24 hours Toronto
It’s hard to believe but boy band Hanson has been around for 20 years. SUPPLIED
Isaac Hanson of MMMBop fame only has to look at the 12 offspring he and younger brothers Taylor, 34, and Zac, 31, have produced since first shooting to fame two decades ago as teen pop trio Hanson to realize there could be – wait for it – Hanson: The Next Generation.
“I look at my kids and go, ‘Wow – I was this age and my parents were like, It’s cool. Go for it,’says Hanson, 36.
“My oldest son is 10 and he’s a very charismatic young person. I was only a year older than him when my brothers and I started singing together. He’s also musically skilled, too. He’s already picked up the guitar and is playing so who knows? If they decide to be a band, I hope they come up with something clever ’cause often the idea is, ‘Oh yeah, Hanson Jr.'”
Isaac talked to 24 Hours from Atlanta before Hanson’s 25th anniversary tour stops at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on Wednesday (Oct. 4) and Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on Oct. 18.
Hanson also returns for two Christmas shows on Nov. 24-25 at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of their new holiday album, Finally It’s Christmas, due Oct. 27.
Do you guys have any trepidation about crossing the border into Canada after calling homegrown boy Justin Bieber’s music “chlamydia of the ear,” during an Australia radio show interview in June?
We did get a little bit [of push back]. Look, I think Justin is a talented guy. I think he’s gotten a lot of PR for a lot of things that have nothing to do with his music and that’s unfortunate. We were kidding around. I was not meaning for it to be taken nearly as seriously as it was. The unfortunate thing about that was before we went on the air, there was a conversation going on about the chlamydia epidemic amongst koalas and then one thing led to another. And then when Zac was like, ‘Oh, well, I don’t really like Justin’s music all that much.’And then I, trying to make a joke, [said that]. It’s not something I want to take to my grave.
How dedicated do your Canadian fans remain?
We’ve had so much continued engagement and enthusiasm from the Canadian fans as a whole. I mean, it really very much feels like home in so many ways. Canadian fans are fantastic. It’s impossible to complain.
It’s been 25 years since Hanson was formed and 20 years since your major label debut, 1997’s Middle Of Nowhere featuring MMMBop, was released. How have you guys changed?
I think we’re the best band we’ve ever been for sure. I mean 20 years into it, we sure as hell better be. I think we have a lot of fun playing these shows. It’s such a great combo of new and old faces coming out to see the shows. We’ve got everything from fans that are younger than our first record to fans that have been with us from the very beginning. It’s really pretty cool.
And what about the passage of time?
When we kind of said, ‘Hey, you know we’re 25 years old [as a group],’I think it set a little bit of shock to the system. I think there were a lot of fans that were just kind of, ‘Wait, a second. It’s been 25 years since the beginning.’It’s a really cool thing. Very few people get to this kind of thing for 25 years. We had to stick a stake in the ground and claim it. There’s something about reaching certain milestones where you look around and go, ‘Wow, okay.'”
Do you feel older?
What I will say is I very much feel like the same person from my 16-year-old self to now. And maybe part of that is unlike most 16-year-olds, I’ve literally been doing the same job since I was 16. So it has a certain level of consistency.