Catch The Hives

A half-decade between albums might seem like a long period but The Hives can account for the time spent between albums. “We never took much of a break at all,” drummer Chris Dangerous said while calling from Sweden. “We worked so hard over the last five years. We toured behind (2007’s) ‘The Black And White Album’ for two-and-a-half years. We could have had an album out sooner if we didn’t tour for so long. The other factor is that we wanted to make a great record. We approached this album as a record that we would want to play 20 years from now.” Well, ‘Lex Hives,’ the first self-released album by the garage punk band sounds like vintage Hives. The band continues to crank out passionate, free-wheeling, irreverent rock. “We’re perfectionists when it comes to what we do,” Dangerous said. “We have to make music in a certain way.” The majority of new tunes are visceral, straightforward songs, which has been The Hives story since the band emerged from Scandanavia during the late ‘90s. Dangerous and his bandmates, vocalist Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, guitarists Nicholaus Arson and Vigilante Carlstroem, and bassist Dr. Matt Destruction are cut from the same cloth. “We’re a lot alike,” Dangerous said. “That’s what has helped us stay together. We have similar views on how to make music and we’re also the five hardest musicians to please. Things have to be just right or we won’t release it. We have to be happy with everything we do.” However, the group of perfectionists are an unpredictable force live. “We like to play in a loose manner,” Dangerous said. “That’s when we have our fun. Who knows what we’ll do?” But what separates The Hives from many of its contemporaries is that it makes an effort to connect with its audience. “There are so many bands out there that don’t say a word to the crowd,” Dangerous said. “I don’t get it. They don’t even look at the audience and that’s ridiculous. When you come and see The Hives, you know you went to a show. You’ll see our singer jump up and down and scream and a band that’s really into it. We only know one way to play and that’s all out.”

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