In 1994, Doug Robb and Dan Estrin, who met at a musical contest, decided to create their own band. Douglas was a vocalist and Daniel played guitar. They posted an ad and found a drummer (Chris Hesse) and bass guitarist (Markku Lappalainen). The group was dubbed Hoobastank.
Initially, the band performed at the local Los Angeles clubs, where they were rather popular. In 1997, they recorded an EP Muffins.
By 1998, the band had enough songs to record an LP. They recorded and released it on their own. The name of the album was surprisingly long - They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To. It was fairly successful but didn’t make it into the charts. However, it resulted in a contract with Island Records.
In 2000, the musicians compiled an album, which they called Forward. However, the producer decided to put off the release date. It was a bad decision since the songs made their way to the Internet. The LP was never released.
In 2001, the group released Hoobastank. In just two months, it reached the 25th spot on Billboard 200 and went platinum. The singles "Running Away" and "Crawling in the Dark" became hits, reaching the 44th and 68th spot on Billboard Hot 100 accordingly.