Boys to men: Why Hanson are embracing their boy band past
“Crank it up, roll the windows down, go fast.”
That was how Isaac Hanson described the first track, titled Fired Up, from the band’s new album Anthem.
It’s a far cry from the group’s breakout 1997 hit MMMbop, but the eldest Hanson brother said similar themes have been present throughout their work.
Issac and Taylor Hanson chat to WAtoday.com.au's Candice Barnes. Photo: Aleisha Orr
“MMMbop ultimately is about trying to see the positive in the negative, trying to see the positive relationships you’ll have the in the face of challenge and strife,” Isaac said.
“Truth be told, that song in many ways was about us choosing to pursue music in spite of other things going on.”
“We decided that we were going to go forward with [a music career] because this is what we love and that has been a consistent theme throughout our whole career.”
Isaac and Taylor had their first taste of a Tim Tam slam. Photo: Aleisha Orr
Frontman Taylor said the song was partly inspired by “friends that didn’t get” the brothers’ early determination and passion for music.
“The cool thing about where we are and the fact that we’ve started so young is, I’m 30, but we’ve been doing this since we were kids,” he said.
“In many cases, we’re peers with bands that have maybe just put out a couple of records. There’s just so much more ahead of us.”
While there is a renewed interest in the group following the release of Anthem, their sixth studio album, the band said they had “never really stopped”.
“We were really at the beginning of the generation of people who grew up with web access,” Isaac said.
“Were it not for that, our ability to stay connected with fans, like our Australian fans, would have been practically impossible as we wouldn’t have been able to maintain that constancy, even when you’re busy somewhere else.”
Taylor said that history had brought them to a “good moment” where they felt they could appeal to fans of “different ages”.
“I don’t think we’re ever interested in pushing aside what we’ve done in the past, but of course you want to move forward,” he said.
“If you go to see a Hanson show now, you see a range of people we’ve literally grown up with, you see people who’ve discovered it halfway through and maybe only heard two or three albums.”
Despite the overriding theme, the band said their music has a new perspective. Each of the brothers is now married with children.
“We never really wrote about our autobiography, but I mean for sure in the love songs there’s a little bit more about keeping it together and staying true to things as opposed to the first infatuation with someone,” Taylor said.
“Really we’ve always written songs that were about things beyond ourselves and that’s part of what’s great about being an artist, being able to sit down and imagine a story and tell it.”
Youngest brother Zac is currently “under the weather” and so will likely miss out on some sightseeing, though he has still taken to the drums during the tour.
Taylor and Isaac said they were determined to check out some of Western Australia’s “natural beauty” for themselves. Taylor, “a photography nerd” is carrying around a vintage camera on tour to capture some of the sights.
“We’ve seen a lot, you see all the sights. Of course you see a lot of hotel rooms and airports and radio stations but we kind of take it in as you can,” said Isaac.
“Hopefully as we make Australia a regular touring stop for ourselves, only having been two years since our last run through the country, we’ll have a few days to see new things.”
Hanson will play Metropolis Fremantle on Friday night. Tickets are available here.