All grown up, Hanson plays Orange Peel behind new CD

By | July 30, 2010

Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – “Waiting for This,” the opening track on Hanson’s new album, came to life in Asheville before the band’s 2008 show at The Orange Peel, according to guitarist and older brother Isaac Hanson.

“I clearly remember starting to feel good about the song at that venue,” he said. “We played it during sound check. It wasn’t finished yet, but it started taking shape. I remember thinking, ‘We’ve got to put this on the next record.’”

That record, “Shout it Out,” hit stores in June, and the trio of Hanson brothers returns to The Orange Peel tonight as part a nationwide summer tour. An energetic blend of R&B-spiced pop rock, the new album is the fifth from Tulsa, Okla., natives Isaac, 29, Taylor, 27, and Zac, 24.

The photogenic family’s pop gem “MMMBop” broke huge back in ’97, making drummer Zac the youngest Grammy-nominated songwriter in history.

An ensuing label shake-up led the band to form its own record company in 2003, and recent side projects include Taylor’s stint as lead singer in Tinted Windows with members of Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins and Fountains of Wayne.

Take5 reached Isaac Hanson on the road in the Northeast.

Question: How does it feel to be a music business veteran while still in your 20s?

Answer: It’s kind of weird and cool all at the same time. I was 11 in ’92 when we started, and in ’97 our first major record came out. Having been doing this together for that long, it goes through ups and downs and craziness. We’re all married with kids, and those adjustments are equally exciting and stressful. On a business level, it’s nice to have a lot of perspective on things.

Q: What led you to legendary bassist Bob Babbit, whose many credits include Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder?

A: We were looking for a great bass player (for the new album). We’ve always been R&B enthusiasts — it’s where our music roots come from. We grew up listening to stuff with groove, so it just came in as a natural part. In a way, we accidentally became some sort of an amalgam of 1970s rock and pop bands, like Three Dog Night or the Doobie Brothers, because of what we listened to.

Q: What can the audience expect in Asheville?

A: Like any album tour, we’ll play a good bit of new material but also a wide array of songs. We always play stuff from every record. It’s probably safe to say we’ll do the singles from every record.

Q: What’s the long-term plan for Hanson?

A: I think we’re in it for the foreseeable future, one way or the other. There will be a period where we break it up a little bit, maybe with solo things here and there. But in the long run, we really like what we do together, and I can’t see that changing.

Michael Flynn writes about entertainment for take5. E-mail him at mickfly@bell south.net.