conversations with bianca

Dear Bianca… Correspondence From: The Hives’ frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist

I first heard The Hives on a compilation mix tape of Swedish punk and hardcore that Millencolin drummer Fredrik Larzon had made and gave me on the band’s first ever tour to Australia. The mix tape also introduced me to other great Swedish punk bands such as 59 X The Pain, Refused, Mindjive and more! As always, once I hear a band I love, I have a huge desire to share their awesomeness with the rest of the world so, I set out to interview them—not such an easy task at the time being located in Australia! There was no internet to simply shoot them an email, the band only had two EPs and one full length that you had to import order at the local record store; they weren’t really known outside of Sweden. I sent them a letter (old school style). Below is the correspondence that frontman Pelle sent back to me, featuring a self-portrait he drew and him citing Australian bands The Saints, Radio Birdman and The Victims as influences on the band. He super thoughtfully sent me a whole lot of band stickers too that I still have to this day.

Rolling Stone magazine is now streaming The Hives’ first single Go Right Ahead from forthcoming album Lex Hives (released June 5th). They’re also playing this year’s Coachella along with some of my favourite bands: Le Butcherettes, Refused, At The Drive-In!

Write a letter!

Other posts in this series:

Dear Bianca… Correspondence From: Australian Punk Band Blister’s Gordy Forman 

Dear Bianca… Correspondence From: Pro Skater & Artist Ed Templeton


*The Hives’ photo credit: Stephen Booth (one of my favourite photographers ever!)


  1. Julia
    March 13, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this blast from the past, Bianca! I like how they have an adoration for Australian music (another example: ‘Early Morning Wake Up Call’ on the Tarred and Feathered EP). I’m heading out from Melbourne to see them (ATDI, Refused, etc included) at Coachella and two of their side shows. Should be good fun.

  2. Bianca
    March 14, 2012

    Thank you for taking the time to check it out Julia! :) They’re such a great band and I thought it was so rad Pelle took the time to write me back all those years ago. Wishing you safe travels overseas, man I so wish I was going too! Have a blast… best wishes, B

  3. […] were always pretty darn cool! This is the first in a series of posts a little like the popular Dear Bianca… Correspondence From posts. First up for Art Party is a Sick Of It All self-portrait by drummer Armand Majidi. I first […]

  4. sandra
    April 11, 2012

    Hey Bianca,
    I want to tell you how happy I am you shared this adorable letter with us! Thank you sooo much!! So i guess you don’t have the questions you asked them from the interview anymore (cause you send a letter) I’m curious what the questions were, expecially to the answers on the second page… Can you remember them? If yes, would you mind to share them with us? Please? :) best wishes, sandra

  5. Bianca
    April 28, 2012

    Hi Sandra, Glad you enjoyed it! I’ll see if I can find the original Qs and if I find them I’ll post them :) Warmest wishes! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Audrey
    August 6, 2013

    Thank you to share this letter with us. 15 years ago… you have some “flair” to detect a pretty good music band. I’m
    listen the Hives since six years… Six years of hapiness.

    Sorry for my English, I’m French


  7. Bianca
    August 6, 2013

    Hi Audrey! Thank you for taking the time to check the letter out. And, thank you for your kind words about what I do…I LOVE finding new bands to share with people. It was so lovely for Pelle to write me back all those years ago. merci, B xo

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