Speaking to NME on the red carpet during the opening night of their ‘Voyage’ concert residency, ABBA told us what fans can expect after their digital tour. Watch our full video interview with the Swedish pop band above.
The event, which took place today (May 26) at ABBA Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, marked the first time in 36 years Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus were seen as a group together in public.
“It feels fantastic,” Lyngstad told NME’ Andrew Trendell when asked what it was like to be at the premiere. “Really looking forward to seeing the show again. I’ve seen it once on Monday evening, and it’s just that feeling, you want to see it again and again because there are so many details you can’t comprehend by just seeing it once.”
She added: “I also want to see the audience’s reaction again, because they were standing, clapping, singing along, dancing, having an absolute fabulous time.”
Ulvaeus told us it was “a bit surreal” to see the digital, disco era versions of themselves on stage at first, “but, you get used to it.” He added: “After all, we’ve seen ourselves in pictures and videos from the time almost every day for 40 years.”
Ulvaeus also shared the original idea that led to the digital concert, noting that after “holograms” didn’t work out, they decided to make digital copies of themselves because they found that idea “irresistible”.
“When we decided to do this project, we thought maybe we should have a couple of new songs in the show,” Lyngstad added, noting that new music was the main reason they got back together.
When asked if the concert was a parting gift from the band, Ulvaeus said, “I think this is it. It’s sad to say that but then again, you can always take it back, can’t you? So the answer is, it could be yes, it could be no.”
Fältskog told NME she was feeling tense but very excited to see the concert, saying “I’ve seen bits of it but you don’t believe it. It’s so incredibly done, with all the music and the sound and the lighting.” Andersson added that the five weeks in the studio they’d spent reunited working on the project, “were lovely.”
When asked if this was it for ABBA, Andersson joked: “This is what you’ll see, this is what you’ll get. Then we’ll go home and we’ll sleep.”
ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ is in support of the band’s album of the same name, which was released last November. Read the NME review here.