10th Sep 2012 1:21am | By Alex Harmon
We all know the wholesome brothers who turned MMMBop into ‘a thing’ in the Nineties. Now they’re grown up, with a new album, a bunch of kids and a line of beer. We chat to the old one – Isaac...
Hi Isaac, you’re the eldest, right?
Yes, but more importantly, I am the guitar player.
What memories do you have of Oz?
Well amongst other things, the people are always so chipper and friendly. I have a lot of good memories of Bondi beach and trying my first proper Aussie hamburger with beetroot.
Has the music changed over the years?
Well I definitely think for someone who hasn’t had the chance to catch up on what Hanson have been doing in the last 15 years, if you’re only familiar with MMMBop and Where is the Love, then you might feel like there is a very big change. But in many ways, much of the DNA of the band has maintained the same.
And how would you describe that?
From the beginning there were always strong ties to late Fifties, early Sixties rock n roll, and even Motown music. And that remains true even today with the new album, Shout it Out.
You've all got kids of your own now, do you encourage them musically?
I would never encourage them to play music. If they’re going to be a musician, they’re going to have to do it on their own. If they are enthusiastic about it, and show true desire, then I’m sure their dad is going to help them out.
So you’d get behind a Hanson 2.0?
Well, I would advise them to be a bit more original with their name. You know, as if their dad’s band name wasn’t already original enough.
Plus you’re still around – are you ever gonna retire?
Oh, I hope not. We’re just a few years young as far as I am concerned.
What advice do you have for the up and coming boy bands of today?
I don’t know anything about boy bands of today!
What about bands like One Direction, are you jealous of their hair?
I have no idea! (Laughs.) What I can say is that as a musician, there are a lot of challenges. First and foremost, you better know who you are and you better be willing to stick to it, because at the end of the day, everyone moves on from you – yes, even your hair – in some way or another.
Is it true you have a line of beer?
We do, it’s in the brewing stages, we’re developing the flavour, shall we say. The working title is “MMMhop”.
I thought that was a joke
Well, it is kind of a joke, but it’s true.
Are you sick of playing MMMBop yet?
As an artist, you’re always trying to move forward. But there is no lack of pride in playing our older music. I would say songs like MMMBop and Where is the Love I enjoy more now. Also we don’t have anything to prove now, and so I think in that case, the song has gotten better with age.
Matured like a fine wine?
More like a good vintage soda pop! It’s something that we’re very, very proud of.
Who gets the most attention from fans?
Well I think it’s fairly even. But I guess because Taylor sings a lot of lead, there’s always been a tendency for him to get a little more attention.
Is there much rivalry between brothers?
Sure there are plenty of arguments and plenty of bruises – literally and figuratively. But we also have a lot of respect for each other. I think because we started out so young and we’re pretty positive, upbeat guys, then people mistake us for being shiny, happy people and think that we have no conflict. We just grew up being taught not to air your dirty laundry in public, and that remains to be true.
Come on, give me some dirt on Hanson
Dirt? Well there’s been times where I haven’t showered for a couple of days, that’s pretty dirty.
Hmmmm, okay. Tell me this, who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?
Batman. Because he is really dark. And kind of evil. There is a really sinister side to Batman. I consider myself to be Batman.
Damn, I wish I had time to talk about your dark side!
Oh yeah, I’m evil.
Catch Hanson in Adelaide (Sept 13) Melbourne (Sept 14), Sydney (Sept 16), Coolangatta (Sept 21) and Fremantle (Sept 22) hanson.net