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Hanson Interview in th UK


There's no escaping those mmmboppy Hanson boys. They're on the radio! They're on TV! They're at the top of the charts! On the eve of their Oz visit we caught up with Zac, Taylor and Isaac in the UK.

When did Hanson start exactly?

Zac: Basically, it started with me of course!

Isaac: No! It started about 5 years ago - I was 11, Taylor was 9, and Zac was 6, and we used to do a cappella music at local festivals. Then about a year after that, we got instruments and started playing them, although we didn't know how! I was like this on my drums - Plonk, plonk plonk! ((typers note: I dont get this bit, Zac plays drums not Ike.))

Taylor: It took us a few years to learn to play properly.

Isaac: We were called The Hanson Brothers then, and I was so sad we didn't get signed before I was 13!

OK, spill the beans. What's it really like working with your brothers?

Isaac: It's really great. We all get along really well. It's not like we're brothers, it's like we're best friends.

Did your parents encourage you when you wanted to start the band?

Zac: Our parents didn't push us into this. This was our thing. But they helped us with it. They said, 'I'm going to drive you where you want to go and get you what you need.'

How did you decide who would sing and who would play what instrument when you started out?

Taylor: We all sing. Part of what Hanson is, is that there's not just one guy who sings. Having three voices is what makes us Hanson.

Isaac: And when we started, I was a better guitarist, and Taylor had learned keyboards, so Zac just went for the drums.

Do you have any other brothers?

Zac: We've got two younger sisters and a younger brother whos three. They've got music in them, but they don't want to join Hanson - They might want to start up their own band one day!

Isaac: We won't force them to join because they want to do their own thing, but they can if they want!

Taylor: They can sing but they're more into drawing and acting. Mackenzie, the little one, is even madder then Zac, so I reckon he'll make a good actor!

Do your other brothers and sisters ever get jealous?

Taylor: No, they're really happy for us.

Zac: We're willing to let them in the band. We've asked them before. But I think they really want to do their own thing.

What kind of music are you into?

Isaac: Pop - The Spin Doctors, Aerosmith, No Doubt, The Cardigans and alot of 60's stuff. We like it all, really, and we take out influences from everywhere.

Zac: We've been brought up with so many different types of music that we like a ton of different stuff.

Taylor: People say Hanson remind them lots of things because each of our songs are really different.

Are you into the Beatles?

Isaac: Don't go there!

How big are you back in the States?

Isaac: When "Mmmbop" was released, it went straight to the top 20! And now it's No.1! We're really pleased.

Taylor: We've been spending all our time recently traveling between LA and New York making the video and recording the album, so we hardly ever get to go home, which is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Zac: And when we get back to the States, we're doing some real big shows like The David Letterman Show! We can't wait because it'll make us feel really famous!

Do you miss your pets when you're on the road?

Taylor: No. We don't have any animals at home.

Isaac: We used to, but we just don't right now.

Are you guys getting enough sleep at the moment with all this frantic activity going on?

Zac: No! (falls asleep with head on table snoring loudly)

Have you got alot of fans?

Isaac: Well, we've got a hotline at home for fans to call up on and it's always ringing as soon as one call ends, the phone rings again.

Taylor: Quite alot of people have started recognising us and it's really weird - we can walk into a resturant and someone will ask for our autographs!

Zac: Alot of our fans are young, around our age, but we also get alot of college guys at our concerts.

Do you get to see much of your friends these days?

Zac: Well, we haven't recently because a lot of them are in bands as well, so we're like them, really busy too, but we see them when we can.

Taylor: About five of our friends have just started working in a pizza place in Tulsa, and they have MTV on in there, and when the Hanson video gets shown they just ignore all the customers and watch us on TV!

Is this new success fun?

Isaac: It's just funny how people respond to it. All these screaming girls and guys going crazy, you just have to have fun with it. It's not about you. It's about the position you're in.

Loads of your songs are about girls and love, but how do you know so much about that when you're all so young?

Zac: Even if we did have girlfriends, which we don't, we'd still end up writing about girls- you can't help it!

Isaac: It's a natural phenomenon - pop songs and love are just made together.

Taylor: Isaac's the hopeless romantic of the group, I'm the professional, and Zac's just mad!

Isaac: People say that we're quite mature for our age so maybe we just know, you know?!

Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

Isaac: Just from everyday life. It's like "Mmmbop", thats a song about relationships, about all the people that are going to be in your life, and the relationships that you'll have with them throughout your life. People don't expect it, but the "Mmmbop" bit is just the chorus, the main parts of the song are about the real stuff.

Taylor: the songs are inspired by everyday life. Originally we would write about our brothers and sisters. Just about whatever we were thinking about. And of course girls. Aren't you a little young to have lived so much?

Taylor: No, like we've been playing for over five years, we were writing songs about our girlfriends leaving us before we even cared if our girlfriends left us.

Do you have time for girlfriends right now?

All: No.

Isaac: I just don't think it's the right time to get a girlfriend now. We're going to be really busy for a while, and there won't really be time to have a girlfriend...

Taylor: But if the right girl came along...

Zac: Yeah, if anyone out there wants to be my girlfriend...(throws arms wide apart)

It's Tuesday morning, right? So why aren't you at school?

Isaac: We've never been at school because our parents teach us at home, so even while we're here in England or somewhere else on tour, we set aside the mornings for our lessons, which means we have to take our computers and books everywhere with us.

Taylor: It's better than going to school because we see a lot of each other this way and we're not seperated into different classes.

Zac: I think it's made us closer to our parents and our younger brothers and sisters because we can see them all the time, and we all get on really well with each other.

What else do you like doing apart from playing in the band?

Zac: We've got a big table at home covered with Lego and we all build things with that the whole time!

Taylor: We draw and we go rollerblading alot.

Zac: And Laser Quest. Kapow! Laser Quest is great.

Isaac: we're not very good at skateboarding, though - we always fall off, but we play alot of street hockey which is hockey on rollerblades.

Zac: We play soccer as well - Isaac's a referee.

Taylor: The band's more than a hobby, though - we see it as a job, but a job that we love. I'm glad we don't have to work in the pizza place like our friends do!

Speaking of toys, what's that thing you talk through on stage Zac?

Zac: My megaphone? I love it! It's awesome! I usd it on one of our best songs, "The Man from Milwaukee"- it makes my voice sound sound real funny, like the police or something, and you make funny noises with it.

What do you do when you get homesick for Tulsa?

Zac: Someone gave us this little globe of Tulsa, and when you shake it and it makes snow go all over little Tulsa, and we take that everywhere we go.

Are you guys going to go out on tour?

Isaac: Yeah, in the fall. We're going to Europe next week for a promotional tour, then when we come back we're going to prepare for a tour later in the year.

Are you going to go to Australia?

Taylor: Yeah. In July or August.

Isaac: Yeah, we can't wait to go to Australia. We've always wanted to go there, and it'll be like this big adventure for us. We're really excited about that.

You know "Mmmbop" debuted at No.1 on the Australian charts, don't you?

Taylor: Oh, yeah, we heard about that and we're blown away. That's why we can't wait to get down there!