This month, Hanson celebrates 21 years of making music together. The band that rose to popularity thanks to 1997’s monster hit “MMMBop” is readying their forthcoming album Anthem, out June 18. Brothers Taylor, Isaac and Zac Hanson spoke with Radio.com about their new music, and how the relationship between their wives and fans (those two are not as far removed as you’d think) have shaped them as artists.
Current single “Get the Girl Back” is a soulful track that recalls the ’60s with a distinct Motown vibe, complete with horns and a steady bass beat. That throwback feel was certainly premeditated, and the brothers felt strongly that the song be the lead single and first look off Anthem.
“Anybody’s that followed our band knows that a huge part of our story is listening to classic rock & roll and soul music,” Taylor said. “We actually dedicated the song to a famous bass player, Bob Babbitt who played on so much Motown music and actually played on our last record. He passed away before we could make this record so there’s a legitimate connection to that era through Bob.”
Taylor continued: “We really wanted this song to bring people in because we reasserted the ’60s soul influence on the last album, and this song continued that tradition so much that it was such a perfect bridge from Shout it Out, our last record. It actually captures a part that is really essential to this band, which is melody and danceable rhythm. Songs that you put on and you want to drive, you want to move, it gets you out and it pulls you in. It has melody to carry itself. It also tells the story of where we’ve been and acts as the gateway drug into a whole new record of music.”
While the song isn’t based on any of the members’ real-life leading ladies, they did reveal how their wives accept their predominantly female fan base.
“All of us married amazing women that found a way to understand this and deal with it and still help us raise families,” Taylor said. “The dynamic with fans is a unique one. Paul McCartney didn’t say, ‘Gosh I have all these fans I guess I can’t get married.’ The idea of finding your soul mate and making a life is so separate from the connection you have with your audience.”
In some instances, though, the fan may become something more to the band. In fact, all three brothers wound up marrying women whom they met at Hanson shows.
“The one other irony is the fact that we met all our wives at concerts,” Isaac said. “I remember when we were first starting out there was always the question, ‘Would you ever date a fan?’ You meet people all over the place and it just so happened that we met our wives at shows.”
“You meet people at work,” Taylor added, “and that’s the workplace for us.”