Before Swedish House Mafia head off into the sunset, the dance music trio plan on a long goodbye with a farewell album, Until Now, and one final tour (with dates to be announced this Monday). And after that, they have no clue – which is the point of calling it quits.
"Because we did this move, we hope to find ourselves in a situation where we do not know what we’re doing, which is sort of us trying to create some sort of chaos, mix shit up a bit for ourselves," Sebastian Ingrosso told Rolling Stone before the group's set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. "It’s an experiment to ourselves."
As part of that experiment, the three members – Ingrosso, Steve Angello and Axwell – are giving themselves the liberty to work together in the future in different pairings. "We might have a group called something else," Angello joked.
One thing that becomes clear talking to all three is that this wasn't necessarily a move that had been long thought out. In fact, if not for their stratospheric rise, they might have continued on. Years ago, Tricky spoke of being pushed out of his sound by copycats after the success of Maxinquaye, an experience to which SMH seem to relate.
"That’s a good way of putting it actually, because dance music is moving so fast, if somebody does a track with a successful sound, everybody does it the second day. So you have to try and develop more and faster and next," Ingrosso says. "So that could be one thing that led to where we are today."
The dance music scene does indeed move fast, with the opportunity for acts to play around the world on a nightly basis for big money. But Axwell believes that EDM should look more into the model the rock world established.
"They’ve been experimenting with tours in the rock world and in the music business for so many years that they found a way of going in, doing an album, tour the album and then taking time off to create the next album, the next sound," he says. "And I think that we should probably look into the bigger bands that have been touring for a while and make the same kind of decisions that they make. I think it’s longer lasting if it would be like that instead of every club every day having a DJ."
The outfit they consider role models, however, is one from their own genre. "What we look to is the way that Daft Punk keep surprising and impressing people," Axwell says. "And they treat themselves like a real band – go back, disappear, make fantastic music, come back, blow everybody away with a fantastic live show. Daft Punk are our heroes in all ways possible."
But as Axwell points out, Daft Punk always do return. "Yeah, they do. But you didn't really know they were gonna come back."