EXCLUSIVE: Visit from Tinted Windows

Taylor Hanson will probably always be best known as one-third of “Hanson” – three brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma that “MMMBop”-ed their way in to mainstream media.

But much has changed since Taylor and his brothers asked where the love went. The lead singer is the father of four. “Hanson” still records, but no longer receives the spins from pop radio. And now, Taylor is proving that he can play nice with musicians that aren’t blood relatives.

Hanson fronts a new band called Tinted Windows. The quartet is a conglomerate of sorts – with Taylor’s vocals backed by Adam Schlesinger’s bass (Fountains of Wayne) James Iha’s guitar (Smashing Pumpkins) and the drums of Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick).

“Adam and I had talked about doing some music together for a long time,” revealed Hanson. “About three years ago, he called me, and we started talking about putting a band together.”

According to Rolling Stone, Hanson joined forces with Schlessinger and Iha – and the three decided that the group needed a percussion-presence similar to Cheap Trick’s Carlos. Finally, the band decided to reach out to Carlos himself, and he obliged.

The three founding members stopped in Wilkes-Barre last week, en route to Philadelphia. Carlos isn’t making this round of radio promo with the band – he’s a bit preoccupied on Cheap Trick’s tour with Poison and Def Leppard.

While each member’s respective band accolades may be recognized, what is possibly unknown is some of the group’s accomplishments as individuals, namely Schlessinger. The bassist earns the distinction as the only musician of the four with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations on his resume. Schlessinger wrote the title track to Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do.”

“There were some people I knew in the music business that said, ‘Hey we heard Tom Hanks is working on this movie, and it’s kind of about this band in the 60’s,’” recalled Schlessinger

The 41 year-old musician is a fan of that musical era. So, Schlessinger wrote the track, recorded the demo with a few friends, and mailed it in.

“That was a big, lucky break for me,” he said. Schlessinger eventually met Hanks, and even ended up on the receiving end of some film direction from the number one box-office star in the world. The musician stopped by Hanks’ office to say hi to a few people – but unbeknownst to Adam, a short was filming.

“He gave me some lines, and put me on this couch, and he was directing me,” recalled Schlessinger. “I was like, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t be directed by Tom Hanks. I’m not an actor.’”

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