Hanson brothers just getting warmed up

By | September 7, 2011

SF Examiner

Former teen-pop family band Hanson could easily rest on their recent laurels. The Tulsa trio was suddenly back on the charts last year, with a soulful fifth album called “Shout It Out” and a surprise hit single, “Give a Little.”

Through their personal 3CG label, they also released: a deluxe “Shout” edition featuring hand-painted pieces by Taylor and his brothers Zac and Isaac, a book of the artwork, “The 113 Painting Book,” and “5 of 5,” a DVD of the five-date concert run they performed in New York, playing their albums in chronological order, one per night.

Hanson even guest-stars as the house band in Katy Perry’s hilarious new “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video, alongside Kenny G.

Frontman Taylor, however, believes his group — which plays the Regency Ballroom in The City on Wednesday —  is just getting warmed up.

Lately, he’s been hard at work in Tennessee, flexing his publishing-house muscles.

“I just walked out of a writing session with the Jars of Clay guys,” the 28-year-old reports. “We’ve been in Nashville just writing, but not for ourselves — just with guys who are our friends, straight-up songwriters who are based there.”

He and Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger also have started preliminary work on the sophomore set from their power-pop supergroup Tinted Windows.

“There’s definitely some brewing tunage,” he says.

But right now, Hanson is busy with its Musical Ride Tour, wherein acolytes vote online for the catalog classic Hanson will perform from start to finish in each city.

“For this tour, we wanted to share the craziness of  “5 of 5,” but we didn’t want to say ‘Here’s 67 songs — make your set list,’” Taylor says. “So people are still voting now, and the winning album won’t be known until the day of the gig.”

The 1996 breakthrough “MMMBop” isn’t the forerunner, adds the singer, whose boyhood falsetto has deepened into an adult R&B-smoked rasp. Votes are also piling up for 2007’s “The Walk.”

But the band pays special attention to its fan club, with exclusive blogs, live concert streams, and an annual EP, like this year’s “Facing the Blank Page.”

Online, Hansonites got to watch the siblings build its five songs from scratch in real time.

“If you were a fan club member, we basically let you inside the studio,” Hanson says.

Hanson won’t quote exact figures. But his registered following is “several thousand strong,” he says. “And the future of being in a band is, you are a community — you’ve got to be, that’s the only way. And that core group of people who love you? You’ve got to treat them right.”



Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $30
Contact: (800) 745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/music/2011/09/hanson-brothers-just-getting-warmed#ixzz1XHNGUkLA