Three

Scott Two rows in front of me, Bob raised his hands up and did the "bump up" motions. "Bump up to Zac the drummer," he replied. We began to take off, and Bob left his hands in the air and acted like he was on a roller coaster.

Taylor and I smiled at each other.

"You really should hear some of our other stuff besides 'MMMBop,'" he suggested. "I think I've got Middle of Nowhere or LFA with me somewhere, if you wanna listen."

"Well, I'll trade you CDs for a while. I've got Chapter 1 with me, and I'll trade you whatever CD of yours you have and we'll listen to each other's stuff," I replied.

"Sounds good," he nodded, grinning, and we both began to dig around in our stuff. When I found Chapter 1 (don't ask me why, but I always keep a copy with me everywhere I go), I handed the white and orange cover with us smiling on it to him. In return, he handed me a very bright orange and yellow CD with him and his brothers sitting in a field somewhere, not really smiling, but rather looking thoughtful. Or artsy.

"Number two is 'MMMBop' - you can skip that if you want," he smiled. I grinned, too.

"Cool, no, I'll listen to it. I can't have the Hanson experience without it."

Taylor laughed out loud. "Yeah, that's for sure. I warn you about how high my vocals are on that album. It was like almost three years ago we recorded it," he added.

"No problem," I said. "I warn you about our rather country-ish sound."

"No problem," replied Taylor. And we put our headphones on. I slid the slick orange and black CD into the player and pressed the play button.

Track #1. "Thinking of You." I relaxed. Okay, cool! Not bad at all. Keyboard intro. No high vocals. Rollicking sound. Kinda bouncy. Oh, there was Taylor singing. I could tell it was him. He had a distinctive voice. Fly the wings of an eagle, glide along with the wind. No matter how high, I'll be thinking of you the whole time. Everything was blended so perfectly that I was impressed. Their harmonization was excellent! I turned to look at Taylor to see what kind of expression was on his face. He was chewing his lip and reading along with the lyrics. Then, he caught sight of me and grinned.

Thinking of you! Boom boom boom, boom boom boom, said the music. Cool. I slid out the jacket to their CD and looked at the cartoons one of them had drawn in the background of the lyrics. There were pictures of them in the studio. Oh, cool - we'd never thought of that. Ours had professionally-shot pictures of use smiling dutifully. Oops, number two. "MMMBop." I had to look at the lyrics for this one.

So hold on to the ones who really care. In the end they'll be the only ones there. Wow, if people could only understand what they were saying, the song wouldn't be passed off as gibberish the whole time. My ears keyed in to the low voice of the harmonies; Isaac. I eyed him. He had a much plainer aura than both his brothers, dressed in some brown corduroys and a white shirt with a navy blue shirt over that.

It's a secret no one knows, it's a secret no one knows, they sang. I had fallen in love already with their style of harmonies, and the way their voices blended. It was quite beautiful; even though I don't really listen to pop and stuff, I had to appreciate this for what it was. There was a breakdown in the middle of the song that revealed the rich drums and congas and scratchy record noises in the background. I was impressed, not only with them, but with the production of the music. Everything was to be envied.

There were many lyrical and musical adventures after the infamous "MMMBop." Next was a song called "Weird," and I knew Bob would dig the hollow, brassy drums on this tune. Like on our album, the third song was a softer one, and it showcased Taylor's voice, emotional and incredibly expressive. You're on the verge of going crazy, and your heart's in pain. No one can hear, but you're screaming so loud. You feel like you're all alone in a faceless crowd. The song faded out as softly as it had started in. I liked that one, definitely.

I was caught unprepared for the funky groove of number four. "Speechless." Noah, his voice was a tad high in this one. It was in a high key. The lyrics in this one were also good.



Taylor I pried the orangey-yellow tinted CD from the case not knowing what to expect. I thought it was going to be incredibly indie and hillbillyish, with immature vocals. The song titles didn't impress me much, as just about every title had the words "love," "heart," and "crazy" in them. Number One: "Until You Loved Me." I pulled out the lyric sheet, and immediately admired the layout. Simple, and cleanly laid-out. Then, after I listened to some light guitar, the voice that sang scared me. It was so smooth!! It seemed so capable of hitting every note that I was amazed for a minute, and the song was half-over before I remembered to follow along with the lyrics.

Friday's always on my mind. I watch the rain come down. Think of how you shine. Let it go or hang on tight. Stay forever, or stay for one more night. It was feel-good music, and I looked at Scott, who was looking at me, probably wondering how that pipsqueak little voice could be connected with me now. I grinned at him. He turned his attention back to the music and pulled out our lyrics.

The song changed, and I liked this one much better. Some guitar that gave me a mental picture of a huge black and white storming sky. Rhythmical, entwined drumming patterns filled the background, and a deep voice began to sing, I cry myself to sleep again tonight, 'cause I cannot hold you tight. I wish I could see you again tomorrow. To take all this sorrow, sorrow, I'm hollow. When I touch you, can you feel it? When I need you, can you give it? When I look into your eyes, can you see me? When I fall, will you catch me, catch me, catch me?

I smiled. This was a tad more than we divulged in our music. Hehe...

I wish that you could hold me, touch me, feel me . . . I leaned way back in my seat and went on the trip the music took me on. Oh my God, there was an amazing guitar solo in this song! Go Scott!!

More than anything about The Moffatts CD, which was called Chapter 1 - A New Beginning, I admired the wonderful playing they did on the instruments. They were insanely talented. Their music was so simply put-together that it was amazing. I paid attention to every chord Scott's guitar produced, every rhythm, every chord of harmony. In the third track, they crooned "miss you, miss you, miss you" and they sounded just like the Beach Boys. They were tight together, just like us. I smiled. They'd definitely earned my respect as artists and as nice people.

Oooh. Track four, "Written All Over My Heart" had a very "You Oughta Know" beginning, it reminded me completely of that Alanis Morissette song, and had a piercing electric guitar in the background during the chorus.

Around the same time, Scott and I pulled our headphones off and looked at each other.

"Um - I'm impressed!" Scott exclaimed, smiling and opening his CD player.

"Me too! Your harmonies are great!" I said.

"Thanks!"

"Yeah! I liked the two extra songs packed into the end," I grinned.

"And I liked your bonus garage mix of 'Man From Milwaukee.' It was very - um . . . original!"

"That's Zac," I grinned. "We named our tour after a lyric in that song. The Albertane Tour - the man from Milwaukee was from Albertane."

"I thought he was from Milwaukee," grinned Scott.

"Quite a brain-teaser, isn't it?" kidded Zac, who had leaned forward again, bored of Isaac.

"Yeah, Zac," Scott laughed. Then, he said, "You know, I've read a lot of articles on us that mentioned you guys in them, as if our musical styles were incredibly similar or something, but they're not!"

"I know, I think the only thing we both have is harmony and youth," I agreed. "Otherwise, there's a world of difference about what stuff we put in our songs, not only musically, but lyrically."



Scott I rolled my eyes.

"Stupid critics."

"I know, it's like, trying to compare silverchair to the Goo Goo Dolls or something."

"Yeah, or No Doubt to Six Pence None The Richer."

"Yeah. Or the Hansons to the Moffatts."

We both grinned.

"Or like trying to compare Killer Instinct to Mortal Kombat 3," Zac offered, peeking forward at us again. I think he might have been a couple years younger than the triplets, but I couldn't tell, because he was so huge, and his voice was deeper than Taylor's, but I think he was only like ten or eleven when their record had been released. "Exactly," Taylor and I chimed.

"So, what other music do you like?" Taylor asked me, handing me back our album. I returned Middle of Nowhere to him. Then, I handed my black CD storage case to him.

"Look for yourself."

Taylor unzipped it and flipped through my CDs. There were three Nirvana albums, two Beatles albums, silverchair, the Prodigy, a Dwight Yoakam record, an old Blur CD, one Bon Jovi album from my eighties phase that I still liked to listen to, and in the back, almost hidden, were four Garth Brooks albums.

"Garth Brooks is really cool, we've met him several times," Taylor told me. I could've sighed with relief. I'm still sort of ashamed of how much we all used to like country, and how much we all still kinda like it. "I like the Beatles, too. We worked with Ringo a while back."

"You're so lucky," I commented. "We've met a lot of people, but not Garth Brooks and Ringo Starr. We got Danielle Fishel in our music video, though."

"You'll meet more people soon, I bet, if you're going to LA," said Taylor. I nodded. "And what do you like?"

"Mmm, I have a thing for Grateful Dead, Fastball, and Counting Crows," he smiled. "And even though there's nothing new by them, I still really like No Doubt."

"He likes Gwen Stefani," corrected Zac, who was still hovering around by us. Taylor grinned and flushed.

"Just whack him over the head with something. That's how we shut each other up in my family," I advised Taylor. Tay moved quickly and caught Zac in a head-lock.

"Oh, I love Zac," Taylor stated in a voice which plainly stated he didn't. "Me an' Zac, here - we're tight!" He gave Zac's neck an effective squeeze. I laughed. "Aren't we, Zac?" Tay continued. "Don't you just love me? Don'cha, Zac? Please say yes or you'll break my heart . . . and then I'll have to break yours."

"Y - yes, Tay, I love you to death," Zac gasped, his face turning red. Taylor let him go and whacked him on the head with an in-flight magazine. Dave recognized the sound and turned around.

"Somebody getting a whapping?" he asked cheerfully.

"Zac is," I replied. "Why, were you in line for one next?"

Taylor and I laughed, and very soon after that, a waitress came by to give us dinner. It was a chicken salad, and it was okay as far as airplane food goes, although Taylor had to pull out a bag of Skittles afterwards to "banish the horrid after-taste of poorly cooked chicken."

He gave me a handful without me even asking for any, and we talked on and off for a little while before my drowsiness kicked in again. The sun was just setting and I turned my attention out the window to watch it. As twilight began to creep over the sky, I felt curiously peaceful, and began to let my eyelids fall over my eyes, shutting everything out. I managed to lean my seat down before I fell into a deep sleep. I think I heard something about all of us being asleep then, and I knew my brothers were sleeping, too.