"[People] hear ‘Mmmbop’ and think they know [who Hanson is]. ‘Mmmbop’ is only one part of a multi-sided coin," says Isaac Hanson, the group’s lead guitarist and vocalist.
Since we last heard from the boys they were hidden from the world, working on their third LP and living in music label limbo. They were struggling with Island Records, at a time when major labels were merging left and right.
Hanson came to the conclusion that in order to preserve their artistic integrity, it was necessary to leave Island and continue on with their vision.
After two years of being on a creative sabbatical, Hanson crawled out of their cave. Then in 2003 they went out on tour with something new and a bit more organic. They traveled to many lands performing unplugged and planting their independent, acoustic album in the hearts of many fair maidens and a few squires across the globe. Then in 2004, they finally triumphed, when their release Underneath was voted the No. 1 independent album.
Today, the Hanson men are again traveling the world and rocking out as hard as ever.
Random rock-writers and the now older teeny-boppers of the past have remained faithful and have sung well-deserved praises of Hanson’s talent. Perhaps you’re someone who knows the songs by heart, owns all the DVDs, and has made some conclusions about the experiences, beliefs and love lives of Hanson. However, you should know, that even the most experienced fans could learn a thing or two about the truth behind the music.
"You only know a small part of who I am," responds Isaac, when asked if music could paint a picture of the personalities and love lives of the band members.
While a few of the songs are about actual people and events specific to Taylor, Zac and Isaac, an "overwhelming" amount of them are not. You might be a little surprised to hear that some of the songs that feel like they’re about love, aren’t.
If you want to know more about who Hanson really is, pick up their latest album, The Best of Hanson: Live and Acoustic, and listen with an open mind. You might be surprised by how much you’ve been missing out on.
"Whatever you think of Hanson, if you listen to this album you’ll get a better idea of who Hanson is," explains Isaac.
The songs have elements of classic rock and R&B circa 1960s with the charm and sincerity of the singer/songwriter genre that any true music lover could appreciate. The band’s amazing harmonies, melodies, musical talent and amazing range on all accounts deserve respect and recognition. And the fun has only just begun with these guys. Not only have they started their own label to produce whatever the heck they feel like, but they’re also planning to take other indie bands under their musical wing to help them do the same. On their current tour, they’ve created the opportunity for local bands to participate in a contest where the winning band will have the opportunity to open the show for Hanson in their respective cities. Voting is currently open to anyone who logs onto the official Hanson fan club Web site.
The Best of Hanson: Live and Electric and a limited edition version of the album with DVD extras are currently available. For more information, visit www.hanson.net.