Nostalgia for the pop music scene of the 1990s has been all the rage for several years, and one of the most commonly referenced acts is the Swedish quartet Ace of Base, who gave us such hits as "The Sign" and "Don't Turn Around." In between releasing smash albums, however, Ace of Base was haunted by member Ulf Ekberg's scandalous history. Shockingly, in his past, Ekberg harbored secret Nazi ties, and when the truth was revealed, fans and the general public were shocked.
Ekberg allegedly used to be a member of an ultra-rightist political party and played in a skinhead punk rock group called Commit Suiside. The band's songs – which appear on a controversially titled compilation – contain lyrics that aggressively insult nearly every marginalized group thinkable. For a time, Ekberg tried to deny that Commit Suiside recorded these tracks, but he has since apologized for his former affiliations. Considering Ekberg's history, the autocratic undertones that run through several of Ace of Base's hit songs are difficult to overlook.
Many fans insist that Ace of Base's name is extrapolated from the Motörhead song, "Ace of Spades." However, Cracked writer Adam Tod Brown theorized that Ace of Base really derived its name from a WWII submarine base.
He argues, "The name is most likely a reference to the Keroman Submarine Base, a massive U-boat launching and docking facility constructed by the [SS] in the French town of Loriant." That base launched submarines responsible for "taking out more than 500 Allied ships," making it one of Germany's military hotspots. Because of the high success rate of the submarine missions, Keroman was nicknamed "the base of aces."
In his youth, Ulf Ekberg was in a band called Commit Suiside (sometimes referred to as Commit Suicide). Along with two friends, Jens Andersson and Jens Svensson, Ekberg reportedly recorded songs with rightist themes in the mid-to-late '80s.
In 2013, he apologized for his former band's associations, but claimed Commit Suiside did not write or preform any problematic songs. At the time of his apology, Ekberg did not bring up the autocratic, nationalist politician Anders Klarström, who was also allegedly a member of the punk band.
In 1998, a small Swedish record label released 1,000 copies of a limited-edition compilation tape called Uffe Was a Nazi!. "Uffe" refers to Ulf Ekberg, and the disc contains five songs from Ekberg and his first band, Commit Suiside.
Additionally, the liner notes describe Ekberg as a member of the ultra-conservative Swedish political party Sverigedemokraterna, or Sweden Democrats. Due to its limited release, Commit Suiside's compilation is now considered a collector's item in certain circles.
Unsurprisingly, Commit Suiside's song titles and lyrics were filled with hatred and bigotry. The album contains tracks whose titles translate to "Don't Touch Our Country," and "White Power, Black Skull Slaughter." The songs also feature such lines as "Immigrant, we hate you! Out, out, out, out! Nordic people, wake up now! Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!"
Again, Ekberg claimed that his band didn't record those songs, and they were the work of separate musicians on the same demo tape.