We didn't expect these rockers to be so into the Swedish pop group.
Sweden’s most iconic export Abba are set to drop their first album in 40 years, Voyage, in November, alongside an exciting six-month residency in London for a series of digital concerts. It’s safe to say there has been a frenzy of anticipation from fans.
ABBA, 1974 / Photo credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Since the Europop group reunited, all kinds of unexpected people have come out of the woodwork to express their admiration for what some might call a rather cheesy pop group. As it turns out, a lot of cool artists are massively into them.
Slipknot’s Corey Taylor might be known for his heavy metal mastery, but he’s very open about his love of ABBA.
“I remember hearing ABBA’s music. It seemed like it was always on, and it was clearly different from everything else,” he told the New York Times. “It had this full-spectrum lush production that felt and sounded big. It was only four people, but those songs sounded like there were a thousand people being recorded. The math didn’t add up to me.”
Corey Taylor of Slipknot performs live in Birmingham, 2020 / Photo credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment/PA Images
His favourite ABBA track is their 1978 single Take A Chance On Me, which he confesses he loves the “yearning feeling” of and puts him “instantly in a good mood”.
Meanwhile, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl could only be described as extremely emotional when he heard about the reunion.
“Oh my god, I’m such a big ABBA fan,” he told BBC News. “When I saw that they were coming back and they had a record, I shot that link to 100 people I knew, then listened to the new song and wept like a baby. I cried like a baby.”
He described the new songs as “beautiful, romantic, melancholy, bitter-sweet retrospective”, and confessed that he would definitely play live drums for the group if he was given the chance.
Dave Grohl - 2021 MTV Video Music Awards / Photo credit: OConnor-Arroyo/AFF-USA.com/PA Images
This isn’t that unexpected though when you consider his former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain was also thought to have been an ABBA fan. Former music promoter David McLean claimed in an interview with The Guardian that the late frontman would “put up a disco ball in the tour bus and would sing Dancing Queen because he loved ABBA”.
Another surprising band that ABBA have been an influence on are none other than Welsh alt-rock band Manic Street Preachers. Bassist Nicky Wire confessed that their latest album The Ultra Vivid Lament feels like a blend of ABBA’s Waterloo and Bring On the Dancing Horses by Echo and the Bunnymen.
“Because James learnt the piano and wrote literally all the music on piano I think the ABBA influence in particular just seemed to come out really naturally,” he told Scotland’s Herald.
When it came to the new ABBA record, he was just as enthusiastic: “I was really impressed that it sounded like ABBA. Sometimes the mistake you can make when you’ve been away is actually not sounding like you did before.”
“The way they sing is never over the top, it’s not scales going mad,” he added. “It’s always really controlled, and I really appreciate that.”
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With an award-winning musical based on their music, Mamma Mia!, and songs like The Winner Takes It All, Chiquitita, SOS, Ring Ring and all the aforementioned numbers, it’s no wonder that ABBA still have their loyal fanbase after all this time. And it seems they’re well on their way to opening up a new generation of followers too.
Voyage by ABBA is set to be released on November 5th 2021 through Polar and Universal Records.