Music history is littered with tales of shoulda, coulda, woulda. But after Rihanna soared to new heights during her instant-classic Super Bowl LVII halftime show one of the least likely headlines to emerge in the wake of her performance linked the singer to the last band on Earth you’d imagine.
“True story. There is a version of a @Hoobastank song featuring @rihanna when she was a ‘newer’ artist,” tweeted the California nu-metal band’s singer, Doug Robb on Tuesday. “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.”
The accompanying video mashed up a clip of Rihanna’s halftime extravaganza with ‘Stank’s hit “Crawling in the Dark.” After a fan asked, Hobbs said the unreleased version was for the song “Inside of You,” the second single from the group’s third album, Every Man for Himself. When another wondered if it would be kosher to release it now as a bonus track, Robb said, “not sure.”
Robb also did an interview with ALT98.7FM radio host Ted Stryker elaborating on the story. He said during the sessions for Every Man, their label Island/Def Jam — Rihanna was signed to Def Jam at the time — approached them asking if they’d be up for including one of their new acts on a song. “Which is pretty common… we’re like, ‘cool, sure, like, what song?’,” he said they asked.
They landed on “Inside of You,” which the band sent to RihRih’s camp back in 2005. “They chopped it up and rearranged some parts because it wasn’t written as a duet or anything, so they had to extend some part and they sent it back and they basically put this pre-chorus where Rihanna wrote some new lyrics and sang a melody,” he said. The group listened to it and because they were so used to hearing it the way they originally wrote it, “nobody really loved it.”
Robb said they ran into Rihanna a few times during that album cycle and she was always, “super cool and so there was never any hard feelings.” And, believe it or not, Robb said they don’t regret saying no to the feature. “I don’t think anybody loved it at the time,” he said, admitting that he hasn’t listened to it in years, but that the subject comes up every once in a while and they all have a laugh about it.
“‘Dude, can you believe we nixed Rihanna on one of our songs?’,” Robb said the band’s members ask each other.
Check out Robb’s tweets below.