On a placid inlet of the Baltic Sea, where swans glide by the European sports cars parked across the road, the Djursholm Country Club looms behind a red brick wall with a black iron gate. Built in 1907 with a fortune tied to the Nobel Prize, this villa was originally a private residence, and later a convent where Pope John Paul II stayed. About five years ago, a group of locals transformed it into a private oasis for the wealthy and well-connected in and around Djursholm — a district in the most affluent municipality in Sweden, where Spotify founder Daniel Ek and ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus are neighbors.
On this humid evening just before Sweden’s Midsommar, the clean-cut members and their guests socialize on the outdoor patio, their small children sitting politely at a separate table. But amid this sanctuary of Nordic gentility, in a corner of the patio closest to the designated smoking section, sits a trio of men instantly recognizable in Sweden and, once upon a time, to any dance music fan around the world: the game-changing threesome Swedish House Mafia.
Axwell (born Axel Hedfors), 43, is the fine-featured one with the dry sense of humor; wearing a striped shirt and shorts and sipping a beer, he blends in easily enough. His tattooed cohorts look more like off-duty rock stars: Sebastian Ingrosso, 38, has a booming laugh and wears stylish athleisure (black sweatpants, black T-shirt, gold neck chain), and Steve Angello, 38, the group’s sober member, drinks a ginger ale, occasionally pulling back his mane of graying hair to reveal the ink on his arms. Twice during a dinner of burrata, French fries, mushrooms, fish tacos and garlic shrimp, Angello and Ingrosso go off to smoke thin Vogue cigarettes. Axwell vapes at the table.