Normally, when one thinks of the term ‘Hanson Brothers,’ many thoughts turn to the Flaxen Saxons known as Isaac, Taylor, and Zac — they of 1997’s “MMMbop” infamy. And with Hanson’s recent renaissance resurging into modern pop-culture consciousness, we asked lead guitarist Tommy Hanson (of the punk band The Hanson Brothers) if this public confusion causes them problems.
“Well, they have a craft beer on the way, as does our own Johnny Hanson. A battle will be fought in a distant tun. Perhaps both bands will see action in the mash pit.”
The Hanson Brothers are the well-known humorous musical side-project formed by Vancouver’s prog-punk legends NoMeansNo (Rob Wright – bass, vocals; John Wright – drums, vocals; Tom Holliston – guitar, vocals). Taking their band name and crazed stage presence from the goon-squad moronic sibling characters in the 1977 sports-comedy film Slap Shot (and taking their sound from the first three or four Ramones albums), these particular Hanson Brothers have been offering the Wright Brothers some welcome lunkhead relief for 30 years straight. The Hanson Brothers love to dumb it down, and self-consciously provide an outlet for the band members to over-indulge in their adolescent love of the Ramones (as well as their lifelong love of ice hockey). And the Hansons proudly strut their high-sticking, take-no-prisoners stuff at the Byng Roadhouse on Thursday, April 17.
Tommy “Holliston” Hanson was asked if there was more zany fun to be had with the Hanson Brothers, as opposed to NoMeansNo: “The Hansons are a lot of fun, and it’s a good show… but no one in this band is inherently zany, or marketably quirky.”
Regardless, the Hanson Brothers have released three studio albums (1992’s Gross Misconduct, 1996’s Sudden Death, and 2002’s My Game), a live album (2008’s It’s a Living), and have four songs featured on the 2000 Sony PlayStation game NHL Rock the Rink. Not bad for a band which has always been a side project.
Since the band’s entire modus-operandi is taken from a 37-year-old comedy, Tommy Hanson was asked if he still finds the film enjoyable. “I think Slap Shot is a great movie, a classic. It’s very well-cast. I was always a fan of Paul Newman. He was one of the very few actors I would follow. And Strother Martin. And George Roy Hill directing. The movie feels like it made itself. And what a great script!”
The Hanson Brothers rock the Byng Roadhouse (21 Cranbrook St. S.) Thursday, April 17, with special guests The Bison Brothers; showtime 9 p.m.