The Hanson keyboardist and vocalist, 35, is expecting his sixth child with wife Natalie, he announced on Instagram Tuesday alongside a photo of their entire family: the parents-to-be with daughters Wilhelmina “Willa” Jane, 5½, and Penelope “Penny” Anne, 13, plus sons Viggo Moriah, 9½, River Samuel, 12 next month, and 15-year-old Jordan Ezra.
“What’s better than being a dad of five? Perhaps being a dad of six,” the longtime musician and budding photographer captioned the outdoor snapshot. “Baby Hanson coming in December and we are over the moon.”
He tells PEOPLE exclusively, “Natalie and I have always kept a love of adventure and pursuit of rich experiences at the heart of our family. There’s no greater adventure than welcoming a sixth little person to our tribe.”
Natalie posted another photo of their brood surrounded by musical instruments, captioning it, “Taylor and I are so thrilled to share the news that baby number six is coming this December! Ezra, Penny, River, Viggo and especially Wilhelmina can’t wait to be big brothers and sisters again!”
Isaac and wife Nikki are parents of three: 4-year-old daughter Nina Odette plus sons James Monroe, 10, and Clarke Everett, 11, while the Hanson brothers themselves are the oldest three in a family of seven children.
Aside from Ezra, all of the adorable youngsters starred in the music video for the band’s 2017 hit “I Was Born,” which Taylor told PEOPLE was a decision based in getting the song’s core message out there.
“From the earliest conversations about this song, we imagined kids featured in the video to elevate the song’s message of unbridled optimism for the future,” he told PEOPLE exclusively.
Yesterday, we shared the first official clip of the new song, Reaching For The Sky, which opens our String Theory concert and album. Give a look (and listen) to this short clip available on our YouTube page now.
MESSAGE FROM THE BAND
Yesterday, Billboard.com shared the first in a series of videos about the String Theory project. The video looks at the song, Reaching For The Sky, which starts both halves of the show and sets the tone for the whole concert. In Tulsa, we are putting the final touches on the final mixes for the String Theory album, and though it doesn’t feel calm, this is in fact, the calm before the storm. In a few weeks time we will be back on the road in earnest, everyone fully immersed in conductor meetings and daily rehearsals. More concerts for 2019 will be announced, not long after that the album will be coming out and before we know it, it will be May. So, we are enjoying the relative quiet, heads down working on art for all the different String Theory packages, making plans for what comes after and generally trying to conquer the world. Hope to see you all on the road.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac
NOTE: Now that we have a handle on what a day with the Symphony will be like (how much rehearsal we will need to plan for), we have opened up Meet & Greet requests on Hanson.net. If you are an Fan Club member make sure to click the request button for the shows you will be seeing.
STRING THEORY TOUR!
String Theory is the next frontier for HANSON, telling a story of aspiration and fortitude against the odds. The music resonates with authenticity, coming from a group whose signature is never to chase trends, but instead to stay focused on their melodic craftsmanship, establishing themselves as one of the few artists of their generation able to continually reinvent and reimagine their music, which has helped them to maintain an active global fanbase over 25 years after their founding.
Aug 30, 2018 – Syracuse, NY, US – NY State Fair – GET TICKETS
Sep 14, 2018 – West Springfield, MA – Eastern States Exposition – GET TICKETS
Oct 6, 2018 – Altoona, IA, US – Oktoberfest (21+) – GET TICKETS
Oct 29 – Oct 31 – Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA – America Gardens Theater -Disneyworld – Epcot –
[Eat To The Beat Concert at Epcot Food and Wine Festival]
“I loved re-recording the song with Hanson. I think they brought a great energy to it,” Love says
Mike Love has teamed with Hanson for a new rendition of the Beach Boys’ “It’s OK.”
The Beach Boys‘ Mike Love and Hanson have teamed up for a new rendition of the Beach Boys’ “It’s OK.” The song was originally featured on their 1976 15 Big Ones album.
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the original song climbed to Number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released. It also appeared as the B-side to “It’s Gettin’ Late” in 1985.
“The Beach Boys have a storied history with this song and the new version of ‘It’s OK’ continues this legacy,” Love said in a statement. “It’s a reminder that regardless of what’s going on in your life… get out and enjoy the summer.”
On the Michael Lloyd-produced new version of the track, the group’s buoyant harmonies capture the sun-kissed vibes of the original while adding some playful pep to the punchy new arrangement.
Their new take on “It’s OK” came about when Love and Hanson recently teamed for a forthcoming holiday project. During one of their phone conversations, Hanson noted that the song was one of their favorite tracks and the collaboration came to fruition.
“I loved re-recording the song with Hanson. I think they brought a great energy to it,” Love added. “Brothers Taylor, Zac and Isaac grew up singing harmonies like my family did and they’ve written some great songs over the years. It was a blast working together.”
Hanson will be most remembered for their 1997 hit “MmmBop,” a sugary pop jam sung by three prepubescent boys. But 20 years later, those who haven’t kept up with the brother trio might not realize that they’re so much more than “MmmBop” — they’re vocalists.
To help emphasize Hanson’s voices and the harmonies they’re capable of, the guys created an album called String Theory, due later this fall. Zac, Taylor and Isaac collaborated with Oscar-winning composer David Campbell to put together orchestral arrangements of their biggest songs like “MmmBop” and “This Time Around,” as well as never-before-heard tracks such as “Battle Cry” and “No Rest For The Weary.”
It’s a new way for Hanson to share their music, but more importantly, it’s a career highlight for the brothers. “After playing together for more than 25 years, we said to ourselves, ‘It’s now or never, its time to start checking things off the bucket list,’ and we did it,” Isaac tells Billboard. “It took almost two years of planning and working, but we were able to work with our dream collaborator, David Campbell.”
Though the album isn’t out yet, Hanson have been on the road playing the new arrangements on the String Theory Tour, with a handful of dates this summer before kicking into full gear in October. Amid the shows and putting the finishing touches on the album, Hanson decided to turn the unique process into a documentary.
“When you take on a project of the scale of something like String Theory, you have to turn on the cameras and make sure to show the work, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime piece of work — you will likely never do something quite like this again,” Isaac suggests. “The process of crafting the String Theory show and album is unlike anything we had done before — it is one big story about the essence of the human spirit, the struggle, the doubt and the joy of it all.”
Billboard has a first look at the first episode of the String Theory documentary, which gives fans a taste of a brand new song called “Reaching For the Sky.” The guys also discuss why they wanted to do this project, with Taylor declaring that their songs are “truly at their height” in the String Theory shows.
Tickets for the String Theory Tour are on sale now, and fans can pre-order the album here.
Check out the first episode of the String Theory documentary below.
After months of preparing music and a live concert, we are sharing String Theory and some rock ‘n’ roll shows on stages all over the US and beyond. Are you coming to join us at a concert this fall?
MESSAGE FROM THE BAND
The last two weeks feel like the beginning of a new season. Our symphonic concerts have been inspired and challenging and we are really excited about the many cities we get to bring that concert to as the summer continues and into the fall. We’ve also visited a few places for the first time like way up north in Escanaba MI. Coming up very soon, you will hear more sneak peeks at the String Theory album and the official release date, PLUS we are working hard on details so we can announce some of our international dates.
Thanks to everyone who has seen us this summer, and we can’t wait to see you soon out on the road wherever you are.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac
STRING THEORY PACKAGES!
String Theory brings together an exciting collaboration of song craftmanship and symphonic spectacle framing the established Grammy nominated multi platinum pop-rock trio’s music through a special symphonic collaboration with academy award winning composer and arranger David Campbell. The 22 song double album spans the bands career including some of their best known material (MmmBop, Where’s The Love, This Time Around, I Was Born and more) alongside brand new or never released to the public songs (Reaching For The Sky, Battle Cry, Breaktown, No Rest For The Weary) which tell a story of aspiration, despair, fortitude and ultimately a return to optimism.
The Album, features brand new and rearranged recordings of 22 songs with the full symphonic orchestration highlighting the bands music and craftsmanship on a scale never done before.
Gold, Silver & Deluxe packages are available to pre-order now.
Zac Hanson, drummer, performs on stage. Hanson, a trio of siblings known for the No. 1 hit in 1997 titled “MMMBop” performed at the Indiana State Fair, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, on the Chevrolet Free Stage.Doug McSchooler/For IndyStar
Taylor Hanson, piano and singer, performs on stage. Hanson, a trio of siblings known for the No. 1 hit in 1997 titled “MMMBop” performed at the Indiana State Fair, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, on the Chevrolet Free Stage. Doug McSchooler/For IndyStar
Isaac Hanson, guitarist, performs on stage. Hanson, a trio of siblings known for the No. 1 hit in 1997 titled “MMMBop” performed at the Indiana State Fair, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, on the Chevrolet Free Stage. Doug McSchooler/For IndyStar
A few hours before Hanson took the stage at the Indiana State Fair Chevrolet Free Stage on Friday night, adult brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac sat down with IndyStar to talk about bringing their families on tour, what they should (and shouldn’t) eat at the fair, their upcoming project performing with orchestras around the country and their beer company, MMMhops.
IndyStar: Have you eaten anything at the State Fair yet?
Isaac: Not just yet, but we apparently are supposed to try a lemon…
Zac: Shake-up. Somebody told us that that’s what we needed to get.
Taylor: What is that?
Zac: We know about the fair, we know about the fair. Eat some funnel cakes and corn dogs and look at some livestock and ride a ride that’ll make you throw up after you’ve eaten all those things.
Isaac: You can walk around and realize, “Wow, Clydesdales really are that big. Holy crap.”
Zac: I think it’s important to know your place in the food chain.
IndyStar: When you go out to the fair, do you wear a disguise or…do you just go out as Hanson?
Zac: You know, we don’t put on mustaches or anything, but you just go incognito if you think that’s going to be a problem. But, it’s a good thing. It’s people saying they like a song or wanting a photo, and it’s important to understand that’s part of the job. People are doing it because they’re really connecting with what you do and you want to thank them for that.
IndyStar: I just watched the “Where’s the Love” music video for the first time in, I don’t know, 20 years. And I can’t get over the gold shirt and yellow-lensed glasses. What piece of fashion from the ’90s or early 2000s do you guys miss the most?
Zac: Synthetic fabric was such a thing, and I’m actually glad it’s gone.
Isaac: Oh yeah, I mean, it didn’t breathe at all.
Zac: Everything was glow-in-the-dark.
Isaac: Some of that is coming back now.
Taylor: Very back.
Isaac: It’s a 20-year cycle. I could re-purpose some of my clothes from that era.
IndyStar: What about the yellow glasses?
Zac: Uh, I…we’ll see.
Isaac: I mean, Guy Fieri wears stuff like all the time.
Zac: Yeah, but he’s in his own…Those like more like gaming glasses to me, like I’d put them on while playing Xbox.
IndyStar What’s it like bringing your families, your kids, on tour with you?
Taylor: I have the oldest kids between the three of us, so they’ve been around. It’s a little chaotic. I mean, most people are used to a certain kind of lifestyle, your 9-5, so touring is pretty nuts in comparison to the average bear.
Zac: And every day is different, the last two shows was Wolf Trap (National Park for the Performing Arts) with the National Symphony Orchestra outside of D.C., and then we were in Pittsburgh before that with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra there. You don’t know what you’re going to be experiencing every day. And you have to be the type of person that enjoys that adventure to be a touring musician.
Isaac: You have to stay in the present.
Taylor: If you have a problem with flavors you haven’t tried before or situations where showers are optional, I call it urban camping.
IndyStar: So, speaking of orchestras, tell me about your String Theory tour with symphony orchestras around the country and why you guys decide to go in that direction.
Taylor: We just wanted to do something that was challenging and exciting. And a lot of times, we’re doing something we’re excited about, but the wow factor is more internal and people don’t know how much you had to push yourself to do this collaboration or that. But when you talk about a symphony, it’s so clearly such a different tone. We have a lot of songs that have room for the size, and there’s a story in the song that you know would come to life when interpreted that way. We’re getting to play with some of the world’s greatest symphonies.
Zac: It’s a great excuse to really just enjoy the process.
Isaac: We really quickly said to ourselves, let’s take the time. Because you may never do this is again, so you better do it as close to right as you can get it.
Zac: Except you can never do anything the first time right.
Isaac: <laughs> Exactly, but, you know, we’re trying.
Taylor: If you have longevity, you don’t do it by rinse and repeat. Yeah, maybe you find some things that you do well and that’s part of your identity. Chic-fil-A? Keep making a Chic-fil-A sandwich, but add a little milkshake and some lemon. You need to be adding things to your story, and that’s why I think we’ve been able to keep a relationship with a lot of fans for a long time, because they know that we’re not phoning it in. We’re not just like, and press play, here’s what you expect. We’re also not running from where we’ve been, either.
IndyStar: There are a lot of little little girls outside waiting for the show to start right now. What are your thoughts about that new fan base?
Taylor: It’s an interesting thing. The artists we admire most are the kind of people that you go to their shows and see three or four generations of people. And so the idea that we’ve been able to do this long enough that some of that is coming in is sort of seeing a hope realized. You want to be the kind of band that the music is not about a moment, it’s about a moment for that person.
Isaac: When my kids listen to AC/DC, it’s their band.
Taylor: I will say this: We have already in our career been too young to be songwriters. Too pop to be a rock band, too rock to be a pop band, then too old to be a pop band, then too pop to be a rock band, then too indie to be major then too major to be indie. You’re always not something, and at the end of the day, what you can control, the goal is to make as much of what you actually do do versus what you don’t do, the thing people remember. Literally, we’ve gone from having every single person that’s works for us be twice our age to many of our team members, from lawyers to attorneys to our crew members to being younger than we are.
Zac: And we’re only in our 30s.
Taylor: Yeah, so we now have songs that older than the whole front row. We’re like, you guys are younger than “MMMBop.” And that’s a weird and awesome thing.
IndyStar: I have to ask about your beer, MMMHops. Why go into craft beer?
Zac: There’s a kind of kinship to our spirit as a band. For the last 15 years, we’ve run our own record label, becoming independent at a time when it wasn’t popular and doing your own thing and then you look at the beer world and it’s full of guys who are just doing their own thing, creating their own flavor. And I think it really connected well for us. Then being able to put the two together. Every May we have our own (Hop Jam) craft beer festival in Oklahoma that we host, so we’re able to go, here’s music we love, here’s beer we love, these are two worlds that we care about and kind of host this great big party in this place that we’re from.
IndyStar: Is the beer good?
Zac: We think so.
Taylor: It’s more of a English pale ale style, it’s a little more traditional, and it is very strong. It’s about 7 percent.
Zac: We’ve discovered that beer is more apple pie than apple pie.
Isaac: Our goal would be in the long term to continue to find ways to find the music and the beer themselves as individuals things to intersect.
Zac: The harder we work at music, the more we need the beer.