Hanson MMMBop to Own Drummer

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Hanson MMMBop to own drummer

I can’t help it, and apparently no one else can either. Every time I say the name Hanson, it conjures up the brothers’ 1997 monster pop hit MMMBop.

I ask 19-year-old drummer Zac Hanson, who started singing with Issac, 23, and Taylor, 21, when he was just six, how the group feels about this seven long and transformative years later.

“It doesn’t bother me,” says a laid-back Hanson, speaking over the phone as he’s waking up from a nap in pre-gig Connecticut this week.”It’s really awesome, I think, that you can have that much recognition, that when you say the name of the band people can immediately associate you with a song or music.”

The group, which plays the capital for the first time tonight during an Ottawa Civic Centre SuperEx show, released their first independent record in 1994. But it wasn’t until 1997 that the 8 million copy-selling CD Middle of Nowhere, fuelled by one of the most original and catchy singles in recent pop history, put those boys from Tulsa on the musical map.

“We’re all really proud of that song. I think everyone was blown away by how successful and how that caught on and how that spoke to people,” says Hanson. “You hope to keep moving people forward to where you are now and be proud of what you’ve done.”

It’s been four years since This Time Around, time the band spent trying to take control of their musical and business affairs by launching their own record label (3CG Records) and working on their third release Underneath.

The record label was a way to make sure the group was totally tapped into their fan base, to the extent of consulting on which would be the second single to hit radio. (The winner was the rocking Lost Without Each Other, a tune co-written with New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander and played with what Hanson calls “reckless abandon.”)

“And then hopefully in the future we can sign other artists and help other people the way we were helped when we were starting out,” says Hanson.

Though the drummer likes to think the group sounds more mature, there hasn’t been a radical shift in their musical style as they’ve grown up, secured the sort of critical praise which has eluded “boy bands” that followed, settled in Brooklyn and one of them — Taylor — married and had a child.

“As far as mindset it’s the same, the love of music,” says Hanson. “I think we’re still a pop-rock band. It’s rock ‘n’ roll music with a pop sensibility. I’m a sucker for a good chorus, is I guess what that means.”

As for tonight’s show, there will probably be plenty of screaming teeny-boppers on hand to contend with. But the former garage-rockers stress they are all about the tunes they play.

“There’s no pyrotechnics or belly dancers or Jumbotrons. It’s not about that,” says Hanson. “It’s about guys playing music and giving all their energy and love of what they do on the stage.”

Hanson’s all-ages show with Michael Tolcher starts at 6:30 p.m. Entrance is free with park admission. Wristbands for floor access are $10 and can be bought at a booth inside the grounds.

Source: Jam! Showbiz

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