Much more than "Mmmbop"
By Brandon Kirkley

Guest Writer

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Share this article Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo courtesy of Brian Johnson

You’ve heard of them. Regardless of your opinion of them, you know the song that catapulted these three midwestern boys into fame and what some would consider a hole in which they have had to prove their way out of. Hanson had one of the biggest hits of the 90’s with “Mmmbop,” but their biggest accomplishments have come in the decade following it.

Starting 3CG records in 2003, they have continuously released new, mature material that relates to their old fans and consistently pulls in new ones, including 2004’s “Underneath,” “The Walk” in 2007, and their most recent EP, “Stand Up, Stand UP,” released this September.

I recently had the chance to speak with their drummer Zac Hanson about their current tour Use Your Sole Tour, which also features handpicked touring mates Hellogoodbye, Sherwood and Steel Train. Guaranteed to be a great experience for those itching for an incredible rock/pop show, the band is constantly changing up the set and giving fans a chance to vote for a song they want to hear each night. “One thing we’ve tried to do is make sure fans get to see something that is unique to that city, and we’ve added the song voting to see what people are excited about and to give them a chance to be even more involved with our show,” Zac said.

For a few years now Hanson has been doing “The Walk” before each show with their fans. These walks are done near the venue usually on college campuses, etc. to promote awareness of extreme poverty and AIDS in Africa. Fans get to experience close encounters as the brothers walk around and talk to them, spreading a message of love and change.

The fans “action of being there [at “The Walk”] is actually effecting people around them and creating a monetary donation from Hanson on their behalf toward 1 of 5 different causes effecting poverty and AIDS for each mile completed.” People have followed suit and have begun to start walks all over the world even without the band present, and they’re now 6,000 miles into their next walk around the world and hope to complete it by the next album release in spring-2010, explained Zac.

Most students are now aware of the Toms shoes phenomenon, but Hanson were one of the first large supporters, giving fans an opportunity to purchase them at shows.