Swedish rockers the Hives may have never equaled the heights of their 2000 breakthrough Veni Vidi Vicious and its hit single “Hate To Say I Told You So,” but they certainly deserve credit for their commitment to a decades-long joke involving how they make their hard-charging rock music.
The group’s material has long been said to be written by a mysterious Svengali named Randy Fitzsimmons, who has conveniently never been seen by the public. Now, it appears Fitzsimmons has “died,” and while rooting around in his grave, the Hives stumbled upon demos for what they then turned into the aptly titled album The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons. Produced by Patrik Berger, the 12-track project is out Aug. 11 and is their first full-length since 2012’s Lex Hives.
The video for its first single “Bogus Operandi” extends the ghoulish tale of the album’s inspiration. It was directed by Aube Perrie, who is best known for helming clips for Harry Styles’ “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Shit.”
“There’s no maturity or anything like that bullshit, because who the fuck wants mature rock’n’roll?,” asks Hives frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist. “That’s always where people go wrong, I feel. ‘It’s like rock’n’roll but adult’ — nobody wants that! That’s literally taking the good shit out of it. Rock’n’roll can’t grow up. It is a perpetual teenager and this album feels exactly like that, which is all down to our excitement — and you can’t fake that shit.”
The Hives will debut the new songs during three small venue shows on May 9 in Los Angeles, May 11 in Pomona, Ca., and May 16 in New York. An extensive summer European tour opening for Arctic Monkeys will follow.
Asked by SPIN in 2012 why Hives concerts are better than Hives albums, Almqvist said, “It’s just that other bands suck so much live that people only talk about our shows. Anyway, comparing concerts to albums is like asking if The Godfather is better than the ‘Mona Lisa.’ Our records are exactly what we want them to be.”
Here is track list for The Hives’ The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons:
“Countdown to Shutdown”
“Rigor Mortis Radio”
“Smoke & Mirrors”
“Crash Into the Weekend”
“Two Kinds of Trouble”
“The Way the Story Goes”
“What Did I Ever Do to You?”
“Step Out of the Way”