Remember Hanson? The year was 1997, and the hottest family band since the Jacksons hit the top of the charts with MMMBop. Fast forward 20 years, and the brothers are all grown up with kids of their own, still going strong and still making music. And on a recent visit to Seattle, we learned the Emerald City has a special spot in the hearts of these former teen heartthrobs.
"It's good to be back. Seattle's always been really good to us. We made our first live record here, back in 1998," began Isaac Hanson, the oldest of the three.
It's hard to believe Isaac, Taylor and Zac were just 16, 14 and 11 when MMMBop hit the charts and propelled them into stardom.
"That song, part of its success is that it's kind of universal," said Taylor. "That hook is the same in every language, everywhere around the world."
The brothers are each married, and if you can believe it, have a dozen children between them. But don't expect to see any of those kids running around the concert venues.
"The road life is not much conducive to spending quality time together," explained Isaac.
"Even though we're a family, obviously we're three brothers, our individual families are very on their own and moving at their own speed," continued Zac.
While MMMBop might be the most recognized song from the trio, they've stayed pretty active in the two decades since... releasing a string of albums and even their own beer. It's called... you guessed it... Mmmhops. If you're looking for some new Hanson tunes to sing along to, their brand new single "I Was Born" is included on their "Middle of Everywhere" greatest hits album.
"What I've seen too with the latest single, "I Was Born," it seems to be hitting a similar tone with a lot of people and a lot of our younger fans too, which are in some cases the second generation fans," said Isaac. "You are seeing that connection of hey, this song is similar in concepts in many ways to MMMBop. It's about making hard choices, it's about believing in your ability to shall we say, win the day."
As Hanson travels the country, celebrating a total of 25 years performing together, they haven't so much reinvented themselves as much as they've just grown up.
"I hope we're getting better, but ultimately I think at our core, we're very similar," Zac said. "That passion for the next idea is really what drives us. All those uncompleted songs and uncompleted projects that are over the horizon that we keep thinking about and wondering how long we can keep this going so we can get through as many of them as possible."
"We've been fighting to keep this job since we were kids because it's a pretty great thing to walk out and play music every day," added Taylor.
Just in time for the holidays, Hanson is releasing a new Christmas album. "Finally, It's Christmas" is available now.