The co-founder of the Swedish pop band Ace of Base, Ulf Gunnar Ekberg, was revealed to have had Neo-Nazi ties during his youth. Here's what you should know about his teenage years, his former band, and his history with his pop band Ace of Base.
1. Ulf Ekberg Had Neo-Nazi Ties
A story done by the Noisey section on Vice revealed that Ulf Ekberg was once a Neo-Nazi skinhead before he became a Swedish pop star. The article also notes that Ekberg was a member of the Sweden Democrats:
Ekberg was also a member of the Sweden Democrats, a political party that has publicly "rejected" any ties to neo-Nazism. This is interesting, considering the fact that the group was founded by Nazis, and active members still maintain connections with contemporary hate groups
2. His Band Performed a Song with the Lyrics "Immigrant, We Hate You"
Ekberg's former band, Commit Suiside, performed songs that featured disturbing, racist lyrics. Noisey/Vice spoke about the band and an album released back in 1998:
In 1998, a small Swedish record label called Flashback Records released Uffe Was a Nazi!, a limited-edition collection of Ekberg's output with Commit Suiside. The cover is a photograph of Ekberg giving the Nazi salute. Although only 1,000 CDs were produced, it was an extremely damaging attack on Ekberg's Nazi past and has become a major collector's item. Uffe Was a Nazi! includes five songs, like "Rör inte vårt land," which translates to "Don't Touch Our Country," and "Vit makt, svartskalleslakt!" which translates to "White Power, Black Skull Slaughter."
The song Smash the VPK can be seen and heard in the video above.
Here's a sample of some of the lyrics tied to the band:
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!
3. He Says His Band Didn't Write Those Lyrics
Ekberg granted some exclusive comments to E! Online about the story that circulated about his former ties to Commit Suiside. He claimed that the songs with racist lyrics were not written or performed by them:
I have seen this demo of six songs that began floating around in 1996 claiming that Commit Suicide had written those songs. I did have a synth band called Commit Suicide between 1984 and 1986 with two gentlemen called Jens Andersson and Jens Svensson, and two of the songs on this demo were written and performed by us. The problem is that the other four songs [are] skinhead music with very racist lyrics. These songs have absolutely nothing to do with Commit Suicide. We did not write or perform those songs that were attributed to us.
4. He Claims His Former Band Had No Political Agenda
Ekberg also told E! Online that Commit Suicide wasn't a band that pushed a political agenda:
Commit Suicide was a New Wave music band creating and performing electronic music on synthesizers without any political touch or agenda. The racist songs on this demo were not by us, but our potential association with such groups is a matter I truly regret.
5. He Said He's Never Been a Swedish Democrat
Ekberg went on to state to E! Online that he's never been a member of the Swedish Democrats:
I want to point out that I've never been a member of Swedish Democrats. That is a factual error, whereas mine was an error more serious than that.
6. He Regrets His Past Decisions as a Racist
Ekberg told E! Online that he regrets his past decisions as a teenager and the disappointment he may have caused his fans:
I have always been deeply regretful of that period in my life, as I strive to bring happiness to people, and during that period I did not live up to that standard," the musician explains, referring to "my behavior and my mindset" in the 1980s. I have not been involved in violence or political activism in the past 25 years. However, I find some of my thoughts from those days nauseating to myself today. I'm truly deeply sorry for any hurt and disappointment this has caused for our fans, and I really hope that we clearly have stated that Ace of Base never shared any of these opinions and strongly oppose all extremist opinions on both the right and left wing. My past is my own, and only I can own up to it.
7. He's a Co-Founder of Ace of Base
Ekberg is widely known as the co-founder of the Swedish pop band Ace of Base, which is known for being the 3rd best-selling group from Sweden with an estimated 40 million records sold. One of their most popular songs is The Sign, which can be seen in the video above.
8. His Personal Website Alludes to his Business Acumen
Ekberg has a personal website which lists his many accomplishments and his business accomplishments:
Ulf Ekberg has been steadily rising and steering his organizations and businesses through a strategic and visionary turnaround, involving resilience and restructuring, ensuring that his Group of Companies attaining dominant status in key operating sectors. A visionary leader and an eminent businessman, Ulf Ekberg has been a Co-Founding partner of ACO Investment Group, a US based Private Equity Firm, focused on business development, deal sourcing and government relations while also possessing domain expertise in the Media and Technology sectors.
9. He's Working for a Company Called Result
Ekberg also works a strategic-marketing company called Result, which has famous clients such as BMW, IBM, and LinkedIn.
10. He's a Member of the German Marshall Fund
Noisey/Vice speaks about Ekberg's ties to the German Marshall Fund:
Ekberg is also an active member of the German Marshall Fund's Asia Program think tank. Keep in mind, the GMF was formed in the spirit of (and named after) the Marshall Plan, the post-WWII, US-led economic-incentive program geared toward preventing the spread of Soviet communism and opening up recovering nations to democracy.