All five members were still teenagers when the band formed in Fagersta, Sweden.
A local punk band called Happy Farm turned Almqvist on to punk rock in 1986. His mom bought their record. His dad was a bigger fan of old jazz and blues.
The story was that the band was formed by a man named Randy Fitzsimmons who sent a letter to each of the five members of the Hives telling them to all meet at a certain place. He has also been credited with writing some of their songs. As it turns out, Randy Fitzsimmons is none other than guitarist Arson.
Almqvist claims the band's name has nothing to do with bees or haircuts. It is the rash. "We irritate people. We get under their skin."
Their stage dress is made up of identical black suits, white ties, and white shoes. They have also been known to get into arguments onstage.
Although they are Swedish, their lyrics were in English right from the start. Says Arson: "It always sounded better listening to rock n' roll that was in English."
Almqvist and Arson are brothers.
Have toured with other big Swedish rock bands, like Refused and the Hellacopters.
Hailed upon their initial arrival on the scene as part of a revolution reinvigorating raw rock n' roll. They were often cited in the same breath as the White Stripes, the Strokes, and the Vines as being at the forefront of this new scene.
Debut album, Veni Vidi Vicious (2002), was one of ten albums to receive the Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement in Music. This rewards the ten best albums of any given year that sold fewer than 500,000 copies.