The band claim Burning Heart do not have the rights to their next record, clearing the way for their new multi-million deal...

The ongoing saga over Hives multi-million pound move to UNIVERSAL RECORDS has taken a further twist with the band claiming their former label does not hold the rights to their next record – something the label have previously insisted.

Hives signed to Universal for a reputed £7.5 million several months ago, sparking a series of wrangles with former label Burning Heart Records. When the deal was inked, Burning Heart boss Peter Ahlqvist said: “Our lawyers are currently looking into the matter. Burning Heart have always been very proud to have been Hives’ record company. Therefore, we are shocked to learn about the band signing a record deal with Universal, particularly since Burning Heart controls the exclusive worldwide rights to Hives’ next studio album. Hives’ have always been fully aware of their commitment to Burning Heart. In the circumstances, we have no choice but to vigorously protect our rights.”

In a brief message posted on the band’s website www.thehives.com, guitarist Nicholaus Arson insisted “BHR/Epitaph did not have the rights to our third album.”

Arson also rubbished a BNR claim that the label had been taken completely by surprise by the band’s announcement, insisting problems had existed between band and label for some time. “We have for some time now had extremely serious issues with the BHR/Epitaph label and as a consequence we recently decided not to continue with the label we have been working with for seven years,” he said.

He added: “BHR/Epitaph has all along been aware of the seriousness of these matters so that we eventually left them is not a shock to anyone.”

He closed by saying: “We did this simply to control our own destiny and regain the control over our work we once enjoyed with Burning Heart Records. This had to be done.’

It had been feared Burning Heart would block forthcoming releases from Hives, preventing any new release from the Swedes until matters were resolved through the courts. No action has been taken yet and the label have yet to response to the latest Hives message.