The Hives’ Chris Dangerous on Comebacks, Climate Change & Keeping With The Times

Believe it or not, but up until a few weeks ago it had been eleven years since The Hives last released a full album of music. With new album The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons to boot, the Swedish quintet finally have a chance to make up for plenty of lost time as they look to cross the entire globe in pursuit of its promotion. As their European tour nears its conclusion, Jack Parker called up drummer Chris Dangerous in Lisbon, Portugal to discuss making a comeback, why rock isn’t dead and how to solve climate change.

Hi there. Congratulations on new album The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons. How does it feel to be back at it again?
It feels really good, it’s great. We’ve been playing all along but it had been a long time since we released a record. The reception we’re getting is so good, we could hardly have dreamt about it being this good and then seeing people care as much about the new songs as they do about the old ones. 

11 years is a long time between albums. Why did it take so long? Obviously the pandemic was no help. 
So I was hospitalised for a couple of years, and just as I was getting back into the right physical condition to start drumming, the pandemic happened. That took another couple of years, and so we were basically just trying to make a record while life happened at the same time. You can never really know what’s gonna happen, but of course that doesn’t fully explain why it took eleven years. 

Were you at all worried that people had moved on from The Hives in a society where everything moves so fast? 
Yeah. There’s stuff happening all the time, and the attention span of younger audiences is so short. You need to do things in a way which stays on top of them. 

Stuff like TikTok wasn’t around in your early days, but you seem to have adapted to it pretty well. It’s fun, right?
Yeah! I mean, we have people helping us with that – and I don’t have TikTok myself – but it’s a lot of fun talking to my children about it. They have TikTok, and they think it’s super fun to follow The Hives. That’s cool, but I have very little intel myself about TikTok, haha. 

Who is the best band in the world?
Right now or ever?

Up to you.
I love a few of the bands that we’ve toured with like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones. We did a tour with Arctic Monkeys, so they’re up there too. We try to be the band that we wanna see ourselves, and make the records we wanna listen to. We have a support band on this tour called Bratakus, which is two girls and a drum machine. There are good bands everywhere. I came from a synth background so Kraftwerk is definitely one for me.

Your music is often hailed as award-winning worthy. If your music is so perfect, then why do you have to make any more?
Because we want to, and we still have more to give. We don’t feel like we’re done, and honestly I think we’re getting better all the time. I’m not the only one who thinks that either – it’s something which fans and friends have also been saying to us. Like, how is it possible that the shows get better after twenty years? I guess we’re just trying to get better all the time, so there isn’t really a reason for us to quit. 

Exactly. Bogus Operandi springs to mind as a clear highlight and perhaps one of the best rock songs of the year. 
That one is a personal favourite of mine, we worked on it for years. 

With so much time between records, were there any songs which go way back?
If you count bits and pieces, maybe up to a hundred!

How do we solve climate change?
People are kind of shocked when they hear that we only have one suit with us on tour. We’re saving a lot! Buy less stuff.

Buy less stuff, but definitely buy the new Hives album.
Obviously, yes. We can all do our bit but the big decisions need to come from someone with a bit more power than The Hives. Maybe a government. 

Guitar music is less popular than ever, what do you make of that?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s always been this rock is dead thing going on; yada yada yada. I mean, look around! It seems to me like rock is alive and kicking.

In the time since you released your first album, blew up and took this long break between albums, bands like Arctic Monkeys were born and grew into a stadium band. You joined them on that tour this year, how was it? 
It was great, I love them both as people and as a band. The shows were really good, we even did three sold out nights at the Emirates in London for 70,000 people a night. I watched Arctic Monkeys’ show pretty much every night. The Sheffield shows were insane, when they walked on it was amazing. These shows were also very good for us. The faces on Arctic Monkeys’ fans when they walked on stage…wow, that’s why you’re in music.

Have you noticed your own fanbase getting older with or younger?
We notice a lot of younger fans, especially after having toured with Monkeys. Again it’s like, “guitar music is dead”. Uh no, it’s not – hahahaha. I don’t know how many people came to those shows, a couple of million maybe? So yeah, rock is not dead. 

So what’s next for The Hives? How do you move on from here?

We’re gonna take it as it is for now as the album has only been out a short while. We’re touring it at the moment and not thinking about what happens next. We’re focussing on playing as many shows as possible in as many countries as we can, because that’s what we love to do: three laps around the globe. We’ll see what happens next, after this European tour we go to the US and South America for 45 days. We’ll be home for Christmas! The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons is out now.