[Translated using Google Translate]
Hanson: “We do not miss the 90’s”
The Hanson brothers, the boys who became known in the 90s for their kid pop / rock style hits and for their golden mane, are 25 years old. The time does not weigh them, and they continue working like from the first day. The American trio celebrates its anniversary with a world tour that will bring them to the Opera Theater on August 22. Zac Hanson talked to Billboard and inquired into his story. Coming soon, Billboard will be giving away a couple of meet & greet.
Congratulations on the double anniversary … Hanson turns 25 and his debut album, Middle of Nowhere, reached 20.
“Yes, it’s a long time, and it feels incredible. We are proud of everything we have done, so it does not make us feel bad or old, but quite the opposite. It makes us happy to think about everything we did and on the way we traveled.”
A Latin American tour is about to begin. How do you prepare to come?
“Well, we do not do anything special. It’s been several years since we went down to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico … it’s very exciting to return. It’s going to be a great tour, the shows we did so far were amazing. That people from all over the world are going to see us does not stop surprising us.”
The Argentine public has been waiting for them for a long time, mainly those nostalgic ones of the 90. You are definitely an icon of that time. Do you miss those times?
“No, I do not feel that way. I love the 90’s because I lived great experiences, some of the best things in my life happened at the time. But I do not have nostalgia, I do not miss that moment because I always look forward. I think the next decade is just as exciting as the last decade. The reason we are still with the band is that we are always anxious to see what will happen next, what is the next step. If you cling to the past, you can not build a future.”
What is the secret to staying current?
-If I knew, today we would be even bigger … Cheat, it’s definitely because we look to the future. Not only must we think about the moment and do things that serve now, but we must be faithful to what we want and keep it in time. I think we did well … if I look back I am very proud of our career, from the moment MMMBop came out so far. We were lucky to make the right choices and I do not regret anything. I would say the secret is that we were not known by our personality, but by the things we did. We always try to tell stories and send messages with our songs. Obviously, who we are is part of our story and I do not pretend to escape that, but we never had to go out and talk about our private life to get attention. It is not easy to be booked into this environment, but we did. We are musicians, not celebrities.
I imagine it must be difficult to escape the public eye, especially when you become a rockstar at age 11 … How did you handle fame as a child?
“I think fame is something very difficult to carry at any age, whether you are big or small … it can even destroy you. The popularity, even to the smallest extent, can be the worst. To cope with this, we focused on who we wanted to be, how we wanted to be and how we wanted to be remembered. No matter what happens, we always stop to say, “Okay, this is happening to us now, but how do we want it to look in 20 years?” Looking at you from above and thinking about how you want your band to develop really helps.”
I think they found the formula to last in time: they are well regarded as a band and continue to make good songs.
“Yes! And in 20 years we will continue to do the same. We will do it until we are old, until we can not physically walk on a stage. I consider myself addicted to my profession. When you are in the spotlight or at a bad time, music is the way to process your own life. When you are a child, everything hangs on a very thin thread … not everyone can follow the right path without breaking. One way to do this is to grab all your emotions and turn them into songs.”
Besides, you always had the support of your brothers. Have you ever fought to the point that you almost disband the band?
“No, although the truth is we do not get along so well. We get on point. I do not know why everyone thinks we do not fight. It’s just the opposite, we fight every day. But as always we put the band first and our greatest dream, then we go forward despite everything.”
It is noticed that since very young people already had clear what they wanted. Did you imagine that MMMBop would be a devastating hit?
– (Laughs) No, but that does not mean we did not want it to be that way.
Are you tired of being constantly mentioned by MMMBop after 20 years?
– That MMMBop was the track by which they have known us, it seems something magical to me. I am very proud of that song, more than anything because the plot has to do much with us. MMMBop talks about how things can last very little in life and that you have to choose well what you want, because it is what you are going to hold on and so you are going to fight. I do not get tired of talking about that because it’s a very important part of the 25 years of our career. In addition, the theme has a deeper and more powerful meaning than everyone believes. The irony of that song is what catches my attention, for many people it has an emotional meaning and refers to our lives … while others have no idea what it is and even pronounce it wrong. I think the only thing that bothers me is that they ask me if I mind talking about it (laughs).
Poor thing! If you were a baby starting your career today, do you think you would make a different style of music?
-Don’t worry, I do not get angry (laughs). Yes, I would surely do other types of music. It’s interesting because I never set myself thinking specifically about what style we do. It was always natural, we never said “I want to do such thing”. Of course we have influences, for example from rock ‘n’ roll … this made our music what it is. In fact, I do not think we are similar to other bands: the combination of our lyrics and harmonies is quite personal. It may sound similar, but I do not know it. If we started now, we would certainly have other influences and we would do something different. But we would continue to look for our own personality and sound. Today I think one puts a track of ours and says: “This is Hanson”.
Is there a new musician or band you like?
“There are very talented people, I can think of Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, who we did cover the last time we were in Australia. The one that I will always be a fan of is Michael Jackson.”
You should do a collaboration with Ed Sheeran or at least write a song.
“It would be great, it has a lot of talent. The good thing about joining with him would be that we would not step on each other, each one can do his part. He plays an acoustic, we put an electric, the keyboards and the battery It would only lack the bass!”
I can not fail to mention his new single, it’s very sweet and catchy. What message is I Was Born?
-I Was Born is a song that we wrote seven years ago without knowing that later it would be a song of Hanson. It has a very powerful message. When we thought about the 25th anniversary, we thought it was the perfect time to bring it to light. It is dreams, how when we are little we have no limits, and then great, life leads us to leave them aside. In many ways it is our story … the theme of dreaming big and not giving up or being afraid to go out and get that dream. The world sometimes needs a song with a deep sense that shows the less glamorous part of life. There are already too many frivolous songs that, for example, talk only about women.
In August they will play in Buenos Aires. What would you say to the fans of Argentina?
“We are very happy to go there. To all the fans in Argentina, I invite you to our show and I hope to celebrate together this anniversary. Let’s relive all of our best songs. We will sing from MMMbop to I Was Born, we love to share our music and our memories. It will really be a beautiful night.”