Beyond MMMBop: Grown Up Hanson Comes to SF

By | September 7, 2011

NBC Bay Area


Five studio albums, three live albums, nearly 15 years of performing, 20 years of playing music, major record labels, world tours, multiple Grammy nominations, creating an independent music label, and humanitarian efforts are all just a few notches in Hanson’s belt.

The success of the veteran brother artists, whose oldest member of has only hit the age of 30 while the other two are still in the latter half of their 20’s.

Despite the stigma with young musicians, Hanson has overcome all that comes along with the music industry time and time again throughout their career — and the Musical Ride Tour is just another sign of that.

US and world tours are nothing new to these young artists, and they have kicked off their tenth tour.  Yes, tenth tour.  With lots of young artist break downs like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and the tragic Amy Winehouse, Hanson has overcome the challenges of the limelight and are still kicking stronger than ever five albums and 10 tours later.

The boys will play the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available.

When talking to Isaac, he explained how Hanson was able focus on their music and not fall into the other things that the industry has to offer.

“The stability for us was we were focused on what we did as a music craft,” he said. “For us it was feeling like we needed something more to do, needed another song to be written, always driven by the music itself and not worried about the ups and downs of the game.  We told ourselves ‘If it’s not you, it’ll be someone else, enjoy it make sure you’re focused on music.”

When talking about Hanson’s musical style, he said, “You’ll find a strong sense of R&B, blues, and even gospel in our music.  Certain songs can be more rootsy. Harmony was always there.  Even looking back at MMMbop, you can’t sing that without harmony.  Harmony is something that has been part of Hanson’s DNA.”

They have had “appropriate comparisons to the Jackson 5” because of the “singer, songwriter, acoustic, pop song, piano, rootsy” musical style.

“Musical consistency has always been there,” he said. “The obvious change from our first record to now is our younger voices…if you take the first record MMMbop [music and songs that they wrote) and our first independent release in 2004 or our latest album, I think people can see content and songs are consistent.”  Isaac adds that even at a young age, they “always had a damn clear idea what we wanted to do with our music career and lives.”

The tour will go through cities in the U.S. and then that will lead straight into their “Shout It Out” tour that will take them to Latin America, Europe and the UK.

“The Musical Ride” tour was inspired after performing five days in a row in New York in 2010 and in London earlier in 2011 as a way to launch their fifth studio album “Shout It Out”.  Each night, Hanson performed a complete album for their fans and audience.  The online requests to have the same five day performance in other cities was immense.

“Although the idea of playing all five of our albums over the course of a week in each city would be cool,” Isaac said.

The band decided to launch the “Musical Ride” tour, which will allow fans from each city to vote for one album they want to hear the night of Hanson’s performance.

Isaac says Hanson has always given their fans a chance “to have a voice.”  And throughout the years, Hanson’s interaction with fans online and in person through meet and greets have given their fans a voice.

Isaac says the chance to vote online has generated an “audience reaction” with “lots of votes, tens of thousands.”

The tour not only allows fans voice to be heard, but also have a chance to sit with the three Hanson members, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, in an event called “The Story,” in which the members talks about the making of their album “Middle of Nowhere” and any other conversation that comes to mind.

The group will finish the tour Nov. 1 in the U.S. and go straight into their “Shout It Out” tour (their fifth album release) which will take them  to Latin America, Europe, and the UK.

For anyone who hasn’t followed Hanson after their first single “MMMbop,” the three member group has come a long way since then.