I swear I’ve heard this somewhere before but I can’t remember where. It’s the story of Ulf Ekberg, one of the founding members of Ace of Base, and his neo-Nazi skinhead past as detailed by Noisey.
Noisey reveals that before Ace of Base, Ulf was in a Swedish Nazi punk band called Commit Suicide. One of their songs included the endearing lyrics, “Men in white hoods march down the road, we enjoy ourselves when we’re sawing off niggers’ heads/ Immigrant, we hate you! Out, out, out, out! Nordic people, wake up now! Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!”
Ekberg was also a member of the Sweden Democrats, a group founded by Nazis who’ve since publicly “rejected” ties to neo-Nazism. A dubious claim at best.
As for how he ended up in Ace of Base, a friend in another band had their bassist bail on them and Ekberg was asked to fill in. A few weeks later, they named their new band Ace of Base. They went on to become that annoying band that every girl in middle school loved.
Ekberg has never acknowledged his past directly but he did vaguely allude to that period of his life in a 1997 documentary. He stated, “I told everyone I really regret what I did. I’ve closed that book. I don’t want to even talk about it, that time does not exist in me any more. I closed it and I threw the book away in 1987. I took the experience from it, I learned from it. But that life is not me. It’s somebody else.” Translation: Hey, that’s a long time ago. Now I’m rich and famous. Let’s talk about something else.
Noisey asks whether Ekberg used Ace of Base as a way to whitewash the past. That may very well be but no one will ever know. Unless you ask him what his favorite movie is and he says Romper Stomper and then chuckles to himself.