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GHOST's Papa Emeritus Officially Responds To Lawsuit, Claims Nobody Outside Himself Is "Crucial"

Posted by on June 8, 2017 at 10:39 am

Photo by Trevor Campbell.

Ah, the ongoing drama of the Ghost lawsuit. In the most recent development regarding the exact status of Ghost and just how crucial its members outside Papa Emeritus are, Emeritus said that you can think of the "band" as his solo project, mainly because he writes the music and handles the business aspect of things.

Now in a formal response to the lawsuit leveled against him from ex-bandmates claiming they've been screwed out of money, Emeritus reveals his not-so-secret identity, and explains that all Ghost activities are him and him only. This includes having trademarks registered in his name, performing instruments, writing the music, everything.

Tobias Forge has, more or less his whole life, acted as composer and author of lyrics as a singer, guitarist, drummer and bassist. As such, he has appeared in several famous rock bands such as Repugnant and Crashdiet, but also in Subvision, Magna Carta Cartel (where also one of the plaintiffs also played) and Superior. At the same time as Tobias Forge participated in various rock bands, he also created his music and wrote lyrics. Tobias Forge is the creator of the rock band GHOST. He alone founded and created GHOST, its image with anonymity and the special scene show as well as the first trademark associated with GHOST.

Tobias Forge is the main author of all GHOST musical works, with the exception of "Year Zero" and "Zenith" that was created on the initiative of Martin Persner. However, these two works have been revised, arranged and instrumented by Tobias Forge. The lyrics for "Year Zero" are written by Tobias Forge. Furthermore, Klas Åhlund has participated to some extent in the latest Meliora album (2015). All assignments of rights to works are registered at Svenska Tonsättares International Music Agency (STIM).

Tobias Forge has, in all cases, performed all vocal efforts on these recordings, with the exception of some choir singing performed by hired singers. With the exception of the Meliora (2015) album, the recording process has always started with Tobias Forge's first recording of demo versions. On these he has arranged all the works and also covered all the instruments, which includes the creation and arrangement of eg riff / licks, instrumental solo, drumming, choice of rhythm and tempo. With a few exceptions, Tobias Forge has thus solely taken responsibility for the entire arrangement of how the instruments are to be handled, regardless of whether it was ultimately someone else who has actually recorded the final version. In the event that another musician has performed the works at the recordings, they have been given directives that the instruments should be treated in exactly the same way that Tobias Forge has recorded them on the demo recordings. There has thus been no room for self-interpretation, except in some cases when Martin Persner performed small so-called "licks" on a couple of recordings. " Licks' means short repetitive tones that are often played by the guitarist in hard rock.

The lawsuit also furthers the assertation that Ghost is Forge's project and Forge's project alone.

Since the musicians (The Ghouls) are anonymous, Tobias Forge is free to change the musician at will. Since the musicians always should perform the works according to Tobias Forge's explicit instructions, they are not irreplaceable and are not considered crucial for the band.

I know calling Forge selfish and all that seems like the popular thing to do, but it really doesn't seem like that's the case. If this response is completely, 100% accurate (why wouldn't it be?), then everyone else who has ever been in Ghost has been a hired gun. Whether or not they've been paid their fair rates is a whole separate story, but the fact still stands that this is Forge's project.

Interestingly, the response also touches on the anonymity of the band, and the start of the whole thing back in 2006.

Already when Tobias Forge, in 2006-2008, created the first songs with the unique sound that was the starting point for GHOST, Tobias Forge knew that a theatrically commercially viable image was needed for GHOST to succeed through the noise of the many other rock bands in the music market, as well as establish and achieve the successes he hoped for. Tobias Forge created an image and a scenery with a pope-like character in the lead role. All musicians would be disguised and the rock band would be characterized by anonymity and mystery where no activity – either on or outside the stage – would be done without wearing disguise. Participating musicians carried masks. The main character is called 'Papa Emeritus' (the name ‘Papa Emeritus’ was invented by Peter Hällje who in 2010 approved that it would be used by Ghost) and the musicians" Ghouls' '.

Moreover, anonymity was maintained until the plaintiffs filed this case in court, where even the identity of Tobias Forge unfortunately was revealed. The result is that the plaintiffs now have destroyed the mystery surrounding the rock band GHOST. During this early period and at the same time as the development of GHOST projects, Tobias Forge drafted the design of the logo for the rock group as well as how the pale-like figure would look like, (see Appendix 1).

You can read the whole response here and here translated from Swedish.

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