There are many sides to every story, as we all know. Except maybe for this one. This one is pretty straight forward…
First, there was Middle of Nowhere, you know, the album that featured “MMMBop” – released on May 6, 1997-.
That’s when Hanson became famous. Very famous. 15 million copies sold. And actually, the day of their first Album’s release (May 6th) is officially “Hanson Day” in their hometown Tulsa, OK.
To this day the guys host an event for fans around that date called “Hanson day event”. You might wanna check out the official calendar for information on that.
Where was I? Right! So, in May 2000 their 5th Album “This time around” came out.
After “This time around” , well… that’s when things changed.
Hanson landed on Def Jam Records, mainly because Universal and polygram became one and they were sent there from Mercury records, which was a classic rock and roll label.
Confusing. I know. So, what happens next is not only Def Jam cuts the funding for Hanson’s concert tour but they also keep refusing to release their songs.
As Jared Leto explained to us in that lovely documentary of his ( Artifact ) : Record labels … well, they suck. Big time.
On the process of making “Underneath” Hanson started doing a documentary themselves. It was supposed to be the “behind the scenes” for their new album but it turned out to be something else.
The documentary is by far one of the most interesting things Hanson have ever released in my humble opinion. It is true that I am a bit of a documentary fan so that might be one of the reasons why I liked it so much. Also, I hadn’t actually realized how genius Taylor Hanson was until I watched this.
Hanson themselves made it public, so you can watch it here:
Or, you can buy the DVD with lots of extras here:
Basically these documentaries show us that the real world revolves around money – big news, right? But they focus on the music industry. And that system alone, the way it’s built, is just a very sharp knife that goes through an artists soul and turn them into puppets if they decide to succumb. Or, if they are left with no choice. Not to be dramatic or anything.
Lucky for Hanson, they have people like me t in their lives (sort of speak) who are willing to work endless hours at their horribly tedious jobs so that they can afford to go to concerts, buy random hanson-shaped cookie cutter sets from their online store ( Hanson.net ) and just support them out of pure selflessness … and that’s basically when they realized “Hey, we don’t need this crap! All we need is our fans.”. – these are my words, though. But the idea is very accurate.
And they were right.
So, they opened their own record label called “3 Car Garage” and went independent. Gotta admit, it took guts.
Their first independent album “Underneath” made number 1 at the independent record sale chart thingy. I’m no good with names. It was pretty awesome, though!
NOW they can write songs that feel right without needing anyone’s approval to release them AND still make a lot of money – hopefully, since they DO have 12 kids to support.
On the personal life, they all got married crazy young and have proven to be exceptionally good at making extremely cute kids!
And this is the Hanson way of handling things… they are not exactly your Justin Bieber, I’d say. – I am actually kidding ’cause I think Justin Bieber is a sweet kid who is being sucked by a demonic system and, even though he has all the money in the world, I feel sorry for him AND the song “Love yourself ” is pretty great! Not chlamydia of the ear. At all.
Back to Hanson… between potty training and building recording studios in their home, for some reason they also decided to make their own beer and a beer music festival. It’s called mmmhops… the beer, that is. The festival is actually called The Hop Jam. That part I completely don’t understand. Maybe they just needed to de-stress a little? Gotta admit I didn’t dig much into this ’cause I’m not really a fan of beer. Sorry! The important thing is that it’s working, right?
So, they seem to have succeeded at everything. They are smart guys, I’ll tell you. Although, from an outside perspective it just might seem like you don’t have to be smart to do this business and life is quite easy when you are pretty, talented and have a lot of money thrown at you… it ain’t exactly a lottery and you need to work for it and expose yourself a lot as well in order to keep the ball rolling. You don’t get to live the dream the whole time, which kinda sucks (for me) ’cause it turns something as magical and special as music into well, a job…
Actually, a few years ago I read somewhere that Alanis Morissette had written one of my favorite songs crying inside of a closet. I am not sure if it’s true or not, but that gesture alone just felt so poetic to me. So, this is kinda of what I’ve always wished for my favorite band and that’s what I wanted to believe the job was like.
I suppose I have selfishly wished for these souls that eager to expressing themselves and can do it beautifully through music – which is something I could never do, therefore I admire them so much – could actually find the peace to do so… specially if this is what they were about. Actually, most specially if they were intelligent people who did not ignore the fact that we live in a seriously fucked up world and that we are the lucky ones who get to pick a nice movie to watch at the end of the day instead of worrying if our kids will have food on their table or a stupid missile will break the silence in the middle of the night. In my head, Hanson has reached that… but it’s not like I could exactly call them and go “Are you happy now?”. It’s basically speculation.
And that’s it for my story! Sure I’ve skipped a few parts and rambled a lot, but lunch hour is only so-long and there’s nothing I can do to break THAT system! So the rambling won’t be edited… ’cause right now… I can’t afford to go independent, guys!
Last but not least, you may watch the “I was born” video featuring their darn-cute kids on youtube as well:
I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
And please note that English is not my first language. Hence the grammar and spelling errors.