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HANSON
Mmmmmm ... Hanson
The brotherly trio that brought us 'MMMbop' takes on the music industry, poverty and world hunger
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By Jessica Braley
GateHouse News Service
Posted Oct 02, 2008 @ 03:17 PM
Last update Oct 02, 2008 @ 03:52 PM

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Hanson has come a long way since the days when the Grammy-nominated “MMMbop” filled the airwaves.

The trio has grown up not only physically, but after dealing with its fair share of hardships, including a drawn-out battle with then label Island Def Jam Records and oldest brother Issac’s bout with a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot that traveled to a lung — Hanson has also developed musically.

“It was scary,” Zac Hanson said of putting out their first album as an independent in more than 10 years, 2004’s “Underneath.”

“It was exciting, too. For us, we enjoy the idea of being out on our own. There’s a big difference between managing other people and doing it yourself.”

Hanson said that while the last album was very organic, drawing from such musical influences as Wilco and Travis, that “The Walk” is “a little harder, more of a rock record.”
Hardcore fans needn’t worry, though. Hanson ensures fans that the new album stays “true to Hanson sensibilities all the way.”

Do-it-yourself has worked well for the brothers.

Not only does this indie work ethic have Hanson back on the road, it has them helping thousands on the world’s poor and hungry as well.

The Walk Tour started last year before Issac got sick as a way for the band to raise awareness about TOMS Shoes “Shoe Drop” campaign to collect shoes for children in poverty stricken South Africa.

During the tour, for every pair of shoes sold, the company donated another pair for a child in Africa. Hanson then asked fans to join them in a 1-mile barefoot walk before each concert — to represent what a typical African child goes through on a daily basis.

“It’s about so much more than shoes,” Zac said. “It’s not about shoes, but what shoes represent. It was a way to give back. It’s a mindset. It provides something needed, but it also about making people aware of how much more they can do.”

The Walk Around the World Tour, an extension of The Walk Tour, has enabled Hanson and their fans to move beyond the Shoe Drops to supporting drilling for clean wells, distribution of viral drugs and expanded cell phone technology for doctors.

“It’s a wider swath this time. It isn’t just shoes, we’re trying to make a difference and show our fans how much more they can do,” Zac said.

With a documentary, podcasts, a tour, CDs, DVDs and tons of other merchandise, what’s should expect from Hanson next?

“Music needs to represent more than just a record or a song. As a band, you have to represent more than that,” Zac said.

We try to use the Web site and the podcasts to find and bring more people into the process. Opening doors to the process of making music of hearing songs as they’re written and recorded. To create a community of people passionate about the same things as we are.”

The Walk Around the World Tour brings Hanson to Patriot Place’s Showcase Live in Foxboro on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.