Part-Time Pop Star
From "Business Göteborg"
When talking about music from western Sweden, one name shines more
brightly than all the others. Soundtrack of Our Lives or the Hives? No,
with more than 30 million albums sold, Ace of Base is leading the league
by at least 29 million.
Jonas Berggren has become a family man. His children, Julia, 3, and
Gabriel, one and a half years old, are two reasons he is grateful for shi
colleagues in Ace of Base. The current promotion tour for the most recent
album Da Capo is being managed commpletely by Ulf Ekberg and Jenny
Berggren. "You can't play a re-run of the kids", he says on hte phone from
the village San Agostin on one of the Canary Islands. He is currently
spending time there with his children and his wife Birthe.
Warhol was right
Celebrity life doesn't seem to be something Jonas Berggren is particularly
fascinated by. He uses Andy Warhol's phrase that in the future every
person will be famous for fifteen minutes, something which is quickly
becoming reality in this time of docu-soaps.
"I've had my fifteen minutes, and then some," he says.
But songwriting still calls. Jonas feels that two songs on the new album,
The Juvenile and Ordinary Day, are the best he's done so far in his career.
He says he's very pleased with them but when asked what he expects for
sales of the new album, he hesitates a moment. His answer is a reflection
over how the music critics have met with it. "I actually saw a review that
was pretty good - that almost makes me worried," he says half-jokingly,
But he does think it's nice to get a little credit, at least "it's much
better than having two full pages of tghe evening paper describe how
terrible the music was and how stupid the guy is."
Compared with ABBA
The first album the Sign sold 23 millions and was torn apart by teh
Swedish critics. The albums have been received in a completely different
way abroad. There, Ace of Base is compared with ABBA, which by the way
didn't receive any warm welcome on the home courts itself.
Nope, Jonas Berggren doesn't seem especially impressed by life in the
limelight. To the question if he's become buddies wtih any other
superstars, like Mick Jagger or Madonna, he answers that he has pertty
much the same friends he's always had. He likes it like that.
He is more less economically independent, but quitting work and living off
the interest isn't quite Jonas' melody. He says he likes to work, that he
works approximately one quarter of the time, and that suits him just fine.
It's time to wind up the conversation. Jonas is going to work out, to "trim
down the beer belly a bit." With tennis. "I'm starting to get pretty good
at it", he says.
Facts Jonas Berggren
Lives: in Göteborg
Drives: Chevrolet van, twelve years old
Interests: Geography. "It's easier to understand what's happening in the
world if you know where it's happening."