And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #153: The Cardigans v The Hives

By | Published on Friday 19 April 2013

The Hives

No, you haven’t slipped and fallen into a time machine and woken up over a decade in the past, this beef between The Cardigans and The Hives came to a head this very week right here in 2013. However, its seed is very much in the two bands’ more affluent past.

Also, as with so many of these things, this isn’t a straight head to head between two artists, but one where they’re drawn together by a common enemy. The enemy, in this case, is a company called Tambourine Studios, which once handled their finances (and the finances of many Swedish artists – it’s already had a legal run in with ‘The Final Countdown’ writers Europe, who claimed employees of the company forged their signatures).

The problem was that in handling those finances, the company managed to drop some of the cash in their control into the wrong bank accounts. When The Hives were short of a few bob, Tambourine decided to help them out. But in ‘helping them out’, the company simply moved money over from The Cardigans’ account.

And it wasn’t just a few bob here and there, this week Lund District Court ruled that The Hives must return 18.5 million kroner (about £1.8 million) to The Cardigans.

The Cardigans sued The Hives in 2011, claiming that they had been well aware of the loans they were illegitimately receiving. But The Hives deny this, and in return accuse Cardigans frontwoman Nina Persson of not only knowing about the arrangement but also insisting that extremely high interest be charged on the loans.

The Hives also say that the origins of some of the money incorrectly transferred into their account isn’t clear, and that they reckon some came from other Tambourine represented bands and not The Cardigans.

In a blog post published prior to the trial, The Hives said: “There is no agreement on the loan, no inscribed documents, no agreements on interest rates or terms of repayment, and perhaps most importantly: We have never talked to Cardigans, Ark, or Tambourine on these ‘loans'”.

They added: “The Cardigans and Tambourine are extremely close together … Is it a coincidence that Cardigans have been enriched enormously from these ‘loans’?”

The court ruled that, yes, it was. Or, rather, reports The Local, the judge overseeing the case said that the money “shouldn’t be viewed as a loan” but that it should still be repaid to them “since there is no reason … to keep the money that came from The Cardigans”.

Speaking to Aftonbladet, Hives frontman Pelle Almqvist said that the verdict “could mean the death” of the band. They have since announced that they will appeal the decision.