Taylor Hanson had overnight success as a teen chirping “MMMBop,” his family band Hanson’s Grammy-nominated smash hit in 1997. But on the Tulsa, Okla., group’s latest, “Shout It Out” — released via their own 3CG imprint — he snaps and snarls like a whiskey-seasoned R&B vet. “Just like with anything, if you’re singing long enough, you find your comfort zone,” says the keyboardist, who recently wrapped up a tour with his power-pop side combo Tinted Windows. “So it’s nice to have a few more years under the belt!” Hanson plays two San Francisco shows next week.
How difficult was it to start your own label, 3CG? Well, I’ve got a couple of extra lines under my eyes now from the last few years. But I won’t say it’s any harder than a lot of people’s day jobs. But there’s an old adage that essentially says, “All entrepreneurs never stop working, since they own their own business.” And it’s true — you just never stop. And add that to your being a musician, and we’re the product. So it’s a constant thing.
Do you fall asleep dreaming about your company? Yes. And then you use that dream to try and inspire a song. Don’t ever let any dream go to waste! But at the core of it for me, there’s a different kind of satisfaction that comes from doing the business stuff — building the marketing plans and having a team of people that you bring together who are talented in different ways, to help you reach the world with your music. There’s something very gratifying about that. But who knows? Maybe we’re just gluttons for punishment.
You made a film about forming 3CG, “Strong Enough to Break.” It’s a 90-minute movie, available on DVD. And it’s really the story of the music industry, and how the business in the last 15 years took that swing to being so corporate and so far removed from developing artists. And we were one of many bands that was caught up in a merger. After our first record! And our second album was a casualty of that battle. So what started out as a film about making music became a story about how just getting to the point of making music in this modern process is really the hardest part.
What does 3CG stand for, by the way? It’s three-car garage. The three is us, and we’re basically a garage band. And that’s the credo of the band and the label: If you can’t make it happen on a garage floor, hey, don’t quit your day job.
IF YOU GO
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday
Tickets: $35; $61 for two-day pass
Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.gamhtickets.com