The Swedish band The Hives was at the opening of the Festi’Neuch Festival. Before letting the public wait with their Jaws’ theme introduction, we had time to ask our questions to Nicholaus Arson, guitarist, and Chris Dangerous, drummer. It’s with bright smiles they accepted to answer in their adventurers’ outfits, very Archimede Porter. Thanks again to them!
US: You have a very important stage design, costumes and stage play. Do you, in a way, consider yourself as actors?
Arson: Yes. Well, in a way, I have to also say that I am absolutely not like an actor. Because when I hear good music, it’s the that way I move. And when I play music I think is being good, it’s what I wear. So it will be exactly what I would wear when I will hear good music, it’s what I wear when I hear good music and I act like I act when I listen to good music. So all of this is real, but yeah it should have a show element. I do all this for selfish reasons. It’s because I love that. I love to see bands who play comedy, who try. Bands who play comedy and do a great show. These bands are my favourites. Bands who act in a “real” way on stage, whatever that is, they just go on stage to sing, these ones are not my favourites bands [laughs]
Dangerous: We can do everything we want. We can play the music we want to do. We can wear what we will wear and that’s amazing. Imagine doing what you want to do when you want to do. That’s what we can do.
Arson: We could do it without the public but it wouldn’t be that fun. It’s funnier with it. It’s like the football player who goes out for a big match. The crowd who screams and all that, that gives them the desire to do this kind of games again. Here it’s the same. You want to have someone here to see all the great stuff that you give.
US: Do other arts influence your work?
Dangerous: Absolutely. Everything, from films to dance, without doubt, in a way. All the kind of things you can think we can be influenced by. It may be anything. So yeah, completely.
Arson: We’re probably as inspired by Saturday Night Live and James Bond as we are by punk music. [Laugh]
US: You’re speaking about films, actually, if you could have done a film or tv show score, which one would if be?
Arson: I would have loved to write Batman [laugh] I love that score. And action movies too.
Dangerous: Ennio Morricone. There a lot of great stuff.
Arson: We would have loved to write all this.
US: What is your first musical memory?
Arson: A tape. There’s been a lot of music played in our house, like, all the time. So I don’t know exactly. I had a tape with children music, that, I know. So I think it would be maybe one of my first memories. Because it’s like that I discovered music, sort of. I had my tape with children’s songs. And I evolve and I found other music. I know I liked Rod Stewart. When I was six, one of my friend came with a tape of Motörhead and another of AC/DC. And I believe it’s when I fell in love with AC/DC. But my oldest memory should be this children music tape. Put one side on then change the side every time.
Dangerous: I believe mine is more visual because, in the living room, where I grew up, there’s always been a violin, an acoustic guitar, a balalaika… And my father, who was a fan of music and rock, always played of them. So I think it’s my earliest memory.
US: Would you do an album in Swedish, like did Moneybrother?
Arson: Maybe. We thought about it. When we were very young, we played tracks in Swedish. Not yet with the Hives but when we were playing together before that. We had ideas of songs in Swedish.
Dangerous: I think we had more ideas for tracks in French. We thought about doing an album in French. Because, it’s very cool. But yeah, English is simpler.
Arson: English is simpler when you want to understand what you say. And French sounds good but we understand nothing of what it’s saying. Which is good too. I like this kind of music. And singing without really understand. Playing rock’n’roll and learn another language at the same time. Or even create a language. Like A-Wop-bob-a-loo-lop a lop-bam-boo. Where everything at the end obviously means “sex”
US: Tonight The Offspring play Smash…
Arson: They do it again today? Oh wow. We saw them did that when we were in Belgium I think…
US: At Groezrock maybe?
Arson: Yes, that’s the one!
US: Would you like to do like them one day and play one of your album entirely on stage?
Arson: Yeah we talked about that when we saw The Offspring do that. Lots of bands do that these days. I would like to play Veni Vedi Vicious. All this from the beginning. But I would like to do Barely Legal too. It’s been so long since we’ve played it.
Dangerous: Yeah, but our albums are so short that we should play more than one. [Laughs]
Arson: Yeah, we should do the three first [laughs]!