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Mixing garage rock sneer and Brit-pop sass — along with a truckload of other influences — Borlange, Sweden's Mando Diao formed when its members were all still in their teens. The band's germination dates back to 1995, when singer/songwriter/keyboardist Daniel Häglund and singer/songwriter/guitarist Björn Dixgärd were in a band called Butler. Even after that group broke up, the pair continued playing and writing together, eventually bringing bassist Fredrik Nilsson, guitarist Gustaf Noren, and drummer Anton Grahnstrom into their fold; Nilsson and Grahnstrom were replaced by Carl Johan Fogelklou and Samuel Giers. By 1999, they were known as Mando Diao, having taken their name from one of Dixgärd's dreams.
Mando Diao continued to hone their sound, blending pop, mod, soul, R&B, and Brit-pop elements into a style that was quirky yet timeless. In 2002 they released their first EP, Motown Blood, through the Majesty and Capitol imprints; the acclaim for the EP and the similarities in their sound to the Strokes and the Hives raised Mando Diao's profile considerably, and the band went on tours of Sweden with the Hellacopters and Kent. Later that year they released the singles Mr. Moon and The Band to stoke anticipation for their full-length debut album, Bring 'Em In, which was largely recorded in their basement practice space. The following year, Mute Records released Bring 'Em In in the United States.
The sophomore effort Hurricane Bar was released in the band's native Sweden in 2004; a stateside release followed in 2005, and Ode to Ochrasy was issued the next year. While touring in support of the album, Mando Diao found time to record their fourth studio effort, Never Seen the Light of Day. The album was released internationally in late 2007, coinciding with a solo tour by Björn Dixgärd. Two years later, the album Give Me Fire — which featured percussion-heavy production by the Salazar Brothers — arrived, debuting at the top of the charts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and entering the Swedish charts at number two. In 2010, a deluxe version of the album was released, along with an MTV Unplugged album. Give Me Fire was released in the U.S. in mid-2011.