Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

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Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby TheRealRaulMonkey on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:59 pm

Here's a story to creep you out this Hallowe'en.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/how-90s-pop ... o-america/

How A Pop Band Tricked 9 Million Americans Into Being Nazis

By: Adam Tod Brown | October 08, 2015

Whoa, things got pretty crazy last week, huh? If you don't recall, in my last column, I implied that Donald Trump is modeling his entire presidential campaign and policy on how the Nazis took power in Germany. Sorry if that seemed like conspiracy theory nonsense and caught some of you off-guard. Also, here's more of it. In fact, maybe buckle up for the next couple weeks or so.

Anyway, I really can't blame anyone for landing on the side of the argument that Trump's crazy immigration plan, or anything similarly Nazi-like, could never happen here. It really is inconceivable, even moreso than the fact that it ever happened at all. But what if I told you we already kind of bought into it once? Not at all in the "extermination of an entire race" kind of way, thankfully. But a case study of sorts does exist which shows that, under the right circumstances, the American public is capable of completely ignoring or missing obviously hateful messages, provided they're being delivered by someone who gives us something we want desperately enough. We talk about it on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by comic Lahna Turner, Cracked video superstar Katy Stoll, and musician Danger Van Gorder of the band Countless Thousands. Conveniently enough, I'll explain it right here right now as well. OK, here goes nothing.

Do you remember Ace of Base? They were the '90s band from Sweden who cranked out chart-topping hits like "The Sign" ...

Maybe you were a fan. I wasn't, personally, but I do get how hearing those songs again might evoke memories of a simpler time. A time when every food product was EXTREME! and winning a war in the Middle East was a thing we were still capable of as a country. So before you get too ensconced in your nostalgia, I feel like I should tell you something: Ace of Base was probably a bunch of Nazis.

Actually, that they have ties to the neo-Nazi movement isn't in dispute, or at all a secret. A few years ago, Vice music editor Ben Shapiro wrote an article that revealed that Ace of Base founder Ulf Ekberg was once in a Nazi punk band called Commit Suiside.

Vice covers way more ground in their write-up about Ekberg's past, and I definitely encourage you to give it a read at some point. However, the piece ends with an interesting question: "Did Ekberg use Ace of Base's success as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and erase his neo-Nazi past?"

I think I can answer that. Ekberg did not use Ace of Base to hide his Nazi past. Quite the contrary. Ace of Base was a Nazi band, too.

For starters, let's talk about that name. It's weird, right? Vaguely militaristic. "Bass" is the word you'd expect to be there, seeing as how it's music-related and all. I think I can explain not only why they went with "base," but also why it sounds so warlike. The name is most likely a reference to the Keroman Submarine Base, a massive U-boat launching and docking facility constructed by the Nazis in the French town of Loriant. It's considered one of the most important and ambitious projects of the entire war for their side. In 1941, the missions that embarked from this facility alone were responsible for taking out more than 500 Allied ships. It was so well-constructed that the Allies built a new bomb specifically to take out this one facility. The bomb was called the "Tall Boy," and it failed miserably. The Allies finally crippled the base, but only by literally flattening the entire city around it and blocking U-boats from accessing the station. We never took it, though. The Germans, despite eventually being completely surrounded by Allied forces, managed to hold onto the bunker through the end of the war.

If it reads like I was glowing with pride while writing all that, it's because I want you to understand that this is exactly the kind of thing a closet Nazi would name his band after if he was trying to be clever. Now guess what they sometimes called Keroman Submarine Base? Because it was the place where Germany's top U-boat captains carried out all of their missions, it was often called the "base of aces."

Whoa! OK. Surely the band has a reasonable origin story for the name? When asked, the band's answer is usually something about how the studio is a "base" and an ace is "like a master," so the name implies that they are masters of the studio. In other words, they can't even lie about it without using phrasing that brings Nazi ideals to mind. Why not "Base Masters" if that's what you were trying to imply? It doesn't sound any more or less stupid than "Ace of Base."

Now, be completely honest with yourself while answering this question. What is more likely: That a confirmed former(?) Nazi just randomly threw two words together when coming up with a band name and landed on the perfect inverse of the nickname of one of the most impressive structures ever produced by the Nazi war machine by coincidence? Or that he knew exactly what his band name implied the entire time?

Why would someone use such an obvious Nazi reference as a band name if they were trying to put distance between themselves and their Nazi past, though? Because it's not an obvious reference, that's why. Like I said earlier, if you're trying to fly under the radar while also paying homage to your Nazi leanings, "Ace of Base," or anything based on the "base of aces" nickname, is a great way to be sneaky about it. See, it's not a common nickname. I only know about it because there's a series on Netflix right now called Nazi Mega Weapons. The second episode of the first season is about the Keroman facility.


That's where I first heard it referred to as the "base of aces" and thought, "Ha, what if the name of that '90s band is actually a Nazi reference?" From there, I found plenty of sources that suggested Ace of Base might have Nazi ties, but very few that referred to Keroman as the "base of aces," although I did eventually see it in this passage from the 2003 book Hitler's U-boat Fortresses. My point is, as far as Nazi references go, it's kind of obscure. If some piece of shit Nazi started a pop band with the intent of spreading Nazi propaganda subliminally to the masses and thought he was so much smarter than everyone else that he could slip a Nazi reference right into his band's name without anyone noticing, "Ace of Base" is close to an ideal choice. After all, it's worked this long, right?

But wait, there's more!... [cont.]


(I recommend clicking the link offsite for inclusion of imagery and videos.)
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby TheBaxter on Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:11 am

i saw the sign... and it was a swastika.

seriously though, i can buy that one guy in the band was a neo-nazi, and maybe snuck in some secret nazi references that no one picked up on. but if they were trying to propagandize people, they did a really bad job of it. if you want to spread propaganda, you don't do it by making obscure references that fly over the heads of 99.99999% of people listening to your music. you do it by being really blatant and obvious about what you're saying. and if they're suggesting the idea that those ideas somehow insidiously worked their ways into people's minds and subliminally turned them into Nazi sympathizers, well then you're getting into "Judas Priest made my son commit suicide" territory and i just don't buy it. this isn't like a politician being vague and using coded language to get elected, so that then they can unleash their true insidious plans. this was a pop band. the most "power" they could have hoped to achieve as a pop band was, maybe, to play a super bowl halftime show or something. where then they could unfurl their nazi flag and give "heil hitler" salutes in front of a billion people watching, which wouldn't have done anything except permanently end their careers. instead, there careers were permanently ended for them anyway. so yeah, the article is kind of funny and interesting, but really, the overall alarmist tone of it is a bit over the top.
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby RaulMonkey on Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:49 pm

Yeah, I just find it creepy to think that this music we welcomed into our home was put together by skeevy people and had these hidden meanings. It's part of my memory of growing up, and it feels like something got past our defenses. Like learning that a beloved uncle was a murderer or something. Come to think of it, it reminds me of finding out that Chuck Berry was a peeping tom.

But yeah, I don't think I was propagandized and became a Nazi from listening to "All That She Wants" a hundred times.

Re: The Sign, in retrospect I think it was an Aryan rune.
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby Ribbons on Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:16 am

At least we still have ABBA, right?
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby so sorry on Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:48 am

Ribbons wrote:At least we still have ABBA, right?



Didn't you know that ABBA spelled backwards is Hitler?
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:12 pm

RaulMonkey wrote:Yeah, I just find it creepy to think that this music we welcomed into our home was put together by skeevy people and had these hidden meanings.


you must not have been a Motley Crue fan then.
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Re: Ace of Base: Nazis Extraordinare

Postby RaulMonkey on Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:03 pm

so sorry wrote:
Ribbons wrote:At least we still have ABBA, right?



Didn't you know that ABBA spelled backwards is Hitler?


I saw The Martian the same day I read this article and got goosebumps when ABBA played. A Swede is a Swede. I always thought Ace of Base was the ABBA of the 90's.

TheBaxter wrote:
RaulMonkey wrote:Yeah, I just find it creepy to think that this music we welcomed into our home was put together by skeevy people and had these hidden meanings.


you must not have been a Motley Crue fan then.


No, the only work of Tommy Lee's I'm familiar with is that Baywatch spin-off where he grunts a lot.
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