Fans can be forgiven if they thought the Swedish garage rockers The Hives had faded away. In truth, the band’s five-year absence was spent making their 5th studio album Lex Hives that was just released in the U.S. and immediately caught the ears of critics throughout the world including those at Rolling Stone magazine. The album’s first single “Go Right Ahead,” is full of “bold riffs, blunt hooks, [and] snappy beats” wrote a critic for the Stone reflecting the general critical consensus of the entire album.
But the recorded music is only part of the story for the Swedish band. Always known as a take-no-prisoners unit, the group left critics and fans breathless with their high-energy shows at the recent Coachella festival. No small feat when you consider Coachella held the exact sameevent —down to the same set lists from the same bands at the same times— – on two consecutive weekends. “[Pelle] Almqvist is still one of rock’s most engaging front men—bringing to mind a young Mick Jagger with the way he struts around the stage with his hands on his hips before suddenly leaping in the air with a scissor kick,” wrote a critic for the Los Angeles Times after the festival.
Just before The Hives kicked off the band’s U.S. tour with a sold-out show in Washington, D.C. on June 19, the high-flying front man Almqvist took time to talk to OurStage about Coachella, Lex Hives, and more.
OS: We heard you killed both weekends at Coachella. How was it for you?
PA: Coachella was fun. It was unorthodox to say the least. I’m really glad Coachella booked us when we didn’t have a record done. We knew that if you put us in front of a crowd, it would work. It was great.
OS: Did you have any concerns about replicating your show?
PA: No, it wasn’t weird for us. My feeling was sort of, “Isn’t it weird for fans going into the second weekend if they know about the Tupac hologram? If you know it will be there, isn’t that weird?” To me, that would have been kind of a bummer but hey, it went well. It was pretty great both weekends.