You might have noticed a certain iconic band of brothers take over the website earlier this week. Hanson, bless their hearts, recently braved both a six story walkup and a summer scorcher to turn in what is by far the band's best performance on a rooftop in New York City (their words). The band also spent some time talking at length about their newest album, Anthem. It's a record informed by a lot of the amazing soul music and classic 60s Motown sounds that the brothers obviously grew up on. Now 21 years into a career , Isaac, Taylor, and Zac continue to dream up new ways to follow a wide range of passions, be it their efforts to make a difference in the fight against Aids in Africa (Take The Walk or their sloshy new business endeavor, Mmmhops. If the band's next album feels a little on the loose side, we'll know why.
- I was excited about having our own beer. I'm curious what kind of songs that'll inspire. - That'll inspire all kinds of things. - All kinds of things. Well, yeah, it'll be in the bus because, I mean, it's our beer. - Why was Hanson's seventh album so loose. - It was really just kinda-- - The lyrical content. - --a party record. - There was kind of a slurry, country slosh to it. - Yeah. - Yeah. Well you've been out there shakin' The tail the boys are chasing When you get home you think I'll be the bigger man I've been thinkin' 'bout somethin' I've been thinkin' 'bout somethin' other than you Anthem, you're sorta puttin' yourself out there. I mean, really, truthfully, music doesn't, you know, you can't claim it as an anthem until it becomes one. But when we were making this record, we were just really inspired by sort of bigger sounds, like, the record just has an intensity, it's driven more by guitar. And from the very beginning we just sort of imagined the idea of connecting with the audience with the music. And I think what defines this record is that idea of the chorus's of songs from the song that's an anthem for the fight, the pre-game anthem, that get's you pumped up-- anthem, the love song that is the kind of, you can, the lighter goes in the air. And this is an album that's short and tight and pretty fast. And I think it kind of boils it down to one other thing, a lot of the influences that we have from R & B to rock, they just come through, but in this case, they come through in a more bold way. - In some ways, also, too, the title anthem is, in a way, us saying, "These are our anthems. " These are kind of our songs and out way of expressing ourselves. And the music and the things that we can get excited about and get passionate about. So in a way it's almost like a self titled record too, in some way. Well I've got girls in line Waiting for these arms of mine Listen up now To what I say doing music together now, after 21 years-- - It's the music. I mean... - I would say is, yeah, I mean, the music itself is always. It's always exciting to have the opportunity to go back into the studio and write new songs. I mean, there's always things that you haven't quite achieved yet. You know? And it's... - I think several things play into it. Well, one, the cycle of making records and touring-- - --I think is really beneficial to the creative process where you have gaps where you don't have to be thinking about being creative, you get to sort of enjoy what you have created and let that get you excited and ready for the next really strong creative process. But the other thing is, I thing the interesting thing is innovation and sort of the next evolution of your band is always sort of the same distance from you, right beyond your fingertips, where you're reaching for it, to try and find that thing that feels fresh. And so that is always difficult and exciting and challenging, I think, if you're an artist that likes the challenge, which I think is what keeps a lot of people making music, and I know we do, then it's still exciting whenever you have a challenge. It's like, "Give me a job to do. Give me something, " you know, "Somebody tell me I can't do that. " Somebody, hear a great artist and feel like, "Wow, that was great. I wanna, " you know, "be that good. I wanna be that strong. " Then, it makes you sort of, you want to step up to that challenge. - You're hungry for the next challenge Hungry for the next idea to be created. And then you're looking around you and being inspired by things. So there's always something new to be inspired by, there's never a limit to that. She's about to walk away So if you're gonna make her wanna stay Tell her she's your moon and sun Tell her that she's always been the one You've gotta say it from the heart 'Cause she will know a fake right from the start A girl like that deserves the best playing the songs in different ways, acoustic or electric, is just the challenge for yourself and also the challenge it gives to the music you've written, because you really want the song to still speak in a lot of different environments. Not only the different environments that people are gonna play it in, you know, listening to it on ear buds, or on a great sound system, or in their car, but also when you play it with an acoustic guitar, you play it with a big horn section, or you play it, you know, in a loud, crazy club where people can barely hear, like, you still want the songs to speak and have the energy. And so it's fun to be challenged in that way and to get to actually break it down and hear the vocals and hear the lyrics and a different way to play the songs. - I would say this is without a doubt my favorite performance of songs from Anthem on a rooftop in New York City. No question. You were in the wrong, you can't deny Once she's got somebody's eye It will be too late to apologize Before she shuts you out our business for the last 10 years is to really be truly independent. So, part of what that allows us to do is follow our passion. And our passions are everything from making, you know, an impact on things we see in the non-profit world with, we spent some time in Africa in 2006 and saw real tangible needs with relation to HIV, AIDS, and extreme poverty, so we began a campaign called Take the Walk to energize fans that are around us to help make a difference in that issue, you know. And then, on the positive side, we're passionate about, you know, different things like good beer. And so we decided to try doing a Hanson beer this year. And what's great about that, yeah, the band is 21, so our band can finally drink. We've been able to drink for awhile, but the band has kind of been left alone. So there is now a Hanson beer. It's comin' and we're kind of having fun with it because why not? It's called Mmmhops. I thought I was so tough Who knew you could play so rough I've got to slow down 'cause you spun my head around You read me so well relationship with our fans and it's not simply because of the time. A lot of it is because we've always been passionate about that one-on-one relationship, because we're fans. I mean, we've been passionate about music, followed shows, wanted to, you know, connect with music. - And you realize that every single time you meet people, that it may be the only time you ever get the chance to meet them or say hi to them or sign somethin' for somebody. So you wanna try, as much as you can, not only in the show, as far as performance, but also in the opportunity to meet people after the show and things like that. You wanna try and engage with people, 'cause it's, I mean, I think about being a fan of bands and I think that would be important to me. So you wanna make the effort to make sure that is a constant part of what you're doin'. - I think that the main thing is it's such a powerful tool to be a band for so long and particularly to meet people at such a defining point in your life, when you are an adolescent and you are defining yourself and who you wanna be and what you wanna do with your life. When you get to be a part of people's life from that point forward, their making so many choices going forward, bringing you along with them, that's a really cool thing. exciting 'cause we still see that, you know? You still see people walking up, going, "Oh, you know, this is my first show and, "you know, "I'm 18 years old. " And you're like, "Well, that's cool. " So it's nice to have the history, but also have the kind of ongoing new blood, you know, comin' into the shows. - Crossing the generation gap. - Exactly, yeah. I say a word And I said too much You take a piece of everything you touch Yeah, you cut right through me, yeah - Hey everybody, I'm Isaac. - I'm Taylor. - And I'm Zac. - We're on a rooftop. You are watching Baeble music.
Hanson is an American pop-rock band from Tulsa, Oklahoma formed by brothers Isaac (guitar, piano, vocals), Taylor (keyboards, piano, guitar, drums, vocals), and Zac Hanson (drums, piano, guitar, vocals). They are best known for the 1997 hit song "MMMBop" from their major label debut album Middle of Nowhere, which earned three Grammy nominations. Despite the enormous commercial success of Middle of Nowhere, the band suffered from the merger that eliminated their label, Mercury Records. The group was moved to Island Def Jam Music Group, which they eventually left after conflict with the label about creative input. Hanson has sold over 16 million records worldwide and have had eight top 40 singles in the UK and six top 40 singles in the US. The band now records under its own label, 3CG Records.