The Hives will be bringing their virtual tour to Sydney tomorrow! We chat with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist about the tour, new music and the bands fond memories of Australia.
Image: Göran Broberg
Swedish rock legends The Hives have been itching to hit the road again, and since current travel restrictions and social distancing regulations are preventing that, the five-piece are hitting the virtual road, embarking on the first ever virtual world tour, dubbed The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour.
Having kicked off last week in Berlin, the band have played exclusive customised virtual performances in Berlin, London and New York, with the fun continuing tomorrow night in Sydney, before continuing on to São Paolo and Stockholm in the following days.
The unique and interactive format allows fans from each region to vote for tracks to be played at each show, send in audio messages that will be played in real-time to create the illusion of a live audience and they will even be taking telephone calls on stage.
Speaking of the tour upon its announcement, the band shared: We are itching to play with you rock ‘n’ rollers worldwide and we don’t want another “intimate livestream” in sweatpants from the living room. Virus or no virus, we are still in show business goddammit! We want to play to particular places and people, not just to a general “everybody”. We want to go on tour! So, The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour is born."
With exclusive merchandise bundles available, fans can immerse themselves within a live show from their favourite Swedish rockers from the comfort of their own home. Kicking off at 9:00PM AEDT, fans nationwide can tune into the bands virtual Sydney show and are able to vote for their customised setlist up until the performance kicks off.
Tickets for the Sydney leg of The Hives' The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour are available here! Read our interview with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist below.
You’re about to do six live streamed performances, going on a virtual global tour! What are you bringing to these performances to not only feel like a live show, but also make it uniquely different?
We are actually in the middle of it. It feels like one of the best things we have ever done! Basically, we are filming it in a way that makes it feel like you are running around the room yourself. It gives you access you would not get at a real show. We are also doing a lot to make you understand as a viewer that it is fully live and not pre-recorded since so many livestreams might as well have been. You can call in and talk to us and send in voice memos where you scream whatever you want at the band. Like you were there.
You’re the first band and artist to take on this new livestream world tour format. What do you hope comes from this in terms of the future of live music with physical touring still not an option?
Well, in a world where real gigs are back on I would still love to do one of these tours a year. It is so much fun! Also, it’s nice to do a tour and not have to transport your body 10 hours a day.
Each show is specially performed for and tailored to each country, with fans able to vote for what songs will appear on the setlist right up until each show begins. Do you have any guess for which songs might take out the popularity vote in each location?
The voting has surprised us. Turns out our guesses have been terrible.
You’re also including live recordings of fans from each city to create the effect of a live audience cheering and shouting. How important was it for you to include this element to really capture the essence of a live show?
For us to be able to do the shows well it is extremely important. This is a machine that runs on appreciation. We did one without applause and it’s like driving a car with no gas.
You always bring style and flair to everything you do! Can we expect a new set of snazzy outfits for each show, and what visual elements are you bringing to The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour?
Ha ha no. That would be both too much work and too expensive. One of the best things about our snazzy stage outfits is that we wear the same thing every night so we don’t have to decide. As for other visual elements our thing has always been to keep it minimal. We are the show.
Can we expect to hear any new material on the virtual tour?
Yes. There are even unreleased songs you can vote on!
If The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
A Lucio Fontana sliced canvas. A new way of thinking, something no one thought about and a workaround of the problem. It is both a lot and a little going on at the same time. We hope many follow.
You’ve spent a fair bit of time in Australia over the years! What is your most fond memory from your time down under and which tour was the most memorable?
We have indeed! We love it there. The two that come to mind first are probably our first Big Day Out with Beastie Boys and Slipknot, and our tour with AC/DC a few years back. How much more Australian does it get? None! The favourite memory though is probably The Falls Festival in 2001 where after 250+ shows that year were completely exhausted. We only said yes because they lent us a beach house in Lorne. It was an amazing time trying to surf and staring at the sea after all that rock ‘n’ roll.
When you are able to physically tour again, what do you hope to bring to your new live show to celebrate the return of live touring?
Hopefully a new album worth of songs.
Tickets for the Sydney leg of The Hives' The World’s First World Wide Web World Tour are available here!