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Malin Never Got Over the Attack! (Jenny, Jonas, Ulf)
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Bravo magazine, Germany 1998. Written by Andreas Fallscheer, translated by Swan.

The trailer outside the “Museo della Civilita Romana” in Rome, where Ace Of Base rest in the pauses of shooting their new video “Cruel Summer”, is like a maximum security area. Two bulky, short-haired bodyguards have taken positions outside the door. They look suspiciously at everyone who comes near the van. Standing with their legs spread wide, they stop me when I try to go inside to meet Ulf Ekberg (28), Jonas Berggren (31), and Jenny Berggren (26) and interview them. Only after they have carefully inspected my journalist card, they reluctantly allow me to enter. After the 27th of April 1994, when a German female fan attacked Jenny in the Berggrens' house in Göteborg, injuring both Jenny and her mother with a knife, Ace Of Base goes by the rule “safety first”. Jonas: “We only go to public events with bodyguards nowadays. It might not seem very friendly, but it's our only choice.” The band's fear of a new attack has already claimed a victim: Malin Berggren (27). The blonde sister of Jenny and Jonas has suffered from a deep depression for a while now and barely dares to meet people. During the BRAVO interview, she kept quiet, and came to photos only reluctantly, with a frozen expression. Jenny tells us: “Malin never got over the attack. She would only like to make music and keep herself out of the limelight.

BRAVO: Earlier today, Jonas and Malin had a big fight during the shooting of the video. How long can you continue with these tensions between you?

JONAS: If you had two sisters, you'd lose your temper sometimes too. I only told Malin that she needs to move a bit more. Maybe I was a bit too loud because of the stress of the videoshoot. But everything is fine between us. Ace Of Base will continue as four members!

JENNY: Malin is and will remain a full member of Ace Of Base!

BRAVO: Jenny, because of Malin's disease, you have suddenly become the lead figure of Ace Of Base. How are you dealing with this?

JENNY: Right now I'm doing well. I must amdit: when it became clear that I should take over the lead right away, I did have a problem with it. Malin was our front figure before. But when we worked on our album “Flowers” in the studio, I became more and more confident with each new song. Now I enjoy being in the front.

JONAS: Jenny was always the more active of my two sisters. As a little girl, she played Indians or football with us boys. Or she often walked for hours in the forest near our house on expeditions all by herself. Malin, on the other hand, has always been an introverted dreamer. Even in the most beautiful weather, she often didn't go out all day. She would rather lie on her bed and read girl novels. I believe the role as the leading lady was never something she felt comfortable with. She is happy that she can stay in the background now, while Jenny can hardly wait to go on stage.

BRAVO: To an outside observer, Malin seems completely anguished. How is it inside the group?

ULF: When it's just the four of us, you can't notice anything. In private she is very relaxed and talkative. With people she trusts, she feels good and confident. So I don't get the impression that she is sick.

BRAVO: The attack created a lasting shock in Malin. How is it with you, Jenny?

JENNY: I have gotten over it somewhat. But I don't want to talk more about it. Especially not in Germany...

BRAVO: After two and a half years, the new album “Flowers” has finally been released. Why such a long break?

ULF: For us it was no break, because we have been working on the new songs constantly. We needed a little break, though, after we made a huge success with our first album “Happy Nation” in 1993 and gave out the next album right away. The years flew by, none of us had time for a private life. We wanted to change that.

BRAVO: Why did you title your album “Flowers”?

JONAS: Because every song is like a little flower for us. The songs all sounds like Ace Of Base, but each of them has its own shade of color. The album is always blossoming for our ears in new colors.

BRAVO: “Flowers” went straight to number 3 in the German album charts, and it started out quite well in other European countries too. Do you believe you can do better than your past success?

ULF: Hopefully not, and I honestly mean that! When I think back on our career, everything went way too fast. “Happy Nation “ became the best-selling debut album ever with 21 million copies. We even got into the “Guinnes book of records”. We were number one in almost all countries, we didn't have a free minute. Only some weeks earlier I was a nobody, then I was suddenly traveling to all the countries in the world, living in the best hotels and getting every wish fulfilled. It's like getting your favourite food every day, after a while you can't stand it anymore. Maybe Malin's change also has to do with this. Everyone wanted a photo, interview, or autograph from her.

JENNY: She went on full speed for fours years, and then she lost her energy totally.

BRAVO: Where do you relax from the stress caused by your work?

JENNY: Home in Göteborg. I still live at my parents' house, they're always there for me...

JONAS: Malin and I also feel best in our home town Göteborg. We have bought houses with our partners there.

ULF: Sweden was always a bit too cold for me. That's why I moved to the Spanish town Marbella with my girlfriend two years ago – an old dream for me.

BRAVO: Ulf, your girlfriend is the Swedish top model Emma Sjöberg. Is it true that you're going to get married soon?

ULF: (laughs) That's a rumor that I hear all the time. But it's simply not true. We have been together for three years now, and we're doing great without marriage.

BRAVO: What do you do in your free time?

JENNY: As a devout Christian, I spend a lot of my free time working for my congregation. For example, I have spent several summers at a Christian camp for teenagers, where I take care of kids. Seeing the love and trust they give me is an indescribably beautiful feeling. For them I'm not the singer of Ace Of Base, but simply Jenny. Sadly, I can't do it this year, because we have so much promotion to do.

JONAS: My hobby is my job. When I want to relax, I go in my home studio and work on new songs. For me there's nothing but music. Even in my free time!

ULF: I'm a total sport freak. I believe there is no type of sport I haven't tried. I do everything from water skiing to mountain biking. I get a special kick out of bungee-jumping and parachute jumping.

BRAVO: You are going to go on a world tour for the first time at the end of this year. What are the fans expecting of your show?

ULF: The plan is that we will sing our songs completely live. That's why we are going to perform with 13 musicians. Jonas, Malin and I will play keyboards, Jenny will stand in front with the microphone. We're planning to have a very elaborate stage design. We want to surprise the fans with a real show spectacle. And we're going to perform songs from all three albums. We will start in Asia in the end of this year. We're coming to Europe in the beginning of next year.



 
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