Before performing the national anthem, Hanson members speak to the news media before the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
DARLINGTON, S.C. – On Sunday evening at Darlington Raceway, Hanson performed the national anthem before the 69th running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Hanson, known for the song “ MMMBop,” made their first visit to Darlington Raceway on Sunday, but they have sung the national anthem at several races previously. They’ve performed the patriotic song at a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as a race outside of Chicago and in Mexico City. While they admit that they aren’t necessarily hardcore sports fans, Hanson understands the pure passion that fans have for NASCAR.
“To me, one of the greatest things about coming to NASCAR is just seeing the pride people have in it,” Taylor Hanson said. “We’ll go to a baseball game – we’re not crazy sports followers of baseball. We’ll go sing the national anthem at a NASCAR race – we’re not following the details of the race, but it takes very little to get excited and be wrapped up in what this is all about, and it’s so American, too.”
Hanson was honored to be able to perform the national anthem at Darlington Raceway, which has roots that reach back to when NASCAR was first organized. Hanson has been around in the music industry for quite some time, so they can relate to the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR.
“It’s clearly a track with great history. Obviously it goes back really early in the sport actually being formalized, and that’s cool,” Taylor Hanson said. “We’re a band with history, so we kind of have a deep respect for what that means for building fans. Coming back to a place here and seeing that grow … we’re not big sports buffs or race fans in a sense if you ask me who’s winning races or who my favorite drivers it, I’m going to be like werp, werp, but if you turn on a NASCAR race, I’ll sit down and drink a beer and watch it with you, because it’s a spectacle, and it’s cool to see anyone do something at a really high level sport like this.”
Hanson has done quite more than just performed “MMMBop.” In fact, Hanson is gearing up to start touring again in October. Their newest album, “String Theory,” is expected to be released sometime in November. Hanson said their trip to Darlington Raceway fit perfectly into their schedule just prior to their upcoming tour.
“We’ve been doing a bunch of different fly-in, fly-out kind of gigs with symphonies, and so it actually lined up really well that this race is only a day or so after another gig we had just done,” Isaac Hanson said. “It’s good! It’s always fun.
“We really, really do genuinely like singing the national anthem. It’s an important part of who we are as Americans, so just the fact that you’re able to represent your country in that way is a big deal.”