Live favourites and stalwart custodians of Rock, Sweden’s The Hives have declared the current state of their beloved genre as being “pretty shit.”
“I feel like for a very, very long time it has been pretty shit,” says Almqvist, “there’s always good stuff if you scratch the surface. But if you look at the nominees for best rock Grammy, there hasn’t been a rock band there for 10 years. It’s all pop bands with distorted guitars.”
Along with deriding mainstream who pick up six-strings to beef up their rock appeal, the Swedish singer also bemoaned that genre of emo was “also pretty shit”, claiming to “be rock’n’roll but it’s people constantly whining.”
“There were a few emo things we thought were good,” he added, “I liked Jimmy Eat World and Fugazi. Then I hear people say the second Weezer album was an emo album, which I don’t agree with at all.”
So what passes as ‘good’ rock in Almqvist’s book? “Rock’n’roll is 50 drunk people in a room who want to have fun, but there’s something extremely unsexy about it being perverted into middle-class guilt and whining. We like our rock’n’roll sexual.”
Sounds exactly like the kind of kicky riffage The Hives are famous for, the latest batch of which, they’ll be releasing on June 5 in the form of their fifth studio album, Lex Hives. A self-produced collection of twelve tracks, it’s the group’s first record in five years since 2007’s Black And White Hives.
Can fans expect it to be ‘not shit’? “I think Lex Hives is probably our most classic rock’n’roll album,” teases Almqvist, “so I think the gods of rock’n’roll are smiling on us at the moment.”
You can have a listen to the lead single of the ‘rock-god-approved’ LP, “Go Right Ahead” below