Can you believe it’s been almost twenty years since three blonde-haired boys from Oklahoma MMMBop’d their way into the charts and the hearts of girls (and maybe a few guys) across the globe? Like The Beatles, every fan had their favourite – and now, thanks to a recent catch-up ahead of the Australian leg of their world tour, mine is the older, wiser and notably shorter-haired big brother, Isaac.
“We’re extremely excited that we’re coming back to Australia so soon – it’s been only about two years since the Shout It Out tour. Last time we made a promise to everyone who came to the shows that we were going to get back down to Australia as soon as possible. We love to make good on our promises.” Isaac quickly added, “Besides, it wouldn’t be a proper world tour without seeing you guys again!”
Anthem (out now) is the guys’ sixth studio album and I’m told that the sound on a few of the tracks was inspired by some home-grown rock heroes. “The opening track on Anthem, ‘Fired Up’, was influenced by your own AC/DC. Some people may be saying ‘What?! Hanson and AC/DC?’ But when you hear it, it makes a lot of sense … and it was so much fun to play some raucous rock ’n’ roll!”
Isaac went on to say how a breakdown in brotherly love and flared tempers were the catalyst for some of the more “aggressive” sounding tracks.
“I will say, going into this record was definitely a challenge and we found ourselves more worn out and even more frustrated with one another than ever before.” Isaac explained: “We had a very ambitious plan for this album release and when it didn’t work out it triggered a lot of tension and ultimately there was a need for a brother/band hiatus. It was close to six months before we actively started working together again on the music,” he recalled.
“We needed that time apart from one another. We realised people said things that they didn’t mean out of frustration and exhaustion. We had to let the dust settle a little bit and make peace with one another – say a few ‘I’m sorrys’. But interestingly, the healing process actually translated into some really intense, fun and aggressive music. We found ourselves writing songs like ‘Fired Up’, ‘You Can’t Stop Us Now’, ‘Scream and Be Free’ or ‘Already Home’ – that’s about the grass not always being greener. Most of these songs are more autobiographical than I sometimes care to admit.”
I think you’d agree that Isaac, Taylor and Zac have grown into lovely guys and they’re genuinely talented musicians – the type of role models parents wish were around for kids these days (I don’t need to name names). All three are proud fathers, have their own record label (3CG Records) and are advocates for numerous charities and organisations working to stomp out poverty and AIDS in Africa.
“It might sound corny, but we’ve always believed in doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. We also started the ‘Take the Walk’ initiative where we do one mile barefoot walks before gigs and [we] donate a dollar for every person that shows up and walks with us. The purpose of doing that is to remind people that actions speak louder than words, because words ring hollow without action … We’d love to do one in Australia.” Go to hanson.net to get involved.
Here’s one more tasty titbit about the talented trio – and chances are, if you remember when ‘MMMBop’ was first released you’d be of drinking age – Hanson have become beer makers! So if you like nothing better than kicking back listening to classic Hanson tunes with a couple of brewskies – do it with ‘Mmmhops’, their very first craft beer. “We’re very much in the business of brewing our own beer. I guarantee we’ll be sending it down to you as soon as possible – we’ll keep you posted!”
WHERE&WHEN: The Palais Theatre, Melbourne – August 9