Dressed to Impress: The Flamboyant Showman
Dressed in his sharp black and white suits, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is one of rock’s most flamboyant, energetic, and enigmatic showmen. The singer of The Hives is known for his crowd-surfing, amp-climbing, and stream-of-consciousness ramblings. But according to Pelle, he isn't putting on an act. "I actually feel like I have to fake it in normal life to fit in," he says. Read on to discover more about The Hives' long-awaited comeback and their latest album.
The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons: A 12-Track Blast
The Hives have released their first album in eleven years, titled "The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons." The 12-track, 31-minute record kicks off with the riff-heavy hard-rock juggernaut "Bogus Operandi," followed by the ridiculously rapid single "Trapdoor Solution." Pelle describes the album as a Hives reset after the Covid pandemic halted their live shows for two years. "So this album is post-prohibition rock ’n’ roll. We’re hoping people overdose on it!" he says.
Preserving the Immature Spirit of Rock 'n' Roll
Despite being together for 30 years and Pelle hitting 45, The Hives are determined to preserve their deliberately immature spirit. Pelle recalls a fan telling him, "I’m 60-years-old but when I listen to your music, I’m 16." This is exactly what rock 'n' roll is all about, according to Pelle. "We’ve always thought energy and gusto and bravery are more important than anything else," he says. The band's aim is to be in it for the long run, just like their hero Mick Jagger.
Standing Out in a Sanitized Music World
The Hives refuse to conform to the sanitized modern music world. Pelle criticizes the idea that anything with an electric guitar is considered rock 'n' roll these days. According to him, best rock albums shouldn't be just someone moping around with a guitar in the background. Coldplay, for example, is great, but it's not rock 'n' roll, he says. The Hives' unique sound and energy set them apart from the crowd.
A Bumpy Ride: The Band's Absence and Line-Up Changes
The past 11 years have been a strange time for The Hives. Pelle reveals that their principal songwriter, Randy Fitzsimmons, disappeared from their radar, and they haven't seen or spoken to him since the release of their last album, "Lex Hives." The band members discovered a hidden-away obituary and cryptic poem that led them to Fitzsimmons' tombstone. Instead of a body, they found tapes, suits, and a piece of paper with the words "The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons" typed up as if a title. Additionally, the band had to cope with the loss of their original bass player, Dr Matt Destruction.
Back with a Bang: The Return of The Hives
Despite the challenges, The Hives have returned with their new album, "The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons." The band improved on the demo versions, and the album showcases their signature riffs and vocal hooks. Pelle reveals that they recorded the album partly in the same studio where ABBA made their first four records, adding a connection to the Swedish pop icons. The Hives' unique blend of rock and hip hop influences sets them apart in a country where most pop music is based on melodies.
Maximum Impact: Belting Out the Hits
When it comes to their live shows, The Hives want maximum impact. Pelle emphasizes the importance of including their hits in their setlist. "You owe them to the people who love you," he says. Seeing the reaction from the crowd when performing classics like "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Main Offender" is what makes it all worth it for Pelle. The Hives' aim is to deliver an unforgettable show and keep the love for their music alive.