Twenty years later, Hoobastank’s Doug Robb has almost certainly heard your “not a perfect person” joke


Hoobastank‘s 2003 album, The Reason, turns 20 on Saturday, December 9. The record spawned the RIAA quadruple-Platinum single “The Reason,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has recently found a second life on TikTok.

As for what made “The Reason” such a big and enduring hit, frontman Doug Robb is still looking for, well, the reason.

“The more I’ve tried to break it down in logical, scientific terms, the way I would normally do things, the more I kinda just go, ‘You know what? It was out of our control,"” Robb tells ABC Audio. “It was just an authentic piece of music in its writing, in its conception, in its recording.”

Still, at least part of the success of “The Reason” can surely be attributed to the song’s memorable opening lyric, “I’m not a perfect person.” But Robb says that even that line came up without any big story or inspiration behind it.

“It was literally me sitting on a couch, probably eating a sandwich, and going through old notes,” he laughs.

And if you think you’ve come up with the best “not a perfect person” joke over the last two decades, you can almost certainly trust that Robb has heard it before.

“Every time even something remotely similar to that phrase comes up and people are around me, they’ll look at me or they’ll joke about it,” Robb says. “‘Doug’s not a perfect person!"”

“It’s very low-hanging fruit,” he adds. “I don’t get annoyed by it, though. I mean, it’s too easy to not say.”

Hoobastank has released a vinyl reissue of the album The Reason in honor of its 20th anniversary. They’re also playing the album in full during a show in Los Angeles on Monday, December 11.

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