Hanson on avoiding the pitfalls of fame, says ‘MMMBop’s’ success 20 years later still feels like ‘landing on the moon’

A decade before The Jonas Brothers were “Burnin’ Up” for fans, and before *NSYNC hit it big with “I Want You Back,” there was Hanson.

Three long-haired brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma, exploded on the pop music scene with “MMMBop,” with then-16-year-old Isaac Hanson on guitar, 13-year-old Taylor Hanson on keyboard and 11-year-old Zac Hanson on drums.

Now Hanson, all grown up and with somewhat shorter hair, is celebrating 25 years of making music, kicking off a world tour next month, and yes, still performing that 1997 song that launched their career. The brothers sat down for an interview with ABC News “Nightline” at the New York City performance venue, The Cutting Room.

“For whatever reason, our perspective on our past must be different from other people, because the expectation seems to be that we will be sick of [‘MMMBop’],” said Zac Hanson, now 31, “You want to be known for what you’re doing, because you care about what you’re doing. But, what we’re doing right now doesn’t exist with without what we did, right? And so, ‘MMMBop,’ the DNA of ‘MMMBop,’ is as relevant as it’s ever been.”

Taylor Hanson, now 34, said the song still resonates and feels like a “kind of an accomplishment.” The one thing they have changed is the key – because their voices were higher when they originally recorded it.

Watch the full story on ABC News “Nightline” tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET

The brothers started singing back in 1992 at the ages of 11, 9 and 6. Their love for music, they said, came out listening to legends of the past, including Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding.

Taylor Hanson said their first gig was performing a 30-minute set at a local arts festival in Tulsa.

“And basically, every time we played a show, from 1992 on, somehow or another, we would get another gig,” he said. “We were so young, you couldn’t play bars. So we would just play wherever anybody would let us. We’d play block-parties, we’d play outside of bars.”

Soon the brothers found themselves playing at South by Southwest, the arts and music festival hosted in Austin, Texas, where they said they met a music attorney, who would eventually become their manager and help them launch their professional career.

Courtesy Hanson
Hanson seen here performing in 1992.
Courtesy Hanson
Hanson seen here in this 1993 photo.

In the spring of 1997, Hanson put out their first album, “Middle of Nowhere.” It sold four million copies in…

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