Incredibly, some 15 years after Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso were dubbed “Swedish House Mafia” by fans during a performance at the Winter Music Conference, the trio is finally releasing its first album.

“Paradise Again,” which drops today on Republic Records, is getting an extra boost its first week out, when the DJs-turned-artists take the stage at the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. for the Sunday headlining set, joined by the Weeknd. (They head out on tour later this summer.)

Over the course of its 17 tracks, “Paradise Again” tells the story of the trio’s rise from the underground to the top, with guest vocalists like Sting, the Weeknd and A$AP Rocky helping to put the tale to music.

The album and the festival appearances cap several months of activity for the group, which have seen the guys team up with new management — SalXCo, home to the Weeknd and Doja Cat — sell their song catalog to PopHouse, and strike a deal with fellow Swedish institution IKEA, among other money moves. The trio talked with Variety ahead of their Coachella bow, which marks 10 years since the last time Swedish House Mafia played the festival.

When it was first announced, Swedish House Mafia’s Coachella billing was somewhat mysterious. Was there any talk in advance of you replacing Kanye West in case he pulled out, which is what ended up happening?

Steve Angello: We found out like everyone else Ye wasn’t doing Coachella. We were like, “Shit, that’s crazy.” Then, the next thing that we heard is that we were doing that slot with The Weeknd. Again: “That’s crazy,” but we’re up for it. We just do the work: keep our heads down and focus on the show. We were already working on the Weeknd coming out as our set’s surprise guest, so this is the natural conclusion.

Will your set be a special stand-alone event, or a precursor for your tour this summer?

Sebastian Ingrosso: Both. We want to treat this as a separate entity as well as a glimpse into what we’ll do and be on tour. It’s going to be a hybrid and then some.

You just sold your masters and publishing rights to Pophouse, a company co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. Can you talk about the joint venture you’re forming with them “to develop and amplify the Swedish House Mafia brand worldwide”?

Angello: It’s interesting to find someone with big ambitions as to what they can do with our back catalog. We’ve been recording artists for 25 years, and it’s hard to find someone who likes to work with history the way they do. We’ve seen with ABBA, for instance, what Pophouse has done with their stuff. We’re excited to have someone who really wants to take care of our legacy, be on our side, rather than just put the past on the shelf. We care about that.

Ingrosso: Our brand is three guys who have making music for almost three decades. We fought our way up to the top. We love being creative, pushing boundaries and touring the world. For us, it is about fan experience. It is about building family — it’s more than a business. It’s life.

You’re taking the “house” concept to another place by collaborating with IKEA this summer on design products. Can you tell us more about that?

Ingrosso: When we grew up, it was hard for us to build a studio in a conducive environmental space. What we’re trying to do now is recreate what would have been an optimal situation for us as kids. It would have been incredible for us to be able to go to IKEA and buy stuff that would help us create music in a cool environment. Having the music live in a modern home is important. We’re just making stuff available for people who need those environments and pushing boundaries so to do stuff the IKEA way. That’s actually the most interesting part — and essential for us.

After 15 years, you’re just now releasing your first album. Was that a goal of your reunion?

Axwell: I don’t think we had a plan when we reunited. We missed each other, missed making music and seeing the world together. As the journey went onward, the album took shape. We got in deep, exploring the sounds of the songs we had before and developed where we were going.

Ingrosso: The mission was to always make an artist album, but we could never find the time. When we got together again, we wanted to make sure that a full album of new material would be like nothing else we’d ever done before. We wanted to include everything we grew up with and inspired us from early on — disco, electronic music, what we listen to today, other Swedish artists. That was the mission. This was our first album!

Was there a vision for it? Are there older songs that were refashioned for 2022?

Ingrosso: Most important with “Paradise Again” was to try out different worlds. But there are songs here that have been with us from the first session to the last. How we address them is what morphs; we always chase the contrasts. The best example is “Heaven Takes You Home.” We had that song forever, but when we introduced [collaborator] Connie Constance — what she wrote for the track made it new. We had been holding that song close to our hearts forever. We were almost afraid of touching it again because it had such an incredible vibe at the start. From just a little seed we planted… we have to take care of it delicately. We also wanted to put “Heaven” in our live show, so it was a long, slow process, but it did travel with us from the start.

“Paradise Again” is bright and accessible, but there’s also something smoldering and dark and progressive at work. Was it important to keep underground purist fans happy?

Angello: I’m not even sure what “progressive” is anymore. I can say where this album comes from is a deep emotional place, the feeling that we had at our start, and now, who we are today.

Ingrosso: It’s us expressing ourselves. We didn’t think of genres, past or present. We didn’t feel as if we had to think or work outside of a box because we never saw a box. We just made music that flowed, came up with concepts, like how would British house music sound on a Sunday morning with A$AP Rocky on top – that’s interesting, try that!

You have everyone from A$AP Rocky to Sting and Seinabo Sey as guest vocalists on the album. When does the vocal become part of the songwriting?

Angello: If we’re in a room with a bunch of synthesizers, we might think, “I’m hearing so-and-so’s voice. Wouldn’t it be dope to get them here?” Then, you make contact to make it happen. We came from a culture where you create a song and then just fish around for a voice to do it. We have very specific voices in our heads. We custom-make music.

Ingrosso: We might also just have ideas for an artist and wait until we have the right song. It is about how we bring this thing to our world.

How did you get Sting to contribute to “Redlight” after you had initially tried sampling “Roxanne?”

Ingrosso: We played with the vocal sample until we had this crazy combination of melody and arrangement. We knew there was no way we’d be able to clear the sample, so we tried contacting him. When we did, he loved our track, which was amazing as it’s quite a massacre of the original song. (Laughter) We assumed he’d be quite protective. Instead, he offered to come to the studio to re-record it, so that it felt even more out. Wow!

Another voice on “Paradise Again” is the Weeknd on “Moth to a Flame,” and the three of you co-wrote and co-produced “Sacrifice” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” on his “Dawn FM” album. You also share management and are doing Coachella together. How has that relationship evolved?

Angello: It’s a match made in heaven. To be an electronic artist and have an idea become complete with a voice such as his…. that’s incredible. He brings so much emotion and energy to the table. It was like Seb mentioned, it’s about getting in a room and getting to know people. You become friends and make music together. That’s us and Abel.

Considering the album’s inspiration from Dante’s “Paradise Lost” — there is darkness, then salvation — how do you think these songs play into that theme of reclaiming the light?

Angello: This album is the story that we’ve been writing throughout our lifetime. Sonically, it is dark and gritty, happy and emotional, big and small. Everything we want to express… a musical paradise for us.

Ingrosso: We have songs about losing someone, going to heaven, journeys of what finding paradise would sound like. We have the darker side of that journey on “Frankenstein” and “Mafia” that resonate what it means to come from the underneath and head into the light. Paradise for us is simple. It’s in the nightclubs, the basements, the festivals, the big and small spaces that we play — with the crowd and us connecting.