815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Hello dear, dear person,
Do you think that the "Rock Band Of The Year" should be a band that actually plays rock music?
Do you miss the sound of cheap guitar amps being captured by expensive microphones?
Do you want goosebumps from hearing 5 single-minded men with a telepathic connection slamming their instruments against each other and the floor?
Have you been to a concert by the latest saviours of music and been thoroughly underwhelmed by the performance and showmanship?
Are you interested in music built out of blood, guts and will-power, and not ones and zeros?
Does this make you think of The Hives?
Are you wondering what they have been up to the last couple of years?
By all means, read on…
Do you hear a swooping sound? Can you feel warm gusts of wind against your face? It is the phoenix rising from the ashes, and while one arm flaps vigorously, beneath the other he is holding a golden disc. He is coming closer… The disc says… LEX HIVES!!!
Yes, little reader, the world's wisest musical council and international rock sensation, The Hives, are back! On June 5th, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, Nicholaus Arson, Chris Dangerous, Dr. Matt Destruction, and Vigilante Carlstroem will return with their fifth stunner -- the 12-track contemplation of all law that is Hives -- Lex Hives. The term "Lex Hives" is a phrase derived from the ancient Roman practice of enacting a system or body of laws and accepting them as a standard. Thus, the 12 songs on Lex Hives make up the holy laws after which all life from now on must be lived.
Chiselled into the melted wax cake 33 1/3 long-player, Lex Hives will be released on The Hives' own label Disques Hives. Self-produced, self-played, self-released, and self-promoted, these 12 songs are not built to fit just anyone. These are not songs that sound equally good played on an acoustic guitar by the campfire. This is not music. This is compressed carbon hidden in the earth's crust for millions of years and unearthed, to be placed in your eardrums.
–– Lex Hives took a year and a half of thinking and 3 months of recording.
–– Lex Hives is slightly over 30 minutes long. This is not short. If recorded by some other band it would have been 45 minutes.
–– Lex Hives has exactly the contractually specified 12 songs.
–– Lex Hives has a booklet for the first time depicting the workstation at Hive Manor.
–– Lex Hives was mixed by Grammy Award winner Andrew Scheps, Dave Sardy and Joe Zook, because only the best will do and California is nicer than Sweden in February.
Born almost two decades ago in 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden, The Hives have long been a rock 'n’ roll force to be reckoned with. Their debut, 1997’s Barely Legal, shot thru the punk community like a runaway locomotive, with faster-than-fast blistering punk that had the punks cheering and raising bottles and cans, but left most of the mainstream going, "Oh… well… uhm what?". With 2000’s more studio-wise Veni Vidi Vicious, and the UK smash Your New Favourite Band (a compilation of songs from Barely Legal, VVV and the A.k.a I-D-I-O-T EP), however, The Hives wrote the book on the decade’s garage-rock success together with the likes of Detroit's The White Stripes to name but one of many.
Your New Favourite Band even went not silver, gold or even multi-platinum, but diamond, thanks to the hits ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’, ‘Main Offender’, ‘Supply And Demand’ and ‘Die, Alright!’ These songs blew people’s brains out and the boys in black and white got their first taste of radio and music television airplay. The world had crumbled and now greeted The Hives with open arms, endearing letters and red carpets, while hymns and children were produced in their honour. This black-and-white phenomenon toured constantly for three years and no-one wanted it to end, but the boys had decided to record again as they could not let go of the idea of reinventing not only rock 'n’ roll but also themselves.
Their third and – as the band had decided in their early teens with the black-and-white logic (no pun intended) of zealous youths – last record – as no band to their knowledge had ever made more than 3 good records in a row – 2004’s Tyrannosaurus Hives, successfully patted down the earth around the flag they’d placed atop this measly globe. With further hits like the unstoppable ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Two-Timing Touch & Broken Bones’ and ‘A Little More For Little You’, they once again repeated the cycle – "release new Hives record, conquer world by touring, repeat". And, God knows, like marauding vikings with much better dress sense, they conquered!
With 2007's mindblower The Black and White Album, on which they messed with the ‘Hives voice’ by for the first time entertaining the notion of outside influence, in the shape of music producers such as Pharrell Williams, Jacknife Lee and Dennis Herring, The Hives landed a fish so big not even Mother Earth could swallow it. The second big bang was a fact, and that, folks, was exactly what the first single/hit song from the album stated – ‘Tick Tick Boom!’ Once again the success cycle was repeated, and after the 400 gigs and 25 nights in hospitals that followed that record, The Hives again felt that three years on the road was sufficient. Even if they did manage to extend their live universe with visits to previously uncharted South American lands like Chile, Argentina and Brazil, they decided it was time to hit the studio again. It was time for the Big Kahuna, the Colossus of Rhodes, the greatest wonder the world had ever seen! It was time to present the laws of The Hives. It was time to write –– Lex Hives!!!
Perhaps having acquired a taste for working with big-shot producers on The B&W Album, they this time decided to track down the five biggest names in popular music for the job. The names that came up? Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, Nicholaus Arson, Chris Dangerous, Dr. Matt Destruction, and Vigilante Carlstroem. The five members of The Hives knew that in order to make the boat rock, one needed the ones who'll rock the boat (simple Hives logic). Said and done, The Hives curled up in their patented fetal studio position and in the next two years hunkered in the rock & roll laboratory – various laboratories, in fact, including Atlantis, RMV and Decibel in Stockholm, and legendary Hansa in Berlin – and meticulously built what now is named Lex Hives!
Blistering proof of the band’s quest can be found with the lead single, ‘Go Right Ahead’, gives us The Hives moving into glam-punk territory, and is the first Hives recording, together with its Lex Hives album mate ‘Midnight Shifter’, ever to feature brass. Emerging from the glam sax-laden overdub jungle like the winners they are, The Hives come out swinging their machete guitars with a track that leaves no-one clueless as to what the message is –– "PARTY like there is no tomorrow, you crazy fucks!”
As Lex Hives sails hot off the press along the Disques Hives conveyer belt, The Hives themselves are once more ecstatic to be alive and set free again and are readier than ready to return to the world stages – beginning with an appearance at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Weekend One: April 13th-15th / Weekend Two: April 20th-22nd). On Monday, April 23rd the band will make their return live appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live outdoor stage (ABC 12am/11pm Central).
In special celebration of the world's new favourite holiday, Record Store Day, the band will release the limited edition 7-inch single for ‘Go Right Ahead’ that features the unreleased track ‘1000 Answers’ on Saturday, April 21st, 2012. Fast forward to June 5th – Lex Hives Day, remember? – and a deluxe edition will feature bonus tracks recorded and produced by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme.
Louder. Bolder. Prouder. More convinced than ever. The Hives are finally out of the dark ages and steering toward the light.
This is THE LAW. The Law that is Hives. LEX HIVES!
The laws of nature are pale in comparison and The Hives demand nothing but complete obedience.
Ex Hex is Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright. They are a power trio hailing from Washington, DC, making the music you’ve been waiting for. Drums, bass, guitar, P90s, searing leads—this is unapologetic rock ’n’ roll spat out in the discipline’s mother tongue.
Mary found Laura Harris (The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree) and they hit it off immediately. Laura is a monster on drums: intuitive, solid, and just a bit rough around the edges. The pair played together for a couple of months in a tiny carpet-lined practice space shared with half a dozen hardcore bands and what appeared to be the better part of a B.C. Rich Mockingbird.
In walked Betsy Wright from the wilds of Virginia. She and Mary have similar tendencies, both defaulting to denim and The Voidoids. Betsy is a performer and an ace piano player, and before long, she was slinging a cherry SG as the third member of Ex Hex.
The group played a handful of shows and a couple of months later, in the spring of 2014, headed into the studio. Working furiously, they recorded over the span of two weeks in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) and in the basement of Mary’s home with frequent collaborator Jonah Takagi. Bobby Harlow (The Go, Conspiracy of Owls) was tapped to mix because of his unique take on making rock records.
What results is Ex Hex Rips, twelve songs about underdogs, guys stealing your wallet, schoolyard brawls, and getting bent. The record happens pretty quickly, so don’t blink.
(Photo credit: Jonah Takagi)