Hanson Applying ‘Michael Jackson Theory’ and Social Media to Making New Music in 2012

By | April 25, 2012

AOL Music

3CG Records

Hanson have promised we’ll be hearing new music from them before the end of 2012.

Taylor HansonIsaac Hanson and Zac Hanson, the trio of brothers who make up the family band, made that vow while in Toronto recently to promote the release of their Shout it Out album, which has finally just now officially come out in Canada a peculiar two years after it came out in the United States.

Hanson, who’s song “MMMBop” conquered the world back in 1997, are well aware that promoting an album as new two years after initial release is weird and are pledging to get their music out to everyone more equitably next time around.

It’s a good thing, too, because with the band promising to apply the “Michael Jackson theory” — lots of groove and melody — to their next batch of music, nobody’s going to want too wait long to hear it.

AOL Music Blog recently talked to the brothers about this theory, the soul-flavoured Shout it Out, their connection to their Canadian fans, drinking with Carly Rae Jepsen and just how long they’re going to make us wait for said next album.

You first released Shout it Out in America two years ago, and you’ve been touring and promoting the album ever since. After all of this time, is there a part of you that’s getting a little tired of talking about the album? Are you itching to move on to the next project?

Taylor: We’re never tired of talking about ourselves. (laughs) We’re still sharing it with people so, ultimately, we’re still really proud of what we’ve created. Yes, you are excited about what’s next. You’re always excited about what’s next. We’re thinking about the next record already and writing it and thinking about recording stuff. But Shout it Out is a record we’re really proud of. It has a strong identity from top to bottom, probably the most cohesive sounding album that we’ve made.

There’s always been a bit of a soul influence in the Hanson sound, but Shout it Out sounds like your most fully realized soul album. Was that intentional?

Taylor: It’s kind of interesting because if you really like music and you’re paying attention this is much more connected to those references, but we could go a lot further if we really wanted to and just make a soul record. And I’m hoping that on this next record there are some songs where we do go even further into that. This is a pop record done by guys that listen to soul music, so it has all of this stuff. It’s much more piano-driven and bass. Guitar plays a much more supportive role instead of a power chord role, and that’s a big part of that sound. The guitar is the colour instead of the power and that leaves more room for vocals and a little more room for percussion. We love that.

The rhythm and the melody itself are the two things in our band that we can’t take away. We like guitars, we like lush instruments and stuff. But if you can get us to go out on a good groove and a singable melody, you can get by.

Isaac: That’s the Michael Jackson theory.

Zac: Who cares about the guitar solo and the lyrics if the melody makes you feel what the lyrics are trying to say?

You toured Canada fairly extensively in January and February of this year, before Shout it Out was even released. Was that a little weird or awkward?

Taylor: It was a little backwards. But Hanson is bigger than one album. A lot of fans were aware of the record and we saw it as a setup tool for that record coming out. There’s a certain contingent of traveling fans, Canadians that have come to see us in the US and they knew about the record. And, if you go to our shows, it’s not like we’re only playingShout it Out music. We’re playing songs from all of the records, so it wasn’t too weird.

Isaac: More than anything, too, we’re talking about people in Thunder Bay and North Bay and Kelowna who have never, ever had the opportunity to come see a Hanson concert. So for them everything was fresh and new. It was an experience that they’d never had the opportunity to have. There were plenty of cases where people were like “I’ve been waiting 15 years for you to do a concert that I could actually see!” So it was a nice process, a building process, and a way to expose the majority of the Canadian audience to the concerts.

The physical act of touring across Canada, especially in the winter, is considered very character building. How did you guys handle it?

Isaac: Oh, it was a lot of fun.

Taylor: I like the way you said that. Yeah, it is character building. We already had tons of character, so it…

Isaac: We have been in Minnesota in very cold weather.

Taylor: It wasn’t the coldest ever. In fact, I think the tour that we did in 2007 that had a section in Canada was actually a colder tour overall. We had some days that were just terribly cold on this tour, but it wasn’t as painful from the point of view of the snow.

You’ve mentioned that you’re starting to think about the next album. Have you written any songs for it yet? When can we expect new material from Hanson?

Isaac: There are a lot of songs that are in the wings for the next record.

Zac: 2012 will hear new music from Hanson, besides Shout it Out. You’re going to get something. We have been concocting some really cool ideas. The mission with the next album process is how to engage the world of fans more at the same time. Here we are, a little further out, having released a record in Canada. So we’re trying to use a lot of the tools which we have, whether it’s social media or live streaming or, you know, a lot of the community we’ve built to really make sure to get all of our fans engaged at the same time.

We’re really excited about making another record and I think that what we want to figure out is how to make a record that has all of the quality of going into the studio and really letting it cook, but we want to throw little bread crumbs out. We want to let fans get a bite here and and a bite there so that we don’t have to go away for 10 months and say “We’ll see you!” and then start all over. We want to be able to build excitement for the next thing.