Hanson goes from boys to men

By | January 24, 2012

Sherwood Park News 

Hanson’s unique branding could mean the launch of their own beer

By Meaghan Baxter News Staff

Posted 10 hours ago

Decibel level records could be set at Festival Place this Friday thanks to the Hanson brothers.

Zac, Taylor and Isaac catapulted to teen heartthrob supremacy in the late ’90s with the release of their infectious single “MMMBop,” and the release of their major-label debut Middle of Nowhere, which went on to earn three Grammy nominations.

The trio will be performing to a sold-out crowd on Friday at 7:30 p.m. as part of their most extensive Canadian tour to date.

“It’s really kind of the end of a touring cycle, so we’ve had a lot of chances to see fans all over the world and I think it’s time to see how the Canadian fans stack up, Taylor said.

While the tour is mainly to promote their latest album, Shout it Out, Taylor said that doesn’t mean they won’t be revisiting other hits, which could be from as far back as their “MMMBop” days.

“For us, it’s really just about making it an experience where people walk away saying, ‘I want to come back,’” Taylor said.

Hanson’s grown up, and so has their sound. Their latest album, Shout it Out, is a homage to the classic American rock sounds of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that influenced the trio growing up. The tracks were all penned by the band and were produced on their label, 3CG Records.

Special guest appearances from Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babitt and horn arranger Jerry Hey — who is credited for working with Michael Jackson — among others, assisted in creating the unique blend of classic and modern heard on the album.

“There’s great music in every era, but what happened in the ’60s and the ’50s before that was that combination of rhythm and kind of the modern pop song,” Taylor said. “You never just want to be repeating something that happened. You’re always looking for inspiration and then trying to make it your own and reinvent the things you find inspiring.”

Hanson decided to step outside the box with Shout it Out, and created a package for the album that connected listening with art. The platinum package goes far beyond the usual album booklet and includes a custom record player, headphones, a photo book, LP, screenprinted poster, documentary, a listening manual and unreleased demos from the album. On top of all this, each package also held a one-of-a-kind painting by one of the band



The trio created 113 paintings in the weeks leading up to the album’s release. Each is signed and the entire collection was made into a book, which reflects the band’s vision for the album, and their art itself.

“We’re musicians, but we’ve always enjoyed all aspects of that expression and I think we wanted the record to be a little more of a celebration of surviving this long,” Taylor said of the band’s five records and nearly 20 years of performing together.

The artwork furthers the intent of Shout it Out, which he said conjured the images of bold colours and speaking one’s mind.

“It’s a message that’s saying be bold, and really it’s just kind of being comfortable in our own skin,” Taylor said.

Fans could soon be enjoying Hanson’s music with their own brand of beer called MMMHops. The name was jokingly suggested by Isaac, but stuck. Taylor said the endeavour is also being done as a celebration of the band’s longevity.

“To us, it kind of fit into this taking it up a notch; taking it to the next level, thinking about our fan base getting older, thinking about us as life continues to change,” he said, adding they are in the process of finding a partner brewer.

After hitting a milestone in music at an age when many are just starting out, Hanson doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Fans can expect more music in the coming year as the band works on a new album.

For more information about Hanson visit www.hanson.net.

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