Rocker Ulf Ekberg has addressed allegations he was a member of a pro-Nazi band before joining Ace Of Base, insisting he wasn't responsible for white supremacist anthems attributed to the trio.
Reports surfaced on Tuesday (23Apr13) suggesting Ekberg's former group Commit Suicide had written a handful of controversial songs during the 1980s after its demo was leaked online, but now The Sign hitmaker has spoken out to set the record straight, explaining most of the tunes, about white supremacy, Nazism and racism, were nothing to do with him.
He tells Eonline.com, "I did have a synth band called Commit Suicide between 1984 and 1986 with two gentlemen called Jens Andersson and Jens Svensson, and two of the songs on this demo where written and performed by us. The problem is that the other four songs (were) skinhead music with very racist lyrics.
"These songs have absolutely nothing to do with Commit Suicide. We did not write or perform those songs that were attributed to us. Commit Suicide was a New Wave music band, creating and performing electronic music on synthesizers without any political touch or agenda. The racist songs on this demo were not by us, but our potential association with such groups is a matter I truly regret."
The musician also shut down rumours he was once a staunch supporter of the far-right political organisation Swedish Democrats, which was founded in 1988 by activists with Nazi leanings - though he does regret the conservative views he harboured as a teenager.
He continues, "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.
"I'm truly deeply sorry for any hurt and disappointment this has caused for our fans, and I really hope that we clearly have stated that Ace of Base never shared any of these opinions and strongly oppose all extremist opinions on both the right and left wing. My past is my own, and only I can own up to it."
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.