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The Hives: “We Feel Like We’ve Won Olympic Gold In Punk Rock”

Written by Kiel Egging on 21st June, 2012

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The Hives sure know how to get into people’s heads and jog people’s minds.

Upon receiving a stream of their new album Lex Hives from their publicist – I check out Track 3. Within a split second of the opening riff being blasted, my brain goes, “Wait a minute, I’ve already heard this song a million times before”.

The song in question – 1000 Answers – has been etched into my brain after playing countless soccer games in FIFA 12 on my iPod.

And what was lead guitarist Nicholaus Arson’s reaction when I told him this? He just chuckled.

“That song’s been around for years!”, he said.

“We play it quite a bit live too. People kept on coming up to us and saying, ‘you gotta put the song on a record.’

“So we recorded it for this one, and then FIFA jumped on the bandwagon!”

1000 Answers is just one of the staples that contribute to the 31 minutes of furious tunes that The Hives have churned out for Lex Hives – their fifth studio record and first new album in five years.

And considering how long it has taken the band to put it together, Arson has fittingly described the record as a triumph.

“It feels like a win, it’s as if we’ve won the Olympic Gold in punk rock,” he said.

“It’s like a victory ’cause we’ve taken such a long time to make a record and because it’s a damn good record too, ya know.  There’s been a lot of work and distractions in between.”

Some of those “work and distractions” included ongoing touring for previous record The Black and White Album and leaving their old record label Interscope.

Lex Hives was self-funded and self-produced by the band, and it’s their first release on their own record label ‘Disques Hives’.

Arson believes the record is one that truly captures the essence of The Hives.

“It wasn’t as if we were going for a certain sound or anything, we just wanted to capture all the energy of how we sounded live and record that… so you could hear the drummer breathing, and the bass player strumming the bass and the inhaling of the vocals”, he said.

“I think it’s a record that mixes our early records with something new, early Hives with new Hives. Taking a step forward to the roots is kind of like how we describe it.”

In even better news for Hives fans, the band is keen to tour our shores at the start of next year for some shows – their first since last year’s Splendour in the Grass.

Have they been speaking to the honchos behind Big Day Out and the Falls Festival?

“Maybe, I’m not sure yet”, Arson said. “We’ve got the rest of the year booked to Christmas, but maybe more stuff has been booked after that, I don’t know yet. I don’t pay too much attention; I just go to the airport, flip a coin and see where I end up.”

“But hopefully sometime after Christmas when it’s summer over there, I hope we can come down there around then.”

And longtime fans can also rest assured that early hits such as Hate to Say I Told You So and Walk Idiot Walk won’t be leaving the band’s live setlist anytime soon.

“We always play the hits, we know the songs that people want to hear and we always play them”, Arson said.

“That’s the way we like to do it and it’s what we’d want if we were going to a show as well.”

Lex Hives is out now through Disques Hives/Dew Process.

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