Mando Diao Biography
The roots of Mando Diao date back to 1995 when Björn Dixgård and the former Mando Diao member Daniel Haglund played in a band called Butler. With band members changing over the following four years, the current line-up decided to take the project more seriously. Björn Dixgård and Gustaf Norén locked themselves up in a summer house and spent 14 months writing songs. They claim the Beatles as their original source of inspiration. Allegedly, Gustaf joined the band after he and Björn had talked all night about this band. The two renamed their band Mando Diao which, according to the band has no particular meaning, appearing to Björn Dixgård in a dream, when a man came up to him and shouted "Mando Diao!".
The now-renamed band made their first public performances in the clubs of their hometown Borlänge in 1999. A local writer described them in an article as the best unsigned band he had ever seen. This was soon followed by a record deal with EMI Sweden. In 2002, their first album Bring 'Em In was released in Sweden. It contains early demo versions of their songs, partly recorded in the basement of keyboardist Daniel Haglund, who left the band later in 2003. In 2003, the album was released internationally by MUTE label, along with their debut single "Sheepdog". As of 2004, the band is hailed enthusiastically by the music press as one of the most sanguine newcomer bands of the year. The album Hurricane Bar was released in 2004. Their third album, Ode to Ochrasy, was released in 2006. By the end of 2006, the band released a DVD called "Down in the Past". Ode to Ochrasy was released in the UK through the Nettwerk label on April 2, 2007, in a previously unreleased format including 4 bonus tracks. In October 2007, the band released their album, Never Seen The Light Of Day. Their latest album, Give Me Fire, was released on February 13, 2009. The album's first single, titled "Dance With Somebody", was released January 16, 2009. The new album debuted in Germany, Austria, Switzerland at #1 and Sweden #2 as well as #39 in Greece. As usual Björn and Gustaf wrote lyrics and music and the album is produced by Mando Diao and The Salazar Brothers (Salla and Masse).
Mando Diao has been touring all over the world, though their biggest following is in Germany, Japan, and their homeland Sweden. The band supported The Bravery on their tour in 2005, along with the Los Angeles band The Colour. On their 2006 European tour, they were supported by Razorlight and Johnossi, and for the British leg of the tour they were a joint support act for the Dirty Pretty Things along with Larrikin Love.
At the end of January 2007, Mando Diao were widely covered in the Swedish media because of an incident at their live concert on January 27, 2007. They were performing at the Amplified festival at Norrlands Opera House in Umeå when a part of the floor the audience was standing on collapsed, leaving at least 25 fans hurt. Five people were taken to the hospital with injuries such as broken arms and legs. According to the management of Norrlandsoperan, the hall had been checked, but they had never thought the floor, consisting of several moveable parts on concrete girders over a three meter deep hole, wouldn't hold the 170 people in the room, since the fire department had given them approval for 800 people. After this unfortunate event, Mando Diao stayed in Umeå in case they could do anything to help the injured fans. They also visited the hospitalized fans personally.
Mando Diao appeared April 29, 2007 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and on July 7, 2007 they performed at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg. Since the summer of 2007, Mando Diao has had support from a horn section consisting of renowned Swedish jazz musicians Nils Janson and Nils Berg.
Mando Diao singer Björn Dixgård toured Europe solo during the end of 2007.
On November 3, 2008, the band played one US date for the "Give Me Fire" tour with the Capshuns and We Barbarians at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
On September 2, 2010, they recorded an MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin, featuring guest appearances by Daniel Haglund, Klaus Voormann, Juliette Lewis and Lana Del Rey. The concert was released on CD and DVD in late 2010.