New Again: Hanson

This week the young brothers best known for singing “MMMBop” announced that to mark their 25th anniversary as the pop group Hanson, they’ll celebrate with a hometown performance in May at Oklahoma’s fourth annual Hop Jam Festival (an occasion for craft beers and music) followed by a world tour. The trio co-founded the festival, which is an unsurprising fact given that the band owns Hanson Brothers Beer Company (and sells a pale ale called Mmmhops). To honor the late-’90s teen heartthrobs, today we revisit their feature from the pages of Interview‘s July 1997 issue, years before they reached the legal drinking age.

Blond on Blond on Blond
By Dimitri Ehrlich

“How did this happen so fast? Can you tell us that?” asks Zac Hanson, youngest member of Hanson, the new teen sensation band made up of three brothers, aged eleven, fourteen, and sixteen, from Tulsa, Okla. Hanson’s first disc for Mercury Records, a giddy collection of highly crafted pop called Middle of Nowhere, shipped gold to record stores on the strength of the single “MMMBop,” which then shot to number one. Everywhere the Hansons go, crowds clamor for them; at a taping of David Letterman the day their album was released, a long line of young girls—and a few grown men—were whimpering for their autographs.

The reasons for the fuss are not mysterious. When Zac, Isaac (the oldest), and Taylor (in the middle) weave their signature sunny harmonies over an R&B-lite groove, it’s as if they’ve triple-handedly updated the Osmonds, the Partridge Family, and the Jackson Five all at once. Their sound is as safe and clean as it gets, yet their songs deal with contemporary, even adult, themes. And with their long blond hair, all three boys are downright pretty, putting a spin on rock’s age-old androgyny. While the teen-idol lifestyle may exacerbate normal sibling rivalry, all three Hansons insist that squabbling has yet to rear its ugly head. “They’re like my best friends,” grins Zac. “Only bester.”


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