Speakers Blown: Hanson Interview – 100 Club, London

By | March 2, 2011

Speakers Blown
(Check out the source for some great photos from the show!)

Hanson shot to fame in 1997 with their massive hit ‘Mmmbop’. They’ve now been together 14 years and the last time they played a London show was over 3 years ago. So how excited were we when we found out they were playing a last minute one off show here in London Town.

We caught up with the boys before the show at 100 club on Oxford street where they played to a capacity of 300 people, to find out why they decided to play here and when we can expect to get our hands on their album ‘Shout It Out’

The tiny underground club is under threat to be closed so Hanson were more than happy to be joining the campaign by making their tickets FREE, and instead letting fans make donations towards helping the club stay open.

Interview by Maria Hanley.
Photo’s By Matthew Corcoran and Vanessa Middleton.

So what’s the story behind tonight’s show ‘Meet Me In The Middle’?
Zac: Well we decided to give the show a name because we thought it would be more fun and we decided just a couple of days ago that it would be stupid to go back to the States without playing a show. Even though we are planning to come back in the spring when we release our record ‘Shout It Out’ to play shows and do more, we thought let’s do something. As for the name, we knew fans were going to come from all over because we haven’t played in a while so we thought let’s just go with that and give it a name which makes sense…
Isaac: It’s in the middle of London.
Taylor: It’s less like a tour it’s more like a quick gathering. We were in France at the time and Zac was in the states so we thought that’s the middle between the two and we’re in GMT time zone which is central….
Isaac: Everything is based on GMT…It’s the middle…middle time zone….‘Meet Me In The Middle’

Your fans are known for being fiercely loyal…
Zac: Yeah, we could start an army. I think they would kill for us…

If you were to gain such commercial success as you were in the ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ era, do you feel that the fans would resent it?
Isaac: I really hope not.
Taylor…I think there’s a certain groups of fans that would resent other fans who weren’t there forever but I don’t think they would resent us. It’s not something you can control, you know how it is when you love something.

Do you try balance the new fans to the old?
Isaac: Well we balance it by doing things like this.
Taylor: Within the website we have like seniority, so if you’ve been to 100 shows or to this many meet and greets than they know and we also know, and they wear that kind of like a badge. So, Ok you’re a fan but we’ve done this and this. And of course, every band wants to play stadiums and every band wants to be the biggest in the world but I think what we’ve done here, we will always have that plan that says there’s that little corner, we have those seats at the front for the fan club and we will do those special stuff like today for instance where we have a separate line outside for the fan club members.
Speakers Blown inform Hanson that there is no separate queue and it has turned into mayhem outside…
Isaac: Well, we will be organising that.
Taylor: I think everyone knows because we say it a lot that we are very preservative, We do not take it for granted at all.

Is there a European release date for ‘Shout It Out’?
Zac: Right now there isn’t a date, but we’re planning spring, so let’s call it June!
Isaac: Well June is not really spring but things will be happening in spring…
Zac: Yes it is…it’s spring.
Zac and Isaac continue bickering about when spring starts…
Isaac: You’re right it is
Zac: April, May, June is spring, July is the start of summer and January, February and March is winter.
Isaac: Zac, Zac…Doesn’t matter…You’re right……Moving on.

You became very famous very young, how do you feel about the young pop stars of today?
Zac: I don’t think we feel anything…Well, we were always artists first, that’s the difference with us and some other young stars, and we didn’t have a TV show or a movie that made us famous…
Isaac: …we could of…
Zac: ….we were lucky that what we wanted to do was be song writers and play music, so we wrote songs and played concerts without trying to do the whole cliché thing, we just thought what would Led Zeppelin do, so we didn’t have any dolls or lunchboxes…
Isaac: …again, we could have…
Taylor: Truth is, we were quite strange as an entity because we were so young we really didn’t do anything stereotypical to what people expected of us but we were just very lucky and had a huge hit at the front of our career. We didn’t do this to have a hit, get our cheque and go home. I will say the music business is hard whether your 40 or 10.
Zac: Even more so when your 10.
Taylor: It’s intense, difficult.

Would you let your kids follow in the same steps?
Taylor: They would have to not be able to not do it.
Zac: We would never ‘let them’ it would be…
Isaac: They would have to be doing it so well that you would have to support them.
Taylor: We can’t stop you because you’re going to do it and that’s the way it was with us and our parents, they never said you should be in a band, we were just insanely driven and we couldn’t turn it off, we were addicted and we couldn’t stop. Otherwise you would get a real job.
Isaac: Real jobs are a lot more reliable!
Speakers Blown: …but a lot more boring!
Zac: Been a musician is definitely a rollercoaster, you are sometimes way up and sometimes you are down but it’s all part of the joy, living with the emotion and writing songs that connect with people for the rest of their lives
Taylor: Trying to figure out how you say things and feel and putting it into a song and breaking it down so that it’s something people can relate to.

So you released Great Divide for Aids, are you still passionate about it and are you going to do any walks over here in the UK?
Taylor: Yeh, definitely, we have continued to do the walks in the states and when we tour here in the UK we will do them, sometimes it is hard to do them out of English speaking places.
Zac: Or some dangerous countries.
Isaac: Not so much that factor but we don’t speak Portuguese or Spanish, and it is very, very difficult in the heat of the moment to communicate so not only would we have a communication barrier but our Latin fans are amazing and are known for intensity and passion, which could create a little bit of a challenge.
Zac: We continue to do walks in the States on every tour, every show and the only time we tend to cancel or don’t do them is when it is over 120 degrees or below 0 degrees.
Isaac: We’ve done over 150 of them.
Taylor: We had to choose to prioritise our mental energy but the walks continue to happen and a lot of people have never done it with us but have done a lot of organising and a lot of walks on their own.
Speakers Blown: They have actually done a walk over here in the UK.
Zac: More walks have been hosted by other people than we’ve hosted
Isaac: and more importantly more miles
Speakers Blown: We want to go on one…
Isaac: When we’re back in the UK there will definitely be one if not multiple walks
Zac: We’re definitely going to keep doing it and will be something we’ll be doing for most of our lives, which is unfortunate because it means there is still an issue in the world and it cannot be easily fixed, we have to talk about it and be a part of solving.
Taylor: It’s quite crazy because this album ‘Shout It Out’ is very positive, very emotive, it’s not about our trip in Africa like the walks were but what we’ve seen is the story and the mission is still there and that’s what we we’re trying to say to people is look, you can dance in the street and then you can also turn around and do something serious like take a walk, because that’s life, it isn’t about just forgetting serious stuff and having fun.
Isaac: Realising there together
Taylor: You’ve just got to do it all and make it happen while you’re there.

If the world was about to end and you had the chance to listen to one last song whether it be yours or someone’s else’s, what song would it be?
Zac: Oh God!! *bursts into song* ‘I’ll stop the world and…’ urmm, world themes or ‘Start The Fire’ By Billy Joel…..sorry I’m just trying to think of world themes….
Isaac: Something like ‘Amazing Grace’ by Elvis or ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ by Jonny Cash
Speakers Blown: But it’s the end of the world, wouldn’t you want to celebrate your lives?
Isaac: No I want to have a moment to contemplate.
Zac: How is the world ending? Is it exploding? Is it asteroids or is it aliens? Or zombie apocalypse?
Isaac: If it’s Zombie apocalypse you would want something high voltage like ACDC.
Taylor: Zombie apocalypse you’re probably fighting to your death right, so you would want something really motivated and aggressive but if it’s an asteroid hitting earth than you would want something kind of smooth.
Zac: Depending on how you lived your life you might want to go with ‘High Way To Hell’
Isaac: *bursts into song* ‘I’m on the highway to hell’
Speakers Blown: Or ‘Stairway To Heaven?’
Taylor: Stairway to Heaven or Highway To Hell? Which one would you choose? Although in all seriousness I would probably go for ‘Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong. I can just picture the end of a movie with everything slowly exploding….*bursts into song* ‘What a wonderful world…’ and it dies out.

Thanks a lot guys!

For more photo’s of Hanson from the show please check out the gallery. [coming soon]