Remember “MmmBop”? How could you forget?
Well, the soul-searching band of brothers from the late ’90s hasn’t stopped MmmBopping yet.
Hanson is back with a vengeance. After taking a break from the studio since 2000, the brothers Hanson have released “Underground,” a new album that features a more grown-up sound from the now 20-something brothers. The album is out on 3CG records, a label owned by the crooning brother-band itself. Keyboardist/Singer Taylor Hanson sat down to talk about his recent marriage, the upcoming tour and the absolute magic that is MmmBop.
The Collegian: Your last album was out in 2000 and you just had another one that came out?
Taylor Hanson: Yeah, so what we’re doing now, this is really the second tour. Like I said, we were (in Denver) last year pre-empting the release of the album. And now this summer we’re playing full electric shows, and it’s great. It’s been amazing to see. You know, we’ve always had really great fans, they’ve just kind of grown up and changed with us. It’s really cool to see.
C: You’ve been through a lot of changes recently. You got married? How has that and growing up affected your lifestyle on the road?
TH: It changed it a lot. It’s definitely a crazy thing to be a husband and a father. Emotionally it gives me more to pull from. Anytime something significant happens in your life, I mean whether it’s just you’re 16 and you get a new car or you get a promotion or whatever, things in your life affect the way you think, they affect what’s on your mind, and so obviously getting married and having a son, those things are huge. If I wasn’t affected by them then I’m probably not really much of an artist.
C: When you guys first started out a lot of your fans were the same age as you were then, so now that you’ve grown up and so have we, how has your music changed?
TH: It’s changed significantly and also maintained a lot of the same roots. We grew up listening to great rock ‘n’ roll and R & B, like Chuck Berry and then up to The Who and then Hendrix. So that’s always been kind of a backbone for the music, but I think we’ve just grown exponentially as far as the songs you write and the lyrical content really achieving all the things that you really want to in your head. Also sound-wise, production-wise, we produced this record almost completely on our own. Now we really want to touch a much more sort of organic, acoustic (sound).
C: Have you ever considered pursuing a solo career?
TH: Well I mean all three of us, we’re three guys that write, play, sing and kind of do it all. I think there’s always a chance that we’ll decide to go do things independently. I would think that that’s inevitable eventually just because the creative juice, collaborating with other people, doing things, flying to the other corners of the world to sing with African tribes, just doing things that are just expressive. So I think there’s definitely always things like that in the future.
C: Who would you like to do a tour with if you could pick anyone who is still touring right now?
TH: I admire U2 enormously. They’re just unbelievable, not just musically but the fact that they’ve really stayed relevant in an amazing way.
C: So we saw you guys at Red Rocks a few years ago. What’s the coolest venue you’ve ever played at?
TH: That’s definitely at the top of the list. It’s pretty amazing. It’s very cool to play that venue. Let me see, other great venues, Carnegie Hall. We played Carnegie Hall in New York at the end of the acoustic tour and that was just spectacular, amazing. It’s such a phenomenal room and it’s such an honor to get to play Carnegie Hall.
C: Do you guys ever get sick of hearing and talking about “MmmBop,” or playing “MmmBop?”
TH: I just get tired of playing it. I mean in the sense that, obviously you’ll get tired of some things, I mean no matter what, but I’m always proud of what we’ve done. “MmmBop” has reached a lot of people so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of people that want to ask about it.
C: Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
TH: I’d have to go with the Beatles.
C: Ditka or a hurricane?
TH: A what or a hurricane?
TH: Definitely Ditka.
C: David Bowie or Ziggy Stardust?
TH: Probably Ziggy Stardust.
C: Which came first – the chicken or the egg?
TH: That’s a philosophical question that can never be answered.
C: Isaac or Zac?
TH: That’s too much like the chicken or the egg question.
C: Boxers or briefs?
TH: Boxers don’t give enough support.
C: Snow or sand?
TH: God, right now I would go for sand.
C: On the road or in the studio?
TH: On the road.
C: Anything else you want to add?
T: It’s really important right now that people need to get out there and start calling their local radio stations and start talking about the music they want to hear. Forget about Hanson. If you like Hanson, that’s great but talk about how radio station play lists are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Get out there and start talking about the music that you want to hear and start making noise because crazy stuff is happening with the consolidation of radio. It’s playing less and less great music and there’s a lot of great music that needs to be heard. Kids your age, kids my age, people need to get out there and make noise because they’re the ones, we’re the ones, that people really want. People want young adults that are out there about to go make their mark. You guys need to get out there and make a difference.