Hanson, a trio of preteen brothers from Tulsa, Okla., burst onto the pop music scene with their catchy 1997 hit, “MMMBop.”
Unlike so many boy bands who hit it big and then quickly faded away, Hanson has endured.
The brothers are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their major-label debut with an international tour supporting their new “Red Green Blue” album.
The tour makes a stop at 8 p.m. July 26 at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
“It’s one of the most extensive tours we’ve ever done in one run — 90 shows in 4½ months,” said Isaac Hanson, during a recent hiatus at home in Tulsa. “I actually don’t recommend that many shows in that amount of time, but we feel extremely lucky that we have so many fans in so many places around the world.”
The group is fresh off a month-long run of dates in Scandinavia, central Europe and the United Kingdom.
“Red Green Blue,” their 10th studio album, is something different in the Hanson oeuvre.
Rather than collaborating as a group, each brother — Isaac, 41; Taylor, 39; and Zac, 36 — was responsible for writing and producing five songs.
The brothers perform in different configurations on the individual songs.
“We put a lot of emphasis on the collaboration we do together in this band, and that’s created a very productive and healthy dynamic in most cases,” Isaac Hanson said. “But it’s also important, especially 30 years in, to allow each other to experiment with being your own person.
“For us, this was maybe even about deconstructing the band and asking ourselves what is it about songwriting and working together that gets us excited and keeps us together,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what I thought was gonna come from this record, but I think we each learned a lot about ourselves and each other in the process that was both expected and unexpected.”
As reflected in the album’s cover, each color in the title is ascribed to one of the brothers.
“In a way, there’s an emotional sensibility to those colors, which is appropriate for our personalities,” Isaac said. “Taylor is definitely very passionate, almost like a risk-taking personality. He’s always up for an adventure. I think red definitely implies those kinds of things.”
“My brother Zac is a very imaginative person, an off-we-go-into-the-wild-blue-yonder person,” he added. “Blue makes a lot of sense with him, with the infinite possibilities of space and sky and the ocean.
“Taylor thinks about adventure, Zac is more about possibilities.”
For Isaac, green reflects personal history along with personality. Green was always his favorite color and, as the oldest of seven children, he would buy something in green or put a green sticker on a possession to mark it as his.
“You think about green, you think about nature,” he said. “I’m generally a little bit more of a grounded type of person. I tend to be more community-oriented, more about the bond and the relationships of who you’re on the adventure with, rather than the adventure itself.”
Doing something new
“I think for us, this project was mostly about challenging ourselves to do something we’d never done before and allow each other to explore sides of ourselves we don’t often go to,” Isaac said. “We put a lot of emphasis on the collaboration we do together in this band, and that’s created a very productive and healthy dynamic in most cases. But it’s also important, especially 30 years in, to allow each other to experiment with being your own person.”
Trying something new is crucial to staying creatively fresh, he said. That impulse also was reflected in the band’s 2018 album and tour, “String Theory,” which found Hanson playing with a symphonic orchestra at iconic venues including the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
“We’ve reached a point in our career where it’s important to tell unique stories and new sides of our band — how can we talk about this band in a different way and show people something they didn’t expect or, more importantly, do something that we didn’t expect to be able to do ourselves?” he said.
And yet, long-time fans will hear “MMMBop” at The Palace.
“Do we play a lot of the singles from the past 25 years in a show? Absolutely. Do we play songs like ‘MMMBop’ constantly? Absolutely. Are they mainstays in the show? Absolutely,” Isaac said. “But we also change things up a lot. We think it’s important that people could go to more than one show on a tour and see something they didn’t see the time before. It’s always changing, but it’s always respecting the newest fan and the oldest fan and everyone in between.”
The key to keeping it fresh is remembering that the band is there for the fans, and because of the fans, Isaac said.
“There are nights when it’s hard because you did five shows that week and you’re worn down, and nights when you feel like you could play for five hours,” he said. “The key is taking the opportunity and giving it out to the people who took their hard-earned money and valuable time and decided to spend it with you.
“Like most jobs, it’s hard sometimes, but it’s a helluva lot better than getting shot at or digging ditches,” he said. “All of us are extremely grateful and lucky to do what we do night after night. Hard or easy, it’s always super rewarding.”
Having humility in the midst of success was emphasized by the Hansons’ parents and by people who guided their career from the very beginning, Isaac said.
“It’s a pretty crazy thing that we did, but when we were doing it, it didn’t seem that crazy,” he said. “It just seemed like what we were supposed to do. We had the skill set, the drive and the desire; and our parents were willing to support that and help us chase the dream.
“They probably cautioned us away from getting too concerned with material success or things of that nature, and tried to encourage us to hold onto our integrity and ourselves and not lose our souls in pursuit of greatness.”
Tickets for Hanson’s Greensburg show are $39.50. To reserve, call 724-836-8000 or visit thepalacetheatre.org.