Good Day New York
25 July 2007
JODI, HOST: Hanson was an instant hit with their single “MMMBop” back in 1997 when brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac released their first commercial album Middle of Nowhere. Even today, the song is still a favorite of American Idol Jordin Sparks [shows clip from American Idol of Jordin saying, “My favorite song that always puts a smile on my face is “MMMBop” by Hanson. What? Hey! I’m 17!”] After the success of their hit single, Hanson faced a decline in record sales for their second album called This Time Around in May of 2000. After a conflict with producers, Hanson left their record label and formed their own independent label. In 2004, Hanson released the album Underneath, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Independent Album charts and was one of the most successful independent albums of all time. Now, their latest CD The Walk debuted this week. New York fans came out to greet Hanson at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. And some of them are out in front of our front door right now, we’re told. Good morning, Hanson and welcome!
RON, HOST: I’m watching that piece and I’m thinking, the evolution of your sound from that first album till now—how do you even being to talk about how that happened?
TAYLOR : Well, it’s interesting…
ISAAC: Well, first of all you begin by: it’s been ten years. It’s a more gradual process as when you’re going through, album by album. It’s probably a lot less of a progression from us cos we know what our headspace was from the very beginning to now but I definitely think people listening to music now would say, it’s a lot more intense but I still think it has that pop sensibility about it cos we all love a good hook.
TAYLOR: We grew up listening to great classic music and what’s amazing about it is seeing the fans that have stuck with us for ten years. And obviously there’s different fans but seeing the ones that are our peers, they’re in their early 20s…
RON: Well, they’ve changed with you?
ZAC: Yeah, definitely.
JODI: It’s too bad the name Boyz II Men is taken cos we’ve watched you turn from boys to men.
ZAC: No, we always joke that people would try to call us a boy band because we’ve always been a band and we’re not a vocal group that danced or whatever, we’ve always been a band. And that would actually make sense because we were boys in a band.
JODI: But now you’re a man band. But you certainly grew up handsome, Hanson and you’re on the cover of People magazine and you’re all married now too, right?
JODI: Having your own little second generation.
ZAC: Yeah, well, I guess it’s just part of the way we’ve always kind of lived our life, everybody is kind of on their own schedule. We started doing this band—our first official gig was when I was 6, so we’ve been a band for 15 years. So, getting married as relatively young guys was just a part of that.
RON: It must be weird that your album covers and your publicity photos and your magazine spreads are your family pictures. Right?
ZAC: I guess that is sort of true.
TAYLOR: That particular one in People makes it a little more real. At this case, people say, “Do you fight?” and focus on the brother thing. The thing is, we’ve been a band together for this long, the idea of being brothers… you’re more like partners. You’ve been in a business together, you’ve done something, you’ve worked together for so long, so we’re connected because of what we do with the music.
JODI: And your intergenerational fan base—part of it anyway, is right outside on East 67th Street.
RON: I’m not sure when the last time we saw this many people outside the station. There’s no one out there when we come in. Look at that, people gathering, and they’re going to hear you perform in just a moment, but we want to talk some about what inspired this new album. It was a trip you made to Africa.
RON: What led you to care about that cause and make your way there?
TAYLOR: The thing about what’s going on in Africa is I think it’s an amazing parallel to what happens when you don’t face a certain problem. Being from the Midwest, we were really inspired by some guys working on a technology in our hometown of Tulsa that they were donating to a hospital in Soweto, South Africa. What they were saying is, “We have tools that we can put to work” and being from the Midwest, we felt like there’s a lot of the everyday person that doesn’t see this as something that’s their problem and we’re inspired to go there and see for ourselves.
JODI: By the way, Hanson is performing at Webster Hall tonight at 9pm. The new CD is called The Walk and they’re going to perform a song from that right after the break.
RON: They are, and people can log onto your website as well for a look at behind the scenes of making your music with your podcasts that you have there, which is a fan favorite. You can go to myfoxny.com for that. Hanson performing “Great Divide” coming up next, stay with us. Thank you guys.
RON: Welcome back everyone, you’re about to hear Hanson perform “Great Divide,” it’s available in record stores as of yesterday but if you download it from iTunes, proceeds will benefit charities that benefit AIDS research.
JODI: Have a great day everyone and take it away Hanson!