This week we are starting the year strong with music, as we head into the Listener’s Choice livestreaming concerts. What better pic of the week than a throwback to the “Are You Listening?” photo series from Hanson Day a few years back. Are you listening?
In 2009, Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, and Taylor Hanson founded the supergroup Tinted Windows — and while some skeptics might have assumed that this combination would not work, the result was in fact pure skinny-tie sugar-pop bliss. Tinted Windows released only one album, but two years ago, when Taylor visited Yahoo Entertainment with his brothers to promote the Hanson band’s String Theory LP, the conversation shifted to the then-looming 10th anniversary of Tinted Windows and the possibility of commemorating that occasion by recording a new single. It was a prospect that so excited Taylor that he whipped out his phone right then and there and texted Schlesinger, as seen in the flashback video above.
But tragically, new Tinted Windows music was not in the cards, as Schlesinger died of coronavirus complications on April 1, 2020. However, Taylor recently revealed to Yahoo Entertainment’s Lyndsey Parker on the SiriusXM Volume radio show Volume West that a Tinted Windows reunion had been in the talking stages, if only the four band members could finally figure out how to coordinate their busy schedules.
“I began volleying around song ideas, and I’d run into them each individually over that span. We hadn’t gotten a session together in that year and a half, but yeah, we were throwing them back and forth,” Taylor told Parker. “You were one of the folks that came to mind immediately when he passed, because I had told you when we last talked, I’d said, ‘You know what? We’re about to hit 10 years, and let’s do something special.’ And I had genuinely been in that pitch process with the guys and everybody was into it, like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s do it! … The potential lost is really the heartbreak, of course, with someone that’s a friend or a creator. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, what could have been done?’
“That hit me so, so, so hard,” Taylor continued, referring to Schlesinger’s death at age 52. (Side note: While elder Hanson brother Isaac recently came under fire for comments — for which he later apologized — that the government was trying to “cancel” Christmas because of COVID-19, Taylor told SiriusXM Volume that he and his family “absolutely have things we don’t agree on” and he “can’t speak for everything” when it comes to his brothers’ “somewhat taken out of context” opinions.) “I know many people have lost friends this past year because of the virus or contributing factors. So, so many people have gone through that. Personally, Adam’s passing is the closest it’s come to me. It just feels like an absolute crime to lose somebody obviously that you love, but also to the music world — what he had given in his life, like the amount of great work he had done. It’s just really, really devastating.”
Schlesinger and Taylor first met in 1996 (when they were ages 29 and 13, respectively) to potentially write together for the first Hanson album; although nothing came of those sessions, they stayed in touch. “I remember jokingly, five years later when we ran into each other, [Adam told me] his manager kept calling him and saying, ‘Are you sure you weren’t in the room when “MMMbop” was being written?’” Taylor laughed. Taylor recalled how Schlesinger took him seriously, even back then, when most snobs were writing Hanson off as some novelty kiddie act. “We became friends because of music,” he said. “Music brings people together beyond their age. I mean, I think there’s enough ‘isms’ out there that I’m not going to add one to it, really, but ageism is definitely a thing. I think our culture has really kind of trained us to not listen to the real, authentic voices of people until they hit that 18 mark, or until they turn 21. So, that’s how it started. The love of that craft is kind of where [Adam and I] started.”
Eleven years later, Taylor received an initial phone call from Schlesinger pitching him the Tinted Windows project, with the plan to cast Taylor in the band’s Robin Zander frontman role. “He said, ‘Would you just be the guy that singer guy, no instruments, no keyboards, just loud guitars and a big vocal and pure melodies? Let’s just make that essential powerpop record.’ And it was just a joy, honestly,” Taylor said of the album, for which Schlesinger served as co-producer (with Iha) and composed most of the tracks. “It was so much fun to do it. And the fact that we called the perfect drummer, Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick, and Bun said, ‘I would love to be in this’ and became a part of our band? I mean, this group was like something out of the rock ‘n’ roll wishlist! You literally had three generations. Adam and James, who were enough years ahead of me, a whole wave ahead. And then me — not a kid anymore, but, the ‘kid in the room’ compared to them. And then you had Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick — heroes of ours, Cheap Trick having been this incredible pop/rock band. All of us in one band, jamming together and being a unit. That was such a cool thing.”
While Tinted Windows didn’t rack up the sales figures or chart positions of any of the members’ more famous full-time groups, “It was very well-received among anybody that was really a music listener, like the critics and the nerds. It didn’t blow up with tons and tons of records, but definitely had a lot of love,” said Taylor. “The legacy of that will live on past 2009. I want to make sure it does something, if nothing else, for Adam’s career and legacy.”
Obviously, that hoped-for Tinted Windows reunion discussed at Yahoo never happened. “I would say that’s the closest thing I know there were songs that Adam had in mind that didn’t make the cut [for the 2009 album], that weren’t recorded, really. I know there were songs of mine and other songs of James’s that were sort of envisioned as a possible Tinted Windows songs,” Taylor explained. But Hanson are doing an all-request live stream concert from Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom on Friday, Jan. 8, so hardcore “Fansons” might want to get their requests in for “Nothing to Me,” the one Tinted Windows track solely penned by Taylor, or “Take Me Back,” which Taylor co-wrote with Schlesinger and recently performed solo on his Instagram page. “Hmm, Tinted Windows into the Hanson world? That would be cool,” Taylor said of that idea.
However, Taylor did hint at an official Tinted Windows tribute one day. “I’ll just say this: I definitely want to make sure that we celebrate that and [Adam] in my future,” he declared. “And so, if I have anything to do with it, it’s never going to be Tinted Windows again — because Tinted Windows is four guys — but it’ll go forward somehow. And I’ll make sure people hear it.”
2020 started off pretty quiet in the Hanson Camp, with promises of lots of music and concerts to come! Islanders received their back to the island itineraries. The odds were not in our favor when Hanson.net once again crashed while we tried to buy tickets for Hanson Day. Valentine’s day merchandise was released – 2 new t-shirts, 1 new long sleeved shirt, a kids sweatshirt and 3 mugs. A String Theory show in July in Michigan was announced. Back to the Island kicked off at Melia Braco Village in Jamaica.
Back to the Island continued in Jamaica. Isaac debuted a new song, Your Eyes. Hanson.net members were treated to a new pin for Valentine’s Day. Hanson’s show with the Beach Boys at the Iowa State Fair was announced.
Hanson completed the recording for Against the World! Dates for Back to the Island 2021 were announced along with the resort – back to Jewel Paradise Cove! Taylor turned 37 and treated us to a song on his instagram. (Sound Like Joy) Hanson Day and Hop Jam were postponed to May 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. All purchased tickets will transfer and refunds are available for those who would be unable to attend in 2021. Hanson performed Been There Before from home for an ACL Radio stream. Isaac treated fans to “Quaran-streams” on his Instagram. Taylor joined Awolnation on Instagram Live 3/24 to chat about quarantine, life and to sing Been There Before. Isaac’s quaranstreams continued. Hanson performed as part of Fader’s Digital FORT. Hanson.net turned 20!
Isaac continued his quaranstreams. Taylor started “HomeJam” with his first special guest Milck and sang “These Walls” We got more details about HDay 2020 and online content and found out the Members EP would be called “Continental Breakfast in Bed” and contain 7 tracks – one for each continent – instead of the usual 5. Taylor had another Home Jam with Ryan of Guster and performed “I’ve Been Down” before technical difficulties ended the stream early. Taylor’s 3rd stream featured Jaret of Bowling For Soup. A show in Glen Allen, VA was announced for the end of July. Hanson supported MusiCares by participating in the Loop.TV Festival streaming a short set.
Back to the Island 2021 went on sale. Hanson performed “I Was Born” and “Penny and Me” for HARKchella. Virtual Hanson Day kicked off with the Hanson Time Podcast. Hanson did a Billboard Live stream to raise money for MusiCares and despite technical difficulties did a 4 song set of “If Only” “This Time Around” “Wish That I Was There” and “Lost Without Each Other” and also part of Dr Pepper’s theme song. The guys participated in “Sessions” for the grammys on twitch performing “Been There Before” and “A Song to Sing” Continental Breakfast in Bed videos were posted daily starting May 15th with the progress of the EPs writing and recording. Taylor appeared on a stream for The SIMS Foundation with Carlos Sosa, who had toured with the band for the Finally It’s Christmas tour, and performed Weird, Save Me, Penny & Me and debuted the new EP song – All I Know. The Glen Allen, VA show was postponed to October.
The HTPs continued! The band took a stand against systemic racism after the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests. A pinterest account divided the fandom. Shout It Out turned 10. Disney World canceled their Eat to the Beat concert series. The Iowa State Fair show with the Beach Boys was postponed to 2021.
A new Hanson.net was launched that was more mobile friendly. HTP podcasts continued. Hanson.net members went on an “HNet Explorer” pin scavenger hunt to get used to the new website. The new Members EP “Continental Breakfast (in bed)” was released to members with a special listening party as well as digital downloads. Taylor hosted “Healing Together: Conversation and Music” to help support Musicares. The October 1 show in Virginia was postponed with a new date for 2021 hopefully to come.
Hanson continued to celebrate the fanclub’s 20th anniversary by having 2 new song videos every week on the site. A Live Streaming Tour announcement was announced. Back to the Island 2021 was rescheduled to 2022. The Hanson.net HNet Explorer fun ended. Physical copies of Continental Breakfast (in bed) shipped! New CBIB themed merch was released. The band premiered the song “Dressed in Brown Eyes” on YouTube with a chat and a new video kicking off the release of music videos for all 7 tracks – 3 of which would be released for the public.
Hanson announced their Live Streaming Concert Series with a trio of concerts once a month in October, November, December and January. Limited in person tickets were available for the shows being recorded and streaming LIVE from Cain’s Ballroom. Those who purchase access to the streams had ON DEMAND access for 48 hours. The theme for the October shows was “Live & Electric Revisited” as October 11, 2005 was when the album was released, which happens to fall during the weekend the shows are happening. Taylor and his wife Natalie announced they were expecting their 7th child in December. Hanson did an interview with Fearne Cotton. Taylor spoke out about Save our Stages in Oklahoma City. Isaac selling his 22 year old car made the news.
The Live Streaming Concert Series concerts were performed – including a new cover of “It’s Your Thing”. The hansonstage site got a new look and some other updates. Taylor spoke about Radiohead’s Kid A album turning 20. Taylor was featured on the Speed of Sound podcast in 2 episodes. The Live Stream after party DJ’d by Taylor teased a new Hanson song and album release for November. Hanson was featured on Johnnyswim’s Live from the Backyard. Zac turned 35.
The Live Streaming Concert series continued with a “new” album release of Perennial – 20 previously fan club only releases and the new song, “Nothing Like a Love Song.” Hanson did an interview with Radio.com. Isaac made the news after a couple of emotional instagram posts related to Covid and Christmas. Taylor was on the Uncool with Alexa Bliss podcast. Vice released an article about the division of the fan base and “Hansongate”. Hanson performed a streamed concert for #InRecognitionOf for Veteran’s Day. Isaac turned 40.
The Christmas Ball Live Streaming Concerts were performed. It was announced Taylor and Natalie’s 7th child would be a girl and Nameberry hosted a name guessing contest. On December 7th, they welcomed Maybellene Alma Joy Hanson. Voting for the January “Listener’s Choice” themed shows was underway on Twitter and encores on Hanson.net. Taylor performed a concert at Food on the Move (12/22)
For January’s Live Stream events, the theme is ‘Listener’s Choice’. From December 7 -24, each week day Hanson posted a poll on their twitter account that stayed up for 24 hours pitting 2 songs against each other. These 14 poll winners will make up most of the main set of the show, with Hanson choosing a few others to round out the sets. Hanson.net members had the chance to vote on encore songs from December 17-24 with 6 winners being chosen. The results are below.
Waiting For This 31.4% Thinking of You 68.6%
Where’s the Love 36.5% Minute Without You 63.5%
Tearing It Down 49.6% And I Waited 50.4%
December 10 Save Me 54.2%
I Will Come To You 45.8%
December 11 Thinkin’ Bout Somethin’ 58.9%
Get the Girl Back 41.1%
Strong Enough to Break 43.4% Penny and Me 56.6%
December 15 Watch Over Me 56.3%
Leave the Light On 43.7%
December 16 This Time Around 58.4%
Great Divide 41.6%
Musical Ride 31.8% Crazy Beautiful 68.2%
December 18 Look At You 50.7%
Can’t Stop 49.3%
Hand in Hand 45.9% Best of Times 54.1%
December 22 Man From Milwaukee 60.8%
I Don’t Want To Go Home 39.2%
December 23 Blue Sky 50.7%
Cut Right Through Me 27% Georgia 73%
Encore Voting (Hanson.net only, poll results not visible)
Sound of Light No Rest for the Weary
On and On Sunny Day
Gold Miner The Ugly Truth
December 22 Smile
December 23 Dream Girl
Every Word I Say
December 24 Rock N Roll Razorblade
Ho-ho-holy cow it’s our 5th annual holiday episode! We haven’t got much new to talk about since our prior show a few months ago, so for this one we’re doing a long overdue project, ranking each hanson net EP from the beginning in 2003 up to today.
Plus: some thoughts on the recently released Perennial h net compilation, the usual Babe Miller Christmas message, and other random holiday nonsense. One of our longest shows to date!
Any millennial will be able to tell you that there was nothing better than hanging out in the backseat of their mom’s minivan, jamming out to the radio while Hanson’s “MMMBop” blasted over the speakers. While the lyrics to the hit song were more or less nonsense, there was something irresistible about the melody and that band of brothers with blond luscious locks that we just couldn’t get enough of in the late ‘90s.
In 1997, the Hanson brothers were everything. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac ruled the late nineties. So, where are the Hanson brothers now? Die-hard fans will let you know that they haven’t gone anywhere!
Hanson has been touring and playing music for the past 25 years.
The Hanson brothers founded the band in 1992. At that time, Issac was 11, Taylor was 9, and Zac was just 6 years old. Now, all the men are in their 30s, but don’t think that means they’ve slowed down at all when it comes to recording music and touring.
In March 2017, Hanson celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first album with the Middle of Everywhere: 25th Anniversary Tour. In October 2017, Hanson released their second Christmas album, “Finally It’s Christmas.” In July 2018, Hanson announced they would be doing a symphonic tour with an accompanying album, titled “String Theory.” On September 13, 2019, Hanson announced their Wintry Mix tour, which would span several cities in North America.
Unfortunately, during the Wintry Mix tour, Zac Hanson was injured in a motorcycle accident. However, the tour continued, with Zac on percussion and former HAIM drummer Dash Hutton filling in for him on drums.
The Hanson brothers also founded their own beer company.
Besides music, the Hanson brothers have another passion: beer. Issac, Taylor, and Zac founded The Hanson Brothers Beer Co. which is based in Tulsa, OK. In true philanthropic fashion, they donate a portion of their beer sales to charity. They also give away a free song with every bottle of beer.
“Our first love is music and with over twenty years as musicians and entrepreneurs in the band Hanson, we are integrating a bit of that craft into each beer sold by giving a free song with every bottle… Our recipe: the best ingredients and total dedication to all aspects of our craft, all brewed with passion. Beer + Music = Awesome,” their website reads.
All three of the Hanson brothers are family men now.
Fun fact: between all three brothers, they have 13 kids. “It’s a cool thing,” Zac told Lorraine Kelly during an episode, Lorraine. “We spend a lot of time together touring, in the studio, and around each other, so our kids know each other really, really well.”
Taylor, the second oldest brother, has seven kids with his wife, Natalie Bryant. They welcomed their last little one into the world in Dec. 2020. They have four sons and three daughters. Zac and his wife, Kate, have four children together. The oldest Hanson brother, Isaac, has three children with his wife, Nicole.
This month we are getting all your input on the set list for our January livestreams for our Listener’s Choice stream theme. With listening on the brain, here’s a flashback to Underneath Tour days where the headphone icon made its premiere. Are You Listening?