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Hanson Brings "Use Your Sole" Tour to Boston in October
Taylor Hanson discusses their new tour, music, and activism
By: Angelina Berube
Posted: 9/23/09

This fall, Hanson will join Hellogoodbye, Sherwood and Steel Train on the "Use Your Sole" tour. The tour, sponsored by Toms Shoes, will feature a pre-show walk in each show city to raise awareness to global poverty issues.

On past tours, Hanson and fans have walked one mile in each tour city to empathize with children in Africa who are affected by AIDS. On their 2008 "Walk Around the World Tour," Hanson set out to get 24,902 people, enough to walk around the world once, to walk either with them at a show or through an organized walk on takethewalk.net. Hanson donated $1 for each walker that participated. The walker was able to choose whether his or her dollar went towards building a school, drilling a water well, or giving a pair of shoes to a child among other things. "We have officially surpassed, far surpassed the goal that we set last fall which was to get enough people to walk around the world," Taylor Hanson said. To change up the walks this time around, Hanson has planned to walk more college campuses, conduct book signings and perform small acoustic sets.

Hanson has no plans of slowing down these walks any time soon. Hanson will continue to encourage fans on this tour to become active about world issues. "We're going to be pushing to get around the world again and giving people new ideas and proving that we are making things happen," Hanson said. "We really want people to organize their own events. So I think that's the goal we'll be pushing for to say look, you know your actions, even if they're small, really do make a difference. What we're trying to do is develop more tools for people to make it easier to raise money directly."

In conjunction with the tour, Hanson plans to keep fans updated on the progress of the walks. "Our goal is to get videos up as frequently as possible so people can see, oh the walk happened a few days ago and really reach people around the world who can't be at the tour and can't be at these walks," Hanson said.

Fans can expect a whole lot of music with four diverse bands on the tour. Different bands mean new audiences to play in front of which is exactly what Hanson wanted, Taylor Hanson said. "We thought it was a great opportunity to cross pollinate a little bit," Hanson said. Besides playing for new people, Hanson said the enthusiasm for this tour was apparent on all sides.

Besides having a diverse set of bands, Hanson also decided to mix things up by letting fans choose a song to be played each night. "We've got a whole tour and we've thought every night if there was a fan voted song, people would have fun with it and it would keep us on our toes and keep people engaged in the whole tour," Hanson said. For the opening night, Hanson's fans can vote on songs such as "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey to "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel. The song choices will change, ranging from covers to Hanson rarities as the tour progresses.

In May, Hanson recorded an EP with songs off their new album expected next year. The EP has an activism feel. "We felt like 'Worlds On Fire' was a really great song in this period because it's a call to action song," Hanson said. "It's a song that's about that question of what to do. In a world where there's so many different needs and there's tragedy and there's triumph, it's sort of turning that mind of frustration and fear into something more." Hanson will be showcasing these songs at their upcoming concerts.

Hanson hopes that listening to their music will cause reaction. "No matter what it is, you want it to grab people. You want it to draw them in and make them feel something," Hanson said. "Music is a healing tool. It's just something that everyone is able to relate to." Through their music, Hanson can relate to their fans. "We can share an experience with our fans," Hanson said. "We're singing a song and hopefully they're singing it back."

After the tour, Hanson plans to release a new album which Hanson describes as more upbeat than their 2007 release, "The Walk." "There's just freshness and we're thinking about the next record already and just writing and just wanting to be prolific," Hanson said. "We've made it through a lot of different things and we really want to just be free to make music that we're proud of and continue to be on this path. It's not a question of will we make it; we're here."

Hanson's new album is slated for a 2010 release. They will be appearing on their co-headlining tour with Hellogoodbye at the House of Blues in Boston, Mass. on October 14, 2009.