Sibling pop/rock trio Hanson takes viewers behind the scenes of its three-year struggled with Island/Def Jam while recording its 2004 album “Underneath” on the new documentary “Strong Enough To Break.” The film premiered Oct. 22 at the Hollywood Film Festival.
In “Strong Enough,” brothers Taylor, Isaac and Zac Hanson face a changing industry and major-label executives and producers whose only interest is radio-friendly tracks. Ultimately, Hanson left Island/Def Jam and independently released “Underneath,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Top Independent Albums chart. It has sold 137,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
But Hanson hopes that fans understand “Strong Enough To Break” is less about the band and more about the overall state of the industry. “People aren’t really aware of what’s going on, and they’re not used to seeing it so in-depth, like when we’re on the phone with the A&R guy saying, ‘We don’t want to work with this producer’,” Zac Hanson tells Billboard.com. “The film is important, not because it’s about Hanson — because who cares, we’re just one more band — but because there are so many similar stories, like what happened to Fiona Apple and Wilco. It’s sort of the norm.”
The group hopes its story will educate the next generation of potential industry leaders. “We went to colleges all over the country to screen [the movie] and did lectures to spread the word about all the changes that are going on right now,” Zac says. “There are a lot of new avenues, and people really need to be involved in deciding where this industry goes and how music is sold over the next 10 years.”
“Strong Enough To Break” will be released on DVD “in the next couple of months,” according to the band, which is also planning a 2007 release for its next album, “The Walk,” on its own 3CG label.
I was skeptical about what this documentary would be about, but once I sat down (not to mention, with my boyfriend, Mike) I was blown away. Being someone who is very passionate about the industry and wanting to work within the music industry, this was exciting for me to watch and take in. After watching this documentary, my boyfriend was actually excited about seeing Hanson LIVE in our town shortly after, so he didn’t mind tagging along for the show, or the next one a few months later when they returned. I transformed my own boyfriend into a HANSON fan, who knew that could ever happen? 🙂 Just thought I’d share. Passionate about the industry or not, any hanson fan will want to take the time to download, purchase, rent, this documentary and see what the band went through. I completely admire them.