“YOU don’t just randomly get caught naked … not even the most famous person in the world.”
If anyone’s qualified to lift the lid on what really goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood, it’s Hanson — the band of three brothers who shot to super-stardom in 1997 after their breakthrough album Middle of Nowhere sold 16 million records.
Hanson were just 15, 13 and 11 when they wrote MMMBop, the song that made them famous.
Hanson were just 15, 13 and 11 when they wrote MMMBop, the song that made them famous.Source:News Limited
Isaac, Zac and Taylor’s stars rose around the same time as the likes of Britney Spears and N*Sync, but despite regularly crossing paths over the years — they insist they’re nothing like their peers.
Namely, they’ve managed to steer clear of any scandals.
“Having any success means anything you do is going to be scrutinised … It still comes back to your choices and your judgment,” Taylor Hanson told news.com.au.
“Britney Spears — someone saw her whatever walking out of a club. That specific club has photographers there, they were there for that reason — to be seen. That’s what people don’t talk about. It’s not like ‘oh my gosh, how did this happen?’”
He added: “You don’t just randomly get caught naked with someone you don’t want to get caught naked with and have it posted online — not even the most famous people in the world.”
It’s a surprisingly rational response from a group who did the famous family thing well before anyone kept up with Kardashians.
But unlike reality TV’s first family, Hanson has always refused to be famous for famous’ sake.
“With our choices, good or bad, we’ve always wanted to be known for something. Not just for who are, for famousness, and we’re not particularly interested in the idea of just doing something because it will be successful,” Zac said.
It was that kind of thinking that held Hanson back from saturating the market with their merchandise back in the day, despite the big money that can be made by boy bands spruiking products to an overeager tween market.
Plenty of screaming fans were waiting to greet Hanson when they touched down in Australia in 1997.
Plenty of screaming fans were waiting to greet Hanson when they touched down in Australia in 1997.Source:News Corp Australia
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And it seems to have made up part of the “artistic differences” which fuelled the split in 2003 with their record label, Island Def-Jam, and pushed them to set up their own company.
“We left our major label because it was a big corporation that didn’t know what it wanted from Hanson … We had artists — really successful people — going, ‘Why? What are you guys doing?’” Taylor recalled.
“But the decision to leave the label was the same reason why we didn’t make dolls and lunch boxes when our first record was blowing up … Some of those [decisions], you go ‘yeah, maybe at that moment it may have made more money’.”
As Isaac added: “In hindsight, it might not have been the right call.”
Here are some other surprising revelations Hanson shared with news.com.au.
WHO ACTUALLY INVENTED MMMBOP?
“It was right in a moment … I don’t remember the exact second, I remember just walking away from the microphone trying to come up with some kind of scatty thing to go underneath this song. And we came up with this thing [MMMBop] and were like, ‘oh this is cool!’” Isaac
THEIR CRAZIEST FANS
“We’ve definitely had fans find their way to our hotel rooms, we’ve had people hiding underneath cars or garages waiting for us to show up at a specific spot.” Taylor
“One of the crazier things that happened with fans — I’m not 100 per cent sure we still hold this record — but at one time, we held the record for the loudest audience of all time.” Zac
BEING THE BUTT OF MANY, MANY JOKES
“Being a part of pop culture — we get the joke. It’s hilarious … [in a Family Guy scene] I’m kind of jealous Quagmire wanted to get with [Taylor].” Zac
“That’s a huge thing to be grateful for – that you’re relevant enough that people are able to make a joke or insert you into pop culture.” Taylor
“We were the ones on SNL making fun of our own songs!” Isaac
WHY THEY’RE NOT REALLY A ‘BOY BAND’
“The term ‘boy band’ has been used almost exclusively with bands that have been ‘assembled’. Like One Direction, they were put together. They were contestants on a talent show. We don’t mind the association with ‘band’ or ‘boys’ or ‘pop’, but we’re actually not that comparable to those artists … except in the sense of it being ‘popular’.” Zac
WHEN THEY FIRST REALISED THEY WERE FAMOUS
“We went to an event that was supposed to be just us playing acoustic in front of a small crowd, and it was thousands of people crammed into a shopping mall.” Zac
Hanson is currently in Australia on the Middle of Everywhere 20th Anniversary World Tour. For more info and tickets, head to the Ticketmaster website.