Swedish House Mafia in Australia: The First Interview
It’s the night before Swedish House Mafia’s Sydney show announcement, and inthemix has Sebastian Ingrosso on the phone. It’s not easy to track down any of the Mafiosos at the moment. As well as making One Last Tour plans (first stop: the World Trade Center, Dubai), Ingrosso, Steve Angello and Axwell have their individual careers to focus on. As Angello put it to inthemix earlier this year: “I have a record label with seven artists, then there’s Swedish House Mafia: this is a full-on, 24/7 operation.”
Despite the ever-mounting list of commitments, we find Ingrosso in a relaxed mood. After all, with the final Swedish House Mafia shows selling out around the world, there’s a silver lining to breaking up the band. With the countdown officially on, we hear how the dance music powerhouse is going out with a bang. [Article photo by Rukes.]
Let’s talk about the One Last Tour show. What have you got planned for Sydney in terms of production?
We are taking our production with us. I don’t exactly know every screw and every pin that’s going to be there, but we have an A, B and C production structure. It depends on where we are in the world and how it can be shipped. We have one in America, one for Europe, we don’t have any in Asia or the Pacific yet, so I don’t know exactly which one we’re taking with us yet. But it’s going to be massive.
Bigger than previous SHM shows?
It’s gonna be the biggest.
So it is sad to be saying goodbye to SHM?
Of course. I would by lying if I said no. Of course it is. So many years and so much hard work put into it. It’s bittersweet. But also, it needed to be done. Because if we never made the decision to split up, I don’t think we would have ever done the world tour. Because having an individual career and a Swedish House Mafia career – even if our Swedish House Mafia career is way bigger than the individual one – I think that having two careers, both growing at the same time is like having two families.
Imagine having dinner with your wife and having dinner with your two husbands at the same time. Having two careers is exactly like having two families, and it’s hard. We don’t want to do anything half-done, that’s not how we work. We were like: let’s bang it out now, we’ll do SHM world tour as big as we can, do our last single, just enjoy it and go say goodbye to our friends.
When you play the big shows like the One Last Tour dates will be, do you feel pressured to play certain songs?
Of course. I think people like to hear, first of all, all the Swedish House Mafia songs we made. Then I think they would like to hear some classics that maybe Axwell made and some that I made or that Steve made, or that we made together, maybe with an updated sound. But I think people expect to hear what we have done these last seven years. Of course.
Are you looking forward to having the freedom to play your own sets again? Is that part of the appeal of just being solo again?
No, the only thing I’m looking forward to now is going on this tour. We kind of never had a plan with Swedish House Mafia, it just became Swedish House Mafia in a weird, very nice way. After this, I dunno. I’m just gonna go back into the studio and see what my creative little mind can come up with.
What do you think Swedish House Mafia’s legacy will be?
I think that we made an important mark in the history of dance music, I’m sure about that. But the most important thing for us is the fans and the people who’ve been supporting us from day one – and the new fans too, the young kids. That people feel that we all made it for the music and that we were real. Because there’s not many bands that get the offers that we get and I’ll tell you now, it’s the biggest companies in the world, the biggest artists in the world. A lot of people want to work with us, and we just say ‘no, we can’t’ because we can’t do anything half done. So I hope they feel that what we’re doing now is from the bottom of our hearts. This isn’t planned, this is no marketing thing. That’s what I hope, at least, comes across.