With Hanson, expect the unexpected
By: Teresa Reilly and Skye McIntyre, Collegian Staff
Posted: 4/28/08

On a hot Friday afternoon, Hanson led over 50 barefooted fans through the streets and neighborhoods of Northampton. The brothers, whose hit single "MmmBop" left them as '90s pop icons, were proving to the people of Western Massachusetts that walking barefoot hurts and children in Africa do it on a daily basis. They were walking with TOMS Shoes, a company that gives a child in Africa a pair of shoes for every pair sold. The walk was Hanson's 60th since they began touring last fall.

Before the band played to a nearly sold-out crowd in the Calvin Theater, Taylor and Zac Hanson were kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions about the walks, bullet scares and midget ninja pastry chefs.

Daily Collegian: Do you have any stand out memories from the tour so far?

Taylor Hanson: There have been a couple really intense things that have happened. We had a scare when we were in Royal Oak, outside of Detroit, where we thought we had somebody with a gun. There was a bullet that was discovered in the front row.

Zac Hanson: We had to find them and shoot them. [Laughing]

Taylor: That was pretty intense. Unfortunately, it's really sad to say; but on the last tour, the Walk Tour, in the fall and many other times we've had people call us with death threats and like when we were in Chicago last year we had somebody say "If you do the walk today you won't…"

ZH: "You won't survive."

TH: Yea, "you won't leave this town alive."

DC: You got phone calls or e-mails?

ZH: A little bit of everything.

TH: So we had to take that seriously in Detroit. But, that's not very positive. But when we found a .40 bullet in the front row, and somebody felt it drop on their foot, they immediately started searching to see if somebody had a gun. We had to rally and call extra police and also make it safe. We were worried about everybody, not just whether we're going to get shot. So, that was a little bit of scare, and everybody was cooperative, and we had cops there. It turned out that an off-duty cop's girlfriend was carrying bullets in her purse, and they had fallen out of her purse.

ZH: Did she explain?

TH: Don't ask. [Laughing] But then, like an idiot, some guy rushed the stage before we found out who had dropped the bullet, and he tried to get onstage.

DC: While you were performing?

TH: Right after we had walked offstage.

ZH: In between sets.

TH: These guys [the cops] were ready to stomp somebody, and so he got his butt tazed. He was thrown around, and he was taken to jail. Five cops just right on his ass.

ZH: Tackled, dragged outside, three knees in his back. [Cops yelling] "Stop resisting!" But that's what you get for rushing the stage after they announce that there is a security concern at the venue tonight, and there's two cops standing at the top of each side of the stage. There's double the security there was 12 minutes ago, and "I'm going to rush the stage because I'm drunk."

TH: Just really, really stupid. But actually, what I was going to say was that with all of that going on, it was a really great show.

ZH: Yeah, you got to leave your legacy if you're going out. "We're going out tonight guys, this is it. Best show of my life!"

TH: It turned out to be a great show; and also I've been really blown away by all the walks we've been doing and how many people have come out to support us. We've had some of the best walks we've had on the whole tour since last year. It's been really interesting. Some walks have been small, some walks have been huge, but it's great. You get to see each tour stop very differently based on doing the walks and doing the shows, and it adds a whole new dimension to your memory of each place. You get a sense of the crowd in each city.

DC: What's the most surprising item on your tour rider?

ZH: Um, ninja midget pastry chef. That's the most shocking one.

DC: What is that?

ZH: A ninja, midget, pastry chef.

TH: We've been trying to get one on the rider.

ZH: No, that's on the rider.

TH: It's just really rare to get those delivered to every town. For instance, there are a lot of small people but not necessarily ones who are also ninjas and pastry chefs as well.

ZH: That is actually on our rider, and it has yet to be fulfilled.

TH: You need somebody who has both the power to kill and has a sensitive side and can also provide a service for the tour. But of course, you'd never see him, because he's very small and all of a sudden you just see a pastry coming.

ZH: You don't want to eat any of the pastries because he might have poisoned one or two of them, just for fun. That's what ninjas do.

DC: You're biggest guilty pleasure song?

ZH: Don't have them. The songs I like, I like.

DC: Really, none?

ZH: I like a song and will tell you it, or I don't like it. I'm not a pansy.

DC: There's part B to this question.

TH: In other words, if we like a song we're proud to say we like the song. For instance, I'm not a Celine Dion fan particularly, but she has an incredible voice and has sung a lot of great songs.

ZH: Although, I wouldn't say she has the best voice out of anyone in the world though, like she has claimed.

DC: Did she say that?

ZH: She said it in some interview at some point, "I am the greatest singer in the world."

TH: I think that's probably true for all of us; although Ike probably has guilty pleasures.

ZH: But he's not here right now.

TH: What's part B?

DC: Part B is, can you crank that Soulja Boy?

TH: Can we what?

ZH: Negative.

DC: Have you ever heard that song, "Crank That" by Soulja Boy?

ZH: I know exactly what you're talking about and no, that is not one of my guilty pleasures. Now, I might have missed something about it, because every time I hear it, it's like, "Oh, it's that song, click." So, I've never put any effort into trying to crank that. Someday maybe. We'll cover it. We'll make it different.