July 22, 2004

Hanson Grows with Fans, Pioneers Indie Movement

By Randy J. Klodz

Hanson, the young pop-rock trio from Tulsa, Oklahoma, known worldwide for the mind-numbingly catchy pop hit “MMMBop” from the 1997 debut “Middle of Nowhere,” is back—though they never went away—and the band of brothers is slated to play a July 31 show at Skyline Stage at Navy Pier.

Hanson—which includes Taylor Hanson (vocals, keys), Isaac Hanson (guitar) and Zac Hanson (drums, percussion)—released “Underneath,” the band’s latest effort in April, with publicity swirling of the band being one of the pioneers of successfully operating all facets of the band independently.

And with the band working independently, the goal is still the same as any other band—to release its best work so the fans can enjoy the new material. “We want to make sure that every single time that a fan comes into a record store and picks up a Hanson record, they listen to that record and they can listen to it from top-to-bottom and hear all kinds of different music, and find a whole gamut of emotions,” said Isaac Hanson, the band’s guitarist and at 23, its oldest member.

“We want to make sure that every album is a top-to-bottom listen and we won’t settle for anything less. If it takes us three years to make a record that we feel like is that record, then we’ll wait three years, or if it takes us six months, we’ll put it out in six months.”

While many of the pop “boy bands” have out-grown their market, it seems the dedicated Hanson fans have grown with the band rather than against them, a group of fans that still follows the band from state to state to attend multiple shows. “But just as an overall rule, the fans have definitely grown with us,” said Isaac said. “When you think about it, the first record [“Middle of Nowhere] comes out and a lot of our fans are our peers, you have people from the ages of 16 to 11 years old at the time, and as the years go on I’m 23, Zac’s 18 and a lot of our fans are between 23 and 18, some older some younger, but that’s the majority of the fan base.”

Though Hanson is sure to draw from its extensive bag of hits, Isaac said that the band also plans to pay tribute—and give the older fans in the crowd something to cheer about—by playing selections from some of their musical influences, mainly 50s and 60s rock.

Skyline Stage at Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed from $30-$32.50 each with a start time of 6:30 p.m. For more information on Hanson log on to www.hanson.net.

Hanson Photo: c/o 3CG Records