Hanson takes 'Walk' to Meyer Theatre

By: Dan Whelan
Posted: 4/10/08
Fourth Estate

A full ten years after the release of "Middle of Nowhere," Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson are coming to the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay on April 13 with their newest CD, "The Walk."
Though the trio is known for their platinum hit, "Mmmbop," which was released May 1997, they have since released four CDs and started their own record label, 3CG Records. The three brothers have also found wives and have children, except for Zac, who is expecting, according to Taylor Hanson.

"On this record, we decided to be more straight forward with the music," Taylor Hanson said. "We're all producers, so we had to know our limits of what we can and can't do."
Taylor Hanson said "The Walk" was recorded like a live album in the studio. Everyone was in the same room and worked to play a great performance for every song.

"Every song was built around a great performance, which truly makes us like a garage band again," Taylor Hanson said.

One major focus that has shaped Hanson over the past 10 years is the presence of AIDS and poverty in Africa. Hanson traveled over to Africa while they were recording "The Walk" to see the problems first hand, and, as a result, brought home lots of new ideas, including the performance of African choirs, which appear on their latest album.

"We had a realization that the problems in Africa were so much closer to home than we first thought," Taylor Hanson said. "We learned that Tulsa, OK has a very high AIDS rate as well. We know that AIDS is treatable and we have an opportunity to do something about it.
"We partnered up with TOMS, a shoe company, to bring basic needs to these people in Africa. We sell these shoes as a part of our tour and, for every pair of shoes that is sold TOMS will send a pair of shoes to Africa."

Hanson has gone further than just selling shoes to bring awareness out about the basic needs that many Africans go without. As a promotion for their new album and the program with TOMS shoes, Hanson invites concert goers to join them on a barefooted mile walk before the show, to show them what people in less fortunate nations experience on a daily basis, Taylor Hanson said.

"For the first part of our 'The Walk' tour, we walked 50 miles, and sold about 50,000 pairs of shoes, which was our first goal," Taylor Hanson said. "Now that we're starting the tour up again, the goal continues."

As the members of the band get older and work to raise their families, touring has taken on a new role in their lives. Taylor Hanson refers to the tour now as a circus of rock and roll, because of the loud mix of personas traveling from city to city. He said it is basically a normal family life, just placed in a bus. The families don't stay on for the entire tour, but they do travel back and forth so the growing clan can stick together.

Taylor Hanson is excited about playing at the Meyer Theatre because theaters are his favorite type of venue.

"Theaters are designed to accommodate music," he said. "It's all fine and good to have everyone packed in to general admission, but there is a vibe and energy in theaters that make those places special. The theater is the cat's meow."

Taylor Hanson said the show promises to be a fun and unique event, as at every show, he, Isaac and Zac come up with a different set list than the night before.

"It's great that we get to give audiences this opportunity to hear the music as it should be," he said. "We really enjoy bringing the music to the people in all of its glory."

Hanson will be playing at the Meyer Theatre on Washington Street in Downtown Green Bay on April 13, featuring Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers and Kate Voegele.