Seasons come, trends go but The Hives remain one of life’s great pleasures.
Like the spot you just can’t itch, the Swedish garage poppers remain irresistible. With new single “We Rule The World (T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.)” due out on February 25th and new album to follow, it seemed a great time to catch up with guitar player Chris Dangerous…
Why how are you Mr Dangerous?
I would divide all the money in the world more equally between rich and poor/blockquote>
It’s been a while since we heard from the band, what have we been up to?
Well you know we made a record, toured, then toured some more. I guess that’s what we’ve been up to!
New single is called “We Rule The World (T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.)”, if The Hives did rule the world what changes would you make?
Well to start with I would stop all wars. That would be the first thing I would do, with my magic wand. Then I would see to it that there would be no more extinct races of animals, and I would divide all the money in the world more equally between rich and poor – that would three changes!
The new album was produced by Pharrell Williams, noted for his hip hop productions. How did these sessions go?
He did a great job! It was a lot of fun recording with Pharrell, it was very very different from what we’re used to and I think we needed that to keep it interesting for ourselves. We learnt a lot by recording with him. The hip hop guys do things very differently, but it was lots of fun and I think the songs turned out really well.
New single uses artwork designed by fans – what were you looking for in the potential design?
We’ve done all the other covers, and it just ends up a certain way you know? What we looked for was just what kind of ideas the kids out there had, and what they saw in the band. It was a tough thing to do, but its nice to know how other people perceive us. It was a lot of fun and there were some great entries, it was tough to pick a winner.
The chosen design features you portrait on the cover, are you happy with it?
Yeah it looks sorta like me. And I’m gorgeous.
Playing the UK in April, looking forward to the tour?
Oh yeah. I mean, the thing about this band is that we love to play to people and it doesn’t really matter where it is, but this time will be quite special as we’re back in the UK and its been a while. We’ve toured other places and been in America a lot, but its gonna be great – I’m really looking forward to it actually!
The Hives are known for their on stage antics, what new moves will you be showing off?
…people just wanted something that was old fashioned and yet still new and interesting
We don’t have lions and shit on stage, but we do have a lot of new songs that we’re gonna play. A lot of new things that people haven’t heard before and of course we change all the time without even knowing it, so I guess we have a few things up our sleeve. We wanted be walking onstage with an extra arm or whatever, it’ll still be the five of us.
Are the band looking forward to the UK festival dates?
Yeah I mean we love festivals. The thing about festivals is that it’s not that fun to play when its bright, but if you get a spot that’s later on and is quite big it can be fun. For an audience it brilliant as you get to see so many bands for the one ticket. If I had to chose between playing festivals or our own shows I’d pick our own shows, but we have a great time playing festivals. We don’t look down on festivals, but our own shows are our own shows – the entire crowd are there to see you. It’s a different feeling.
The group are known for being a well dressed band, is there a new look for the tour?
We usually judge our look by the album so what we wear on stage will be what we wear on the record. Which is school uniforms, really.
The new single features a number of remixes, how comfortable are the band with other people interpreting their music?
Its been a really weird thing to do but again its like having people choose the album cover, I think its interesting to get other people’s interpretations of our music. I may not love all of them but it’s a fun thing to do. I’d like to have Daft Punk remix us, but we haven’t had a chance to do that yet. They would do a magic job, I’m sure.
Outside of Sweden, the UK was the first country to really take The Hives to heart. What is it in your music that appeals to British audiences?
I don’t know really, I guess it could be because there wasn’t much rock ‘n’ roll in the UK for a long time. When we came along the whole rock ‘n’ roll revival or whatever got underway. The UK was one of the first countries to pick it up. I mean it was us, The White Stripes and The Strokes, really. I think people just wanted something that was old fashioned and yet still new and interesting, well performed rock ‘n’ roll. I think that’s what made it happen. At least in the UK, at the time there weren’t many rock groups that were popular.
You spend a lot of time in the States these days, are the band based there now?
Oh no we still live in Sweden! We’ve been touring, its just America is so big and there’s so many people to play to so we’ve been thinking that we’ll give the US the same time we’ve given Europe. We just want people to come to our shows, we want fans everywhere. We want to go to places we’ve never been to before, tour South America and hopefully Russia. We’ll always tour Europe, but we want to go to as many places as we can. But we’re still based in Sweden and I don’t think we’ll ever really let go of that.
It’s been 15 years since you formed, where next for The Hives?
I don’t know I think we’re the kind of band who can go on forever woth the exact five members. We’ve been in the band since we were 13, 14 it’s been fifteen years and there’s no real point in stopping because its such fun. As long as we have fun we’ll always go on. At the moment we’re thinking about the next record, so that will come out, then we’ll tour and keep on going. Hopefully for a long time. We’re having too much fun to ever stop, we still like each other and love the music so we’ll keep on going. I couldn’t say in what direction, but I think we’ve changed a lot. We needed it, really, but the next record will be back to just the five of us. Getting a producer in was just something that we needed to do, and it was fun, but the next record will probably be produced mostly by us. We haven’t talked much about it, but the next album will probably go along those lines.