When EDM supergroup Swedish House Mafia announced that they would be breaking up, fans around the world were shocked. Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello had become three of the biggest names in the industry and to hear that they would be going their separate ways was very upsetting news. Well, at least for some people.
For director Christian Larson, he saw it as a chance to continue what he started and finish the journey that he first embarked on with the band several years ago, when he followed them around for Take One: A Documentary Film About Swedish House Mafia. This time, Larson filmed the DJ trio during their last ever world tour, capturing everything from the sold out stadium shows to the tensions boiling beneath the surface between these three longtime friends.
Titled Leave The World Behind, the documentary premiered this year at SXSW and proved to be an absolute crowd pleaser. As a huge fan of Swedish House Mafia, I enjoyed it quite a bit and was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to sit down with Larson and producer/band manager Amy Thomson. Together, they discussed how the film first came about, what their reactions were when they heard about the breakup, what they hope fans take away from Leave The World Behind and much more.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
How did the film first come about and how did you both get involved?
Christian Larson: We shot a short documentary about the band a couple years ago titled Take One. That was more about the year leading up to their first release. A few years later I got a phone call saying that they were going to break up and I was asked if I wanted to come on board and film their last world tour.
When did you first meet the group?
CL: It was back in 2007. I got into EDM and flew down to Ibiza when I heard about them. Later that Summer I met them and thought they were really different than most other DJs. I thought their chemistry and relationship was really interesting, too. So I started to film them right away. A couple of years passed and we made a short doc [Take One]. For their last tour, when they called me again, it felt very natural for me. Documentary filmmaking has been part of the nature of the band since the beginning. So it was very much a natural continuation of what we started several years before.
When making the film, was there anything that was off limits?
CL: They were very brave and open, there were no restrictions. I had all access.
I ask because I felt that in some of the interviews, when discussing the break up and why it happened, the guys were holding back a bit, almost in an effort to protect their image. Was that the case?
Amy Thomson: That’s absolutely inaccurate. If you look at it in a different way, and think about the fact that they’re clearly deciding that enough is enough, and that their work together is all out of sync, then they have no desire to sit on camera and slag each other off. They’re grown men, they’ve known each other for ever. It’s got nothing to do with their image. There’s no ego here. They have no approval over the final cut of the film either. They’re simply just being tactful to each other. It has nothing to do with image.
CL: They didn’t censor themselves at all. It’s just how men are in general, too. We’re not that great at talking about feelings and all that [laughs].