MMMBOP! Hanson Grow Up
By HANNAH STOTT
06 April 2005
Brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac, as the boy band Hanson, shot to fame in 1997 with pop classic Mmm Bop. Now at the grand old ages of 19, 22 and 24 respectively, they’re back in the charts.
They talked to Sky about how that single changed their young lives, how Mmm Bop is one of Bono’s favourite songs, and how they’re getting on as adult musicians.
Q: My, haven’t you grown-up?
Isaac: I guess we have.
Zac: It depends: if you saw us seven years ago, we’ve grown up a lot; if you saw us five years ago, not so much; if you saw us six months ago, probably not at all. We’ve been a band for 13 years in May yet people have only known Hanson for seven or eight. There’re a lot of changes, and some of them are more physically than musically apparent.
Taylor: We used to say when we first started out to just think of us as really old guys with high voices. For us, it was never about being young or old; it was about just wanting to play music.
Q: But Taylor, you’re really quite old for your age. You’re expecting your second baby any day now.
Taylor: Obviously it’s pretty young (to be a father) at 22, but I guess you just live your life at your own pace. I’ve always done things early – getting married, having kids. It’s what I wanted.
Isaac: Whereas I’m 24 and couldn’t be further from getting married or having children.
Taylor: It’s not just in our personal lives; we started our own record company and now release our music independently. We’ve always written and produced our music. It’s about who you are and what you want to do.
Q: Starting your own record label was a pretty mature decision by you guys, after parting company with Mercury.
Zac: Forming a label is our way of taking it that bit further. We’re taking that much more risk to get that much more reward, being able to release records and tour faster.
Taylor: It’s a changing industry. Independence is about ownership and saying we want to take things at our own pace.
Q: Your story is a fairly unique one. How did it come about?
Zac: Clearly we didn’t have a completely normal upbringing, because there aren’t many six-year-olds playing gigs!
Q: Were your parents happy with it?
Taylor: They were a little freaked out at first.
Zac: But supportive, obviously. We were so young, we had to have support.
Isaac: We couldn’t get to the gigs otherwise, at that point!
Q: So how do you make that transition from playing in a school band to doing gigs when you’re still kids?
Taylor: Everybody starts out somewhere. We just had success when we were young, so people want to talk about it. The difference for us was that, because we were brothers, it was a combined force. It wasn’t like ‘One day we’ll have a band,’; it was, ‘We have a band, let’s do it.’ We were lucky because there’s three of us with the same interest and that drove us to do gigs.
Q: So Zac, have you ever met up with Donny Osmond to compare your experiences?
Zac: (laughs) No. I think being young, there are a lot of preconceived notions of what might happen to you – that I’m going to end up saying, ‘I had a bad childhood.’
Isaac: If he says that, I’m going to smack him in the head!
Q: Mmm Bop was what did it for you – it still gets played loads. Do you get sick of it?
Taylor: You make music because you love it and because you believe in the fans. Bono’s been really complimentary about Mmm Bop – he said it was one of his favourite songs ever. We reach people around the world; most people don’t get that. So whether it’s Mmm Bop or our latest release, Lost Without Each Other, it doesn’t matter.
Q: Would you get up and boogie to Mmm Bop if you were in a club and it came on?
Zac: I’d get up on the table and dance!
Taylor: Zac actually is a table dancer on the side.
Zac: If the band ever falls apart, you know what I’m going to be doing.
Taylor: Edit point!
Source: Sky Showbiz