Swedish House Mafia on criticism of EDM from rock bands: “It’s just a lot of ignorance”

Arcade Fire's Win Butler, Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins and more are among the rockers to take shots at the genre in the past

Swedish House Mafia have discussed the criticism EDM has faced from prominent rock bands, saying it shows “a lot of ignorance”.

The band were speaking to NME for last week’s Big Read cover feature about their collaboration with The Weeknd on new single ‘Moth To A Flame’ and their next album.

During the interview, the band were asked about the significant criticism levelled at the EDM genre from rock bands and musicians. In the past, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler gave a shout-out to “all the bands still playing actual instruments” at Coachella 2014, while Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins called EDM “depressing”.


Responding to the criticism, the band’s Sebastian Ingrosso said: “What rock musicians need to understand is that we spend just as much time practicing with synthesisers and beats as they do practising the guitar.

NME Cover 2021 Swedish House Mafia

“It’s hard to understand change, but we all need to ready ourselves because there’s a 12-year-old producer making a smash album on their iPhone using an app we’ve never heard of before. There’s always something new. We welcome it. If someone comes up making music that’s different, we’ll only be inspired by that.”

His bandmate Steve Angello said the backlash is “just a lot of ignorance,” adding: “People don’t know what we do or how many hours we put in in the studio, which is fine – but you don’t see us asking why the fuck some old rock band is headlining a festival. Things change.”

Elsewhere, the band opened up about the “dangerous” mental pressures of the dance music industry.


“There is a lot of pressure mentally when you’re coming up,” Angello told NME, referencing the tragic passing of Avicii in 2018. “It’s a mindfuck. When you rise to the top very fast, it can be really dangerous.”

He added: “You need great people around you. We’ve had shitty people around us throughout the years, making you do stuff you don’t want to do and pushing you to levels you feel are bad for you. But, at the same time, that helped make this successful. We’re sitting here because of that experience, but we always had each other.”