Thursday, September 01, 2011

Boy band matures with time

Hanson continues to churn out albums with focus on versatility

By Amanda Logan, For The Leader-Post
Hanson includes, from left, Issac Hanson, Zac Hanson and Taylor Hanson.

Hanson includes, from left, Isaac Hanson, Zac Hanson and Taylor Hanson.

Photograph by: Getty Images, For The Leader-Post


After 15 years of waiting, it's finally happening! Hanson will be bringing their Musical Ride Tour to Regina on Saturday, performing at the Casino Regina Show Lounge.
This will be the first time Hanson - which includes brothers Issac on guitar, Taylor on keyboards, and Zac on percussion - have set foot in the Queen City since emerging onto the music scene in the late '90s. Their first album, Middle of Nowhere, sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Their hit single, MMMBop, put them on the charts.
"It's exciting to go somewhere for the first time. It's part of what we try to do more and more," Zac Hanson said. "Touring has always been a big part of what we do. But in the last couple years, it's been more and more important because we've just been able to put more focus on it and getting to the places we haven't been to - like Regina."
Fast forward to the year 2011 and Hanson is still rocking out.
Loaded with their latest album, Shout It Out, the band has been giving fans the chance to vote online at to choose the album they want to hear the band play on every stop of the tour.
"We purposely designed the way it works to make sure there was a mix of albums that would be chosen. Every night, there's only three albums available. That way we know we have a lot of fans that travel to multiple shows. And we wanted to make sure that those people got to hear different records if they happen to be in the area," Zac explained. "It's been a mix. I've tried not to focus too much on it, just because it's out of my hands. It's better to look at it the day before and go "okay, awesome! That's what we're playing - let's rock it!" The albums that are winning more in general are Middle of Nowhere & Underneath."
Hanson hasn't stopped and has been highly caffeinated since 1992. Aside from releasing seven more albums (including their latest, Shout It Out, the band parted ways with their record label, and in 2003 created their own - 3CG Records. They were one of the bands to pave the way toward an industry trend with independent releases.
"We were legitimately a boy band," Zac reflected, "Right before us, in the U.S. in particular, there was grunge and then Hootie and the Blowfish, and this organic pop music movement. Here we are, Hanson - three white kids from the Midwest singing music inspired by the Jackson Five and Otis Redding, and not quite in sync with things."
Even after "this really slick pop movement," the band continued to be influenced by the Jackson Five, Redding and Aretha Franklin, Zac pointed out.
"I think that's been a good thing for us because, I mean, no one never really tried to copy Hanson because it was this weird amalgamation of three guys that don't fit into something popular. It's forced that side of our personality - of being entrepreneurs, of trying to innovate, to be more important in our career, because you really have to do that more and more . You just gotta keep chugging away doing your thing trying to find your niche."
So what does the future hold for Hanson?
"I hope that with each record, we continue to push things and evolve. It's never an intention to be something different, but to continue to inspire ourselves. If we made the same record over and over again, didn't push ourselves to find inspiration in new places and still get yourself excited about your own music, then you're sort of re-packing the same thing with a new picture on the cover, ya know?
"I hope we're the best tasting onion that people have ever had - lots of layers!"
Casino Regina Show Lounge

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