The Hives: Haunted Studios & Car Parking Lot Beefs + Miscellany Style Tips By Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist

March 27, 2021

The Hives: Haunted Studios & Car Parking Lot Beefs + Miscellany Style Tips By Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist - BLAG
Sarah J. Edwards sits down with one of the most electrifying live bands, The Hives. The interview is packed with quips and hilarious stories which disclose recording studio secrets, parking lots beefs and style advice.  The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 2 Nø 9 print edition in 2008
Photography and Interview by Sarah J. Edwards, Art Direction by Sally A. Edwards
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The first time I witnessed The Hives ‘in the flesh’ was at Brixton Academy, during my old career as a photographer for Rolling Stone, (read with an element of wit – it was short lived and is a long story.) The quintet wowed the South London crowd with their rip roaring set and dazzling dress sense. That was six years ago and The Hives – by then already going strong for a decade – haven’t lost any energy, they’ve gained a whole lot more.
We meet again on the eve of ‘The Black & White Album’ release, packed with tracks that are sure likely to get the BLAG ladies and gents up on the dance floor, including ‘T.H.E H.I.V.E.S,’ ‘Giddy Up,’ ‘Well Alright’ and ‘Dress Up For Armageddon’ to the thought provoking ‘A Stroll Through the Hives Manor Corridors.’ Production credits, as you know are honoured to Pharrell Williams, Jacknife Lee, Dennis Herring and of course, the band themselves.
 
***
 
The Hives congregate in the lobby of their bright West London boutique hotel. All decked out in their own new Season’s collection of Black and White Public – or Private, depending on which continent you’re reading this, School authoritarian-evoking suits. Each detailed and tailored impeccably.
 
Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, greets with a firm handshake and little hint of a smile, as does, Nicholaus Arson, Vigilante Carlstroem, Dr. Matt Destruction and Chris Dangerous.
First impressions lean towards formal, but after our 45 minute ‘Days and Nights’ themed set, it’s professionalism and their famous Swedish humour that takes precedence. They’re entertaining, the dictionary definition of ‘Gentlemanly’ and fun to say the least. Which is a wonderful thing.
 
So, how’s about it? Your (new) favourite band in your (new) favourite BLAG... here we go...
 
MILK, CEREAL & NIGHTS OUT
 
Sarah: Can you introduce yourself, then describe the person to your left’s ideal night out or favourite breakfast, please? Howlin’ Pelle: OK, my name is Pelle, I’m the singer and Vigilante Carlstroem’s favourite night out would start, probably with Joachim who works with us and it would probably start at... There’s a bar with a great view over Stockholm called ‘Gondolen’ or The Gondola and it would probably start there and stay there for quite some time. Then they would go somewhere else, but they wouldn’t remember a lot about that. And they wouldn’t talk during the entire session.
Vigilante Carlstroem: My name is Vigilante Carlstroem and I play guitar. To my left is Chris Dangerous and his favourite breakfast would be a cheese sandwich at Elsa’s in Norberg, Sweden (Elsa Andersons Konditori) and I would imagine, maybe a cup of coffee.
Howlin’ Pelle: That’s pretty much anywhere in the world! [Laughs] Chris Dangerous: Alright, so I’m Chris Dangerous, I play drums. And to my left is Nicholaus Arson, guitar player. His favourite breakfast would probably be fresh mangos in Australia, right before surfing. Nicholaus Arson: That doesn’t sound very bad. Am I only doing the Breakfast thing as well? Howlin’ Pelle: Breakfast or night out. Nicholaus Arson: OK, I think I’ll take the night out then. My name is Nicholaus Arson and Matt Destruction’s favourite night out would probably be something in relation to either a wedding, or a birthday or chocolate. Howlin’ Pelle: Or Korean barbecue! [Laughs] Nicholaus Arson: Korean barbecue! [Laughs]. Now then, it would just go down hill from there. That would be a good night out. Howlin’ Pelle: Chocolate and Korean barbecue! Dr. Matt Destruction: I’m called Matt Destruction, yes and to the left of me is Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist. His perfect breakfast would be milk and cereal. Because, even if we were in a hurry, he would have his cereal and milk before we leave. Howlin’ Pelle: I’m sorry about the last ten years. Dr. Matt Destruction: That’s the thing! Howlin’ Pelle: Yes, it’s crucial! [Laughs] Dr. Matt Destruction: If there isn’t cereal and milk, there isn’t Howlin’ Pelle.
Nicholaus Arson: Have you seen a British 70’s movie where there’s a guy who’s always carrying around a packet of cereal and a bowl in a napkin? [Gestures bringing this out from his inside jacket pocket.]
Howlin’ Pelle: Sounds great!
Nicholaus Arson: There’s a gang and they’re stealing stainless steel sinks at this warehouse. It’s really funny and there’s this guy, I forgot what his name is, but he’s like a small guy and he wears a jacket like this, but he always carries around cereal and a bowl! And he eats it in parts; he always takes out his little napkin and eats milk and cereal.
[To Howlin’ Pelle] That’s you! Howlin’ Pelle: I should start doing that, I need to sew in an extra pocket. (For your info, the film Nicholaus Arson is talking about is Bill Forsyth’s ‘That Sinking Feeling.’)
 
MOVING FLOORS, ARMED GUARDS & PARKING LOT BEEFS
 
Sarah: I heard that you recorded the new album in seven or eight different studios, is that right? Howlin’ Pelle: There’s a lot, I don’t know how many. Probably, it could be seven.
Sweden, London, Mississippi, was there anywhere else?
[Talking over each other.]
Howlin’ Pelle: Miami...
 
To read the entire feature visit BLAGmagazine.com or buy the edition.
In the meantime, enjoy a song!





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