Swedish dance music duo Axwell and Ingrosso have an unusual way of warming up before their sets - they like to hit each other.
Describing what happens backstage before they face their audience, 37-year-old Axwell, whose real name is Axel Christofer Hedfors, says: "We jump around and hit each other. Not super violent, just enough to make each other get up and get into the energy, try to get to the same level as the crowd, and not look like we just got out of bed. Which we probably did." The pair, popular with the electronic dance music (EDM) crowd for their pulsating electro and progressive house music, revealed this to Life in a telephone interview from a music studio in Stockholm.
They are one of the more anticipated acts at dance music festival ZoukOut and will perform their debut Singapore set on Dec 12, the second night of the two-day event at Siloso Beach.
Other acts include Grammy- winning Iranian-American duo Deep Dish and Dutch dance music star Tiesto. Early-bird tickets are sold out. Organisers are expecting an attendance of 50,000.
While Axwell and Ingrosso, whose full name is Sebastian Ingrosso, started performing officially as a duo last year, they were also part of now-defunct trio Swedish House Mafia, which also comprised fellow DJ and producer Steve Angello, 32. They performed in Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2013.
BOOK IT /ZOUKOUT 2015
WHERE: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
WHEN: Dec 11 and 12
ADMISSION: Advance tickets at $168 for Dec 11 and $178 for Dec 12, or $258 for both days, available till Dec 10. Go to www.zoukout.com or Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555). On event day, tickets cost $188 for Dec 11 and $198 for Dec 12, available from 6pm at the entrance
One of the more prominent EDM acts of recent times, thanks to mainstream hits such as Don't You Worry Child and Greyhound, the trio played their final set in March last year.
While their management banned interview questions about Swedish House Mafia and Angello, Axwell told Life in a 2013 interview that the split was mutual and amicable.
Axwell and Ingrosso have been making music together since 2004, well before Swedish House Mafia was officially formed in 2008.
The early years were not exactly smooth-sailing, says Axwell, and they were prone to getting upset with each other if they had creative disagreements. But all that has changed.
"We've become quite open about things. With time, we've deleted all things that you do at the beginning of the relationship. We save a lot of time by being honest straight away. There are no massive arguments."
They also have similar tastes when it comes to post-gig clubbing, which usually means checking out music that is as far removed from what they play as a duo as possible.
Says Axwell: "If it is after our show, we don't like to hear the thing we just played, so some deep house situation can be good, or something completely different like disco or reggae."
They have released four singles as a duo, including the most recent one, Sun Is Shining, in June, which peaked at the top of the Swedish charts.
Asked what their fans can expect to see and hear at their first gig as a duo here, Ingrosso, 32, says: "They can expect a full-blown show from Axwell and Ingrosso with new music and positive vibes. You might see us naked, we're not sure. I'm not sure if you will enjoy it, though."