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Join Hanson for a Live Video Chat on Feb. 9


Join Hanson for a Live Video Chat on Feb. 9
Image credit: Bobby Fisher
Whether you were a true Fanson or just had “MmmBop” stuck in your head for most of 1997, you know the band Hanson.

While their time as America’s teen heartthrobs may have faded, the Hanson brothers are hardly just sitting back collecting royalty checks — they’re entrepreneurs. They still release music on their own label, they’ve created their own beer festival and have their own craft brewery, MmmHops.

Lucky for us, Zac, Isaac and Taylor Hanson will be here on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. ET for a super fun video chat where they will talk about creativity in business, taking control of their brand and why they just didn’t become a flash in the pan.

You can leave your questions here or Tweet them with the hashtag #HansonChat. Make them amazing.

In the meantime, put this on blast, grab your Tiger Beat magazines and catch us here on Tuesday!


Hanson Could Have Disappeared. Here’s Why They Didn’t.


Hanson Could Have Disappeared. Here's Why They Didn't.

Image credit: Bobby Fisher

FEBRUARY 4, 2016
This story first appeared in the February issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Join Entrepreneur magazine in a live video chat with Hanson on Feb. 9, 2016. The Google Hangout on Air will stream live at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. RSVP here.

Hanson could have been a one-hit wonder. (Remember “MmmBop”?) But rather than quit after their star fell, they took full control of their brand. Now they’re music makers, festival organizers, beer brewers and marketing masters — and still have legions of fans.

How’d they do it? Check out our Q&A with the busy blond-haired brothers.

“MmmBop” was an international hit. But then your major record-label deal started falling apart. Was that when you realized that to have a long career, you needed to be entrepreneurs as well as artists?
Isaac: We were always a bit hard-nosed, despite our cheerful demeanor. Our first manager really pushed that we not sell our publishing rights, which is one of the earliest things an artist will do: They’ll sell in order to get a cash advance. The premise of anything you do — whether it’s writing a song or any business — is ultimately that it hinges heavily on your belief in the thing that you’re doing and promoting and selling. It’s a reflection of who you are in a very deep way. We looked at it as: We care about the future of what we’re doing. This is not just a way to make a quick buck, but it’s ultimately a life to be proud of.

Taylor: There’s an epidemic in the music industry, which is the idea that artists need all these other people to succeed. You need the manager, you need the label, you need the publicist. But artists of all kinds — designers, painters, everybody — are now seeing that they can be their own brand manager and marketer. The whole creative world needs artists to embrace that. They are the center of their business, not just the center of their art.
Related: Your Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success: Creativity, Beliefs and Purpose

Still, there was surely a lot you had to learn. How did you begin?
Taylor: Distribution of records, retail, radio, press — all that stuff is critical. But our strategy first and foremost was to support this idea that we want to have a hard-core base. We wanted to make the community bigger than us. We can’t be in people’s eyes and ears every single minute of every day, so how can we create a culture with a community that fuels itself?

Isaac: As an example, no matter whether we’re releasing a record or not, every year we put out an EP and it goes directly to the fan club. So fan club members can expect to get five songs from us, hell or high water. And there are various things that go along with that release — watching us make it [through video the band shoots] — that’s always creating content for the core base to talk about.

Taylor: The challenge of most artists is: Labels fight with managers. Managers fight with publishers. Publishers fight with artists. And what we’ve done is bring all of those pieces under our roof so they can all work together, so they’re not in competition with each other. We don’t have one side of our business trying to screw the other side of our business.

When we started talking, I assumed you would have felt like artists learning to be businesspeople. But it seems the inverse: You created a business that was informed by your needs as an artist.
Taylor: That’s a pretty fair assessment. The art is the commodity. That’s the bread. That’s what matters because that’s what created the relationship, the economy of Hanson. And the other stuff, you can learn.

So how did you transition out of pure art, and into products such as your beer?
Taylor: We like to move our focus into areas that create community and create self-identification so that our fans who love our music, who love what we’re doing, can identify themselves in ways outside of just the song. The beer is like the ultimate evolution of that kind of idea. It can stand on its own, outside of what we do, because it’s a whole other artisan business. That’s why it’s evolved more and more into creating its own identity, with things like Hop Jam, our annual beer festival, that stands around Hanson. We’re at the festival, but it’s its own party.

It also strikes me as a smart way to sell more things to your fans. They’ve already bought the ticket to your show, after all, and they can only own so many T-shirts.
Taylor: It’s a natural step to say we’re playing a show, we should have our beer there. One, because we know our fans are five times more likely to buy our beer than someone else’s. And music and beer create the DNA of a great event, so we use that combination as a way to create a secondary event: We’re deejaying and playing the after party ourselves.

When we started producing beer, it was weird: There’s a perishable thing that’s in stores! A song, there’s never a point in which it’s going to go bad. I think that’s a blessing from the point of view of the creative and business minds. You have to measure yourself within those parameters. It keeps you thinking.

So why call it MmmHops? Were you worried it would seem like a novelty product?
Taylor: It was a question of whether you call out the elephant in the room or wait for others to call it out. What we’ve done with MmmHops is actively and proactively tell people, “We are and always have been proud of who we are and our music — and by the way, MmmHops is the 20-year personification of that brand.”

Zac: And we wanted to cut off newspapers from titling their articles, “Mmm, Beer.” Because that’s not even a pun. Also, in the end, you know that the name will get more attention than if it’s just called Hanson Brothers Pale Ale.

On your last tour you did two nights in each city: The first show was covers. The second was your songs. Where do these ideas start — thinking about how to increase your returns on the road?
Isaac: Like anything, it has to start with, is this a good creative idea? If you’re not passionate about it, it will have great risk of falling flat on its face. So the idea was, hey, playing shows that talk about our musical influences sounds really fun. But there’s only so many songs we can play on a set list, so maybe we should make it two nights.

Zac: It’s about expanding the experience, about finding ways for people to identify with the band in different ways. This is an example of how that progresses. It has incredible value because you get to walk in to a promoter and say, “We’re going to be twice as valuable to you.” But it’s risky because in some markets, that might not work. So what we try to do with our audience is ask a lot of them, and in turn require a lot of ourselves. We’re not averse to risk because we feel like we have tried to cultivate a relationship where fans understand that these experiences may not be your average band experiences, but if you make the effort to show up, to give your paycheck to Hanson, that you’re going to get a great experience.

Do you think being an artist makes you more willing to embrace risk?
Taylor: I know a lot of artists who are extremely afraid of risk. That’s why some never change their style. But I think it might allow you to realize that the future could be almost anything. It’s not that the risk is any less scary. It still keeps you up at night. But you have the natural ability to see the new potential in things and believe in the opportunity because you spent so much of your life creating things seemingly out of nothing.

Isaac: Being an entrepreneur means being a creative businessperson. The most creative person is not the person who can come up with the best idea; it’s the one who can take that group of things on the table and assemble them in the greatest multiple of unique ways.

Hanson in brief:
Music: The band releases albums on its own label, called 3CG.

Festivals: The group organizes an annual Hanson Day in Tulsa, full of events and seminars; Hop Jam, a craft brew and music festival also in Tulsa; and an annual destination show, in which the band fills a resort in Mexico or Jamaica, produces a weekend of activities and even curates the menus.

Beer: Its flagship brew is MmmHops, available in 20 states and online.

One For The Road


(Photo Gallery at the source)

Back in 2010, I began sharing an inside look at life on the road inside of a HANSON tour with Paper readers and my good friends in the Paper family. This selection continues that humble tradition.

The tour that we just finished before the holidays was called the Roots and Rock n Roll Tour. This run of shows was focused on our musical influences and designed to give a special experience for fans with two consecutive concerts in each city. It also gave us a chance to record some of our favorite cover tunes both old and new for a special tour EP. This tour was another good excuse to appease my love of photographic journaling, set amidst the background of the urban trail.

Taking us to just 10 major cities, from NY to LA, hitting Dallas, San Fran, Chicago, Atlanta and Portland, the Roots and Rock N Roll Tour was great on many levels, complete with incredible sold out shows, after show dance parties with a short DJ set by yours truly and the premiere of our craft beer for the first time in many new places. It was a welcomed energy surge for us and the fans (I hope). Having been two years since our last tour, many of our most devout supporters practically toured with us, joining multiple concerts and camping out each night to ensure front row status.

Road existence is a mix of circus life and escapist glamour, emergency room triage and a family road trip (with extended relatives) — it’s not for everyone, but it is everything for those with itchy feet. In the pics you see a bit of the circus with street musicians, and dance parties, a bit of the emergency room triage merged with family roadtrip, as we waited roadside, when the band bus (uncommonly) was afflicted with flat-tire-itus and placed us in a This Is Spinal Tap moment. Throughout the photos you’ll find peppered in city skylines and some quiet hang time between destinations (and a visit to PaperRadio with Mr. Mickey and Drew), plus some pics of our one mile barefoot walks raising funds for our campaign to fight extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. In fact this tour brought some of the best walk events ever involving thousands of barefoot soles, something that made the tour that much more gratifying.

It’s virtually impossible to capture it all, but hopefully this selection give’s you a bit of a unique perspective on our circus of friends, and troubadours through the lens of this photo maven wannabe.

Photos by Taylor Hanson unless otherwise noted

Vanessa Carlton maps a new, more mature sound

Houston Chronicle

Hanson gets a mention in the Houston Chronicle’s article about Vanessa Carlton’s new, more mature sound:

Carlton plays two shows in Houston next week. She doesn’t run from her past as a young hitmaker; she still includes “A Thousand Miles” in some set lists. But after making three albums between 2002 and 2007 on a major label that was trying to re-bottle lightning, she’s since enjoyed more freedom to make music as she hears it.

Breaking associations with the past then becomes the duty of listeners. We sometimes throw musical babies out with the bath water, which is a shame. Daniel Johns has made amazing music with Silverchair since that band’s teenage arrival in the ’90s as grunge muppets. The voices of the three brothers in Hanson have aged into a beautiful Bee Gees-like harmony far more interesting and mature than the (admittedly still enjoyable) “Mmmbop.” The list goes on.

10 Things UNH Students Would Rather Be Doing Than Going Back to School

Charger Bulletin

My Alma Mater, UNH, has posted a list of 10 things students would rather be doing than going back to school… I was surprised that the second item on the list was:

Listen to “Mmmbop” on a continuous loop. I know it comes as a surprise, given that students were begging to “Stop the Bop” just a short while ago, but I bet they’d be singing a different tune if this option was on the table instead of going to class.

Good luck to all my fellow chargers as they start a new semester!

Marvelous Mark “I Dunno” (video)


Marvelous Mark"I Dunno" (video)

Mark Fosco may be best known as one third of Toronto punk supergroupMarvelous Darlings, alongside Fucked Up’s Ben Cook and No Warning’s Matt Delong. Earlier this month, though, he dropped a new solo record under the moniker Marvelous Mark, and now Exclaim! has got the premiere of his latest video.
“I Dunno” appears on Marvelous Mark’s recent LP Crushin’ and marks his first music video since he shared visuals for “Bite Me” back in 2014. The new clip features the musician sporting some feline-inspired facepaint and delivering the song’s lyrics into the camera, as clips of Hanson’s “MMMBop” video play behind him.
Blue lipstick, an evil eyeball and silly string deliver a hilariously weird update on a ’90s pop classic, and you can see it come together right now in the player below.
Crushin‘ is out now through Drunken Sailor Records.

Ranking the Best Boy Bands of the ’90s and ’00s


Boyband Fever

In the late ’90s and early ’00s, boy bands ruled all. Though these pop stars were preceded by the likes of the Beatles and followed by the mania that is One Direction, the trios, quartets, and quintets of the millennium have a special place in pop history. In honor of the 15th anniversary of O-Town’s debut album, check out EW’s ranking of the best of the heyday boy bands.

Slide 13 of 19

7. Hanson

Long before the Jonas Brothers, there was Hanson. Brothers Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson dropped their debut studio album Middle of Nowhere in 1997. Led by the famed earworm “MMMBop,” the album hit No. 2 and went multiplatinum. The group continues to perform decades later, going on regular tours and releasing albums every few years.


Marco’s Pizza Wants Your Vote for America’s Cheesiest

PR News Wire

CLEVELAND, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — It’s National Cheese Lovers Day.  And Marco’s Pizza is celebrating by giving away cheesy prizes in return for your vote on the cheesiest song, movie, band, celebrity, politician or pick-up line.  Post your vote on Marco’s Facebook page, and you could win a Big Cheese Pizza, CheezyBread, or a Big Cheese Party Pack for the Big Game.  Marco’s will tally up the posts and report on America’s take on cheesiest winners, who are also losers.

Based on initial social media polling, top contenders for cheesiest song include Hanson MMMBop, Vanilla Ice Ice Ice Baby, and James Blunt You’re Beautiful.  In the category of movies, potential nominees are Norbit with Eddie Murphy, Spice Girls in Spice World, andGrease 2 staring a young Michelle Pfeiffer Matthew McConaughey is receiving many votes for his Lincoln MKZ commercials.  However, Fabio who will likely receive a life-time achievement award for cheesiest celebrity.  For cheesiest politician, it’s a wide open field, but as in other polls, Trump has a strong lead.

For those who truly love cheese, as in the kind made with dairy, Marco’s Pizza is featuring The Big Cheese XL Pizza, made with five different types of cheese.  It’s a perfect way to enjoy National Cheese Lovers Day.

Marco’s Pizza was founded by native Italian, Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco in 1978.  Today, it’s America’s fastest-growing pizza company. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate more than 600 stores in 35 states and three countries.

Photo –

SOURCE Marco’s Pizza

Forgotten teen pop act: Hanson


Forgotten teen pop act: Hanson


1997 was the year of “MMMBop.” That song was all over the radio during that fateful year for Hanson, the makers of that song. The brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma did have a few more sizable hits after their monstrous debut, but they have rarely been seen or heard from on the main stage since 2004.

So what happened to the “MMMBop boys?” Well, to find out, let’s jump into the AXS time machine and head back in time to 1992, the year the brothers first hit the scene.

“Hanson” is made up of the Hanson brothers of Isaac (guitar, bass, piano, vocals), Taylor (keyboards, piano, guitar, drums, vocals), and Zac (drums, piano, guitar, vocals), and they began to sing a cappella to tracks like “Johnny B. Goode.” The brothers also recorded their own material, which they performed at the Mayfest Arts Festival in 1992.

Back then, they were known as “the Hanson Brothers,” and in 1994, they began to record two independent albums. The first one was 1995’s Boomerang, and the second was MMMBop, which was released in 1996. Little did the brothers known that the title track to the second album would go on to be their defining single.

Enchanted by “MMMBop,” Mercury/Polygram Records signed the group in ’96, and the brothers took the best tracks from their two indie albums and put them together to create Middle of Nowhere, their commercial debut, which was released in 1997.

“MMMBop” was everywhere that year, and the single topped the Billboard charts and went number one nearly worldwide. “MMMBop” pushed Middle of Nowhere to number 2 on the Billboard 200 and would go four-times Platinum. The brothers were one of the headliners of that year’s South By Southwest festival, and on May 6, Oklahoma’s then-governor Frank Keating declared “Hanson Day” in Tulsa.

Hanson was clearly enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, but that time would quickly fade away. Though their sophomore album, 1997’s Snowed In, went Platinum, the album wasn’t as successful as Middle of Nowhere, and Hanson’s profile slid even further when 2000’s This Time Around only manage to go Gold and just barely cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard 200.

One of the biggest reasons for Hanson’s commercial slide was due to the contraction of the “boy band era” in the early 2000s, and during this time, only the strong was going to survive, and Hanson was not among the genre’s strongest groups.

This was cemented in 2004, when their fourth LP, Underneath, basically crashed commercially (though it was critically praised). To be fair, Hanson has still managed to get their albums onto the charts, but not at the same veracity as Middle of Nowhere, and neither of their subsequent albums has yet to erase the stigma of Hanson being the “MMMBop Boys.”

Hanson is still together and recording today, and although “MMMBop” has become stuck in the lexicon of teen pop annals (and Hanson’s catalog), you can’t help but feel that the brothers from Tulsa yearning to be known for more than just that catchy slice of bubblegum pop.