Steve Angello on Swedish House Mafia's Retirement: 'It Was Time'

'We reached a point where we don't know what the next move would be,' says the DJ

Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia perform at Coachella.
August 2, 2012 11:40 AM ET

On June 23rd, only six months after selling out New York City's Madison Square Garden, superstar DJ trio Swedish House Mafia announced their decision to retire from the road. "Today we want to share with you that the tour we are about to go on will be our last," read a message on the group's website. "We want to thank every single one of you who came on this journey. We came, we raved, we loved." The threesome, which consists of Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Axwell, will host a final hometown blowout in Stockholm on November 24th and play their final U.S. gig this September at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas.

The short, blunt message, and a lack of any further explanation from the trio, left many Swedish House fans searching for answers. But as Angello now tells Rolling Stone, their decision was rooted in a need – and current inability – to evolve. "We just decided that we reached a point where we don't know what the next move would be," he explains. "We always like the challenge. And we don't like to repeat ourselves. We just felt like it was time."

Angello is quick to dismiss any notion of tension between any of the group members; in fact, he says the three longtime friends are as close as ever. "We're like brothers," he says. "We're still here. It's not like anybody has died. We've had beyond our dreams and we've come very, very far. We just felt like, 'let's stop touring.'"

Angello, who is hosting a label showcase for his Size Records imprint this September in Central Park, adds that Swedish House Mafia's retirement is one way in which he can help shake up a genre whose fans, he says, are starting to take an influx of music for granted.  "[DJ's are] releasing stuff all the time," he says. "After a while, it's starting to become the norm. You've got to shake things up a bit and then do things differently for people to respect what you actually do. I just don't wanna see music become fast food."

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