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The Hives are alright: An interview with Howlin’ Pelle

The Hives are here to stay

When the garage rock revival took over the world in the 2000s, The Hives were one of the bands on the frontline. At present, and after releasing five albums, the Swedish crew is a band known worldwide, with legions of followers.

Even if it is a fact that garage rock music keeps on being the band’s favorite playground, the truth is that the Swedes nowadays are in a much bigger league. They have songs featured on the soundtrack of video games, and an endless agenda with live shows for thousands of fans.

We talked with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, the band’s vocalist, about the secret of The Hives’ success, garage rock, and style. Read below.

A lot has passed since the establishment of the band – can you point out three key moments of The Hives’ history?

I suppose making Veni Vidi Vicious. We kind of hit our stride there and found the core of the Hives as we now know it. Getting massively popular around 2001-2 was pretty cool and changed our lives in many ways.

Releasing and touring Lex Hives has been pretty special. Not many bands fill the same places or bigger 13 years into their career with virtually no radio play.

the hives
The Hives

Whatever happened to garage rock and its revival?

The real underground garage rock scene is the same as it ever was. It remained pretty unchanged by the fact that the media used the term to describe some bands that played garage rock and some others.

Garage rock definitely has more followers now than pre-2000 though. As for the bands that were mentioned the most we are still active and kicking ass and so is half the White Stripes and The Strokes put out a new record this year I think.

The band is well known for their superior outfits – was it an easy decision to make it one of your trademarks? Who does the design and production?

Well, we just wanted to separate ourselves from what was going on at the time (post-grunge) so we dressed up instead of down and wore it tight instead of loose.

We just always thought it was the easiest way to have a show. We all get involved in the outfits and have a definite interest in style.

At least when it comes to what the band should wear.

Do The Hives have a particular interest in style? Do you try and get to know about new garment brands and such?

Well just walking around in cities looking at people is fascinating, and trying to find great clothes is a fun pastime but it is hard to find brands that are all good and apply to our sensibilities. We tend to pick the best bits here and there.

You are better known for your restless live performances – what is your secret?

I could tell you but then I would have to eliminate you.

The Hives

What would be the perfect outfit combination to see one of your concerts?

Everyone is welcome but wear something that won’t break or that you don’t care if it breaks cause it might get rough. I always think it is cool when our fans wear the same outfits as us though.

“Lex Hives” was released in 2012 – five years after The Black and White Album – will we have to wait another five years for a new album?

Geez Louise I hope not. It is really difficult to say though. You start making something and the more you pick at it the more you find to fix and fiddle with. Vicious thing that lil bitch Creativity.

Learn more about The Hives.