Former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso have surely had better weeks. Since the duo's interview with the New York Times two weeks ago they have been fielding a fair amount of grief for comments Ingrosso made about underground dance music. After a lengthy twitter post from Axwell in which he accused Times writer, Joe Coscarelli of taking his bandmates words out of context (and a perplexing excuse about the meaning of the word "amateur" in Swedish), chatter about the group's comments only intensified. Last night, LessThan3 obtained a transcript of Coscarelli's interview which, in fact, showed that not only was Ingrosso quoted in context but his comments were considerably harsher when read in full:
"Also, for the underground dance music — in the nicest way possible — it's amateur. You understand what I mean? Like, they are amateurs in a nice, cool way — a charming, sexy way also. They are like, 'We're trying to make music but we can't really,' and people are like, 'Wow, I really like your not-really-music that you can't really make, but you're making it.' And it's a party and I understand — and I've been there myself. I like to go there sometimes and just drink, like, whatever. They make the best out of it."
In a statement sent to THUMP today, Ingrosso says he's sorry for having hurt anyone's feelings and that his words were meant to refer to his own experience of the underground, rather than the underground music scene of today. His statement in full is here:
"First off, we want to apologize to anyone who read our interview and felt offended. We're not haters and it's not our style to diss our peers or anyone who makes music, as you can see over the years. Our intention was not to make anyone feel bad.
In our minds, we came from an underground scene and caught insane heat for 'selling out' when we became commercially successful. In 2015, the meaning of 'underground' has different connotations depending on who you ask but we can all agree it doesn't mean Top 40 radio play or huge commercial success. We've been fortunate enough to see both ends of the spectrum. 'Underground' was not the word I should have used because the underground is vast and full of incredibly legendary artists who are great at their craft and have been doing it for decades. The way we interpreted the question posed was how do we deal with people—our peers, critics, fans—who think we are leaving our roots behind to trade them in specifically looking for commercial success.
We don't make music with the intention of commercial success—we make music that we like. Stylistically, we've evolved as artists, as most do. We are inspired by and love all kinds of music—from Skrillex, Gesaffelstein, A-Trak and Valentino Khan, to Caribou and Tame Impala, to Kendrick Lamar and Marvin Gaye; old and new, underground and mainstream. Often, underground sounds grow bigger and unfold in the mainstream and there are some who become angry when those once niche sounds reach critical mass. That's not us—we're grateful for all of our fans who continue to help us grow and succeed however we can. It was the wrong choice of words and I wasn't able to convey what I meant, which is that our vibe is positive, we don't hate on other artists, genres or scenes and if people don't like our direction or music, that's ok. We're going to keep on making music that we love.
Axwell /\ Ingrosso play at Coachella this weekend where they will perhaps be in the crowd for Gesaffelstein and Caribou.