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Hanson plays 25-year anniversary show at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Hanson – the long haired, teen heart throbs – paved the way for the likes of Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and One Direction. They’ve been in the industry 25 years this year; it’s been 20 years since MMMBop – that’s even before the Nokia 3310 was invented (feel old now?).
Well, they’re back on the road, so we grabbed five minutes with youngest brother Zac before they played O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 10 and 11 June.
So you’re playing a 25-year anniversary tour, can you tell us a bit about that?
25 years ago is when we started singing, playing and doing our thing. A few years later we released our first major international record, with MMMBop and Where’s the Love. When you reach a milestone like 25 years, that is something we needed to stop and celebrate. We are painfully focused on the future, we can’t help ourselves from getting excited about the next idea. But uncharacteristically, we are excited about stopping and taking a moment to look back and indulge in the nostalgia for a little bit and enjoy the history of all the things we’ve done. So that was the inspiration for this tour.
Are you on the road right now?
We start in June. At the very end of May, we are playing the festival that we own and host in Oklahoma and that starts things off. And then the tour starts in Europe in June, then Australia and then South America and the US. We start in June and we’ll go until the end of the year.
And you have a greatest hits album coming out?
Yes, greatest hits are a funny thing, but it is the best way to describe what we wanted to do. If you look back at our history, we wanted to frame our career up to this point and say here is where we have been. Doing a greatest hits seemed appropriate and something that needed to happen. We’ve been a band long enough that you have these mixes of experiences. People, they sort of catch you at one moment and they will miss you for a couple of years and then they will come back in for another record – so we wanted to find a way to say, if you only knew one thing about our band, this is what you can know. It won’t be perfect, it doesn’t include everything and every side of who we are, but it is a great introduction of everything we have done so far.
Did you always want to play in a band for a living?
In my case, I was really, really young – I was 6 when we performed for the first time! I didn’t have to get past the point of “I have 4 dreams and which one do I want to pursue.” When we started performing, we immediately started getting responses from people that were really positive. We were kids and we would play a show and we would meet someone afterwards and they would ask us to play at their place or arts festival. The first place we ever heard screaming girls wasn’t at a Hanson concert in 1997, it was in 1994, when we would play school assemblies! We would go and play these concerts at schools. Kids loved us because they got 2 hours out of school. Instead of doing math or science, they got to listen to 3 kids, their peers play music. I think the teachers saw it as inspirational too.
Outside of music do you have other passions?
Absolutely, I by no means feel that I have mastered my craft – whether that’s being a drummer, or a song writer or all the other instruments I pretend to play on our albums. It’s a huge advantage to be at this point in life and there is still so much time to learn so much more. We started a beer company a few years back and that has been a new passion for us. We always wanted to start a music festival, so once we started the beer company, we thought about the festival, so we launched Hop Jam festival. I am also really into the visual arts stuff, I do all kinds of design for the band.
What tech can’t you live without?
Probably the number one thing is, when I’m on the road I take an Xbox with me everywhere. It helps with long bus rides and down time, so to make the world sane I definitely play Xbox all the time. I carry a pocket projector, an Xbox 1 and a 22-inch monitor, which goes with me everywhere I go. I can project it on a wall or fit it in a room. My brothers mostly don’t play, but our band guys and crew play.
Using your phone at the dinner table, ok or not?
It’s not ok, but we’re probably going to do it anyway.
What about instagramming your food?
I think as long as you don’t overgram. There is sort of a quantity of posts that are ok, and a quantity that is definitely not ok. If you don’t have anything to post one day and then say here’s a picture of a donut, I think that works. But if you’ve just posted 6 things and then a picture of food, I think that’s too much.
What about your favourite emoji?
I do the thumbs up a lot.
Favourite or most used app
In the last 3 months, since the start of the year I decided I wanted to be more fit, so I use this Lose it app everyday. And it works, its awesome, you can track exercise and all kinds of stuff. I also watch Youtube all the time and I use Amazon all the time. I have a problem – I have one click buy and it shows up 3 days later.