When it comes to music, Cody Hanson has an open mind.

The drummer for the hard-rock band Hinder grew up in Oklahoma thinking he didn’t like country music — it was what his parents liked. He liked rock and rap.

But now that he makes music for a living, Hanson likes country, even the new country that everybody tells him he’s not supposed to like.

And he never knew much about the dramatic ’70s prog-rock outfit Styx until he saw the band play in Pittsburgh earlier this year. Now he’s a fan.

A big fan.

“We were in town to play the NHL’s Winter Classic, and Styx was there, and they were badass,” said Hanson. “I knew a ton of their songs, even though I never realized that was them.”

Hanson brings that same idea — that good music defies labels and genres — to his job as a songwriter for Hinder. And he’ll be putting his drumming talents on display Wednesday, when Hinder plays the State Theatre in Portland. Saving Abel and My Darkest Days open.

“A good song is a good song, no matter what style you play it in,” said Hanson. “We’re a straightforward rock band, and we don’t try to focus too much on any one style.”

Speaking of open minds, how many bands let the drummer write songs? Hanson also plays guitar, and writes many of Hinder’s songs with singer Austin Winkler.

Hinder formed in the early 2000s, when Hanson and guitarist Joe Garvey were attending college at the University of Central Oklahoma near Oklahoma City. They met Winkler at a party.

“We went to a party, and Austin was singing in a cover band,” Hanson said.

And the band members still like to party. Hanson remembers playing Portland once when Kelly Clarkson was doing a show the same night.

At about the same time that some young girls were walking to Clarkson’s show at the Cumberland County Civic Center, Hinder bassist Mike Rodden came out of the band’s bus naked. “He was hammered,” Hanson said.

Hinder’s first full-length album, “Extreme Behavior,” came out in 2005, and the single “Lips of an Angel” reached the top 10 on various charts. In 2008, the band came out with “Take It to the Limit,” which sold well but didn’t have the impact of the first album.

The third album, “All American Nightmare,” came out in December, and showed the band’s musical range.

“We had some songs on there that were some of the heaviest we’ve ever done,” said Hanson. “But we also have some that were fun, just funny, like “Hey Ho,” which was about hip-hop chicks.”

Hinder’s popularity has helped it land some high-profile pop-culture gigs. In 2008, the band’s cover of the Steppenwolf rock classic “Born to Be Wild” and an accompanying video was used by the TNT cable network on its summer NASCAR racing series.

In January, the band played the NHL Winter Classic, an annual outdoor hockey game that’s nationally televised on New Year’s Day, and the title track from “All American Nightmare” was featured on the CBS TV drama “Medium.”

For their latest album, Hanson said band members wrote about 70 songs, recorded 50, and then cut that down to the 12 on the album.

“It just turned out to be a lot of fun,” he said.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]