The Hanson Biography >>>
Before they were known to the world as "HANSON", they were known to their hometown as "The Hanson Brothers". Music was a part of their lives from the beginning. Their parents, Walker Hanson, and Diana Hanson were once a part of a gospel choir who sang all over the country. Then, they settled down in Tulsa, OK, where Walker got a job at the oil company. This caused them to move around extensively. "Nine years ago our dad started working for an oil company, and within a year of getting the job, the company asked him to go overseas." Isaac explains. "Obviously we weren't going to just stay at home, so we went with him." That is when the family got their 50's and 60's tapes the boys saw on a TV commercial. One was from 1958, and the songs, such as "Johnny B. Goode", "Splish Splash", "Rockin' Robin", "Summertime Blues", and "Good Golly Miss Molly", were the songs that perhaps influenced the group earliest music.
It was during this time overseas that Isaac wrote his first song. It was while they were in Ecuador. "My mom showed me three chords on the keyboard, C, F, and G." Isaac informed. Isaac was in third grade, Taylor in first, and Zac was about in Kindergarten or pre-school. They continued writing songs about anything from friends, to family, to the occasional love song, and their faith in God.
In 1992, the band made their first public performance in Tulsa at Mayfest, an annual music and arts festival. It was a thirty-minute set of songs, all performed a capella. Soon, they began getting offers to sing at a variety of different places, such as parties, corporate functions, festivals, amusement parks, and sporting events. Then, the decision was made to begin booking the band at local schools. This was perhaps their first taste of fame. For, after these performances, girls would call the Hanson household and scream into the answering machine about how they like the band, and at performances, their fans grew in numbers.
Aside from singing a capella, the boys would dance to pre-recorded music tracks. They had wanted to be a Boyz II Men / Ace of Base type group who would sing harmonies and dance. At this point. Isaac and Taylor play some of their songs live on the keyboard.
In March of 1994, Hanson took a trip to Austin, Texas, to attend the South by Southwest music conference. "We got there the last day," says Taylor. "There was an outdoor barbecue going on, and all these industry people were there." The three of them would simply walk up to them and say, "Can we sing for you?" Sometimes they would listen, sometimes they wouldn't. Grunge was at its peak, and that was the kind of music the company executives were looking for. Hanson were a clean, popful group.
Then, they met Christopher Sabec, a young entertainment lawyer, who was in town at the conference representing the Dave Mathews Band. He listened, where many others wouldn't, and liked very much what he heard. Though when Hanson left, they had no major interest from a record company yet. They did have some help from Jim Halsey, a music industry agent and long time manager of country singer Roy Clark. He introduced them to Bill Coben, a music attorney, who assisted them. He proved to be a great help by leading the group away from a bad contract deal with a big company.
Meanwhile, Hanson were being pressed by their fans to release an album. So, in Autumn of 1994,the band booked some studio time and recorded their first album, Boomerang in Nashville and Chicago. The boys at this time were only 13, 10, and 8. It wasn't long now before they heard from Christopher again. He became their manager, and started shipping Boomerang to different record labels. The boys were even flown to L.A by a label to audition, but nothing came of it. Sabec was told to leave the group behind, but he refused. The family was in no hurry whatsoever. Though, there was nothing the boys would rather do for a living than music, they were patient and could wait for the limelight.
Then, Hanson's personal taste in music began to change. They turned away from the hip hop/R&B sound to more rock style pop type music. And then they dove into playing like a rock and Roll band. They invested in a cheap electronic guitar, keyboards, and a friend's old Ludwig drum kit found in their attic. Isaac moved from the keyboard to the guitar, and Zac's high-energy drew him to the drums, and Taylor switched in between the drums and the keyboard, soon settling on the keyboard. It was here they took off as a real band. They began practicing where they used to dance, and in late 1995, they recorded MMMBop, their second album, at Louis Drapp Studio and Natura Studio in Tulsa, and then mixed the sound at Sound of Music in Richmond, Virginia.
After hearing this album, Steve Greenberg from Mercury records headed out to a fair in April of 1996, after being invited by Sabec, and loving the music he heard. He thought they had been manufactured, but after seeing the show in Coffeyville, Kansas, he was shown otherwise. He left that night, after talking to the family, and wasn't expected by Hanson, to be seen again. However, in contradiction to this thought, within a month, Hanson would be signed to Mercury Records. From this point, they went to LA to record their third album, Middle of Nowhere, and began their amazing journey into the Middle of our Hearts, playing and singing their music the entire way. ***
thanks to HANSON : The Official Book for this information.