Let me take you back to 1997, when Monica Lewinsky was just an innocent White House intern and Harry Potter had just begun his life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You may also remember that this was the year when three brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma took over the pop charts with their international sensation “MMMbop”. Now, regardless of your previous personal encounters with this Grammy nominated track, you should know that the Hanson brothers have moved on from those pre-pubsecent young boys with terribly long hair. They have grown into fine looking young men, with an ever growing fan base.
All right, I’m glad we got that settled. Now let’s indulge in a brief history of Hanson. Isaac, Tayor, and Zac Hanson released seven albums, five under major record labels, between 1995-2000. Afterwards, the bombshell brothers sought creative freedom by starting their own independent label, which they eventually called 3CG records. Under 3CG records, the band has released three albums, the most recent being “Shout it Out”.
The record, which drops in Canada Spring 2012, has received praise throughout the music industry in both America and Abroad.
If you’re not familiar with the bands recent work, you might be surprised to know that the album is nowhere near the bubble gum pop genre that dominates the top 40 charts. Its rather fueled by their undying love for the blues and R&B that is synonymous with the 1950’s and 60’s. It’s soulful but not overly serious and evokes a maturity that could only come from a band who is soon approaching their 20 anniversary.
The brothers recently kicked off the Canadian leg of their Shout it Out Tour in Vancouver and the delightful Isaac Hanson (the eldest) graciously partook in an awkward conversation with a life long fan. My eight year old self is peeing herself right now. Seriously.
What shoes are you wearing right now?
Big snow boots by Sorel.
How have you guys coped with Canada’s wintry landscape? I heard your tour bus got stuck the other day?
There was a wrong turn and then because the bus is so large it was almost impossible to turn around. Unfortunately, we did take the risk of turning around and it didn’t work out so well…
Speaking of your tour, have you noticed a demographic change at your live shows since the 1990’s?
There’s no question that the initial fans that we connected with in the mid 90’s have stayed with us, but there’s been a lot of evolution and growth, and one of the big things I’ve started to notice is people discovering some of the new records and then going backwards. We’re also starting to see a healthy dose of young guys and girls between the ages of 16 and 19 coming to their first Hanson concert.
When you guys are on tour what’s one thing you can’t live without?
One thing I can’t live without on tour is my laptop.
Is that on tour or just life in general?
In general, yes that’s true. On tour… I’m going to go with a good pair of headphones.
How has your own musical tastes transformed over the years, from when you were a teenager to now?
I don’t think my musical tastes have changed almost at all. I think I may like stuff like AC/DC a little bit more now than I did when I was 12 years old. But most of the stuff I still listen to. Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Chuck Berry. A lot of 50’s and 60’s R&B and rock and roll, as well as a lot of other stuff that is a direct extension from that. There are new bands, like Coldplay, Muse, the Black Crows and Adele.
You have to understand that I’ve been a professional musician since I was 16 and an aspiring professional musician since I was 11, so I was a little bit of an early adopter of music.
I understand there is a new line of Hanson beer?
We didn’t quite expect people’s embracement of the idea. Obviously it’s tongue-in-cheek, you know with “MMMhop” that you’re not taking yourself seriously. But for us it makes a lot of sense, we appreciate a good pale ale. We’re planning on getting the beer out right in time for summer.
In America and hopefully in Canada as well as other places. One of the things that we’re working on is trying to make sure that the distribution is good enough. Originally the concept was mail order but now it looks like it might be a little bit more than that.
Is there one misconception that you want to set straight about Hanson?
Rather then addressing misconceptions, I will tell you what I think we are in some form or another. We’re a band from the Mid West of the United States that is inspired by R&B and roots music from the late 50’s and early 60’s. Somewhere in the zone of pop-rock or soulful pop. And we’re all songwriters and vocalists.
If you were going to create a Valentine’s Day mixtape for your wife, what song would be at the top of your list?
“She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel.
I know one thing that I’ve noticed growing up with you guys is that you all have perfect hair. Is this genetics or do you have a product that you can share with the world?
If you knew how much we don’t care about our hair, it would probably surprise you.
So there’s no product that you all use?
Shampoo that’s at a hotel. I will say that I don’t wash my hair regularly. It may sound gross but I don’t wash my hair for probably three days.
Best Hanson make out song?
I’m not sure we have a good make out song. Although there’s a song called “Love Song” on the second record that could probably fit into that sort of category. Something like “Save Me” would also work.
Are there any songs that bring couples closer together when your play live?
Well I have to say that unfortunately more often than not the ladies don’t calm down long enough during the show for that to happen.
I was reading that your recent Vancouver show had no ejections while the last one in 2008 had like 13.
I actually heard 16. Apparently we were trying to break a record last time.
In May it will mark Hanson’s 20 anniversary right?
Yes, and it will also mark the 15 anniversary of our album “Middle of Nowhere”, which was our breakout record.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stick to your guns just that much more.
Hanson will be touring Canada until mid February, check out the dates below.
February 03 – Winnipeg, MB
February 04 – Thunder Bay, ON
February 06 – North Bay, ON
February 08 – Ottawa, ON
February 09 – Belleville, ON
February 10 – Toronto, ON
February 11 – Montreal, QB
Who doesn’t love free shit? We have two signed copies of “Shout it Out”, which hasn’t been released in Canada yet, to give away. All you need to do is email clarkbsamantha(@)gmail.com and tell us about your first musical encounter with Hanson. Best answers win. Deadline is February 6 and Winnie will ship ANYWHERE.
posted by @clarkbs