You can’t forget a live performance by The Hives. The Swedish rock band is currently on tour and made a pit stop in Japan a few months ago. Check out the interview along with some concert snaps after the jump.
You’re known for amazing live shows. Where do you get the energy you have in concerts?
Nicholaus Arson (guitarist and backup vocalist): The energy comes from getting to do the best thing you know. It’s simple as that. Our desire to play rock ‘n’ roll has always been the strongest desire we have had as a band. And also the fear of sucking is something that drives us.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done or said on stage (or wish to)?
Nicholaus: Sometimes when stuff clicks while improvising, and the band are all on, that’s definitely a part that I like. When we look at each other, thinking the same thing, and then execute it.
As far as what we wanna do? If we could fly during a part of the song and by that i don’t mean with wires and stuff, but elevate for real, that would really be something.
How do you reinvent yourselves?
Nicholaus: By writing new songs, dressing up in new badass costumes, thinking of new jokes. I dunno it’s kind of reinventing something that is already great. It’s like coming up with a new great pizza or reinventing the wheel, like slicks or stuff that can ride on water. Rock ’n’ roll both needs and doesn’t need bands to reinvent it. It was great to begin with and it still is, but there’s always room for more as long as it’s an improvement.
In your opinion, what makes a good live performance?
Nicholaus: ENERGY! An energetic band, an energetic crowd, the tension, the electricity. The band’s desire to impress the crowd and the crowd’s desire to be part of the show and scream at the top of their lungs. It’s all about energy for me.
How was it to shoot the tour with our Lomo cameras (LC-A+ and Diana Instant Back) and what do you think of the result?
Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist (lead singer): It was really fun. A little hard though to adapt to analogue again after all these years. Having no idea what the shots looked it, it kind of plays with your mind, but we liked getting back into it. A lot came out useless because our dressing room was dark like a crypt. You live, you learn. The results are sort of unforgiving in a great way. It will make some shots way better and others way worse. We had a producer like that once.
Every tour is unique, in a way. Could you please share some remarkable things from your Japan tour?
Pelle: Some highlights and observations from the tour: We sold pretty much all our t-shirts at the first show.
The japanese do not litter. Not even at a rock show. Everything was thrown in its right container and recycled.
Chris stayed in the hotel the entire time we were in Tokyo. Vigilante became a regular at a bar called TIP TOP YOU. We all ate wonderful food all the time. I loved it and I loved coming back after such a long time.
Any secrets to keeping a fresh look?
Pelle: None. Wake up, brush our teeth, use whatever shampoo they have at the hotel. Some of us groom more than others but mostly we shave and then hope the stage lighting makes us look fresh and rested. Beauty comes from within but not in the way you think. Eat good, look good.
What’s the most pretentious sentence you can think of?
Pelle: I am not a musician, I am an interpreter of spirits in nature which talk to me and I merely make this audible and understandable for mortals of all creeds, faiths, nations and races.
If you weren’t musicians, what would you be?
Pelle: A poet apparently.
As a Swedish rock band, what do you think of the musical scene in Sweden today?
Pelle: It is fucking great! So much good music and if you hear music from other places and compare, it sounds even better.
You’ve been doing music for years now. What makes you want to continue and what are your next projects?
Pelle: We want to make another album and another tour into infinity. I hope we can pull this off. I don´t know what it is that drives us and I don´t really want to think about it. The drive is there and I will ride it till I can´t ride it no more.
Thanks for the interview and for your amazing show!