His long, dirty-blonde long hair may be shorter, his voice deeper, but Zac Hanson still possesses the effervescent energy of a 14-year-old. The drummer from the brother group Hanson was in Orlando, Fla., on his way to their show at the House of Blues on Friday, Oct. 21. “We have a show tonight,” he said. “We’re in hurricane traffic.”
Zac, Taylor and Issac Hanson are on the road putting on shows from their Best of Hanson Live and Electric album. The brothers will be playing the songs 13-year-old girls (and probably boys) used to sing into their hairbrushes. Their bubblegum pop hits “MMM Bop” and “Where’s the Love” are included on this new compilation.
These days Hanson’s music is a little more mature but equally inspired.
“I’d say it’s evolved,” Zac said about their newer music. “It’s just a natural thing that happened.”
Their musical evolution can be heard in Live and Electric, he said. Their last album, Underneath, is a good example of their more laid-back sound.
“Underneath is the most acoustic, mellow record we’ve released yet. I love the idea of keeping people from not always knowing what they’re gonna get,” he said.
The Hanson brothers are influenced by various genres of music such as soul, gospel and rock. U2, Travis, The Police and Crosby, Stills and Nash are some of the bands that have inspired Hanson’s songwriting. They also have an affinity for late 50s and early 60s music.
When they started their own independent label, 3CG Records, the band went from gracing the pages of every teen magazine to becoming underground indie rockers. Having more control and ownership over their music, and being able to release a record on their own timeline are some of the benefits of having their own record label, Zac said.
Zac believes independent music has more importance now than it had in the past.
“Indie [used to] imply that it was ‘niche music’ to people and that it didn’t have a broad appeal. Nowadays, it’s more about artists and companies having ownership of their music,” he said.
Zac still gets recognized even after getting rid of one of Hanson’s staples – the long hair. “It still definitely happens,” he said. When he gets recognized now, Zac said laughing, “It’s more like, ‘Dude, I saw your Cribs!’ ”
Hurricane Wilma hit Florida on Monday and forced the brothers to cancel two of the three shows they had scheduled in the state. Nonetheless, Hanson is thrilled to be playing in Philadelphia.
Hopefully, there won’t be any disastrous weather when they come to the Trocadero, Thursday, Oct. 28. They also have a show in Allentown, Pa., on Oct. 26 at Crocodile Rock.
Ellen Minsavage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.