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News Roundup – The Hop Jam


Some articles from around the web that talk about Hanson’s Hop Jam Festival.
Introducing Hanson’s The Hop Jam (Pollstar)
Hanson Introduces The Hop Jam Craft Beer and Music Festival (Paste Magazine)
Hanson announce craft beer festival (Complete Music Update)
Hanson Throwing Downtown Beer, Music Festival (Tulsa News Channel 8)
Hanson launching own beer and music festival (
Beer and music festival to be launched by Hanson  (Female First UK)

Taylor mention on


Get Jared Leto’s Hair

With our male hair crush hitting Aus this week, what better time to recreate his awesome ombre locks?

It was that ashy golden blonde only achievable by genetics. Thick, glossy locks that fell just-so. I was nine, and I wanted that hair. I am of course talking about Taylor Hanson, lead singer of nineties pop legends, Hanson. He had the most beautiful hair I’d ever seen, but no amount of lemon juice (the only colouring product I was allowed at that age) would turn my brown hair blonde. Sigh.

For those of you too young (or too cool) to have grown up singing MMMBop, you may be experiencing your first male hair-crush in Jared Leto and his similarly gorgeous mane. Like the rest of the world post-Oscars.

Jared’s hair is the perfect mix of ‘I woke up like this’ and salon-esque shine. There is even a Tumblr dedicated to it ( And with the multi award winning actor hitting Aussie shores this week with his band 30 Seconds To Mars, what better time to recreate it? Luckily it’s totally doable. Here’s how…

The colour: according to his stylist Chase Kusero, Leto has been growing out an ombré dye job for several years. If you’re in the same, dedicated boat – ideal. But if not then this is easy to fake using the L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombrés ($19.45). Just be sure to follow the instructions on the box.


The shine: For Jared’s hair-so-shiny-McConaughey-could-see-his-reflection-in-it you could pop into the salon for a gloss treatment, O&M’s Liquid CCT gloss is divine. Or for an at-home fix, rub two or three pumps of Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Classic Shine Gloss Serum ($15.99) through the lengths and ends of your hair post blow-dry.


The style: Jared rocked second-day hair at the Oscars, with a few extra bends. ‘Bending’ with your hair iron is something between straightening and curling. Firstly, spray a light heat protectant (like label.m Heat Protectant Spray, $34.95) over your ends then run your straightener through your hair to knock out any natural waves. Turn your wrists at the ends to create the bends. Remember the aim is to achieve polished kinks, not curls. And centre part. Always.

Now for that goatee…

(Too far?)


The AU Review

Yesterday, many thought it was an April Fools Day joke when it was announced the Tulsa trio would be returning to our shores with their new album Anthem and pop shows that have managed to sell out Australian venues solidly on their last trip over on 2012. It’s real though and as the eldest Hanson brother Isaac relates, it’s been an announcement which had been a little while in the making.

“It was number one on our priority list.” he asserts. “There was a little bit of a delay in making the announcement and we were pulling our hair out going, ‘This is not gonna happen, we’re gonna get ourselves back to Australia…’. So there was a little bit of a delay, but we’re really excited about the fact that now, here we are, getting this record Anthem out, and getting the announcement for the shows that we’re coming to do in August. Australia has consistently been an amazing place for us release records and do shows. We have just awesome fans in Australia, from the very beginning.”

Last seen out this way with their acclaimed studio record Shout It Out, Hanson have been hitting touring circuits across the globe hard since, only taking some months off to write and record album number nine, Anthem. It really doesn’t seem like it was that long ago I was gleefully singing along to “If Only” in a packed out venue of fellow 20-somethings, indulging pre-teen fantasies to the greatest degree. Isaac reflects on the tour, the fact that there is still a fiercely loyal Hanson fan base actively supporting him and his brothers not escaping him for one minute.

“It is surprising that the screaming, despite the years going by, the screaming has maintained a real presence!” he chuckles. “Not that I mind that, you know? I think we’re very lucky that…I mean, there is a screaming and intensity to the audience, but I have never taken for granted how cool it is. It’s not just the screaming, but it’s the singing along that is so cool and unique. I think there are very few people who get the opportunity as a band to have fans around the world who are so aware and connected with music that, no matter where you go around the world, the whole entire crowd is singing along from song to song. It doesn’t matter what record it is you’re playing. We’ve had a unique circumstance where that has maintained to be the case. Whether we’re on top of the charts at that moment, or whether we’re passing through on some random gig, there is a connection to the band that I don’t know we can fully take credit for, but I am perpetually humbled and excited by that reality.”

“The truth is, the title for this latest record actually came from that experience, that live show experience. The word anthem means song that rallies a group of people behind a cause or event, you know? For us, there was something about the word ‘anthem’, because it was indicatively musical and there was something about the word that was uniquely appropriate to that kind of experience that we’ve had as a band, playing shows with this incredible audience that we’ve been so lucky to have, year in and year out. Hopefully, after people see the show, they’ll feel similarly!”

Anthem, which was released through the US and Europe midway through 2013, will get an Australian and NZ release at the end of the week (April 4th), so by the time Hanson arrive for their August tour, not only will fans have had ample opportunity to purchase and flog it hard (if they haven’t already), but the hype surrounding their popular live shows will also snowball. The band’s New Zealand tour date will also mark the first time the brothers will have played in that area of the globe, a milestone Isaac is keen to get around to.

“We’re really excited about that, it’s going to be a great experience for us. We’ve been, over the years, introduced to a lot of Kiwis as we’ve found our way around the world, whether it be in Australia or whether it be in the United States. We’re really excited about the opportunity to finally get over to New Zealand and it’s going to be a lot of fun to see it as a country that we have not had the chance to visit before! Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunities here and there to actually really play shows in previous tours in places like China, for the first time. In places like Korea or Indonesia or the Philippines. It’s nice to get to a new place!”

The record, which Isaac notes as being considerably different to previous Hanson efforts, charted at #22 on the Billboard charts upon its release – the eighth Hanson record to chart within the Top 40 of the US Billboard 200. For a band entering their 22nd year in 2014, maintaining this kind of consistent momentum – especially as a live touring band – is a feat in itself.

“We’ve been very, very lucky that we have survived as well as we have.” Isaac agrees. “I often say that careers don’t look like a straight line up or a straight line down, they look like a roller-coaster. You never really know what to expect and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with what has happened with the last few records. Being able to get back to Australia in 2011 with the Shout It Out album and then being able to get the tour announced and have it be as complete as it is, hitting the majority of Australia is pretty cool.”

“Even though we’ve visited Australia quite a few times, actually, the proper kind of touring where we were doing ticketed shows in theatres or bigger clubs or whatever…we’d actually done a lot less touring than you might think. It wasn’t really until 2003 that we did any proper gigs in Australia, even though we’d visited a couple of times. There was one show, if I remember correctly, that was outside…it was a promotional show, a free show of sorts in Brisbane, that was a unique one of its kind. We didn’t do a whole lot of other stuff like that and then, in 2003 and 2004, we did pretty extensive touring of Australia. It’s nice to continue this and it’s nice to continue to strengthen the market and follow up with a new record, two and a half years later!”

On the creative dynamic between himself and his younger brothers, Isaac is open about how different a recording process Anthem proved to be. Remembering that this is a band of musicians who have been commercially successful since their youngest member was 10 or 11 years old, it would be understandable to think that matured individual ideas or tastes would factor into the way a band would produce music beyond their teens.

“This record was actually a little more of a challenge to get made than any of us thought it would be.” Isaac admits. “We came off of the Shout It Out tour pretty invigorated with excitement over what the future might hold creatively and locked headlong into what ended up being, unfortunately, a very contentious circumstance between the three of us. I think we all underestimated the situation we were in, with all kinds of competing factors – some of them personal and some of them being just downright exhaustion! This record took a little bit longer to actually get done than we had actually planned on it taking, but nonetheless, it’s allowed for us to do a much better job on making sure that our fans have been able to get the exposure to the music.”

“I think that this record is a much more aggressive record than previous records have been. Part of that is led by the opening track, “Fire It Up”. Another thing about that record too is that the cover of it is a primarily black, silhouetted type of cover. Maybe that’s penance, because maybe every band has to do that at some point in their career! I think what it is indicative of, is that there is an intensity about this record and what I would call a size and an epicness to much of the music, that is indicative of that dramatic kind of cover for an album. Yes, there continue to be, and there always will be, trademark ‘Hanson’ pop sensibilities and obviously harmonies and whatnot, but it is very much rooted in an organic, very live intensity that is just who we are as a band. Not necessarily an isolation as singers, but just as a three-piece band: as a guitar player, as a drummer and piano player and songwriters. There’s an intensity and a rawness to this record than on previous records and I think you add on to that what we’re able to do as singers, and hopefully it creates this unique blend of vocal band/band. I think it’s what we know how to do!”

Being the eldest of the three, how has Isaac noticed any change in the way he, Taylor and Zac interact nowadays, not just as brothers, but as musicians in general? Some things never change, it seems.

“There are some things that remain exactly the same as far as certain degrees of people’s personalities.” he laughs. “I remember seeing a video of us as very young men…we were teenagers because Zac was about 11 or 10 maybe at the time and I was 15 and Taylor was 14 or 13. We were in the vocal booth doing some harmonies together and the discussion that ensued was remarkably similar to discussions that continue now, to this day! There are consistencies about who we are as people.”

Once I’d gotten the nerve to tell Isaac how much I enjoyed the experience of seeing the band perform for the first time on their last tour, he takes the uniquely full on vibe which results at a Hanson show as an example in discussing why it is that perhaps they’ve been able to continue this career as fruitfully as they have done.

“I do think that there are some people who are not necessarily aware of what it is that we do as a band,” he muses. “I think they don’t realise the level of intensity and aggression that is in a show that we do. I think that there are some that would expect a much more gentle version of music, but that’s never actually been what it is that we do, from the beginning. I think that, in some way or another, that’s part of it. What we always try to do is make sure that, from note one, you are in the moment as much as possible not only as the band, but as the audience. We’re trying as much as we possibly can to make it exciting, captivating and aggressive if need be, but also hopefully in the process bring a bit of sombreness as well. We want to take people on an exciting ride as much as possible and hopefully in the process, you find yourself lost in the moment. That is, after all, the goal of music. To allow you to live through it in some way.”


Tuesday 5th August – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+) // 136 100

Wednesday 6th August – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast (18+) // 1300 762 454

Friday 8th August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (All Ages) // 132 849

Saturday 9th August – Palais Theatre, Melbourne (All Ages) // 136 100

Tuesday 12th August – HQ, Adelaide (18+) // 1300 762 454

Friday 15th August – Metropolis Fremantle (18+) // 1300 762 454

Sunday 17th August – Powerstation, Auckland (18+) // (09) 970 9700

Taylor Hanson’s advice to Justin Bieber: Just focus on the music

Faster Louder

Taylor Hanson and Justin Bieber have a lot in common. By the tender age of 16 they’d both shifted a few million records, inspired a generation of young boys to get dodgy haircuts and attributed much of their success to Jesus Christ. But their transition from child star to adulthood couldn’t have panned out more differently.

Despite the fame and legions of screaming fans, Taylor Hanson – and his two brothers Issac and Zac – avoided the usual child-star cliches. There was no (allegedly) racist graffiti, Brazilian prostitutes or multiple arrests. Instead of spiraling out-of-control, the bothers got married, had a bunch of kids and went on to release nine more albums

So how did they manage to stay so squeaky clean? By just focusing on making records, frontman Taylor Hanson told FL’s David Swan ahead of his band’s Australian tour. “We were always in this to make music,” he says. “not to be superstars. We’re the guys that write and produce and we work with other artists, and that’s our passion. Just to make songs and write records and tour. So I think we were so influenced by our own drive to be musicians first, that I think that helped keep us focused on that.”

He then offered the following advice to Justin Bieber, who doesn’t even remember he was in Australia just four months ago. “I don’t wanna say that he’s getting it wrong … but I think history will show and tell who survives and who doesn’t. Because it’s really hard to survive in this business. Mostly because you are putting yourself out there. And you’re taking a risk, and you’re opening yourself up to criticism whenever you become an artist. Everything you do can be loved and hated”

Hanson are returning to Australia as part of their Anthem world tour – and to celebrate the 17th anniversary of ‘MMMBop’ this August. The full “Firing Line” interview with Taylor – in which he discusses marrying young, why Miley Cyrus was smoking weed with Wayne Coyne in his studio, and which shampoo keeps his hair so full of body – will be published on FL soon.

Hanson tour:

Tuesday, August 5 – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+)
Wednesday, August 6 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast (18+)
Friday, August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
Saturday, August 9 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne (All Ages)
Tuesday, August 12 – HQ, Adelaide (18+)
Friday, August 15 – Metropolis, Fremantle (18+)
Sunday, August 17 – Powerstation, Auckland (All Ages)

Taylor Hanson In The Firing Line

Faster Louder

Taylor Hanson In The Firing Line: “I’ve always respected my hair’s natural juices”


If you thought ‘90s pop sensations Hanson broke up sometime after ‘MMMBop’, you wouldn’t be alone. Back before the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber and One Direction, Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson were winning tween hearts and dominating bedroom real estate, thanks – for the most part – to their 1997 breakthrough record Middle of Nowhere.

It’s pretty easy to lump them in with the likes of Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync and Five, but unlike those manufactured groups Hanson bucked the odds and have continued to make music and tour successfully for the last 21 years. Since 2007[hansonstage note: I think they mean 1997.]  Hanson have received three Grammy nominations and (at the time of writing) spawned 11 children between them. The brothers, now aged 28, 31 and 33, also have their own record label and are about to embark on an Australian tour to promote new album Anthem – probably to the same screaming girls who dug them 20 years ago. Lead singer, middle brother and “the good looking one” Taylor Hanson stepped into the FL Firing Line to field tough questions on religion, beer, girls and being a child star.

I’ve got some facts about you from an Angelfire fan page from the ‘90s, and I’d like to fact check some of them.
I seriously doubt there’s many real facts in there, but I’ll do my best.

Apparently you write with your right hand, and you deny that you’re ambidextrous.
Um, I am very right handed. I wish I was ambidextrous. If you learn to play piano well, you do have to develop your left hand. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

You use Flex shampoo.
I don’t know what Flex shampoo is. I’d like to correct the record. I’ve never been choosy about shampoo. When you have as much as hair as we do, in the Hanson gene pool, you try and use shampoo that keeps your hair from having a life of its own. I’ve always respected the natural juices and try to not overdo it. You just don’t need to wash too much. Wash as little as possible.

Sage advice. Also you had a cat called Mama that you had to give away?
No, we did not have a cat named Mama. We had a cat we used to call Tuxedo, or Tux, because it always looked like he had a tuxedo on.

I don’t know about this information source…
This is dodgy, yeah, really. You should reject that from the fact pool. But yeah let’s insert some real facts. There was a tuxedo cat, and that’s a real fact. These are important things, you know.

Let’s get to the good stuff. Apparently you like strawberry ice-cream, Zac likes and chocolate, and Isaac likes vanilla ice-cream?
Oh my gosh, that’s so wrong! I love vanilla, Isaac is the chocolate guy, and Zac is the least ice-cream oriented brother. So I think he would opt for sugar, just straight sugar. If we’re talking about dessert, Zac would be freebasing pixie sticks not eating icecream.

In the video for ‘Where’s the Love’ you kissed a girl but were so embarrassed about it that they didn’t put it in the video?
Gosh, I’m trying to think about this. There was a point in the treatment of that video where the director we worked with, Tamra Davis, wanted me to kiss a girl, and let’s just say I wasn’t interested in the girl they picked.

Could you request a replacement girl?
It was an awkward moment. It wasn’t meant to be.

There’s one that’s a little bit factual then. That’s good.
[Laughs] That’s a distant fact. A very, very distant fact.


Your dream girls are Clare Grogan [Hanson producer Stephen Lironi’s wife], Pamela Anderson and Baby Spice of The Spice Girls.
Wow, these facts are so not on. Claire Grogan is lovely, but I would have not considered her a crush in that way, especially considering she’s the wife of our producer friend. She’s lovely though. I wouldn’t say I had any interest in the Spice Girls, especially considering they’re smaller than all of us. They’re really small people. Too little. I’m trying to remember childhood crushes, but I can’t really think of any right now. But that’s a big wrong, wrong wrong!

You slept in boxers and a tank top.
Boxers and a tank top? I’m trying to think how that would even make sense. I’ve had many tank tops, and I do enjoy a good, solid tank top. But you can’t wear it in mixed company. It’s not always a good look.

You go for the natural look on girls, and you aren’t into a lot of make up at all.
Well, that depends on the girl. Some can pull off a natural look. If you can pull of the natural look, yeah, I can get into that.

Final one – it says your personality is “flirtatious and friendly, and it blends the intelligence of Isaac and the zaniness of Zac.”
[Laughs] I don’t even know how to answer that. I think if intelligent is a part of it, I’ll take that. I don’t think there’s any answer for that though. You just have to get to know me to figure that out, don’t you? I’m glad we covered those important facts, though.

I’m glad we’ve established some stuff.
I think we set the record straight, that’s for sure.

Speaking of setting the record straight, did Miley Cyrus get tattooed and smoke pot with [The Flaming Lips’] Wayne Coyne in your studio last month?
Yes, she did. That’s all I have to say about that [laughs]. There’s not really much more to say is there? I was out of town. We have a studio here in Oklahoma and we’re friends with Wayne [Coyne], and he was working on a session. I was actually at South by Southwest music festival when they were here, so we had our studio available and they came in and had a good session.

Have you listened to their track yet?
I haven’t heard anything finished but we heard good things from everybody and they were super happy with what they did. I think they were working on some covers that Miley was singing on. Some Beatles stuff that Wayne was recording.

Some of our readers may only be familiar with ‘MMMBop’. How would you describe your career since then?
It’s impossible to catch people up on 17 years of music in one quote, but we’re a band that grew up listening to classic rock ‘n’ roll and great songwriters, and we’ve always been all about music. We’ve always been about our live show, and about making albums we’re proud of. And we’ve always written it, produced it, played it. I think when we first came out we were super young so people associated being young with Hanson. But our music is …it’s soulful pop-rock music – and that’s always been at the centre of our records. We love old rock ‘n’ roll and soul music, and that’s at the centre of our sound and we’ve been able to keep an amazing fan base and a great connection with our fans for a long time.

Do the royalties from ‘MMMBop’ pay more than the albums you release now?
[Laughs] Um, there are a lot of things that go with having an ongoing career, as far as royalties go – from the tour, to merchandise, to new songs you put out. So all in all, ‘MMMBop’ and other songs from the past, thankfully, still have royalties that are associated with them and there’s a lot of good business there that’s still alive. I would say one’s not exceeding the other, though. They move along quite evenly.

What was it really like being a child star?
Impossible to describe to somebody that hasn’t been in that position. We didn’t think about it as being “child stars”. We idolised and looked up to people that were making music as young people – whether it was Stevie Wonder, or Ray Charles, or The Beatles, or The Beach Boys. I mean these guys, most of them, were putting out their first records when they were 16, 17, 18. And so we never thought of it as “Yes, we’re child stars. This is fantastic!”, we just thought of it as the beginning. And thankfully it was the beginning, and we’re here years later and we still have fans and we get to tour. As far as the experience of being young and having fans and experiencing the amazing reaction from millions of different people: I mean it’s surreal and humbling, and it was a dream come true to get to look at yourself in the mirror and go “Oh my gosh, this is my job and this is actually what we came to do.”

How controlled were you in the early days, by the label, your parents or managers? And how did you wrest that control away?
We weren’t controlled by managers. I mean if you know us well, then you know that if anything we were – and always have been – more micro-managers than we should be. Whether it’s producing our records and always writing and always playing, we probably could’ve milked the success of our early time much more than we did. But we were always really self-conscious about trying to take advantage of our success as if it were something that was only for a moment. So we never had to wrestle control back, any more than any band in the major label system. We had creative control; we were always making our own music. And because we were young, I think people often think when we say “Oh yeah, we didn’t have someone controlling what we were doing”, that that’s some kind of political statement. But it’s true.

We always wrote songs and it was always our music, so the real mark of really galvanising the control of our career in a new way was when we left our old label [Island Def Jam Records]. It didn’t have anything to do with being young, or being uber successful at a young age, it had to do with business. And with the major labels you’re caught in this big system of merging labels, labels buying each other. And now it’s been more than 10 years – 2002 was when we left our label and started our own company – and we’ve been independent since then. But that was more of an industry question not a music question.

“We probably could’ve milked the success of our early time much more”

Some of your contemporaries now, like Justin Bieber, are self-destructing. What did you get right that people like Bieber are getting wrong?
I don’t wan to say that he’s getting it wrong. But I think history will show and tell who survives and who doesn’t. Because it’s really hard to survive in this business. Mostly because you are putting yourself out there. And you’re taking a risk, and you’re opening yourself up to criticism whenever you become an artist. Everything you do can be loved and hated. I will say that painstakingly, we were always in this to make music – not to be superstars. We’re the guys that write and produce and we work with other artists, and that’s our passion. Just to make songs and write records and tour. So I think we were so influenced by our own drive to be musicians first, that I think that helped keep us focused on that. And being brothers is probably positive. You keep one another in check. And when somebody goes off the rails you go “Hey man, you’re being a real moron. You should stop that.”

Everyone has cringe-worthy moments from their childhood. Given you guys were in the public eye for much of yours, are there any that stand out more for you?
Oh my gosh. Well when you’re a teenager and everything you wear, and your every haircut and the polyester pants that you have gets photographed a million times – that kind of amplifies all your cringe-worthy moments. So stuff like that, harmless stuff. Sadly photos pop up all the time. I mean we’ve all done stupid things here and there – drank too much, or hung out with people that we regretted hanging out with – and you think, “Well, we shouldn’t really be around that person very long.” But honestly with most of it, there’s no story of having to totally right the path of destruction. When you’re in the public eye everything you do is amplified and we’re lucky that we haven’t had too many moments that we regret.

Would you have broken up at any point if you weren’t brothers?
Well, being a band is hard. Period. Because you trust each other, and you’re business partners. You’re invested in all these things together. And I think the thing that’s kept us together – not to sound like a broken record – is the performing, and making records. Because the things that happen around you, people that say “Oh yeah, you guys aren’t going to last”, or the people that try and box you in and say “You’re this, or you’re that”, those things can cause incredible friction in any band. Our mutual respect for each other – it doesn’t mean you like each other all the time – has kept us from giving up when things have been difficult. And also, we’ve always just had a real respect for the fans that have followed us. And we’ve felt like during times when we’ve been frustrated or really considering a different path, or wanting to take a break, or change gears, we’ve looked at our fans and the people that have followed us for a long time and thought “You know, we don’t want to give up on this – we don’t want to walk away from it, because we’ve put so much of our life into this band.”

I will say one slice of wisdom over time is proactively reaching out and collaborating with people helps you get perspective. For years we’ve done retreats where we get a lot of songwriters together and we make music purely for the sake of it. And that helps keep you inspired. And also I have a side project called Tinted Windows which is just pop songs with guitars, it’s power pop. It’s me and James Iha [Smashing Pumpkins], and Bun E Carlos from Cheap Trick, and Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, he’s a writer/producer. And so doing those things keeps your album and your core band fresh, because you come back to it and you go “Yeah, this is good – I still enjoy this.”


You all got married super young. Why is that?
Well, if you’re smart, and you find the right girl and she’s willing to marry you, you marry her. If you’re slow, you miss the opportunity. When I was 19, I was in a very different place to most 19 year olds. I won’t say I was more mature, because that’s not really true, but I was just in a very different point of expectation and desire to have different kinds of relationships. So getting married and having a family – it felt natural. And she’s truly an amazing woman. My girlfriend at the time has been my wife now for more than a decade, and she’s awesome. She could handle being married to a travelling minstrel. So the rest is history.

Did you get a lot of hate mail after getting married? A lot of fans would’ve had your posters up on their wall. Were girls mad?
I didn’t know any of those girls, personally. But of course. Girls have a relationship that they feel with you because of who we are and who we were. And there was definitely a lot of people that said “Oh, it’s never going to last”, or “Oh we can’t believe he’s getting married.” But you can’t marry everyone. Unless you’re Gene Simmons, he’s figured out how to do it. When we first got married it was definitely an interesting time, a lot of people wondered “Why is he even getting married so young?” But everybody doesn’t have the same vision for their life, I guess. I had a very different one.

May 6 is Hanson Day. Do you guys recognise Hanson Day and what do you do?
You’ve done your research! Years ago the governor of our state kind of declared a commemorative day – Hanson Day. And when it first happened I thought “Wow that’s amazing, thank you.” And for a long time our fans would celebrate it and it was almost like a Hanson Birthday. But a little more than 10 years ago we decided to make it something we celebrated too, so we actually do a fan festival every year on Hanson Day. And people come to our home town, and it’s basically a community of fans that connect, and we do all kinds of things. It’s basically a mini Hanson festival. So yes, we do acknowledge it and it’s very narcissistic, but it’s fun. We try and make it a moment where we actually acknowledge the fans and the community of fans that have followed us for a long time. We do something special every year, we play certain songs and we invite people to come to our home town…

How important would you say religion has been in the band’s success?
Well religion is much, much more important than the band’s success. We all grew up and continue to be passionate about our faith, but we’ve always felt like if that’s who we are, then people will see it and they’ll know it and you can see who we are through what we do and how we choose to live. The music is a different subject – we’ve never made it something that we put on the front lines of our lyrics, and say “Let me preach to you through our songs.” But I think if you listen to our songs you can hear who we are. So I think we’ve been incredibly blessed to get to do what we do. And in no small part I think it’s due to the influence and the blessing of God for sure. In our small way.

Is the MMMHops beer just a marketing ploy?
It is a delicious beer. If it was a marketing ploy we would’ve called a big beer company and said “Hey, here’s our name, and you go make a beer.” It’s a real beer, and it’s brewed in our home state, and we’re building it slowly. People that try it really love it, so we hope that over the next few years it becomes something that people can get all over. In fact we’re very close to announcing the ability for people to order the beer, and we can ship it all over the world. So that’ll be the next step.

Hanson tour:

Tuesday, August 5 – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+)
Wednesday, August 6 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast (18+)
Friday, August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
Saturday, August 9 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne (All Ages)
Tuesday, August 12 – HQ, Adelaide (18+)
Friday, August 15 – Metropolis, Fremantle (18+)
Sunday, August 17 – Powerstation, Auckland (All Ages)



April 7th, Tulsa OK – This year’s American Craft Beer Week will stoke lots of activity around the country, celebrating the artisanal beer movement. In Tulsa OK pop-rock trio HANSON, now operating as craft beer makers with the launch their debut brew Mmmhops pale Ale in 2013, will bring together brewers in their home state and musicians for a one day beer and music festival on May 18th.Coinciding with the festival, Hanson Brothers Beer will also make their flagship Mmmhops beer available for sale online, making the beer available outside of the regional market more broadly. Online retail location will be announced next month.

The Craft beer festival will be attended by 14 breweries from across the state of Oklahoma, featuring special small batch beers made available as a part of the festival by award winning brewers and established leaders in Oklahoma craft beer. The event will also feature personal appearances by many of the brewers, appealing to the devout beer fans throughout Oklahoma and the midwest. The free concert part of the event is open to all ages, headlined by HANSON, along with blues soul powerhouse Robert Randolph and The Family Band, and more special guests still to be announced.

The festival will also include a statewide opening band contest which is open to all Oklahoma musicians, giving one lucky winner the opportunity to perform as part of the days entertainment. Launching today in partnership with the Tulsa World, artists will have four weeks to submit songs and ready their fans for a week of online voting starting May 4th. The winning artist will be announced on May 11th, and will open the show at The Hop Jam. The winning band will also get a chance to reach thousands of beer and music fans through the placement of one of their songs as a downloadable track via QR code, on select Mmmhops Pale Ale bottles.

“Through The Hop Jam, our hope is that we can help support the craft beer community and foster a one of a kind music event, while also creating an anchor for the city’s downtown renewal”, said Taylor Hanson.

Partnering with Oklahoma favorites McNellie’s Group, who operate restaurants and bars across the state, to host the festival, Hanson Brothers Beer are proud to be helping ignite further interest in the revitalization of Tulsa’s downtown community.

Find out more about the brewers, music makers and all the event activities at and

Tulsa World exclusive: Hanson announces May beer and music festival


Hanson's Hop Jam 2014 combines music, craft beers on May 18 in Tulsa


Hanson brothers Isaac (left), Taylor and Zac will play their first show in Oklahoma in two years at Hop Jam 2014 on May 18. JIRO SCHNEIDER/Courtesy

What the Hanson brothers saw in Oklahoma’s craft beer world was much more than just a love of beer. The state’s brewers and beer lovers were part of a tight-knit community.

It was an independent spirit they were familiar with on their own record and independent projects, including their own beer, MMMhops. So for Tulsa natives Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, combining their love of music with their love of beer and all things local seemed like a natural step.

“We went back to being independent in 2002, launched our label in 2003, and we feel a kinship between independent music and the growth of craft beer,” Taylor Hanson told the Tulsa World.

Thus was born Hop Jam 2014, a beer and music festival hybrid set for May 18 in the Brady Arts District.

The free music festival will feature a concert by Hanson — the brothers’ first public show in Oklahoma in two years — blues/rock jam band Robert Randolph & the Family Band and another national act to be announced. There also will be a contest to find a local band who will get to perform at the festival.

At the same time, virtually all of the craft brewers in Oklahoma will offer their variety of styles and beers at an expansive beer festival, all centered around Main and Brady streets. Beer can be purchased via tickets sold at the festival.

“This is half music, half beer,” Taylor Hanson said. “It’s a full concert and a full-on beer festival. If you’re going up there and you want to try beer and you’re walking up and down Main Street, you can hang and watch the show while everything is going on. If you’re not into beer, you can set up and enjoy the show and walk back and forth. It appeals to both sides there.”

It’s the first time for the band to put on a festival this large encompassing both worlds of music and beer so wholly, but it’s one they hope to continue.

The seed for Hop Jam started when the brothers began to get deeper into the world of craft beer, which has been exploding across the country and in Oklahoma, Taylor Hanson said.

“Our focus has always just been to really connect our passion and connect with people who have followed us,” Taylor Hanson said. “This same spirit inspired us to get in the beer world in the first place. A couple years ago we said this craft beer community is really an amazing one, and we’ve become knowledgeable and pretty passionate about lots of different beers across the country.”

The date of the festival — May 18 — was chosen specifically, Taylor Hanson said. The band made its first public performance at MayFest in 1992. The album, “Middle of Nowhere,” which sold 10 million copies worldwide and included the hit “MMMBop,” was released in May 1997. The band hosts Hanson Day every May, which this year will coincide with Hop Jam.

Hop Jam will take place on the last day of MayFest as festivities there are winding down.

“We feel like this is the crescendo, the exclamation point at the end of that weekend,” Taylor Hanson said.

It also happens to be American Craft Beer Week and the day after another craft beer festival in Oklahoma City.

“That’s where the idea came from, sitting down and thinking where we wanted to be and how we wanted to be a part of the beer community, nationally but especially in Oklahoma and Tulsa,” Taylor Hanson said. “We’re one of the new guys in beer in Oklahoma, so we have a huge amount of respect for those who have been doing it longer than us and really paved the way for people to discover craft beer in the state and in Tulsa.”

Taylor Hanson said they will also be launching their beer MMMhops nationally soon, as well as premiering a new beer at Hop Jam. Many of the other brewers at the festival will have a special beer to feature at the event.

Now that Hanson is part of that beer world in Oklahoma, as well as a part of the music community, when the idea for the festival came, it was a matter of a few phone calls.

“So we just began to reach out to people we knew and said ‘Hey, if we did this event, which is a mix of our two worlds — music and craft beer — would you show up?’ We went around the circle and just got really good responses,” Taylor Hanson said.

The festival also wants to bring attention to the local music community by featuring a local band chosen by fans to perform before the group at the festival.

Taylor Hanson said that the band will have a unique chance to perform for the audience before Hanson takes the stage. And they will be part of a musically diverse lineup with Hanson’s pop/rock and Robert Randolph’s wild party blues/rock.

“We were looking for a combo of artists that welcomes everybody,” Taylor Hanson said. “Robert connects with the blues stuff, the real classic rock ‘n’ roll, gospel. He’s got a little old and young, and it’s a party. With us and them, it’s an environment of celebrating the kickoff of summer and this really cool counterculture of craft beer.”

But what it all comes down to is fostering the sense of community around not just beer and music, but around Tulsa and Oklahoma.

“We’re really hoping people embrace the idea that this is an event for everybody,” Taylor Hanson said. “If you’re coming down and want to catch the music and enjoy an awesome music night, you can bring families and enjoy this event. And people who are really passionate about beer can just go crazy and try all the beers.

“We’re hoping to create an event that brings all of those people together.”

Local bands can compete to play at Hop Jam 2014

Enter your band now for a chance to play before Hanson at Hop Jam 2014.

To enter, go online to between now and May 3 where you can upload a video of you or your band performing. From the submissions, the top five bands will be chosen.

Once the top five are announced, voting will take place May 4-10 with the audience choosing the winner to be announced May 11.

The artist must be from Oklahoma. Find the full contest rules and details at the link above.

And stay tuned for more contests and prizes.

HOP JAM 2014

When: May 18

Where: Brady Arts District, centered around Brady and Main streets

What: Beer and free music festival, featuring Hanson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and two bands to be announced; beer from Oklahoma brewers; food trucks and more

Hanson on The Hill! Oh, and Also Reps. McCarthy and Pelosi…

Media Bistro

Last night at The Hamilton, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were recognized with a GRAMMYs on the Hill Award by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation for “their support and understanding of music creators’ unique role in American life.” The evening included special performances by Lady Antebellum, Los Lonely Boys, and 90s chart toppers, Hanson. Hanson? Seriously?

The evening was a long one. Red carpet access to Lady A and Hanson began at 6, and the award ceremony and performances lasted until after 10pm.

Here’s how it went down.

5:59pm – Ushered to the 2nd floor of The Hamilton for a private red carpet and Q&A with Lady Antebellum, Hanson, high level execs from The Recording Academy and some members of Congress. Immediately notice a sea of wine glasses covering the bar. I’m talking at least 50 glasses of already poured red and white ready for the taking. I start my night with a Diet Coke.

6:20  The room quickly fills with so-not-DC folks, sporting tans we can only dream of and the bleachiest of blonde hair.


6:36 – Lady Antebellum has arrived. All way hotter than I’d expected. So many people storming the step-and-repeat to join them for a group photo. Contemplate myself joining in said photos.

6:41 – While approaching the bar for a refill of my Diet Coke – my fourth of the night – Fresh FM’sTommy Pavlick and a cameraman rush toward me and a trio of maybe recognizable guys who I suddenly realize comprise Hansom. MMMBop! Immediately take selfie with them in the background.


6:45 – BuzzFeed Boy About Town Benny Johnson is walking by and I grab him for another selfie with 2 of the Hanson brothers in the background. Directly in front of us is none other than Zac Hanson, laughing at our – or my –hilariousness patheticness. Obviously take another selfie which includes Zac.

20140402_1903217:00 – While being ushered to the Awards Presentation, I find myself huddled with all three of the Hanson brothers, something that would make a 1996 Nick beyond excited. Fast forward 18 years, and it’s cool, I guess.

7:05 – Nearly 100 tables have been set up in the performance level of The Hamilton, filled with hundreds of guests.

7:10 - Switch to wine.

20140402_1942167:30 – While catching up with last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner photog Daniel Swartz in the press balcony overlooking the dinner, I see Benny Johnson seated front and center of the stage. How the hell did that happen? Immediately go take photo.

8:15 – Ceremony begins with a singing of the National Anthem by Hanson…one of the worst I’ve ever heard.

Joy Williams, Grammy-winning artist of the Civil Wars, later introduces Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Minority Leader. Quickly realizing her gaff, she jokes, “Just one day at a time Kev. Just one day at a time. Every vote counts. You’d think I’d know that after watching ‘House of Cards.’”

Congressman Doug Collins joins SESAC Songwriters Gary Burr and Victoria Shaw on stage for a premiere of their song, “Fair,” to which I don’t even think Collins is singing. Is his mic even on? Described to me by Zac Hanson as the “best and worst of Nashville,” “Fair’s” chorus goes, “An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay/ That’s all I need at the end of the day/ Isn’t that the American dream? It’s that what we all reach for?/ I just need some common ground, somewhere.”” Not my cup of tea.

20140402_220342After receiving the Recording Artists Coalition Award, Lady Antebellum performs a set which includes their super famous “Need You Now” and more recent hit, “Compass,” in which several members of Congress joined the seven-time Grammy winners on stage, including Reps. Long, Schock, Pelosi, and Waxman.

10:15 - It’s a quarter after 10, I’m a little drunk, and I depart.

10:45 - Arrive home. Blast MMMBop.

In attendance: Obviously, BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson, POLITICO’s Alex Byers, Hollywood on the Potomac’s Janet Donovan and Brendan Kownacki, Revamp’s Daniel Swartz, Artists and Athlete’s Steve Ross, Jill Collins, and Deb Fiscella.

Music Mixes With Politics At GRAMMYs On The Hill; Lady Antebellum, Los Lonely Boys, Hanson Perform At Awards Ceremony

NORTHWEST – It’s not every day one gets to see a half dozen members of Congress take to the stage for an enthusiastic, if not slightly off pitch, performance of a chart-topping song.

Yet such was the backdrop Wednesday night inside The Hamilton, during the 2014GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards.

Last night’s ceremony, the largest of its kind to date, is billed about town as “Washington’s most interesting mix of music and politics.” And it’s easy to see why.

Certainly, the dozen or so members of Congress spotted mingling about provide the event with a certain degree of gravitas and policymaking credibility. But it’s when you mix in a similar number of recording artists and music and entertainment industry luminaries — many who have graced the cover of Rolling Stone – that things start to really get interesting.

Yesterday, such household names spotted milling about included seven-time GRAMMY winners Lady Antebellum, GRAMMY-winning group Los Lonely Boys, pop trio Hanson, and music legend Dionne Warwick, among others.

The reason for their D.C. stay — indeed, the entire point of the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards — was to help amplify the voice of music creators when it comes to creating and shaping matters of national policy.

Helping serve as a bridge between The Recording Academy and Congress, the night further served the nonprofit’s mission to represent and advocate for the rights of artists, songwriters, studio professionals, and other music makers.

Accordingly, while Lady Antebellum’s presence in accepting the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award might have stolen the star spotlight, it was the tributes bestowed on House of Representatives Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) andHouse Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that perhaps commanded the most amount of industry influence.
The 2014 celebration also acknowledged Westfield Academy and Central School (Westfield, N.Y.) music teacher Kent Knappenberger for his dedication to music education, with his acceptance of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation’s inaugural Music Educator Award.

A special performance by Lady Antebellum might have closed out yesterday’s celebration, but music permeated every aspect of the ceremony, from Hanson’s rendition of the National Anthem at the beginning to a surprise song premiere by SESAC hit songwriters Gary BurrVictoria Shaw, and, wait for it, Congressman Doug Collins.

The night brought (mostly) music to the ears of many a Washingtonian.

Lady Antebellum, Hanson Schmooze Lawmakers, Stump for Copyright Laws

US News

At Grammys on the Hill, music industry announces initiative to strengthen intellectual property laws.

Charlie Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of the band Lady Antebellum, Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow and other members of the Music Industry pose with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy at the 2014 Grammys on the Hill event in Washington, D.C.Charlie Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of the band Lady Antebellum, Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow and other members of the Music Industry pose with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy at the 2014 Grammys on the Hill event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.


The 2014 Grammys on the Hill – an annual gathering of legislatures, artists and music industry types – featured intimate performances by Hanson and Lady Antebellum, as politicians gushed about meeting musicians, and musicians gushed about meeting politicians.

However, amid all the revelry at the Hamilton Live music venue in Washington, D.C., Wednesday evening, there was one issue being highlighted that the music industry takes seriously: copyright protections.

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy announced a new legislative initiative he and other reps from the music industries will be campaigning for during their advocacy day at the Capitol Thursday. Portnow proposed “a music omnibus bill” or a “MusicBus,” as he coined it during the event’s keynote speech. The bill he hopes to craft with lawmakers would strengthen the copyright laws across the music industry – unifying the interests of labels, publishers, performing rights organizations and others – in addition to piecemeal proposals that have been met by pushback from the National Association of Broadcasters.


“For all the complexities of the MusicBus concept, its goal is actually so simple it could fit on a bumper sticker,” Portnow said. “’Fair market pay to all music creators across all platforms.’”

Zac Hanson – of the pop group Hanson, who was there to sing the national anthem – voiced his support for stronger protections intellectual property, particularly in the music industry.

“We own our own record label, we write our own songs, we’ve been at it for 22 years, and I think this country’s greatest export is [its] ideas,” the MMBop-er told Whispers. “We just feel like in general a lot of digital mediums are amazing for fans, but in a lot of cases we see artists losing out. It’s not that people need a get-rich-quick scheme but there needs to be some compensation.”

Also stumping for stronger copyright laws were the event’s marquee guests, Grammy-winning country-pop group Lady Antebellum, who were among the night’s special honorees along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and music teacher Kent Knappenberger.

“We want to protect that art. As music becomes a little bit more diminished in its value, I think you have to protect some of these songwriters – this is how they make a living,” the band’s male vocalist Charlie Kelley told Whispers.

Added Hillary Scott, the female lead, “We just support the art of songwriting, the occupation of songwriting and as artists, just want to be compensated fairly.”

When asked about other political issues the band would be willing to lend their support to, they were more coy.

“We don’t know everything about all the little ins and outs from a political standpoint, obviously we have our opinions and stuff but we don’t ever want that to cloud the music,” Kelley explained.

The band said they have been approached by politicians to join their campaigns before – Lady Antebellum was reportedly on a list of musicians President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign sought to recruit – but for now would be staying away making any political statements.

“Not to sound selfish, but there’s so much of our life that’s public,” Scott said. “There’s only a handful of things that we can keep personal between us, our spouses, our families, and that’s not because we are hiding what we believe, or what we stand for, it’s more just – it’s about the music.”

They did, however cop to being big fans of the political television dramas “House of Cards” and “Scandal.”