"[Interscope Records head Jimmy] Iovine is asked about one of his big disappointments of recent years: the Hives. 'They just didn't come up with the songs,' he says bluntly of the last Hives album [Tyrannosaurus Hives], which failed to live up to the enthusiasm the Swedish band had built on its indie releases. ... 'But I'm not giving up. I've already spoken to them, and they know what they need to do. ... It'd be interesting what Andre 3000 and the Hives could come up with in the studio with Pharrell.'" — Los Angeles Times, Nov. 26, 2006
"On their fourth disc [2007's The Black and White Album], the Swedish garage-rockers wanted a radio-friendly smash: Frontman Pelle Almqvist hinted that Interscope greenlighted a huge budget to record in four different cities and enlist Pharrell Williams, Andre 3000, and Timbaland to produce. A good plan — except the Hives have sold only 54,000 copies." — Rolling Stone, Feb. 7, 2008
Twelve ways Interscope could have saved the Hives from themselves that Jimmy Iovine didn't think of:
Change chorus of "Try It Again" from "Doo wacko! Up and down/Doo wacko!/Down and up/Doo wacko!/Round for round!/Doo wacko!/Hit the ground/Doo wacko!/Up and down" to "Hey ya!"
Give away the album for free, in a downloadable format, from an ethereally named Web site, for only two hours on an odd-numbered Friday. Then double-box-set that shit, with extra behind-the-scenes footage of Timbaland tickling Pelle's bushy eyebrows on the set of Timmy's "Throw It on Me" video.
Realize that Bill Clinton is everyone's liability. Remove him from crunk remix of "Square One Here I Come" immediately.
Force the band to grow beards. Plug bassist's receding 'do with hair scraped from hotel shower drains of acts on Sub Pop's current roster.
Promise next record will sound very Tunnel of Love–era Bruce Springsteen, an underrated masterpiece from the Boss' oeuvre that the Arcade Fire has yet to discover.
Make Swedish Chef honorary member. Fling wooden spoons.
Get Scarlett Johansson to cover Hives songs on her next record. For a Sofia Coppola film. Or just naked.
In addition to recording The Black and White Album in Oxford, Mississippi; Como, Mississippi; Stockholm, Sweden; Fagersta, Sweden; London, England; Crundale, England; and Miami, Florida, the band really should have booked time with grunge god Jack Endino in Seattle, Washington; electro wunderkind James Murphy in Brooklyn, New York; a couple remixes by Diplo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a quick single for Don Mulroney's tape recorder in Neosho Rapids, Kansas; a ghostride on the yellow bus in the Yay Area, California, with E-40; and a stint in Los Angeles Superior Court, California, with Phil Spector. It only takes one major label release to save an entire airline industry.
Confuse the press about whether Nicholaus "Arson" Almqvist and "Howlin'" Pelle Almqvist are siblings or if they were married to one another before they got famous.
Get the Hives to join Britney's restraining order against her self-styled "manager" Sam Lutfi, even though they've never really worked with him. Have Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, and Dr. Demento weigh in on psychological issues of only wearing black and white clothing and speaking with that ridiculous accent.
Make "You Got It All ... Wrong" into a love song. Stick it on the next soundtrack to movie about a pregnant teenage girl that co-stars Michael Cera.
Make Peter Bjorn and John temporary members to create Swedish supergroup. Swap the dandy suits for sensible cardigan sweaters. Fling wooden spoons.