Marist's 88.1 The Fox
Poughkeepsie, New York
13 October 2003
LAURA MORGAN: Zac? Hey Zac?
LAURA: How are ya?
ZAC: I'm doing good. How about yourself?
LAURA: I'm good. Thank you so much for joining us.
ZAC: Well, I'm glad to be here.
LAURA: Well, it's been a little while since we've seen you guys, since your last album This Time Around came out and I know you've been busy recording and touring and everything, but something big happened this past year, and that is that you parted ways with your record label, Island, right?
ZAC: Yes, Island Def Jam.
LAURA: Yeah, what brought about that split?
ZAC: I think when we finally got to the end of the recording process, there was just the belief that we wanted to do something different with this record and partly where the music industry is right now, but we just felt like we started our own record label. It's called 3CG Records...
ZAC: …and that's what we'll be releasing our new record on. It's called Underneath and it'll be out in February-March. We don't have any, we're not releasing the exact date yet, but and we just felt like doing something new with this record I guess pushing the boundaries on something we wanted to do, and trying something new.
LAURA: That's cool. So that's the reason you wanted you didn't go with another label because you really wanted to control your own sound?
ZAC: Well… well I think you know partly controlling content, owning your own music, and then also I think we figured where the music is right now, artists have I guess- artists have an opportunity to be closer with their fan bases than they ever have before-
ZAC: and have a more intimate relationship-
ZAC: and I think the record label really facilitates us being able to do that.
LAURA: So, this also makes you one of the youngest musicians to have your own record label right?
ZAC: [laughs] I think they would definitely-
ZAC: put me at the top of that list.
LAURA: That's cool. And you're almost 18 right? Next week?
ZAC: Yeah, next week sometime, the 22nd.
LAURA: Happy early birthday.
ZAC: Well, thank you.
LAURA: Are you going to be signing new artists to your label or is it just for yourself right now?
ZAC: Well, at the moment we're just really focused on this record and what we're doing with other needs right now, which is the third studio record, but we are planning on in the future to expand and sign artists and uh push uh and you know, it's about music, you know getting great music out there. If you get the opportunity to meet new artists and find great music you want to facilitate getting that out to people and helping people be successful the way people helped you.
LAURA: Definitely. Well people remember you best from "MMMBop," which came out over six years ago, so obviously you've grown up and your music has evolved, so how would you describe your sound to people who haven't heard you in a while?
ZAC: Well there's always a seed that continues through the music with you, which is the band which is the way you, whether you, it's the way you arrange your vocals or who you are, but with time there's different influences, there's different people in your life, different experiences you go through, and you know, with this record we had sort of a conscious vision of trying to make things a little more I guess defined-and trying to have more hills and valleys I guess with the sound and making each part in the record really seat very well. More than it has in the past, you know, it-it's got a lot of acoustic guitars, probably more acoustic based than people have heard in the past, and it's just a new interpretation of who the band is now.
LAURA: Yeah, cool. Well speaking of acoustic, in August you guys released an EP of some live acoustic songs off of the new album right?
LAURA: And that's available off of your website Hanson.net.
ZAC: Right, well what we're doing right now is we're on an acoustic tour across the country and we've been on that for a couple months now, and with that because there isn't going to be a record out for a little while, till early next year, we made a record, it's eight songs, and you can get that at our website Hanson.met or if you come to one of the acoustic shows we sell it there, and um you know, that was just a way to introduce people to the music in a different way and let them get a hold of something while they're anticipating the release of Underneath.
LAURA: Cool. How has the fan response been to the new music?
ZAC: It's been amazing. I think as you go into each record process, and you finish the record, and your getting ready to release it, there is always a little anxiety of "well what is going to be the response from the fans when they hear this? Are they--are people gonna respond to what we've done with the music with this record?" And I've been extremely surprised and satisfied and happy with the response. Fans coming up saying "wow I really like what you're doing now. My favorite song is this." Some unexpected, but still happy, you know, "Wow, I didn't know what you were gonna do, but this record is really awesome, and the way you've gone really is the way my musical tastes have gone." Things like that.
LAURA: Yeah that's really-
ZAC: It's been really great.
LAURA: Cool. We right now we're going to listen to one of the tracks off the acoustic record. It's the first track and it's called "Strong Enough To Break."
PLAY "STRONG ENOUGH TO BREAK"
LAURA: This is 88.1 The Fox, and we're here with Zac Hanson. So Zac, the big news is you'll be closing your tour on November 5th at Carnegie Hall in New York City. That's a huge honor. You must be so excited.
ZAC: You know, it's amazing. You go in that venue and you stand on the stage and you're just in awe, like so much great music has been through there and the way Ike put it, all the vibrations have been through the stage, the stage is hollow, and the way the music comes across through that it's just an amazing place to be.
ZAC: They overhauled it in the 80's to make it back to the way it originally was, how it was built, and it's just awe-inspiring.
ZAC: I think you know somebody was asking me, "Oh, I want to buy tickets but I don't know, I think the seats are in the back, you know bad seats." And I was like, I went to the very back seat, like the top of the third balcony, which is like the furthest seat away, which is still only like 125 feet or something like that away, and every seat in that venue is amazing. The architect designed that, I know he designed a hotel before he designed Carnegie Hall, and whatever it was in his scheme for designing that room, it's an amazing place to be.
LAURA: Well, it's good to hear that the seats are good cos Amber and I will be there on the balcony.
ZAC: Well, I'll be looking forward to seeing you then.
LAURA: Oh thanks. Do you have any special plans or special guests you're planning on bringing in with you?
ZAC: Well, we're trying to make it as cool as possible. I can't really give any details, but we have talked to a couple friends about maybe joining us on stage. Whether that will come true or not I cannot confirm, but we're trying to make it as special as possible. And really for us, just being there and playing in that venue, the way it's set up, and the way the music will sound in that venue is special enough on it's own.
ZAC: And then adding any friends or special versions of songs and new music will be an added bonus.
LAURA: Yes, well if anyone is interested in going to the show, again it's on November 5th at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and there are still a few tickets available at carnegiehall.org or you can call the box office at (212) 247-7800. Now Zac, I've been a fan of yours since Middle of Nowhere, so I know you've covered a lot of awesome songs, but there was an unusual selection at your show at the China Club in New York City, "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera. Now what was the inspiration for that one?
ZAC: I think anyone has a sense of humor can understand why we did that song. You know, I'm just gonna leave it at that.
LAURA: Oh, you don't want to tell us who the closet Christina fan is?
ZAC: Oh definitely!
ZAC: I love getting dirty just like everyone else does-
LAURA: I know you do...
ZAC: And Christina expresses that in her music and stuff.
LAURA: Okay, well I've heard rumors of you doing a college tour in the spring. Is there any truth to that?
ZAC: There is truth to that, nothing is book at the moment, but we've definitely considered it, and we've definitely talked about it and considered what we want to do next to promote Underneath, the new studio record. So, we've talked about a college tour and seriously considered it, and also talked about going out with some other artists and friends that are on tour promoting record and wanting to hook up having a band party tour.
LAURA: Oh cool. Well, if you go on a college tour you should come to Marist. It's a great school.
ZAC: It's on the list.
LAURA: Michelle Branch came here a few weeks ago…
ZAC: Yeah, she's great.
ZAC: Yeah, a good friend.
LAURA: Yeah, you helped her to get her start didn't you?
ZAC: Well, before she got signed, she was a fan of the band and got us some music through her manager and she ended up opening up for us on our second tour, the This Time Around Tour, and then after that she got signed.
LAURA: That's great.
ZAC: Yeah, yeah, she's really a talent and I hope she makes it big and I wish all the best to her.
LAURA: You guys have also been filming a documentary over the past couple years. Is that something that will be released to the public?
ZAC: Well, well as far as the documentary is concerned, that's still being finalized, and what that means is it's been tossed around a couple times, because there are a lot of different stories you can tell. Whether it's a story of following the fan, or the story of the music industry, where it is now, and what it's been over the last 10 years, and right now it's finalized, and finished, and we hope to get it out to people and we what they think.
LAURA: Very cool. Well we have a question from a listener, and it's going to take you back a few years to Middle of Nowhere, but she dying to know what the song "Yearbook" is about? Or who is it written about?
ZAC: Well you know, I don't like to tell people too much, you know, part of the song is people relating it to their own way and coming up with the meaning of it on their own. You know, it's--it's not directly written about one person in particular, but I think when you read the lyrics, it sorta, it's could be about somebody lost in Vietnam, or it could be about a lot of things. And really for that song in particular I really like to leave it open and let people come up with their own meanings.
LAURA: All right, that's cool. My last question is that if you have any upcoming TV appearances that we could catch you on?
ZAC: Upcoming TV appearances, that's a good question, we were talking about doing maybe TRL on I think it's Thursday so you may be able to see us there, you know really right now for this record, we're really doing the ramp up to the big promotion, the national press isn't really isn't really being done yet, but I guess you can always check the website for more information.
LAURA: Definitely. Good plug right there!
ZAC: Hanson.net, check it everyday because if you don't, you should!
LAURA: Yeah, for anything Hanson just go there, Hanson.net! It's well worth your time. And again if anyone is interested in seeing Hanson at Carnegie Hall on November 5th, and I definitely recommend it, you can get ticket information at carnegiehall.org, and thank you so much, Zac for joining us today.
ZAC: Thank you.
LAURA: We really appreciate it!
ZAC: Okay, we'll see you at Carnegie Hall then!