In 2021, the three brothers who make up pop-rock trio HANSON are nearing their 30th anniversary of playing music together, selling millions of albums and reaching fans from Tulsa to Tokyo. As the band embarks on their 29th year performing together they have set their sites on musical projects that break new ground, making their 29th year all about new music with their seventh studio project, Against The World, releasing in seven consecutive monthly singles throughout the year. The project ushers in a stream of new content including music videos for each of the seven tracks and a summer concert series.
The new project was recorded at the legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, and brings together a series of new sounds, building on the band’s history, deeply rooted in American soul and rock ‘n’ roll, and their longevity as songwriters and performers who have continued to mine their origins while propelling their music forward.
The debut single “Annalie,” displays the band’s influences from craftsmen like Paul Simon and the flavors of South African guitar, while the lyrics reflect Memphis and other musical places from which the band draws its inspiration.
“Annalie welcomes people into this music with an uplifting spirit while highlighting much deeper meaning in the lyrics and story, which is a call out for grace amidst the journey of life. We felt like it was a great song to begin this epic journey” said Zac Hanson.
Later tracks cover the spectrum of pop and rock, from the power-pop of “Don’t Ever Change,” featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick on lead guitar, to “Fearless” which tips its hat to the symphonic work of the band’s previous project String Theory.
“The common thread in these diverse songs is the perspective that many of them echo. They all reflect on seeking a way through challenges in different ways. That theme, and the camaraderie we’ve felt as a band and with our audience helped inspire the title Against The World,” said Taylor Hanson.
“Against The World is all about striving to be the best you can be, forging a path you believe in. No one else knows what you are capable of but you, and you define your place in the world,” added Isaac Hanson.
The group is clearly still driven by a sense of purpose and optimism, which imbues every part of their career and continues to attract new and old fans alike. “It’s exciting to know we will be unfolding this project all year and we’re looking forward to bringing these songs and more to fans around the world in 2022,” said Taylor Hanson.
Founded in 1992 at ages eleven, nine and six, brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac spent their first five years building a fanbase as an independent band in Tulsa, OK, performing both classic rock ‘n’ roll and soul music and their own original material, to form their own unique blend of harmony-driven, soulful pop-rock. This unlikely focus was forged by an early introduction to music from the 1950’s and early 60’s, with the young brothers citing influences from Aretha Franklin to Otis Redding, The Beatles, Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. This formed the bedrock of their musical inspiration, helping to forge their signature sound which incorporated strong melodies and song craft, as well as reverence for their musical forefathers.
After five years and two independent albums, HANSON released their major label debut, Middle Of Nowhere, lead by the ubiquitous hit single “MmmBop,” which was #1 in 27 countries simultaneously, and which garnered them multiple Grammy nominations and five consecutive top 40 singles, including “Where’s The Love,” “I Will Come To You” and “Weird”. Continuing the momentum, HANSON released the critically acclaimed sophomore album This Time Around, followed by five more studio albums, two Christmas albums and five live projects, all accompanied by extensive touring, performing concerts to over 3 million fans and selling more than 16 million albums to date.
The band launched their own independent 3CG Records label in 2003, a story which was chronicled in their acclaimed documentary Strong Enough To Break, a critical step in the band’s ability to maintain their coveted connection with their global fanbase.
The last five years have seen the “Middle Of Everywhere 25th Anniversary World Tour,” alongside a new greatest hits collection of the same name, which included single “I Was Born,” infusing a piece of the future into the year’s reflective projects. The year concluded with a special Christmas album release and tour for the group’s Finally It’s Christmas album, which was among the most successful Christmas releases of 2017, and their most ambitious musical project to date, String Theory, a new album and tour that featured the band recording and performing with a full orchestra. The projects were some of HANSON’s most successful of their career, with sold-out concerts around the globe, highlighting their staying power and still strong connection with fans, more than a quarter century after they began in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In addition to their musical endeavors, in 2007 HANSON launched their Take The Walk grassroots campaign to provide poverty and HIV/AIDS relief in Africa. In 2013, they launched HANSON Brothers Beer, premiering their new venture with a signature Pale Ale, Mmmhops, and in 2014, they launched the Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival in Tulsa OK, which is among the largest craft beer and music events in the country.
HANSON has never been driven by trends or fame, but instead is fueled by the personal drive to create great art, inspire connection and cultivate community. Those qualities are at the root of the band’s longevity and lasting connection with fans.