Zac Hanson says there will “definitely be a next album” from him and his brothers, though “not ’til the middle of next year.”
But in a moment he clarifies that comment. “To be honest, we’re not sure whether we want to make a full record again or not,” the drumming third of Hanson tells Billboard.com.
He explains, “We want to do something a little different. The music industry has changed, so I think we will definitely do aother project, but it might end up being multiple small things. We like to innovate and do things we’re excited about. I think one more normal, 12-song album isn’t what we want to do now.”
Hanson says that he and older brothers Isaac and Taylor are acutely aware that “you’re up against so much multi-media content that you really have to create an ‘experience’ of listening to something.” He feels the sibling trio addressed that somewhat with the release of its 2010 album “Shout It Out,” which came out in a variety of special editions that included everything from a documentary to custom-made headphones and a hand-done painting.
“You want to create the type of experience where people put a record on and surround themselves with your craft and they experience it not just in the background on the CD player but as an activity itself,” he explains. “That’s the type of thing we’d like to do more of.”
It may be a while before Hanson, the band, starts to hone in on exactly what its next recording project will be. The trio, which made a cameo in the video for Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night,” is currently in the midst of its Music Ride Tour, for which its letting fans in each city vote on one of the group’s five albums they’d like to hear played in its entirety. Zac reports that “there’s been a lot of variance” in the voting so far. “I sort of expected nostalgia to win handily and to see (1996’s “Middle of Nowhere”) most every night, but after the first week in, four of the five albums have already won a different show. It seems much more broad than we expected.
“It’s a crazy thought to us that we have new fans, and some of them were born around the time that first album came out. So they’re coming to our shows now and they know the later albums like ‘The Walk’ and ‘Shout It Out’ and that’s what they want to hear.”
The tour also tacitly celebrates 15 years since “Middle of Nowhere,” Hanson’s quadruple-platinum major label debut, and its chart topping hit “MMMBop.” Zac laughs as he recalls the kinds of questions he and his brothers were asked back in those days, when they were teen sensations and not necessarily expected to produce another album, much less four more.
“We’d do interviews and they’d go, ‘OK, what jobs do you want to have when you grow up?’ ” recalls Zac, who was 11 at the time and is 25 now, married with two children. “It was so patronizing, so frustrating. You’re just like, ‘Really? This is what you’re asking me?’ We said the same thing then as we would say now, that we’d be doing music whether it’s in a garage or a stadium or a club, whatever, until we can’t walk anymore, because it’s part of our blood. It’s part of who we are… since we were little kids hearing rock ‘n’ roll and Motown records from the late 60s and early 60s. It’s something that, when it’s in you, you can’t do anything else.”