30 Years On, Hanson Are Still Finding New Ways to Push Themselves

By | May 20, 2022

The Latch

Hanson Red Green Blue 2022 tour australia taylor zac isaac

In 1997, Hanson began their meteoric rise to success when they released “MMMBop”, a song that spent nine weeks holding the number one spot on the ARIA Singles Chart and went on to be certified platinum twice over. The brothers, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, were only 16, 13, and 11 years old respectively at the time.

Since then, Hanson have released 11 studio albums, six compilation albums, four live albums and two demo albums, with their sound evolving and changing as they’ve grown out of adolescence, made their way through young adulthood, gotten married, and had children. Their sound has grown, evolved and shifted along with them, but for the general public, they’ll forever be most strongly connected with the infectious pop melody of “MMMBop”.

As the Hanson brothers sat down to talk to The Latch about their latest release, RED GREEN BLUE, and their upcoming Australian tour, we had to know: do they ever consider what their career trajectory would’ve looked like had they debuted later on?

“It’s an interesting thing to think about,” said Zac. “I mean, ultimately, we’re really really thankful for the strong, real, authentic connection we made with the fans at such a young age.”

Calling the experience “something that we could never top”, Zac went on to say that it was a “huge, huge, huge benefit” for them to have debuted when they did, “because when people were still defining who they wanted to be in their life, they were saying ‘I want Hanson to be a part of that’”.

“People would probably think of us as a rock band instead of a pop band if we had come out five years later,” Zac conceded, “but we love pop music, so as long as people think of us, I think it’s good most ways!”

The new album, RED GREEN BLUE, is comprised of three solo-led projects — Taylor’s Red, Isaac’s Green, and Zac’s Blue.

With 30 years of being a band together in the rearview mirror, Zac said that in recent years, they’ve turned their attention to their “bucket list” projects, like 2018’s String Theory, which saw the band reimagine their classic songs for a symphony show.

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The RED GREEN BLUE album, they said, was a way for them to shake up the way they approach songwriting, and the way people perceive them as a band, and to work on individual projects while staying “very much together”, said Zac.

Isaac agreed, adding: “over the years there have been a lot of songs Zac sings lead on, I sing lead on, Taylor sings lead on, and to make more of a point of that I think is a way for people to get a fresh look at the band“.

The most important takeaway, Taylor said, is that they’ve “always been about the music”.

“The music is the reason,” Taylor explained. “It’s the reason we broke young — we were hungry for it — but we just really, in a very pure way, loved the process of creating things, and of getting to play shows.”

Noting that this album is a way to continue “to push the story” of the band, Taylor continued: “All of us enjoy producing, enjoy the studio work as much as we enjoy walking on stage and being the artist, being out in front”.

“It’s gotta be interesting, it’s gotta be inspired, it’s gotta be something that you wanna share, and this project definitely stretched muscles for everybody that hadn’t been stretched —”

Isaac interjected. “I’m still feeling the discomfort,” he joked, rubbing his arm. They laughed.

Working on their solo-driven projects was a way for each brother to tease out their individual sound, which Zac described as “a cool science experiment”.

“We have spent so much time together and at a time even shared a sound system together, had the same record collection,” he explained, “so to see how we diverge when we have 30 years of the same influences, it’s really interesting.”

“I think some of it is driven by the instruments that we primarily play,” Isaac hypothesised, adding that for him, it brought out “the singer-songwriter” more.

“It brought out kind of a roots-ier version of myself, because when you’re sitting there going ‘what do I want to say?’, this is kind of the first time that I’m really allowing myself to be able to go ‘wait a minute, I’m totally in charge of this!’” Isaac explained.

“Nobody’s gonna tell me no!” Zac exclaimed, as they all laughed.

“No project, even this one, having exposed the clarity of different voices, can ever fully say ‘well, here’s the sound’, of this person,” Taylor said, “but I think a lot of the differences you hear are in the types of messages that people want to put into the lyrics, the stories, and I think our process is different.”

He continued: “It’s in the way we go about things, which you don’t hear as clearly, but it is reflected in the way we made these particular things.”

For Taylor, his “biggest interest” when songwriting is to create something that is “a point of connection”.

“It doesn’t have to make exact sense, but it should make sense emotionally,” he explained. “Sometimes you say stuff in a lyric that doesn’t actually, literally makes sense, but every single person is like ‘I know exactly what that is’. I’m looking for that, where even if you didn’t speak the language you would still get it, it’s that visceral sense of it.”

His brothers, however, have a different process.

“Zac is extremely creative,” Taylor said. “Zac is a visual artist, he likes to transport himself like ‘let’s make a movie, how would this character play out?’”

Meanwhile, Isaac is “true” and likes to convey his feelings and emotions directly, keeping thing raw and honest.

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With a new album out and a slew of music they haven’t had a chance to play live yet, Hanson are itching to get back on the road after not being able to tour throughout COVID.

“My 40th birthday on the road was robbed from me!” Isaac exclaimed, laughing.

“We’re figuring out the tour right now,” Zac shared. “It’s an interesting place to be in, we’ve got so much new music.”

The struggle — although they would hesitate to call it that — is in trying to strike a balance in the show that represents the new material while not ignoring the classics.

“We don’t want to walk away from all these memories and all this history that people have with you,” Zac said.

With “like 40 singles” to choose from, choosing which classics to play is no easy feat, but Hanson are committed to giving the fans what they want.

“We never shy away from the classics, the stuff that really brought people together,” Zac said. “They’re probably coming with a friend that they listened to that song in the car on the way there, 20 years earlier they met at a place where they would listen to that song, so you wanna still be able to connect into those memories.”

He continued: “It’s about, ‘how do we make something from this that connects to people’s history?’ and excites them with something new and unexpected, which is the new music and the things we’ve never done.”

For Taylor, the show will be all about “gratitude” and “celebration”, and taking the opportunity to “really seize the moment with the audience”.

“We have this sense of ‘thank you, wow’, so you wanna play the songs that make people feel that excitement,” he explained, “and celebration is really just making sure that you get the chance to really enjoy and lift up the fact that, we all do get to finally get to do a real tour.”

With the Hanson brothers all having large families of their own now — Isaac has three kids, Taylor has seven and Zac has five — we had to know: Is Hanson: The Next Generation on its way?

They laughed. “If they call it Hanson: The Next Generation we’ll slap them across the face, like ‘YOU ARE NOT CREATIVE!’” Isaac joked.

The idea itself, however, is not out of the question.

“Our parents are musical, we have all kinds of relatives who have that ability,” said Zac, who added that “Taylor has some kids who are amazing musicians, [and] Isaac has a son who’s in several bands”.

“It’s possible!” Zac said, recalling the brothers’ own “very strong drive” when they were just starting out.

“It wasn’t put upon us,” Zac explained. “We were going ‘hey, can we play?’ or ‘hey, can somebody get me a drum set?’, that’s just the way it was and it was so very natural, and so I think if they chose to do that, it could happen, it could happen!”

Hanson’s new album RED GREEN BLUE is available now, and presale for the RED GREEN BLUE 2022 Tour begins on Tuesday, May 24.

FRONTIER MEMBERS PRE-SALE
​Runs 24 hours from: Tuesday 24 May (12noon local time) or until pre-sale allocation exhausted

ALL SHOWS 18+*

Sunday 6 November
​The Astor Theatre | Perth, WA
18+
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
ticketek.com.au | Ph: 132 849

Wednesday 9 November
​Enmore Theatre | Sydney, NSW

​Licensed All Ages*
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
ticketek.com.au | Ph: 132 849

Saturday 12 November
​Hindley Street Music Hall | Adelaide, SA

​18+
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
moshtix.com.au | Ph: 1300 438 849

Monday 14 November
​The Fortitude Music Hall | Brisbane, QLD
18+
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
ticketmaster.com.au | Ph: 136 100

Wednesday 16 November
​The Forum | Melbourne, VIC

​18+
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
ticketek.com.au | Ph: 132 849

Saturday 19 November
​Powerstation | Auckland, NZ

​18+
​On sale: Thursday 26 May (12noon local time)
ticketmaster.co.nz | 0800 111 999