Your World With Neil Cavuto
14 May 2007
NEIL: Paris Hilton drives with a suspended license; I suspect that they do not. Rappers curse a blue streak; I know they will not. And Britney makes headlines for being bad; these guys make them actually for just doing good. They are the Hanson brothers. And in an age that boy bands are considered passé and decent lyrics are considered really passé, and advancing from there really, really, really passé, these guys are defying all wisdom. With me now: Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson, known collectively as Hanson. No less than The Village Voice has described as the finest, straight up rock band in America. The Village Voice, there’s a lot of curse words in that. You guys don’t do that!
ISAAC: Well, not in our lyrics!
NEIL: Not in your lyrics? But privately you do?
TAYLOR: You don’t want to say things in a conference room when we’re doing our record label… just not in the songs, yeah.
NEIL: Now you guys have survived… now, I don’t want to say it’s a goody two shoes thing, that’s unfair and simplistic. But you have just survived on your music, good music, and people who are a lot more risqué than you and those who aren’t seem to love it.
ISAAC: Sure. Well, I think we ascribe to more of a subtlety kind of way of going about it. I think Billy Joel has also made a career out of not dropping the F-Bomb too many times.
NEIL: Just don’t go driving with him.
ISAAC: Yeah, exactly. Good point.
TAYLOR: It’s not about avoiding that stuff, it’s more about just doing what you do, not the other stuff. We were talking about going on shows like Howard Stern, like we were on Howard Stern earlier today and we were talking about just the difference in why would you go on that kind of thing. It’s about—you’re not talking about what you don’t do, you’re talking about what you’re passionate about.
NEIL: I think people forget, he’s actually very, very smart.
TAYLOR: Yeah, he’s really interesting.
ISAAC: Yeah, it was a really good interview.
ZAC: Yeah, as soon as the potty humor goes by, you get to the…
NEIL: You guys have not done that and I know it’s not in your DNA but others feel as they grow from let’s say being childhood band to superstars to do like the Britney Spears thing, to go the other way.
NEIL: The difference is, you got to look at that and say, she wasn’t in control of what she was doing when she started. So suddenly when she gets older she’s like, “Oh, I’m going to show them I’m in control.” For some reason being in control means, “I’m going to get naked.” With us, when we started, we wrote those songs. We were in the garage writing, like Zac is the youngest Grammy nominated songwriter. He was nominated for a Grammy at 11. You know? And so we were writing those songs. The difference is we were never running from anything is what I’m saying.
NEIL: But with the money and the fame that came with that, you’ve obviously been committed to your loved ones and your wives, 2 of you are married, right?
ISAAC: Actually, all three of us. All married.
NEIL: Oh, all married! Alright. But it’s never tempted you, any of those temptations.
ISAAC: Never tempted would be the… never acted on.
ZAC: They’re always there. This is a rock & roll band. You’re still on tour, you’re still…
NEIL: So, what happens to the Paris Hilton’s and the Britney’s, what happened?
TAYLOR: Well honestly, to be honest, look at how they start off. It’s not, “What happened?” Think about how it started. I mean, Paris is famous for being famous, for doing nothing. No offense to Paris…
ZAC: Actually, offense to Paris. *laughs*
TAYLOR: I mean, whatever. All we really know is that we’re just into what we do. We’re passionate about what we do.
ISAAC: We’re songwriters first.
ZAC: I think you cannot attribute some of our coming out as relatively sane individuals not to the fact that there are three of us, that’s definitely a part of it, where you’ve got three guys who legitimately are invested in the success of each other, and so you’re going to keep each other from falling off the deep end.
TAYLOR: Sometimes it means knocking someone off so that they fall and then every once in a while pulling them back up.
NEIL: Could any one of you, at any time, just said, “We have enough money now to take care of ourselves, our kids, our grandkids, our great-grandkids, forever. We don’t need this, we don’t need the pressure of it,” but obviously you keep doing it.
ISAAC: Definitely don’t need the pressure of it. But what’s the fun in that.
TAYLOR: One of the things that’s interesting about that is any artist—once you’re an artist, you’re always an artist regardless of what the reward is. You wake up every morning and see things a certain way. A painter always wants to walk over and paint. So, it’s no fun to stop. We are actually lucky that we have been able to do what we do as a career but I think ultimately we really love making music, we love doing it, and also I think really legitimately want to work with other artist, we want to produce, we want to write…
ISAAC: We want to actively participate.
TAYLOR: We like that stuff. So, it’s more just this—you couldn’t not be a musician. We’re kind of doomed.
NEIL: Not too shabby a choice. Collectively known as Hanson, it was originally Cavuto, they thought it was a little risky, they went back to Hanson. We’ll have more.