GHOST frontman Tobias Forge recently spoke with Angel Orozco of American Forces Network. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how “unmasking” has affected him:
Tobias: “It hasn’t changed that much. As long as I’m on tour, and for as long as I’ve been on tour, the everyday life routines hasn’t [sic] changed much, because after most shows, there’s always been people around the bus. For the most part, I’ve always tried to find time to go out and sign stuff. I’ve just sort of made the assumption that if there was 1000 people at the show and 50 people waiting outside, I’m assuming that 950 people just don’t care that much. Nowadays, if it’s 3000 people at the show and there’s 100 people outside, I’m assuming that the majority of people, they don’t really care. I hope it’s not because they thought the show sucked or anything, but I just think people in general don’t really care that much. I don’t feel as thought having my anonymity a little bit destroyed is going to change the perception and how people choose to consume GHOST. You might like it; you might go to the show; you might have the record; but it sort of ends there. It’s just a night out — it’s fun, you buy a shirt and you go home, and next week, you’re going to see something else. I know several well-known artists that are definitely regarded as clandestine and mysterious without having to hide their faces nor hide their names, but still, you don’t really know much about them. I think it’s all about how you choose to publicly profile yourself. In the pace that I am profiling myself, I don’t stand a chance to match whatever we’re doing with GHOST, because frankly, I’m not as interesting.”
On the fact that a band with largely Satanic lyrical themes has developed such a large following:
Tobias: “I think that people are coming [for] the entertainment value of it, not necessarily from the philosophical — to whatever extent there is a straight philosophical message that isn’t already in line with your classic sort of liberal message of rock ‘n’ roll, rather than the opposite of good — if that is people’s perception of what Satanic is. I think most people there that are drawn to rock ‘n’ roll music know better than that. There will always be, I guess, a room within media, a room within mainstream and certain forums that we will never be welcome in, but I don’t think it’s necessarily just the image — it’s just that we are not a country/pop act with a Christian image, so there will always be certain confines that are shut out for a band that sounds like us.”
On latest album, “Prequelle”:
Tobias: “Whether or not it was our heaviest record, I don’t know — [but] theme-wise, in terms of honesty and in terms of a personal gallery and insight, a lot more insight than people think, it’s definitely the heaviest record thematically. But I can make a heavier record in terms of if you want a heavy metal record.”
On the group’s latest single, “Dance Macabre”:
Tobias: “[It’s] very hope-infusing, I guess, even though it’s theoretically about the last night on Earth. If you want to be on a more positive outlook, it’s about grabbing opportunity and trying to seize the night, I guess, and try to make the best out of the little time we do have.”
On touring with METALLICA:
Tobias: “[I’m] very stoked. All of us grew up listening to METALLICA, and they’re definitely one of my absolute favorite bands, and very much one of the reasons why I’m doing this. Of course, it means a lot. They’ve gone from being very far-away idols to over the years becoming basically mentors. They’ve been so supportive. We’ve played with them before, but never a consecutive tour like that, so to be able to do a full-on European stadium tour, that’s a huge endeavor.”
“Prequelle” was released in June. The album recently received a Grammy nomination for “Best Rock Album,” while its first single, “Rats”, was nominated for “Best Rock Song”. The group previously won the 2016 “Best Metal Performance” Grammy for the song “Cirice”.
GHOST will support METALLICA on a 25-date European tour that kicks off on May 1 in Lisbon, Portugal. The initial North American leg of the group’s current “A Pale Tour Named Death” will wrap up on Saturday (December 15) with a performance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.