originally part of the arrangement, for her to sing a small part on. We heard it and didn’t really love it so we passed on using it. It’s really just that simple. I think we had already gotten used to hearing the song as it was written so it just felt weird to us. […]
I think if we had done a proper collaboration with her, writing the song knowing there was gonna be another artist on it and making space for it, we probably would have felt differently and used it. I think the way we did it was just wrong. The paint had already dried so to speak. Well, it was that, plus a stunning lack of vision to see what a star Rihanna was going to be. […]
We’d run into her at various award shows after and she was always very sweet and super cool. I think everything worked out ok for her in the end. [crying laughing emoji].”
As Robb famously sang on “The Reason,” “I’m not a perfect person / There’s many things I wish I didn’t do.” For example: turn down a Rihanna collab.
Listen to the Rihanna-less “Inside Of You” below.