Hanson on 25 years of making music, avoiding pitfalls of fame

The band of brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma, first burst onto the pop scene with their hit "MMMBop" in 1997.
7:22 | 05/13/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Hanson on 25 years of making music, avoiding pitfalls of fame
. It's now been 20 years since those three brothers named Hanson first be-bopped onto the worldwide music scene with their megahit "Mmmbop." Now those '90s it boys are all grown up with a new single they say tells their kind of story. Here's my "Nightline" co-anchor Dan Harris. Reporter: A decade before the joins brother Jonas brothers were "Burnin up" for fans and a year before 'N sync hit it big with "I want you back" -- ??? I want you back ??? there were these guys. ??? Doo-yop ??? ??? doo, doo ??? Reporter: Three long haired brothers from oak with the chart-topping hit "Mmmbop." 16-year-old Isaac Hanson on the guitar, 13-year-old Taylor Hanson on the keyboard and 11-year-old zac Hanson on the drum. Decades after "Mmmbop" and "Where's the love" -- ??? where's the love ??? ??? it's not enough ??? now Hanson all grown up and with somewhat shorter hair is celebrating 25 years of making music, picking up a world tour this month, and yes, still performing that 1997 song that launched their career. ??? Doo, doo, doo-yop ??? Reporter: We sat down with the band at New York City's the cutting room. How tired are you of talking about "Mmmbop" or is it still a source of pleasure? 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 without what we did, right? When you can play a song, you know, and it still feels like it resonates, that's kind of an accomplishment. When you play it live now, is that hard on your voice because your voice was pretty high back then. We changed the key. Right. The brothers started singing back in 1992 at the ages of 11, 9, and 6. Their love of music came out of listening to legends of the past. It was chuck berry, Aretha Franklin, little Richard, Bobby day. We auditioned for a local arts festival in Tulsa in our hometown. We got the booking to play, you know, a 15-minute set. Basically, every time we played a show from 1992 on somehow or another we would get another gig. But in our case we were so young you couldn't play bars, so we would just play wherever anybody would let us. Reporter: Soon they'd find themselves playing at south by southwest, a music and film festival in Austin, Texas where they met a music attorney who would eventually become their manager, helping them launch their professional career. In the spring of '97 Hanson put out their first album "Middle of nowhere." It sold 4 million copies in the U.S., arguably thanks to the success of "Mmmbop," which debuted at number 13 on the billboard charts and soon made its way up to the number 1 spot. "Mmmbop" was number 1 in 27 countries at the same time. It means that essentially the whole developed world was listening to the same song at the same time and declaring it their favorite song at that moment. It's like that just doesn't happen. And at least for us it's like landing on the moon. Reporter: But it did land them three grammy nominations at the 1998 awards. Their good looks and charming demeanors made them teen heartthrobs. Their faces were plastered on magazine covers, and they landed a milk ad. What was it like when you actually broke, though? I just can't imagine what that's like to be in that white hot glare at such a young age. It was just a bigger, louder version of what we were experiencing locally. You would get the predominantly female exuberance and screaming and so on. But it was just a lot more of it. And it was a lot louder. But it doesn't mean that it's not surreal. And to ever have a huge breakout, let alone on your first record, I mean, that rarely happens. Reporter: The classic story is you get famous young and it messes you up. I think the classic story is that no matter what age you are, no matter how prepared you are, to have great success at anything is as hard to survive, probably harder than failing at something. You seem phenomenally well adjusted and not like people who just spent years in rehab. In other words, it seems like you'd make the most boring "Behind the music" ever. It would make a really good "Behind the music." The problem with "Behind the music" shows was they weren't anything about music at all. And that's actually what the Hanson story is. The fact we're not -- we didn't have a crash and burn, that doesn't happen on accident. There happened to be a lot of work to maintain the course, to not end up with the -- and then you know, the drug problem and et cetera, et cetera. ??? I didn't give it ??? Reporter: Following "Middle of nowhere" Hanson recorded another studio album. "This time around" was the beginning of a more mature sound that sought to appeal to listeners outside their primarily teenage and female audience. ??? Won't go down ??? making their 2004 album "Underneath" they found themselves embroiled in a strug well their label, universal/island/def jam over their music. This led the brothers to start their own independent label, 3cg records, which stands for 3 car garage, a nod to one of their early demos. We had so many artist friends of ours kind of going what are you doing? Like if this seems scary why would you do this? There's no security blanket of a label with a bank account that knows how to market your record or something along those lines. For that matter here comes Hanson, a very mainstream kind of perceived artist, who then starts to talk about being independent and independent music. You're not an independent indie rock band in the indie crowd, and you're not a pop band playing the pop game. So who are you? Again, like a fish out of water. Reporter: For the 14 years that followed they continued to maintain a loyal fan base despite being mostly out of the mainstream media. Hanson would release four albums independently, do a number of world tours, and start building their own families. But all this was not without difficulty. 25 years in how do you guys get along? We do fight. But that's exactly the point. Let me say this. I was doing an interview the other day, and he said you guys have real personal struggles. You talked about that you almost broke up. Like how did you get through that? And the answer is we didn't. We're still getting through it. Like the answer is that we fight all the time. We probably fight three times a day. Like breakfast, lunch, brunch. That is just life because we care about what we do. ??? I was born ??? ??? to do something no one's ever done ??? Reporter: Hanson has a new single called "I was born." And the band gave "Nightline" a private performance. ??? No one's ever gone ??? ??? before ??? I think it's just a perfect kind of culmination of all this sort of blueprint of what is the Hanson models. And it's really do what you love and do it a lot. ??? No one's ever been ??? ??? no one's ever been ??? ??? before ??? For "Nightline" this is Dan You can watch the full Hanson performance of "I was born" on our site, abcnews.com/nightline. And next, Melissa Mccarthy doing

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":47387444,"title":"Hanson on 25 years of making music, avoiding pitfalls of fame","duration":"7:22","description":"The band of brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma, first burst onto the pop scene with their hit \"MMMBop\" in 1997.","url":"/Nightline/video/hanson-25-years-making-music-avoiding-pitfalls-fame-47387444","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}