Now you guys are the Hives, you're from Sweden, you actually encountered Canada's Smugglers. What was it like meeting them for the very first time, 'cause they dress almost identically to you.
HPA: (smiles and clears his throat) Yes. It was really fun though. We had a long conversation about Survivor. 'Cause Survivor is a Swedish invention, and we were like one season ahead of them, 'cause it evolves, you know. People start making pacts, the second season and all that. We told them about that. They asked us about NHL hockey players from Sweden, we told them about that, they had a lot of questions about Sweden, we were happy to-
But what was it like bumping into them, like they wear black suits with white ties as well. That must have been freaky!
HPA: Mind-boggling. (sings Twilight Zone theme music)
So did you work something out?
HPA: We didn't work anything out, both of the bands played in their outfits and we took a big group picture of 10 people in black and white suits.
And I understand you're also fans of Danko Jones?
HPA: We're sort of friends with them. We met them once and they wanted to bring us on tour, and we said 'yeah, that'd be nice,' but they're recording. Because when the International Noise Conspiracy cancelled those shows in Canada, we were going to head back here with Danko Jones, was what we thought, but Danko Jones couldn't do it.
Howlin' Pelle of the Hives, tell me some little Swedish facts there, like Sweden is the cell-phone capital of the world.
HPA: It probably is, yes.
What are some other Swedish facts that are out there, like you mentioned Survivor comes from Sweden.
HPA: Yeah, it's a fact. What other Swedish facts are there?
There's one that always puzzled me. There was a thing in the 1970s in Canada called ParticipAction, to get the kids excercising, and they always said that a 70-year-old Swede was in better shape than a 30-year old Canadian!
HPA: It might be true, although we've been on tour for a long time now, so we sort of deteriorated into Canadians pretty much. But the thing is, yeah, people in Sweden, at least used to be in good shape, and everything used to be sort of Socialist, nice country, but sort of the the Americanization started, and now it's not quite as good, but it's still pretty good.
Are there any other weird laws in Sweden, like isn't there some law in Sweden where anybody under the age of six has to wear a helmet anytime, all day.
HPA: Totally wrong. (laughs)
What could I be alluding to, are there any weird laws like that?
HPA:No. No (laughs)I don't think so. You probably have more weird laws here in North America though. We heard that actually in America, if you see a group of more than three Indians in your back yard, you can fire at them.
I wonder who told you that? People in the United States of America, probably, right?
HPA: Yeah, that's true.
But you're in Canada. We settled things differently. We settled through the fur trade, so don't take those memories back with you please, Howlin' Pelle.
HPA: I won't. Thing was, I said North America to sort of lump you into with the Americans. But it didn't work, did it?
No it didn't. But in Sweden though, I'm curious, the guy who invented the propeller is from Sweden, Howlin' Pelle.
HPA: Yeah, and the matches, dynamite, tetrapaks...
HPA: Screwdrivers, uh, yeah, the thermometer.
So when you guys think of Canada, what do you think of?
HPA: I think of something that looks like Sweden, but everything is bigger.
Do you think of any of the Canuck hockey players at all there Howlin' Pelle?
HPA: I could, if you helped me along a bit, which you just did.
Like the Sedin twins, are they known at all in Sweden at all?
HPA: They're really famous in Sweden. All hockey players that you know that are Swedish that play in Canada are really famous in Sweden.
Have any of them come to any of your gigs?
HPA: Don't know.
HPA: Don't think so. If they came to our gigs they didn't tell us, at least.
How about Borje Salming, have you ever heard of Borje Salming?
HPA: Of course we have, he's famous in Sweden.
And what is he famous there for, Pelle of the Hives, from Sweden?
HPA: Hockey and underwear, pretty much.
Yes, underwear.'Cause the rumour is that Borje Salming had the biggest "c star star k" in the NHL when he played, they didn't call him "the king" for nothing. So he modeled underwear in Sweden?
HPA: He didn't only model it, he makes them and sells them.
Oh, so now we know how he got that gig, huh?
HPA: Maybe we do. I don't know, I heard a rumor, from you.
Matt, of the Hives, you were telling me something about Borje Salming I did not know.
DMD: Well, yeah he's got a lot of scars on his body, and that's like really cool for hockey players in Sweden. He's like the macho hockey player.
Have you actually seen Borje Salming in his underwear?
HPA: On TV I have, 'cause he modeled his underwear in his underwear.
You guys in the Hives have quite a few hockey connections, don't you. Did you not grow up not far away from Nicklas Lidstrom?
HPA: No, that's not entirely true. We grew up in the same little town that Ulf Samuelsson, comes from.
Ulf Samuelsson! The dirtiest Swede of 'em all!
HP & MD: and Tomas Sandstrom
Was he a punk rocker?
HPA: Don't think so at all.
Have any of those guys come to any of your gigs?
HPA: Don't think so at all.
What do you think of Nicklas Lidstrom signing for $10 million dollars a season? He just signed for that.
HPA: Good for him, I don't know, what can I say? I didn't know that.
Are you guys into "Foppa" at all? Peter Forsberg?
HPA: Am I into Foppa"?
HPA: Which means exactly what?
I don't know, do you worship at the shrine? Do you think he'll come back?
HPA:: I'm not into hockey at all.
Yes, I am totally! You're lying right Howlin' Pelle?
HPA: I'm not lying, I'm not into sports at all. See this? (Pelle shows his arm muscle)
What is that?
HPA: It's a thin arm that hasn't seen sports in awhile.
No, you could be, uh, in track! You could be a runner! And you do some great moves on stage, what do you mean you're not into sports? You're like a closet jock, aren't you?
HPA: I'm into dancing though, not sports.
What are some of the interesting stage moves that the Hives do, cause some of the stuff you do on stage nobody has done before, or never thought of. Tell us some of the stuff.
HPA: Uh...I'm not really sure, most of the time when we do a gig it's a blur. You're not gonna film the show are you? You're gonna film the show. Then we should just film the show and I should just explain it afterwards.
Okay well we may not have time for that so how about right now, just imagine you watching yourself on film.
HPA: We have this thing called the freeze.
What is the freeze?
HPA: You'll see later.
And after the freeze is there anything else?
HPA: We have a lot of moves, I can't remember all of them. Um..I don't know. What do we do? We jump we stand around we walk sometimes. Mostly basic stuff, is there anything particular? It seems like you are looking for something here.
Maybe like holding the drums over the crowd?
HPA: That's our drummer's move. He did that sometimes on some gigs this tour. He picks the drum kit up and holds it over his head pretty much.
MD: I would say that it is more of a spontaneous... We don't care about it, we don't think about what we do.
HPA: Sometimes it just happens.
MD: We just go up there and have an nice time.
Now we mentioned history of kind of Swedish rock, I threw in ABBA, you threw the Helicopters, we had some Roxette and stuff. What about the Sixties band The Tages, what can you tell me about them?
HPA: Tages? Actually, um, there were a lot of bands like that in Sweden during the Sixties, one called Hepstars that featured actually the ABBA guy. I don't know that much about Tages actually except that they made some good music. But I don't have that much gossip about them, since it was like 40 years ago.
How 'bout the drummer for your band? Doesn't he have a father or something that was in a garage band himself?
A Finnish garage band?
HPA: Yeah. The Sailors were their name
So there's some music in The Hives family then?
HPA: There's a lot of music in all of our families.
Have you guys thought about covering that band? Did they put anything out?
HPA: They didn't put anything out, it was mostly, like, a covers band. They only played covers. He used to sing in a band called The Ventons, he was only a stand in singer for the Sailors, but the Sailors were like the biggest guitar rock band in Finland at that time.
How are things going with The Hives right now? I think amazing! You were on the "Later" show with Jools Holland show, with Hall and Oats. I understand you are going to be playing a waterskiing championship coming up?
HPA: Yes we are, in Sweden actually.
A waterskiing championship ?!
HPA: Its gonna feature us walking on water.
How's that gonna happen?
HPA: I'm not gonna tell you.
We'll have to tune in. Hey! We can't tune in! Don't tease us like that.
HPA: We're gonna walk on water, we can do that. Its not a big secret really.
So what else do you have comin' up with The Hives? Things are really taking off in England. Like I mentioned, you know, you're on the cover of NME possibly. Stuff is exploding with The White Stripes and The Strokes, and it looks like The Hives are ready to jump in there too Pelle, what's gonna happen? It must be really exciting.
HPA: It is kind of exciting, you know, but it took them so long that we sort of... were sort of 'oh yeah now we're gonna make another record' and then all of a sudden England goes "POW! We love The Hives!" And it's just a thing that we took one country at a time in Europe, and then we only have this little island far to the left.
But you took Europe pretty easily, didn't you?
HPA: Yeah (laughs)
You're on MTV Europe
HPA: yeah yeah.
And winning Swedish Grammy's as well, almost.
HPA: Almost. Yeah everything is going really really well but I don't know where it's going next. Probably even better.
And you are Howlin Pelle Almqvist and Matt Destruction from...
HPA: THE HIVES!
And you really are...
HPA + MD: The Hives.
And can you prove you're The Hives by?
MD: Playin' music
HPA: Yeah we're playing later tonight and you will see the same faces on stage.
So, anything else you would like to add to the people out there at all?
HPA: Everything we have to say is on the record. That's why we don't do that many interviews. So just listen to the record and everything will become crystal clear.
And you are The Hives!
HPA: We're The Hives.
And why should people care about The Hives? Why should people care?
HPA: 'Cause it's good music, something all too rare to find these days.
All right, Hives, thanks very much , keep on rockin' in the free world and doot doola doot doo...
HPA: Doo doo da lo do do do
Almost. Doot doola doot doo...
HPA: Dunt da.