Written by Jennifer Manjarez
Friday, 19 September 2008
September 23, 2008, The Pageant, St. Louis
It’s hard to believe it’s been over 10 years since Hanson first hit the airwaves sending us all into “Mmmbop!” chaos. Young and energetic, the trio had teenage girls screaming their names while they romped across the world, appearing on every media outlet known to man. There wasn’t a person alive who didn’t recognize the name Hanson or the sound “Mmmbop!” Since then, the brothers have continued touring but with a much different sound, one indicative of their past. Hanson, once a boy band, has developed into a laidback and mature indie band. With individual families of their own these days, the band has taken on a more serious tone, including giving much-needed attention to issues like fighting AIDS in South Africa.
While their sound has slowly changed over time, the past couple years have really set the tone regarding their musical style. Zac, the youngest member of the group, recalls, “In the middle of making the album, The Walk, which is the last album we put out, we were working on the record and by no intention we had a meeting with some friends of ours. The conversation led to something that they were doing with doctors. They were developing a technology for these doctors and they decided the first thing they wanted to do with the technology was give it away to a hospital in South Africa that had pioneered AIDS research. The conversation just really inspired us.”
Far from the average move toward philanthropy, Zac insists the experience came about out of pure curiosity. “There never was any intention other than to kind of go and learn and understand the perspective of these doctors who had been working for vaccines and cures and understand the social side of this virus.” In an effort to continue on with their album, Zac says, “At the time, we kind of went into it thinking well maybe we’ll record while we’re down there. We knew we had a label partner down there releasing our records so maybe we could figure something out.” This thought, however, was short-lived.
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