Swedish alternative rock group the Hives has to pay 18.5 million kronor ($2.87 million) to their compatriots the Cardigans, according to reports.
The district court in the Swedish city of Lund heard the financial dispute, which is one of several embroiling Tambourine Studios -- a recording studio and production house in the southern city of Malmö. On its Website, Tambourine describes itself as “the gratest (sic) music studio in the western hemisphere.”
According to the AFP, Tambourine also handled the two bands' finances. Tambourine reportedly noted that it was standard practice for the company to transfer money from bands with bigger war-chests than others less well off.
However, the Hives claimed it wasn’t informed that some of the cash it had received was in the form of loan from the Cardigans.
The court reportedly ruled that, though the transfers "shouldn't be viewed as a loan,” the cash ought to be repaid "since there is no reason... to keep the money that came from The Cardigans." According to reports, the Hives was also ordered to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees.
None of the parties have issued statements on the matter.
The Cardigans enjoyed a handful of hits in the late ‘90s. Their biggest, “Lovefool” from 1996, featured on the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet” feature film and peaked at No. 2 in the U.K.
Like the Cardigans, the Hives enjoyed a rush of success in the United Kingdom. They rose to prominence following the October 2001 release of the compilation "Your New Favourite Band" and its lead single, “Hate to Say I Told You So.” That album, was licensed to Alan McGee's British Poptones label from the band's former label home Burning Heart Records/Epitaph. The Hives went on to sign with Universal Music U.K. in 2002 in a worldwide deal rumored to be worth $11.5 million. They hit the road later this month for a tour that should take them through the European summer festival circuit.