Turns Out '90s Swedish Pop Group Ace Of Base Had A Secret Neo-Nazi Past

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. 

  • The Name "Ace Of Base" May Be A Reference To WWII Submarine Warfare

    The Name "Ace Of Base" May Be A Reference To WWII Submarine Warfare
    Photo: XIIIfromTOKYO / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    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." 

  • Ulf Ekberg's Former Band Recorded Songs With Alt-Right Themes

    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 Compilation Of Commit Suiside's Schismatic Songs Was Released

    In 1998, A Compilation Of Commit Suiside's Schismatic Songs Was Released
    Video: YouTube

    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. 

  • Commit Suiside's Lyrics Were Heavily Xenophobic

    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. 

  • Ekberg Says He Regrets His "Nauseating" Days As A Skinhead

    Despite his denial of Commit Suiside's rightist affiliations, Ekberg admitted that he personally subscribed to similar doctrine in his youth. He has since apologized and said in 2013 that he regrets his previously held beliefs: 

    "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... 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."

  • The Song "All That She Wants" Has Sinister Undertones

    The Song "All That She Wants" Has Sinister Undertones
    Video: YouTube

    Some of Ace of Base's biggest hits may, depending on interpretation, contain antisemitic undertones. The song "All That She Wants" features lyrics about a woman who, instead of working, has babies for money. This plot line may be understood as a nod towards the harmful stereotype of impoverished people cheating the welfare system.

    Also worth noting is that the lead woman in the song's music video wears a Star of David pendant, indicating that she is Jewish and possibly drawing a vexing subtextual connection between her heritage and her questionable behavior.