Taylor Hanson says he and his brothers, Zac and Isaac, have never let themselves believe they couldn’t do whatever they wanted, as long as they put their minds to it.
This trait — along with some genuine musical talent — probably explains why this one-time teen pop group has done what is exceedingly rare in the music business. Hanson has built a career in a field where most teen stars see their careers flame out before they’ve reached an age when they can legally drink a beer — even at a venue at which they have performed.
With Hanson’s latest CD, “The Walk,” it appears the group is positioned for the kind of long-term career the three brothers have said they wanted ever since they catapulted to the top of the pop charts with the 1997 hit song “MMMbop,” when they were in their early teens. (Oldest brother Isaac was 16 at the time, and Zac was all of 11.)
Some 14 months after the release of “The Walk,” the CD still has enough life to allow Hanson to return to the concert trail for a three-month tour of the states this fall.
“It’s a record that’s kind of about saying we’re survivors, and “The Walk’ is the journey,” Taylor Hanson said in a recent phone interview. “It’s not a run. It’s not a sprint. It’s not a chase.
“We’re still touring on it,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere as far as leaving. We’re headed straight forward. And I think that’s what “The Walk’ has done. I think it’s cemented further just the qualities that we hold essential to this band.”
In reality, though, Taylor Hanson knows his group’s career could have very well hit the skids had the group not made the bold move five years ago to break away from its major-label deal with Island Def Jam and start its own record company, 3CG Records.
Hanson has used the freedom of being a do-it-yourself group to get involved in the fight against poverty and the spread of AIDS in Africa.
While making “The Walk,” the three brothers visited Africa and saw firsthand the tragedy of AIDS and poverty. Since then, the group has undertaken a variety of efforts to raise money to fight AIDS in Africa, including a pre-concert walk on the day of every show. The band, which announces the time and location for the walk on its Web site on the day of each concert, donates a dollar for every person who completes the one-mile walk.
Fans may join the group in front of Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre at 3 p.m. Thursday. Hanson is donating a dollar for each mile walked.
“It takes 24,902 miles to walk around the world,” Zac Hanson said. “That’s our goal, and we’re going to make it.”