Taylor Hanson talks Time Out through the ‘Mmmbop’ boys’ new sound
It’s not just the iconic hairstyles that have changed since Hanson first blasted onto the pop scene in 1997 with the earworm that was ‘Mmmbop’. Their latest record, 2010’s Shout it Out – released this year in Australia – has been pleasing new and old fans with a new-meets-old sound: soulful, rhythmic, even funky, and with actual lyrics in the chorus. For an idea of just how different the record is, know that it debuted at number two on the USindie charts. Australia will get its first chance to hear the material live when Hanson comes this September for their first tour in seven years.
Hanson started writing Shout It Out while touring their 2007 disc, The Walk, and lead vocalist Taylor says it’s the most “holistic” and the least interfered-with of their seven releases. “There’s no co-writing with other collaborators as writers, no other producers, we produced the record [ourselves].” Listening to relentlessly upbeat horn-driven single ‘Thinkin’ Bout Something’, you can picture the brothers in the studio with nothing but their instruments having an unbridled good time.
But you might also notice a few horns and other instruments you’ve never seen the trio play – Hanson recently recruited legendary bassist Bob Babbett, one of Motown records’ original funk brothers, and award-winner Jerry Hey, for horn arrangements. “I think the additions added depth and purpose to the whole record and it really just reinforces the creative vision we were trying to capture – this very alive and punchy and honest record,” says Taylor. “But our inspiration goes back to classic rock’n’roll and we rekindled that flame. It comes through a lot more when you listen to this record from minute one.” ‘Thinking Bout Somethin’ is the embodiment that rock-meets-soul fusion: “It sonically sounds like its influences,” as Talor puts it.
For the past 20 years – yes, they’ve been at it for 20 years! – Hanson have had some of the highs and lows you expect of a group of guys who found success so young. Shortly after Middle of Nowhere, the record which featured ‘Mmmbop’, mergers forced them to join a different label, Island Def Jam, under which they struggled for years before leaving. But there were never public spats, solo careers or a split, and they’ve been working as independents for their own label, 3CG, happily, since 2003. Hanson have constantly been one unit, Taylor is proud to say, and that’s been part of their long-term success.
Of course, it’s hard to talk to the onetime teen sensations these days without asking about current teen sensation, One Direction, a group which formed in a far less organic way than Hanson (individual X Factorcontestants on one hand, brothers on the other). Taylor doesn’t have a lot to say, except that from One Direction to the Backstreet boys to Hanson hysteria, “you’ve seen it even all the way back [from] Elvis to the Beatles. Whatever chemical thing that goes on, it’s an innate kind of primal reaction.”
And when asked about another current music phenomenon – a relentless and lucrative parade of ’90s artist reunions – Taylor says the band’s sold-out shows are not the result of some sort of communal nostalgia, but owes to the tremendous and undying enthusiasm of Hanson fans worldwide, and in particular, in Australia. “It feels great to know that you’re able to have some connection that is lasting,” he says. “There is something that goes on with music and with audiences that is so special. With us, a lot of the fans that have stuck around [we] really respect it and admire that dedication, especially Australian fans. They’ve always been amongst the most active and the most engaged.”
And fans will have to fork out for tickets, Taylor is revealing no secrets or surprises about the upcoming show except for one clue: Aussie fans can look forward to additional tour dates based on how quickly shows sell out in selective cities. “Every show is different,” Taylor says. “We change it up, it’s going to feature some new music and it’s going to also highlight some songs from albums past.”
A second show has been announced for Tue 18 Sep. Tickets on sale Tue 1 May.
Australia has shown that its love for the brothers Hanson is as strong as ever with the sibling trio’s Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane shows in September selling out shortly after they were announced. The rest of the country isn’t far behind with all original shows looking due to sell out in the next couple of days! For those Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Hanson fans who missed out on the first round of shows the great news is that the brothers have scheduled a second round of dates to cope with the obvious demand.
Hanson will now play an extra show in Brisbane at the HiFi on the 11th of September, an extra show in Melbourne at the Palace on the 18th of September and in huge news for Hanson’s Sydney faithful an all ages show has been added at the Enmore Theatre on the 16th of September. Fan club pre-sale tickets for all new shows will go on sale on Monday the 30th of April at 9.00am, with general public tickets going on sale the following day, Tuesday the 1st of May at 9.00am.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson are household names in Australia and it’s no surprise – in 1997 one in ten Australian households owned a copy of the band’s smash album Middle Of Nowhere and the nation’s airwaves, hearts and minds resonated to the infectious sound of the band’s smash hit MMMBop. Now, after a 7-year absence, HANSON are back with a brand new album and tour that is sure to capture the attention and imagination of a nation that has always embraced the band as their own.
HANSON have been making music together for two decades. Fifteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fuelled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music, earning praise for their songwriting, musicianship and dynamic live performances, with New York‘s Village Voice calling them the “Finest Straight-Up Rock Band In America.”
Shout It Out Australian Tour 2012
Tuesday 11 September Hifi, Brisbane (New Show Added!)
Thursday 13 September HQ, Adelaide
Friday 14 September Palace Theatre, Melbourne (Sold Out!!!)
Saturday 15 September HiFi, Sydney (Sold Out!!!)
Sunday 16 September Enmore (All Ages Show) Sydney (New Show Added!)
Tuesday 18 September Palace Theatre, Melbourne (New Show Added!)
Thursday 20 September HiFi, Brisbane (Sold Out!!!)
Friday 21 September Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast
Saturday 22 September Metropolis, Fremantle
Irish boy band Westlife ousted BSB, and British group 5ive took out ‘NSYNC by an extremely thin margin.
Many other matchups went down to the wire, including New Kids on the Block, who narrowly avoided an upset by Take That. O-Town received a late rally from their fans, giving them the edge over the Jackson 5. New boy bands like One Direction, the Wanted and Big Time Rush will move on to the next round, but, as you can see, it seems as if no one is safe.
So who remains in the competition? Let’s take a look at the next round of matchups!
Westlife vs. O-Town: Westlife proved to be a real contender in this competition after beating the Backstreet Boys in round one. The group — which is about to kick off a farewell tour in May — seems to have a die-hard fanbase that may prove tough for O-Town to overcome. But don’t count them out just yet: They also had a tough first-round matchup in the Jackson 5, and fans may still be hoping for a reunion from these guys, since last year, four of the five original members announced they wanted to get back together.
The Beatles vs. New Kids on the Block: NKOTB barely made it through to the second round and now have to face an even tougher competitor: The Beatles. The New Kids had much of their success in the late’80s and early ’90s and have sold 80 million records worldwide. Pretty impressive, but the Beatles are known as the original boy band and are the best-selling band in history. Let’s hope NKOTB are “Hangin’ Tough.”
Jonas Brothers vs. Hanson: It’s not only a battle of the boy bands; it’s a battle of the brothers! Hanson and the Jonas Brothers will face off in a touch matchup in the next round. Both groups, consisting of three brothers, are known for their infectious pop hits and the fact that they all play their own instruments. Hanson received massive success in the mid- to late ’90s with single “MMMBop,” which hit #1 in 27 countries. After marriages, babies and several albums, the group is very much still together and will be touring this summer. With four LPs in just as many years, the Jonas Brothers have sold 8 million albums worldwide and became a household name after starring in two Disney Channel movies, “Camp Rock” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.” The guys took a break to work on solo projects but have been working on a follow-up to their 2009 album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times.
LFO vs. 5ive: Both of these boy bands barely edged out their competition, which should make for an interesting second-round matchup. 5ive found success overseas with 11 top 10 singles and four top 10 albums in the U.K. before they called it quits in 2001, and LFO became popular in the U.S. during the wave of late-’90s boy bands and had two top 10 hits, including “Summer Girls.” This one may go down to the wire again with both groups having very loyal fanbases.
The Wanted vs. the Monkees: British boy band, the Wanted have certainly gained momentum here in the States over the past few months. The group released a much-anticipated U.S. EP earlier this week and premiered the “Chasing the Sun” video on “MTV First: The Wanted.” They will have to see if this energy can carry them through when they face off against the Monkees. The group enjoyed success in the mid-’60s with their hit television show and songs like “I’m a Believer” and experienced a revival in the mid-’80s with a performance at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards. The band continued to tour off and on until 2011 but lost member Davy Jones earlier this year when he died of a severe heart attack.
Big Time Rush vs. Boyz II Men: Both of these groups easily made it past their first-round competition, but it will most likely be a closer matchup in round two. Big Time Rush may have a younger audience voting for them, since they gained success with their hit Nickelodeon television show. Boyz II Men, on the other hand, have longevity on their side, being that they are the most successful R&B group of all time.
One Direction vs. IM5: Even though both of these boy bands are relatively new to the music scene, it seems they already have a lot in common. One Direction were assembled by Simon Cowell on the U.K. version of “The X Factor,” and IM5 were recently created by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller, Perez Hilton and creative director and choreographer Jamie King.
NKOTBSB vs. Mindless Behavior: With the Backstreet Boys out of the competition, BSB fans can still vote for NKOTBSB. The New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys supergroup released a compilation album in 2011 consisting of each of their hit songs and two joint singles including “Don’t Turn Out the Lights.” The group is overseas on the European leg of their tour. But don’t ignore the power behind the fans of Mindless Behavior. The group, which has actually toured with the Backstreet Boys, just released the single “Hello” in March.
Voting in round two of MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands runs until noon ET on Monday, April 30. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite band made the cut, make sure you keep voting. Tune in to AMTV and MTV Hits for their boy-band video takeovers each day and make sure to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!
For the month of April, we will be doing a “Hanson 30 day Challenge” each morning we will post a topic and encourage you to leave a comment with your answer. This should be a lot of fun and we are looking forward to seeing all the answers for each topic!
Favorite song to listen to while you are driving