The Hives Howlin' Pelle Almqvist: "We Don't Make Mistakes"
What was the process in getting back to basics and recording an album essentially as a live rock band?
I think that because The Black and White Album was our attempt at making a studio album -- like other bands do -- with one guy playing something at a time and being pretty meticulous about things, and I guess we just wanted to have the natural thing.
When we play, our tempos go up and down and there are -- I wouldn't call them mistakes, because we don't make mistakes -- but anomalies in the way we play. We recorded a couple of the songs live and then we went: "You know, this is great, this sounds good enough, so let's make the record that way." And so much stuff, from '50s rock 'n' roll even to like '80s American hard-core punk, that we love, was recorded that way. Most good rock 'n' roll music is very cheaply recorded, I would say! [laughs]
Are there any bands coming out of the current garage-rock resurgence that have really caught your ear?
Yeah! Like Black Lips, and I really like Ty Segall and stuff. There's a lot of good American rock, but I feel like there always was; it was just that media attention would put them down.
Were there any specific influences on the new album that helped bring the band back to its rightful place of more immediate rock music?
I think we were trying to make an album influenced by the Hives. It might sound weird, but that's actually the whole idea behind the record, was to make an album that was as Hives as we could make it. We are known as this great live rock band, so let's make a great live rock album.
How have the Hives remained a band for 20 years without killing one another?
Well, I think that the time when you're really angry at each other is the first like five years of the band, and we got those out of the way before we started touring, so there was always the option of leaving the other guys and going home. Whereas now, we're such a tight-knit family group that it's pretty easy to keep it together, really. I don't know what we would do without each other at this point, and it's really become like a family. We know we have to do this, and there's nothing else we can do, so we have to keep it together.
P!nk, with the Hives. 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 25, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. Tickets cost $35.75 to $75.75. Call 954-835-7000, or visit thebbtcenter.com.