Category Archives: article

What the Ale: Mustang ready to brew in new brewhouse

Tulsa World

Mustang Brewing Company’s brewhouse was destroyed by a tornado last May. They are now close to brewing in their new facility in Oklahoma City.  Brewmaster Gary Shellman and Lead Brewer Ethan Buckman gave me a tour of the new facility at 520 N. Meridian Ave. and showed me the progress of their tasting room and new brewhouse.  Fermenting vessel number four survived and is in the new brewhouse along with their new tanks.  They have also built a new tasting room where they will be pouring samples.   Mustang Brewing is producing beer for the Hanson brothers called MMMHops which is available in liquor stores.  They are able to produce small batches and are preparing a special farmhouse ale for HopJam which will be in Tulsa on May 18th.

What the Ale: Tulsa Craft Beer week in review

News Inc

See what you missed as well as what the brewers said about upcoming products

(Isaac appears at about the 7:50 mark and talks about The Hop Jam)

Stacey’s Hanson dream marriage comes true


Star FM Gippsland’s breakfast show host Stacey Wren fulfilled a childhood dream on air this morning, recreating her staged marriage to a Taylor Hanson poster as a child, with the real Taylor Hanson.

Stacey’s brother revealed the childhood obsession to her co-host Huw recently, who simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit the story when Taylor Hanson joined them for an interview this morning.

Stacey was over the moon, but Taylor may have had some reservations…Listen to the audio here:

Read more at: ©

Want your band to open for Hanson? Submit your music by May 3

Tulsa World

Isaac (left), Taylor and Zac Hanson will play Hop Jam in Tulsa on May 18. JIRO SCHNEIDER / Courtesy

Strike up the band and send in your best work for a chance to open for Hanson at the inaugural Hop Jam festival in downtown Tulsa.

The Tulsa World, in partnership with Hop Jam, is hosting the Awesome Music Opening Band Contest and is currently taking submissions.

Go to and click on the banner at the top. Check out the rules there and upload a video of you or your band. The top five will be chosen from the submissions, and then voting will take place to determine the winning band that will perform at the May 18 festival.

Submissions will be taken through May 3 with voting to begin May 4.

Voting will end May 10, and the winning band will be announced soon after.

That band will then play the Hop Jam festival with Hanson, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and another band to be announced.

The festival is a music/beer festival hybrid set for May 18 in the Brady Arts District.

MMMHops for everyone!

Nylon Mag


When our favorite boy band (no offense, * NSYNC and BSB!) decides to branch out in the beer business, you’d think it’d be huge news, right? Well, not really.

At least this is true in the case of Hanson’s Mmmhops brews–Zac, Taylor, and Isaac first debuted their pale ale last year,but somehow the news managed to cruise fairly under the radar. Maybe it’s because they were tough to find in-store, or maybe it’s because they’ve stepped out of the spotlight, but now that the brothers are gearing up to release the beer online, everyone (well, everyone who’s legal) can get in on the action.

The release is coinciding with yet another project the boys have up their sleeve, The Hop Jam Craft Beer and Music Festival. Featuring bands, brews, and tons of foods, the event will go down in their hometown of Tulsa on May 18th. Needless to say, it’s enough to convince anyone–especially those who still sing “Mmmbop” at karaoke– to take a road trip.

Can’t make it? Just stay tuned to find out where exactly you can buy the Mmmhops beer online (we’ve tried it, and it’s totally worth it). While we’re waiting for details, go ahead and join our “Mmmbop” singalong below…it’s still JUST as good, 17 years later.

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)