TMF Chad: I’ve done a lot of research on your other interviews so that I don’t ask you any questions that you’ve been asked a gazillion times before. ?MARKKU: Like “What does Hoobastank mean?” (laughs)
TMF Chad: Yeah exactly (laughs)
TMF Chad: Ok first, what’s the significance of the infinite symbol to your music and to your band?
MARKKU: Umm… there’s not really any significance. It was just kind of an artsy way to do the two O’s and it kinda just stuck and I guess now its just our little logo thing. Our little icon.
TMF Chad: Right right.
MARKKU: Nah, we’re a big fan of math, ya know…
TMF Chad: (laughs) Yeah, get the Pi symbol in there somewhere.
MARKKU: Yeah (smirks)
TMF Chad: When listening to your album “The Reason” what do you want your listeners to walk away with, or any of your music for that matter?
MARKKU: Just kind of like this positive feeling and vibe. It’s cool if people actually listen to the whole entire album, that would be nice too. A lot of albums they just listen to one or two songs off it; but, we’re not trying to be angry or mad or pissed off at the world or anything, we just try to have a good time and goof off and hopefully that will come out in The Reason.
TMF Chad: On your message boards, you guys post a new current issue topic for your fans to discuss. How and why do you think it’s important to get your fans involved in current issues?
MARKKU: It just gives them something to like talk about new stuff and feel like their like important or whatever, they’re definitely important, cause -don’t bite the hand that feeds ya kinda thing. Nah, if it’s just the same ol’ stuff that’s been up there then people are like “eh, what’s the point of even checking out the website” so it kind of updates and stuff. Me, I’m bad at it, I never go on it. Chris and Dan do. I’m not even sure if Doug even goes on the internet anymore. It’s just being lazy … there’s no time… nah, it’s just being lazy. But nah, we read all the E-mails and people can E-mail like me or anybody in the band and we pretty much write back ya know, Doug gets a shitload of them.
TMF Chad: Playstation 2 just came out with a game called Karaoke Revolution and your song “Crawling In The Dark” is on it. What was your initial response to being part of a major video game like that?
MARKKU: The funny thing is Doug and Chris did an interview and they actually had to sing and play the game. And I think Doug failed on the “Crawling In The Dark” I guess he didn’t pass or something, which is kinda funny. Nah, we’ve done a bunch of other video games like motorcycle games and a snow boarding game but um, it’s definitely cool. I like how video games now are putting out bands that, ya know good bands instead of like some stupid cheesy techno pop that sounds really bad.
TMF Chad: Exactly! What did you think about the band that covered your song for the game?
MARKKU: I haven’t even heard the music yet. It’s funny cause we went to a Karaoke place and they had like our song, and it’s weird hearing like a different version of it. It was like this lounge (sings doo doo doo) but it was kind of funny. That or when someone tries to do it on their cell phone, there’s like a downloaded cell phone ring… that’s kinda funny too.
TMF Chad: Being in such an original band, what do you think of bands that do cover songs as filler or as a hook for their album?
MARKKU: I think the band should at least have a couple albums down before they start doing cover songs. No Doubt is a perfect example, they came out with that Talk Talk song and it sounds great! I thought they did a great version of it. I just heard 311 did a cover of a Cure song which was pretty cool too. I dunno, cover songs can be cool. We’ve done a lot of cover songs. We actually did a cover song of Rod Stewart’s “Do You Think I’m Sexy.” Which actually sounds really good, but we were thinking of putting it on the album, but then were like “Nah, this sounds too cheesy.” But I think to get big off of cover songs, is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot.
TMF Chad: I find it real apparent that you find it important to stay in touch with your fans. Tell us why and how you do this.
MARKKU: It’s like I said before, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. If it wasn’t for our fans and people out there sporting our music, we wouldn’t be here ya know. And the whole downloading thing, people just think “Oh it’s just music,” but it hurts a lot of younger bands that are barely surviving out here. Especially if it looks like album sales aren’t doing too well in certain areas. Especially in Europe they download a lot because CDs are very expensive. And, labels will look at it and see “Well we only sold 3 albums there,” but you could have sold 30,000. And, it’s a lot of money to take guys out there and crew and ship all our gear… it definitely hurts. And, it hurts the mom & pop shops and it just trickles down there. I’ve like copied CDs and, people used to do that on tape. I think I’ve downloaded like one song cause I couldn’t find it anywhere. To me it’s just like, I don’t have the time to sit there. I think it kind of sucks, but I think if someone buys it and burns a copy of that CD, the technology is so good, it sounds pretty much exactly the same. Back in the day we used to do the tape to tape or tape shit off the radio and it sounds like shit. Nowadays it’s tough so I dunno, there’s going to be some kind of change in the future. Something’s going to have to break. Record companies are like struggling a little bit, all these people are moving around…
TMF Chad: Now you can buy music off the internet…
MARKKU: Which that is kind of cool, at least you can buy it… 99 cents or so…
TMF Chad: That kind of takes away from the artistry of the album and liner notes too…
MARKKU: Then again, I think there should be bands that fuckin’ produce good stuff. A lot of bands are just doing these one hit wonder type of things, which is definitely a good thing that they get the opportunity to do it, but they don’t have the opportunity to get that other song out there. Radio is just so hard to get on, it’s just impossible and there are just so many bands out there, and it’s just really difficult. It’s definitely a tough industry to survive in. Bands don’t make any money… just record companies and management. We pretty much don’t make anything off of album sales. It’s all touring and merchandise.
TMF Chad: I love the video for “Out of Control,” Can you tell us some of your experiences from making that video?
MARKKU: Yeah, I definitely got some bruised knees from the stage. ?
TMF Chad: Yeah, I was curious about the stage. ?MARKKU: Yeah, I was on this hydraulic lift. Which was really cool. Yeah it was fun, it was pretty hard to play on. Just movin’ around and just going nuts on it, it was kind of fun. We had that doggy cam that was like 40 lbs and running around the crowd getting knocked over and it was a blast. It was like, at least my funnest video. It was definitely tough. At the end of the day we were just like (sigh) Chris had it easy, he just had to sit down. But, running on that thing for 8 hours your legs are just burning and you’re sweating, it was tough.
TMF Chad: What makes you “Out of Control”
MARKKU: Like a pet peeve?
TMF Chad: Yeah.
MARKKU: The worst thing is when you get in an elevator and want to go to your room, and someone always pushed the lower room number, then ya gotta stop, wait till the get off, close the door, then you’re going down and someone stops and someone gets in the elevator. And it’s like AHHH! I get all pissed off on that one. Which is kind of stupid, but its the small things ya know (laughs)
TMF Chad: What’s the worst conditions you’ve ever had to go on stage with? ?MARKKU: We did a show, I think it was in Pittsburgh with Audiovent. It was like a festival and we had a side stage. And, it was pouring rain that night and we were just playing out in the rain. Static X was the closing band, and everybody’s hot and the steam is running off it, but it was so cold and your miserable you’re soaking wet everything’s dripping, guitar’s all soaked. It was a cool show, but it was like aw man… We did Atlanta when it was pouring rain too, the whole stage was flooded, all soaking wet. Good thing we haven’t had to play outside around here (Markku looks out the bus window at the four foot snow mounds surrounding the parking lot)
TMF Chad: (laughs) Yeah, we got two feet of snow just this morning.
MARKKU: Man, that’s ridiculous.
TMF Chad: In a lot of the footage I see of you guys, someone always has a camera of some sort. How important is it to you to document your experiences and special occasions?
MARKKU: It’s just another tool for the fans out there to have. I have fuckin’ cameras. I just wanna be on stage and play. But it’s fun, we’re goofin’ off and people can see how we kinda live our life. A lot of people think “Oh that’s great living and being in a band.” But it’s definitely tough too cause you’re never home and have you’re own bathroom. You pretty much see the guys 24/7 for well… this year it’ll probably 320 days out of the year so… it gets frustrating. But we’ve been together for 10 years and we kinda know how everybody is… which is a good thing too. But it’s good to show people.
TMF Chad: Ok, this is kind of a morbid question, but when you die, what do you want to be remembered for most?
MARKKU: Maybe my art, I do a lot of paintings and art stuff. Hopefully that will live on for a bit. It’d be nice if in 30 or 40 years if I ever kick the bucket someone will pick up a CD “ahh yeah!” Be on a “Where Are They Now” on VH1 or whatever. But yeah, I haven’t had time to do artwork on the road, but it’d be cool to get into a museum or something.
TMF Chad: Have you ever tried to incorporate your artwork into the liner notes? ?MARKKU: Nah, not really. My green Bass, I painted that one. I did all the artwork on that back in the days, that’s an old bass, like 12 years old. All beat up.
TMF Chad: In 60 seconds, give us your E! True Hollywood Story.
MARKKU: I’ll give you a day in the life of the Hoobastank guys. We wake up around 10 or 11, get to the venue, sit around, have some breakfast. Doug and I and Chris work out, sit around more, do an interview, do a show at 7:40, that’s about a half hour, get off stage, take a shower, sit around, maybe an after show meet & greet type of things, get on the bus, we leave around 12, we fall asleep around 2 or 3 at night, next venue we wake up again.
TMF Chad: If Hoobastank was a movie, give us your tagline
MARKKU: Tagline… “From the guys who brought you Crawling in the Dark and Running Away….. Hoobastannnk”
TMF Chad: If you had to lose one of your senses out of sight and hearing, what would it be?
MARKKU: It’d probably be hearing, cause being blind is pretty tough. Not seeing and not being able to travel would definitely be tough. It would definitely be hearing. I still love motorcycles and dirt bikes, and I’d still like to do that. But, that’s definitely tough. Being blind, I don’t know how people do that. Props up to that. I think they have some kind of shit now that they’re curing blind people. Or people that are clinically blind. Technology is coming up…
TMF Chad: But, you get to have a pet dog too.
MARKKU: Yeah, I love dogs too.
TMF Chad: There’s a contest on your website to win an autographed guitar. Is there any way to bump me to the top of the list? (laughs) Could you talk a little bit about it? Do you guys do contests often?
MARKKU: Yeah, sometimes. It’s just another thing for fans out there to get or win if they want it. I don’t even remember signing the guitar. What kind of guitar is it, do you have any idea? ?
TMF Chad: It just said ‘win a guitar’
MARKKU: Ah ok. Yeah it’s just something -lucky guy for whoever wins it. If they are a fan it’s kinda cool. I remember when I was younger -music was like … you see your favorite bands… one of my favorite bands was like Faith No More and Metallica and seeing them on stage you think they are like Gods, but being in this industry now, we get to hang out with 311, Incubus and kids are like “oh my god” and for us it’s just like work … it’s like “Hey what are you doing?” “Oh, let’s go golfing Saturday.” It’s a totally different aspect. Which kind of sucks because you lose that love of going to shows. I play shows every night so the last thing I wanna do is go to a concert. Unless it’s someone really good, I’d probably go check them out… someone like Faith No More or Neil Diamond. So yeah, you get kind of jaded doing the shows and the rock thing, but it’s kind of cool seeing a band and getting inspired.
TMF Chad: Have you guys ever gone snorkeling in an aquarium?
TMF Chad: If you had, would you be considered Hoobastank in a Scubatank?
MARKKU: Funny thing, at the Incubus tour, we’d always fuck our name up. Oopsmistake and Boobsandsteak and Scubatank. So we had all these goofy names for our band and like where our dressing room is, we’d always have a different name which was always kinda funny.
TMF Chad: Gotta keep a sense of humor.
MARKKU: Yeah of course, life’s too short so it’s all about having a good time.
TMF Chad: My last set of questions here are a word association.
MARKKU: Alright ?
TMF Chad: “Music”
TMF Chad: “Life”
TMF Chad: “Awesome”
TMF Chad: “Horrible”
MARKKU: Wow… that’s a tough one (laughs) horrible… wow you got me on that one. Horrible… TAXES.
TMF Chad: “Tom Cruise”
MARKKU: Ice Man. (laughs) That was his name, wasn’t it?
TMF Chad: Maverick.
MARKKU: Maverick that was it. Ice Man was the “You can be the wingman! I am dangerous” That was a great movie.
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