'Mmmbop' boy band Hanson has grown a lot since the '90s

By | August 22, 2013

Shreveport Times

Mmmhandsome: All-grown-up Hanson returns to Des Moines on Wednesday.

Mmmhandsome: All-grown-up Hanson returns to Des Moines on Wednesday.  /  Jiro Schneider/Special to the Register

The group plays a Nitefall on the River concert Wednesday night.

It was probably just a matter of time: Hanson has intro­duced a new brand of beer called Mmmhops.

That’s right, the ’90s boy band known for  infrequent haircuts has brewed up a product named for its hit song, “Mmmbop” — and the boys are  old enough now to drink it themselves. The three brothers — Isaac, 32, Taylor, 30, and baby Zac, 28 — are all married now, with seven pip­squeak Hansons among them.

The beer is available online, along with Mmmhops pint glasses ($15) and T-shirts ($25). Mmmlager and Mmm­pilsner may be next, and all the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

“You know, that’s actually kind of genius,” Taylor told the New York food blog Grubstreet. “Like, here we are at the end of a long day, you sit down at the bar and think, ‘Mmm, hops.’ You can sort of imagine Homer Simpson saying it.”

But the beer is just one of the good ideas they’ve had over the years.

The group that performs Wednesday at Simon Estes Amphithea­ter has successfully morphed from a boy band into a full-grown-man band by following the advice it once gave to Justin Bieber in Rolling Stone: Polish your vocal technique. Don’t obsess about your hair. And most important, evolve.

The band released its most recent album, “Anthem,” earlier this summer. It has a harder-edged guitar sound than the 2010 R&B disc “Shout It Out,” which featured none other than Weird Al Yankovic on the tambourine. (Watch the street-dance single “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’ ” on YouTube. You won’t be sorry.)

“We’ve always been a band that was highly influenced by late ’50s and ’60s Motown, but we also listen to Queen and AC/DC. So the guitars make a huge comeback” on the new album, youngest brother Zac said over the phone from the band’s headquarters in Tulsa, Okla., the Hansons’ hometown.

The current tour set samples songs from all  11 of Hanson’s albums, including a certain 1996 mmmhit that made the band mmmfamous. They’ve clearly made peace with it.

“I don’t think we ever hated it, because I think we always knew what it was,” Zac said. “Some fans will be coming to their first show. Some fans will be coming to their 100th. But it’s about that one moment: Are you still engaging in that moment and making the most of it for the fans?”

The “Mmmbop” lyrics, you may remember, are about the fleeting passage of time: “So hold on to the ones who really care / In the end they’ll be the only ones there / And then you get old and start losing your hair.”

“That song just becomes more and more of a revelation over time,” Zac said. “Wow. Few things last over time.”

Except that chorus when it sticks in your head.

Mmmbop. Ba duba dop. Ba du bop. Ba duba dop, yeah!

You’re welcome.

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