All grown up
13 years, 5 albums later, Hanson finds way to keep going
BY ALLISON ECK
Updated: July 16, 2010, 6:36 am / 0 comments
Published: July 16, 2010, 12:30 am
“Every album is an evolution,” said Zac Hanson, the youngest member of the American pop rock band Hanson. Now in its 13th year, the band — brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac — is still churning out catchy soul tunes reminiscent of old R&B and swing styles.
But their sound keeps changing, and the band is excited to gauge audiences’ reactions to its fifth record, “Shout it Out.” Club Infinity is the first stop on Hanson’s North American tour.
“What’s new about this album in particular is that some people would hear the sounds and think they’re actually old,” said Hanson, now 24. “We’re using elements that go back to our earliest inspirations to be a band, and the horns hearken back to something I think feels fresh because that sound has been lost on a lot of records.”
The album also serves to commemorate their success. “We’ve survived many reincarnations of the music business, so this record is a bit of a celebration,” he said.
For the tour, Hanson is teaming up with OurStage to host an opening band contest in each market where local indie artists can compete for a chance to be the opening act. The gesture reflects the band’s dedication to independent music.
“A lot of what it takes to be successful in the business is becoming more and more in the hands of artists,” Hanson said. “And it’s about the relationship with fans. We want to give local bands an opportunity to expose themselves to our fans.”
The group has come a long way since their days of being a local band, including Grammy nominations for its hit single “Mmmbop” from the 1997 album “Middle of Nowhere.” “It became more of a cultural thing than a song,” Hanson said. “That wasn’t a curse; it was more of a blessing because it shows how well we connected with audiences.”
The new single, “Thinking ’Bout Somethin’ ” has received good marks from both fans and critics, and the music video has had more than 1 million plays on MySpace. Hanson said that all the songs on the band’s new album hold important messages, but “Me Myself and I” takes on a special meaning for the group because of how it came to be.
“It took a long time to finish that song,” Hanson said. “It was nearing completion about two albums ago but wasn’t finding a home. Completing it now was just a part of what it took to make it what it was supposed to be. We were waiting to do the song justice.”•
WHO: Hanson with Rooney
WHEN: 8 p. m. Wednesday
WHERE: Club Infinity, 8166 Main St., Clarence
INFO: 270-4990, www.infinityconcerts.com