Article: Taylor Hanson of Tinted Windows

By | September 4, 2009

Tinted Windows probably isn’t the most unusual supergroup in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, but it ranks up there with Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick on drums, James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins on guitar, Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne on bass and Taylor Hanson from pre-Jonas teen-pop idols Hanson on vocals. The group’s self-titled album, a power-pop dream influenced by everyone from the Buzzcocks to the Knack, was released this year. The group plays Friday at the Great American Music Hall. We talked to Hanson about his new gig.

Q: You’re not playing any instruments as a member of Tinted Windows. Have you figured out what to do with your hands onstage?

A: In isolation, that could be a very funny question. I’ve figured out what to do with my hands … onstage. I’m a percussion player, so I grab a tambourine as much as I can. Otherwise I subtly molest the mike stand.

Q: Stop, you’re going to make your keyboards jealous.

A: That’s part of the whole deal, talking about what would make this band different about what we’ve done before. One of the things was backing away from instruments that don’t have strings, things that are typically more lush. The songs are so straight-ahead and so pop that we wanted to keep it loud and simple.

Q: I was at Shoreline Amphitheatre when Hanson played on July 15, 1998. Do you remember me?

A: Oh, my gosh. I totally remember you. You had the blue hat, right?

Q: It was actually green. How did your brothers take the news that you were going to work with another band?

A: It wasn’t a big deal. They were like, “So if you’re doing that it might be an excuse to take some time off?” They were plotting a break. We’re an all-in band. We have our own label, fan club and everything. It’s like a day job. So they were totally into it.

Q: So now you have two bands and four kids. How do you keep vertical all day?

A: I’m a coffee enthusiast. I try not to have too many bad habits. Heroin has a real down side, so I try to stay away from the hard stuff. I also have to give credit where it’s due: My wife is amazing. She had to know she was getting into a heap of trouble when we met.

Q: How would you rank Tinted Windows among supergroups such as Cream, Velvet Revolver and the Traveling Wilburys?

A: We never called ourselves a supergroup. I guess, technically, we are a supergroup, but I can’t imagine trying to rank ourselves. Hopefully, there’s a place in music for Tinted Windows. If we’re really trying to be iconic, we should just stop right now. If one of us could die, that would also help. But I don’t think anybody wants that gig.

Q: I think it’s safe to say that the members of Chickenfoot should be looking over their shoulders.

A: I don’t know. There are some pretty badass guys in that band. It’s hard to knock it in theory. {sbox}

To hear Tinted Windows’ music, go to www.myspace. com/tinted windows.

This article appeared on page Q – 45 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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