Monday 26 December - 6PM AEST | Replay at 6PM CET
Physical Radio - Australia's no.1 in Electronic Music
Superstars Swedish House Mafia
In 2008, a trio of individual artists, DJs, and producers united to unassumingly break every rule in electronic music…
Ensconced in flames, Swedish House Mafia—Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Axwell—infused house music with swaggering hip-hop beat-craft, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and big screen-worthy grandeur brought to life on stage with one legendary live show after another. Ushering dance music culture out of the warehouses and clubs and into arenas and stadiums on an unrivaled scale, it would be nearly impossible to imagine how the genre might have shaken out without them. They became the first electronic act to headline (and sell out) Madison Square Garden in 2011 and the first to grace the main stage at Coachella in 2012. They garnered two consecutive GRAMMY® nominations in the category of “Best Dance Recording” for the platinum “Save the World” in 2012 and quintuple-platinum Hot 100 Top 10 hit “Don’t You Worry Child” in 2013. Rolling Stone described their meteoric rise as “redefining rave culture,” and NME christened them “the rockstars of the dance music world.” The marathon recordbreaking One Last Tour paved the way for a five-year break before they returned as surprise headliners of Ultra Music Festival’s 20th anniversary in 2018.
Following the Save The World Reunion Tour a year later, this holy trinity of electronic music gods focused on the one thing they hadn’t done yet, making their 2022 full-length debut album Paradise Again [Republic Records].
“When we first came through, it was all guns blazing,” exclaims Steve. “It was 200 miles per hour all of the time. Everything was new territory. After we did those shows in 2019, we pushed forward again. There’s always new ground to break. However, the biggest challenge was to do what nobody expected us to. We needed to find sounds in the studio we had never heard before and were excited about. It’s super inspiring for me to be in a band where we actually want to challenge ourselves. This is definitely one of the most exciting times for us, because we’re having fun like 15-year-olds again.”
“For the new music, it’s not like this is an Ax song, a Sebastian song, or a Steve song—it’s always a Swedish House Mafia song,” Sebastian elaborates. “We’re literally making something we’ve never done before. These are the most unsafe songs we’ve ever made.”
“We’ve taken the old DNA, made it into new DNA, and put together a body of work that’s exciting,” agrees Axwell. “It’s super chill, aggressive, beautiful, and everything in between. We can’t wait to show it to the world.”
As the world slipped into quarantine, Swedish House Mafia quietly architected Paradise Again. Perennial perfectionists, they spent countless hours in the studio over the course of nearly two years, exorcizing new sonic palettes, textures, and tones from an arsenal of analog synths. It preserved the hallmarks of their signature sound as it turned the page on the next era as evidenced by the title itself.
“Paradise Again means a lot of things,” observes Steve. “It could be a moment in your life you want to relive again. It flirts with the idea the three of us have been together, and now we’re together again. It also hints at the way the world looks now with the hope it’s going to become better. For me, it’s a new chapter. We have a lot of layers in this album we haven’t shown to the world yet, so this is just the beginning.”
Returning with a bang, they dropped “It Gets Better” and “Lifetime” [feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 070 Shake] which began with the cover of Billboard magazine and kicked off with both songs being performed on late night TV giant The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon before igniting the single “Moth To A Flame” with The Weeknd. On the track, understated bass rumbles beneath glistening keys as The Weeknd’s instantly recognizable voice takes hold, glowing with pain and power all at once.
“The Weeknd is the dark prince, and his style has always been close to our hearts,” smiles Sebastian. “It was really a dream collaboration. We met in Los Angeles, had a great dinner, didn’t speak about songs or anything, and went to the studio at 2AM and just listened to music. When we got back in the studio a day later, he literally wrote the song on the spot with the four of us in the room. It was so magical to watch. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was straight from the heart and into the song. We weren’t trying to be something we’re not. He wasn’t trying to make something he’s not. I think it’s a perfect match.”
“Again, I feel like we’re giving the world something different,” says Axwell. “That’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.”
Highlighted by “Redlight” with Sting, “Frankenstein” with A$AP Rocky, and “Don’t Go Mad” with Seinabo Sey, Paradise Again kickstarted another era for not only Swedish House Mafia, but electronic music at large. Upon arrival, it bowed in the Top 10 of seven global charts, seizing #1 on the Billboard Top Dance/ Electronic Albums Chart and #1 on the UK Dance Albums Chart. Moreover, it attracted some of the highest critical praise of the group’s storied career thus far. Pitchfork proclaimed, “The sprawling 17- track album is richer in texture and grander in scope than previous releases.” In a rave “4-out-of-5 star review,” NME assured, “The rockstars of dance reclaim their title,” and summed the record up succinctly, “it slaps.” To properly herald the release, the guys headlined Coachella joined by The Weeknd for a oncein-a-lifetime set of epic proportions—which The Guardian fittingly dubbed “off the wall.” Meanwhile, “Moth To A Flame” went either multiplatinum or gold in nine territories and adorned the Alternate World Edition tracklisting of The Weeknd’s Dawn FM, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200. Speaking of, Swedish House Mafia also notably co-produced and co-wrote “Sacrifice” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” for the latter blockbuster as well. They launched one of the biggest jaunts of the career the Paradise Again World Tour, canvasing 29 cities in 11 countries across two continents for five months. Plus, they linked up with Fred Again… and Future for the cross-genre anthem “Turn On The Lights again..” lighting up streaming platforms.
In the end, Swedish House Mafia continue to break rules on Paradise Again, and nothing may ever be the same.
“I want people to understand we’re back together,” Steve concludes. “This is not a side thing. This is the start of a journey. On this album, there’s a lot of drama, sadness, melancholy, happiness, and real substance. This is the album I want my legacy to be based on. We’ve done some things sonically that are going to resonate. There are some incredible artists who we love and look up to who we had the chance to work with. I’m so proud of it. We needed to do this as brothers and as Swedish House Mafia.”
“This group means everything to me,” Sebastian leaves off. “Swedish House Mafia is the endgame. If you look at it, we’ve always been unsafe musically, and it pays off. Personally, this is my family. I love these guys. We’ve been through a lot. We went from hating each other to loving each other again. It’s such a fucking story, and it’s real. It’s set in stone. That’s rare, man. We have stories nobody in the world knows we’ll laugh about forever. I’m glad I get to share them with Axwell and Steve.”