Modern Fix

HIVES – interview by liz ortega


Turn on the television or the radio and the Hives will most likely be playing songs off their Epitaph/Burning Heart album, Veni Vidi Vicious. It seems as though the Hives are everywhere but, of course, their huge success was definitely inevitable. I heard them on the most unlikely LA radio station, Power 106, which caters to the Hip Hop culture. How cool is that? I even danced to their songs in a night club known to play disco and old school hip hop music. It’s amazing to see how the Hives have managed to appeal to just about everyone. These Swedish rock n roll fiends have spread their disease across the United States and abroad like–irritating hives. They have recently signed to a major label (Reprise/Warner Records) and have gone to bigger and better things. After the re-released of Veni Vidi Vicious, the Hives found themselves playing sold out gigs all around and it’s almost impossible to see the Hives when they play here in the US. These guys are fun, energetic and they make anyone feel their vibe. I had a little Q&A with guitarist, Nicholaus Arson and this is what he had to say.

Liz: You know, I find “Die, All Right,” off Veni Vidi Vicious to be my theme
song. The lyrics tie into my reality of working in the corporate world–a
world that is grinding me to death! But, I’ve got money and I spend it and I
can’t complain. What is your interpretation of the song?
Nicholaus: I don´t have an interpretation but I know what it is about.
“Die, All right!” is about selling off the body parts you feel like you can
spare to stay “well” in the corporate world you’re describing. Too many of
us are playing along in that world dancing to the pipe of the CEO.

Where are you guys originally from?
We come from steel production based small town of Fagersta, Sweden.

Since the Hives’ music makes MILLIONS of listeners itch with delight–the
band name seems to fit accordingly. What is the concept behind the name?
You are really on to something. You might even be correct. Music spreading in a disease like fashion is bound to get a name and there you go.

What analogy would best describe the Hives’ overall sound?
A rocket launch! The sharpest minds of the world interacting with the cream of modern technology to create nothing but…Precise power”.

What would a great Hives’ show consist of?
The five members of the band and crowd (really small or really big does not matter). That is what constitutes a great Hives show.

“Find Another Girl”–Jerry “The Iceman” Butler? Are you big on the Rhythm
and Blues?
I would consider him more “Soul-ish” but I´m hooked on both, so what does it really matter?

What rock n roll bands have played a major influence? Any new bands that
are sparking your interest?
In the beginning it was mostly punk bands and the earlier hardcore stuff
together with the sixties punk, but all bands count even those not credited
with the rock´n´roll title so here we go: Dead Kennedys, New bomb Turks,
Sonics, Swedish punk like Ksmb and Asta kask, Plastic Bertrand, Kinks,
Ramones and you know… all the good stuff. Kind of hard with new bands since most of the bands that one might consider new have always been around for a while. We like The Compulsive Gamblers though to name one.

How many albums do you have out?
We have two full-length albums out and some singles stuff.

What do you see yourselves doing if you weren’t making music?
I have tried but I can´t see myself doing anything but.

What do you like most about playing in the states?
What might have been best about that was seeing a new place. I mean once you start speaking the lovely language of rock´n´roll it doesn´t really matter where you are anyways.

How would you compare the response you get in your home town to everywhere
We are treated like kings everywhere we go!

There are 5 members in the band…add more and you can be an orchestra!
But don’t because I couldn’t imagine how you would all get along. How is the
relationship between members? Any fun stories you’d like to share?
We had all our fights in 1993, 1999 and early 2000. So the future is bright. and the fun stories are not to share.

What’s in store for the HIVES? What can we expect from you kids?
First, a bit of touring and then a mighty job making a mighty record.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck on the tour and hope to see you guys real soon!
Thank you! Please list site/contact info for the readers.

Contact The Hives at: or:
The Hives
Regnbågsvägen 46
737 43 Fagersta