Tobias Forge does first U.S. interview for Ghost as himself


Ghost frontman Tobias Forge has given his American fans a peek into who he really is after doing his first interview as himself for the United States.

There are some musicians that just sing. They may dance but singing is pretty much all they do. There are some musicians that write songs or play an instrument. And there are some musicians that perform and I mean REALLY perform.

There’s a theater and pageantry to it that is more than just listening to the music. David Bowie (may that glorious man R.I.P.) had that and he was a legend for it. A Swedish band made their way into the metal scene in 2010 that carried with them that same drama and pageantry that made their performances, not only a concert, but a showcase.

Their name is Ghost and the Grammy award winning band has become famous not only for their music and performance but for the fact that their identities remained unknown for years, until recently.  Among rumors and a lawsuit, the band’s leader did his first U.S. interview, in turn making an official statement releasing identity as Tobias Forge.

via ArmYourFists

Ghost is described as doom metal, reminiscent of old Judas Priest or Black Sabbath and reflecting the psychedelic rock of the 60’s. With amazing vocals, guitar riffs that make you close your eyes and bask in the music and lyrics appropriate for an anti-pope, the music takes you to a place.

During an interview, one of the Nameless Ghouls said that they wanted their music to make their listeners happy, not like they had been dropped into an “acid bath.” They are always intricately and completely covered in masks and the mystery that surrounded them has been deep and intriguing.

The band plays as a Satanic church, where the leader of the band, Papa Emeritus, sings and his Nameless Ghouls (Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Ether) provide the music. With each new album, the current Papa is relieved of his duty, only then to be replaced by the newer, fresher and younger Papa. During their last tour, on September 30th, 2017, Papa III was dragged offstage and an ancient Papa 0 shambled on and announced the coming of Papa IV. It was an exciting time but also devastating to those who missed the tour in the U.S. and the possible final rounds for Papa III.

A new album is on the way and with it the mystery of the new Papa Emeritus. They have given little hints at the next Papa during their ads for their live album release “Ceremony and Devotion” in the form of just a glimpse of some red sleeves. It’s enough to get fans excited. However, no secret can stay hidden forever and due to a lawsuit in the middle of 2017, the identity of Papa was revealed to be Tobias Forge (even though by then it was no huge surprise due to whispers through the comment threads). Tobias’s voice is distinct and fans of his past works in Repugnant and Magna Carta Cartel started making the connections even before the lawsuit revealed the names of the members.

Four ex-members of the band sued Tobias Forge, thereby revealing their identities, for not receiving what they believe is their fair share of payment for work done in the band and during tours and saying that the claim that Ghost is a Forge solo project was false. While they do note that Forge does most of the songwriting and handing of the band’s business, they argue that there was partnership agreement between them and Forge, according to Blabbermouth. While a settlement failed to happen last year, they hope to make an agreement early in 2018.

Tobias Forge and producer Andy Wallace. Photo by Zane Dumont – courtesy of Revolver.

With some of the mystery gone, Forge took a step and did his very first U.S. unmasked interview with Revolver Magazine. He discusses the new album, his inspirations and what it has been like keeping his identity hidden. He’s had conflicting feelings toward having his identity secret.

"“NOW THAT YOU’RE SPEAKING OPENLY, ARE THERE ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GHOST THAT HAVE ALWAYS BOTHERED YOU A LITTLE BIT?”“Over the years there have been several oddities that have been hard to handle. What we did — and trying to do it anonymously — goes against the idea of being an exhibitionistic rocker wanting to entertain people and to be seen. It’s very much theatrical. Punk rock and rock & roll have always been about being real. And this has been about escapism and not being real. When those collide, it’s been in limbo.”"

Producer Tom Dalgety, Tobias Forge, and Any Wallace. Photo by Zane Dumont, courtesy of Revolver.

One of the most exciting things to come from this interview is the insight to the new album. As hinted by Papa 0 when he said, “The party is over, the Middle Ages are beginning,” it would seem the next album will be heavy with medieval themes, like the Black Death and mortality. Revealing the title of the opening and closing songs on the album to be “Rats” and “Life Eternal” respectively, it just makes fans even more excited for how the music, themes, characters and performances will change with the time of Papa Emeritus IV.

I don’t believe the official unmasking will affect Ghost. Like Forge discusses with Revolver, it didn’t affect KISS, who effectively did the same thing in their musical timeline, and I have to agree wholeheartedly. I sit, waiting patiently, for the new album, the new Papa and the new Nameless Ghouls. This unmasking doesn’t take away the talent of the band members and how amazing the music makes you feel. Forge concluded his interview with this regarding the concept of souls and eternity:

"“I want to believe. I know theoretically that you will die, relationships end, friendships end, band breaks up. That’s so boring. It’s so much more fun believing it can go on forever. Again, we’re back to the thing with an entertainer and an audience. At gunpoint everybody understands this is just smoke, mirrors, pipes and drapes and shit, but we have come to an understanding. We have an agreement that you’re believing what I’m telling you and therefore it becomes real the same way that I would think that Kiss Alive! is a real live record. And I firmly believe that, even though I know it’s not. Magical thinking.”"

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You can read the interview in its entirely on the Revolver website and you can catch the entire “Ceremony and Devotion” album on Spotify or iTunes, or pick up a physical copy at your favorite music retailer or on their website.

(Featured image courtesy of LambGoat)