Strike up the Band

B-Sides catches up with The Simpson's Alf Clausen and Hanson: Testify!

How did you develop the sound for the new album?

We've jokingly said we write happy/sad songs. But our love of pop hooks put that in background. But on this record, we said, "Let's put these messages in the forefront, write with less metaphor." When people hear it the first time, they get that catchy thing. We grew up listening to pop and early rock & roll. "Don't bore us, get to the chorus." That's the way we want to write songs. And choosing to record live, the three of us together.

Was that new for you?

Hanson: C'mon, get happy.
Hanson: C'mon, get happy.


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We did it sparingly before. That's just not the norm today. Overdubbing has become the standard. Producers don't even want to record live because it can take more time. That's also why we chose Danny Kortchmar. Our benchmarks were the same. Danny knows how to help you find that great arrangement and play together live. He's made so many records that way.

Do you really bring your wives and kids with you on the tour bus?

Last time I checked they were sleeping, right now.

How do you resist driving around singing Partridge Family songs?

You should come on the bus for five minutes. It's not at all like that.

You're all trying to kill each other?

I hate the Spin and Rolling Stone perception of rock & roll. It's from people who have no background in what rock & roll really is. For them, it's drugs, alcohol, sex — and then music. But when you watch rockumentaries about Bob Dylan or Leon Russell or the Rolling Stones, you see their kids and wives. It's just their lives. That's not the Partridge Family. That's the history of rock & roll. I wake up two or three times a night and hear a baby scream. But whatever. — Roy Kasten

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