UPDATE: Ekberg responded to The Huffington Postwith the following comment on the below story:
“Thank you for the opportunity to respond. During the early 1990s I did dozens of interviews, all around the world, about the people I sometimes found myself surrounded by in the 1980s and how profoundly regretful I am now about associating with such individuals. Those interviews covered every aspect of my past as I strove to be an open book to anyone who asked. It has been twenty years now since I chose to come clean about my past, a decision I made on my own at that time and a decision I do not regret. Every angle of my past was covered there in those interviews. I did have a band called Commit Suicide but we did not write or perform the songs in question on this demo, and I have never been a member of the Swedish Democrats, however the teenage mistakes I did make in terms of my chosen ideas at the time were unfortunate and if I were to live through those days again I would have done things very differently! I’m truly deeply sorry for any hurt and disappointment this has caused for our fans and I want to be very clear that Ace of Base never shared any of these opinions and strongly oppose all extremist opinions on both the right and left wing.”
If you’re a fan of Swedish pop group Ace of Base, then this story might surprise or shock you. Ulf Ekberg, one of the group’s founding members, was in a “Nazi band” and has ties to a pretty extreme political party (some might say “hate group”).
The revelations surfaced in a Noisey article about Ekberg, one of the four original founding members of Ace of Base. Before success with songs like “All That She Wants,” Ekberg was in a bad called Commit Suicide, which featured some pretty divisive and hateful lyrics.
Noisey translates one of the track’s lyrics:
“Men in white hoods march down the road, we enjoy ourselves when we’re sawing off n—–s’ heads/ Immigrant, we hate you! Out, out, out, out! Nordic people, wake up now! Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!”
Ekberg was also formerly a member of the Sweden Democrats, a party that has a pretty sketchy past when it comes to tolerance.
The revelations of Ekberg’s Nazi past aren’t anything new so much as they are little-known. In a 1997 documentary, he said that he regretted that part of his past and has since moved on.
“I told everyone I really regret what I did,” Ekberg said. “I’ve closed that book.”
Currently, Ekberg is still in Ace of Base, but also works for a strategic marketing company called Result, which has forged relationships with BMW, Fiat, IBM and LinkedIn. He also founded another entertainment marketing company in 2002 called Legion Network. Though it is now defunct, it worked with Canon, Motorola, and Nokia.
What do you think? Is Ekberg’s Nazi past ancient history, or will you never be able to listen to “All That She Wants” the same way ever again?
[Image via: Codorado, Wikimedia Commons]