Established musical groups like Hoobastank can afford to use their own judgment when it comes to the types of performances they play and how they engage with fans. The American rock band, which formed in Agoura Hills, Calif. In 1994, have so far chosen not to perform virtually during the pandemic, instead waiting for the right opportunity if not a quicker return to events in direct, in person.
Despite Hoobastank’s hiatus from appearances over the past year, the group is committing fans to record numbers on TikTok. The group were recently inspired to join the video app after their 2004 track “The Reason” (The reason) started out trending (#NotAPerfectPerson) with now over 404 million views with the song used in over 60,000 videos, signaling that the platform can be just as powerful for aspirants and big names.
“We didn’t even have a TikTok account until a few days ago,” says Doug Robb, singer and founding member of Hoobastank. “Friends and people we know just started hitting us saying our song was over there, and obviously the numbers caught our attention.”
The band quickly recorded and posted their first TikTok video, a humorous sketch that makes fun of the name chosen by the group. Robb says the post is a success, now garnering over 2.1 million views, because it is genuine in the sense that he and his bandmates are still joking with each other in real life.
Although “The Reason” was released 17 years ago, the group had more than 1.6 million views in less than 48 hours after launching their account. They also totaled over 150 likes per minute in the first day and now have over 69,500 subscribers.
Hoobastank celebrates this year the 20th anniversary of the release of its eponymous debut album, Hoobastank. The overnight resurgence of “The Reason” on TikTok calls attention to this milestone. While the group was initially hesitant to use the platform, Robb says the positive outcome has been “surprising and cool.”
“We’ve been around long enough to discover both the pros and cons of social media,” says Robb. “TikTok is an opportunity to reach a much younger population, and as a band we were looking for an outlet that wasn’t that serious. We take our music seriously, but as a band we never took ourselves. too seriously… maybe it’s just the opportunity to be ourselves.
Robb says that regardless of the social platform, authenticity is the key to music’s artistic and commercial success. For his group, TikTok is helping bridge the gap between longtime fans and new fans, especially those looking for nostalgic tunes now in times of uncertainty.
“It’s interesting to see people’s comments about how old they were when this song came out, or what it reminds them of, because it reminds me of the bands that have held this place in my life,” and how important they were and are. Thinking that someone could make us look the same is really cool.
TikTok is a powerful discovery tool for artists at all levels, according to Allie Gruensfelder, vice president of music entertainment marketing agency Trendsetter. His company works with Hoobastank and also the Vitamin String Quartet, best known for her modern pop and rock covers of Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next”, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featured on Netflix
Before Bridgerton, the Los Angeles-based quartet was created but works with Gruensfelder to promote his classic covers to a new audience through influencers on TikTok and Instagram. The group was successful, and after the Bridgerton (Netflix Original Series Covers) – Vitamin String Quartet, Kris Bowers and Duomo EP release of the soundtrack, the ensemble enjoyed a 350% increase in feeds on demand-side platforms and increased the number of monthly listeners by more than 50% on Spotify and Amazon Music
“In almost every article on the Netflix show there was mention of the embedded music,” Gruensfelder said. “This opportunity really allowed us to introduce more of the Vitamin String Quartet as the conceptual group behind the soundtrack. Connecting those dots and sharing non-Bridgerton tracks with a new captive audience is very powerful.”
Robb says he and the other members of Hoobastank have compiled and digitized footage from past tours that will be used to create some kind of anniversary compilation this year. With the success of TikTok on its side, the group may well exceed expectations.