AND HERE IT IS!
Kelly: How are you all enjoying Australia so far?
Ulf: Australia's so beautiful. Australia's really 'Paradise Forgotten' from the rest of the world.
Jonas: It's too far away though.
Ulf: Otherwise I would have lived here I think. I love Australia.
Jenny: I think this is the best stop on the trip really. We've been to Seoul in Korea, and we've been to Hong Kong. And we've been to Tokyo.
Jonas: I think the architecture here reminds me of modern France architecture.
Jenny: We're in the Chinese Gardens, so maybe it's like Chinese architecture.
Kelly: Let's start with the name of your band - Ace of Base. What does that mean?
Linn: It means we are the four aces in the base. Our basement used to be our garage, a service parking thing for cars.
Ulf: And we built up our first studio there. So aces in the studio
Kelly: Your first album 'Happy Nation' got you into the Guinness Book of Records for the highest selling debut album. How did that make you feel?
Ulf: I think it's fantastic - we were on the front cover of the Scandinavian version of it (Book of Records) and that's one of the things that makes you realize how big it was and is. There's a few moments that come through you like an ice cold wind from the North Pole, and then disappear. It's too big really to understand
Jenny: You've got a bit of poetic talent - you know that?!
Jonas: About this much . . . (very small gesture)
Kelly: Do you think it's helped being a family group and close friends?
Ulf: It makes it stronger. We've gone through a lot of hard work and really burned ourselves. And it helps being family. You can really yell at each other and still be best friends.
Kelly: Is it hard keeping your private life private?
Linn: No, it's not, because we are from Sweden and Swedish people are very shy. Swedish people don't have a routine to ask about what you do in your spare time and where is she and stuff like that.
Ulf: No papparazzis.
Linn: They leave people alone
Kelly (to Linn): You're scared of flying aren't you?
Linn: I don't like the landing part. It's not my favorite.
Ulf: Unfortunately you always have to land.
Jonas: You should land, otherwise it's even worse.
Kelly: Your home town of Gothenberg has been described as Sweden's Liverpool.
Jonas: It's a harbour town, a working town of 700,000 people. There's a lot of rock'n'roll in that city. It's the second biggest city in Sweden, after Stockholm. I think it's a little bit more calm. It's on the west coast and we are closer to Denmark and England and Holland. But there's always been this competition between Stockholm and Gothenberg.
Kelly: There's lots of music coming out of Sweden at the moment. Why do you think that is?
Jonas: It's because of Abba, Roxette and us and so on. A lot of bands have this idea - 'if they can do it, we can do it also'. And the major record companies in the world are focusing on Sweden because it has become now the third biggest music-export nation in the world. It's very strange. There's only 8.8 million people in Sweden. I guess they don't want to miss anything, so they're signing many new bands. For example, if a radio person in Australia sees a record come from Sweden, they listen to it maybe a few times. If they see one from Finland they go 'ugh' (throws it away). It's a sort of quality stamp, Sweden music.
Kelly: Are you friends with people like Roxette and those other bands?
Jonas: We met Roxette, but how could we be friends 'cos they're out all the time and we're out all the time
Jenny: We don't meet that often.
Linn: We meet a lot of other artists - some of them are friends and some are not.
Jonas: All artists in Sweden love us. (laughs) No, actually, very few artists in Sweden like us, 'cos it's kind of hip to not like us. It was the same with Abba 15 years ago, because they had made it so big abroad. It's the same with us in a way.
Kelly: Are you upset when people compare you with Abba?
Ulf: It's a little bit boring after 4 years. Abba did a huge thing in the seventies and we're in the nineties.
Jenny: When we started out we had some peaks in Denmark with 'All That She Wants' and 'Wheel Of Fortune'. Back then they'd never seen our faces on video or anything and they thought we were black guys from London . . . .
Linn: Actually, there used to be 5 in the band - 2 other guys instead of Ulf. So it used to be 3 guys and 2 girls. Those guys quit after our first gig 'cos of stage fright. So we knew Ulf and took him in.
Kelly: And I bet those two guys have regretted it ever since?
Linn: Yeah I think so.
Ulf: No, they're not really interested in music in that way.
Kelly: You've said 'The Bridge' is more an adult album.
Jonas: If you say that we're happy. But we can't say it.
Ulf: It's better produced. and it shows all four of us as songwriters. For the first time we had time to produce it properly. The first album was really chaotic 'cos we had huge success with 'All That She Wants' and 'Wheel Of Fortune'. We really had to kick out the album as soon as possible, so we didn't have time to finish it. But this album is more thought-through. It's a nice development.
Jenny: We have some influences on the album, and maybe it's not that obvious all the time. Maybe it's fun to know that 'Beautiful Life' was written in the Canary Islands, 'Wave Wet Sand' in Miami, and a lot of influences from 'Strange Ways' are actually from Israel.
Kelly: Who are your musical influences?
Jonas: Many people. It depends on the mood actually, in the morning, in the night
Jonas: He's a pervert, you know that!
Kelly: You saw it here. . . How did you get your first record deal - was that difficult?
Jonas: Actually, all the record companies in Sweden, up and down, up in Stockholm, they said to us - it was too obvious, it was not international enough. They wanted us to do nine versions of 'All That She Wants'. And we said 'Give us a break' and we went to Denmark instead. They're biting their nails now, the people in Stockholm.
Kelly: That's a good feeling isn't it?
Jonas: Not for them!
Kelly: Do you write all your own songs?
Linn: We had to do one cover, but that was because Arista forced us to do it. We are friends with the record companies and we said 'Please, no covers', because we have material of our own that's very good. They said 'Do it!'; we said 'no' but we did it anyway and it turned out to be ok.
Kelly: You're all still really young. What can you see happening with Ace of Base in the future?
Ulf: A third album. Probably tour, some more interviews, some more promotion, some more photo sessions . . . We take a step forward and realise how to live this life really. We've started to get things together now. We've been shaken up, and we're trying to find the pieces again. We can enjoy life in a way we couldn't before.
Kelly: Was it difficult getting used to the new lifestyle?
Ulf: Yeah, of course. You don't learn this in school, how to handle it.
Jenny: We just had to learn from our mistakes.
Kelly: Did you rush out and buy something really luxurious as soon as you became really popular?
Jenny: Yeah this shirt is really popular.
Ulf: Well, I don't have to eat in McDonalds once a week now.
Jonas: He can eat there twice a week now, he can afford it.
Kelly: What's going to be the next single off the album?
Ulf: Probably 'Never Going To Say I'm Sorry'.
Linn: It's about how you don't have to be sorry for the person that you are. You just have to be yourself.
Jenny: Even though you look like a clown sometimes.
Linn: And we're a good example, because so many have tried to style us and we're just walking around like we like it ourselves.
Kelly: Can you imagine just taking the money, running, hiding out, or has this really gotten into your bloodstream?
Jonas: We could hide out here maybe, under that little bridge.
Ulf: When you get used to it you can take the good pieces of life, the good pieces of this earth to mix it together, make your own perfect world. Maybe that's one of the goals.
Kelly: Can we expect to see you hitting the clubs in Australia?
Jonas: Maybe tonight actually, 'cos tomorrow we have time off, so tonight is party time.
Kelly: Thanks guys for talking to us today, and we'll be seeing you very soon.
AND NOW CHECK THESE PHOTOS FROM THE INTERVIEW!