GHOST Frontman Breaks Character To Explain Lawsuit, Lineup Changes And Timeline For Next Album
It's been one hell of a year for Ghost. Rumors started circulating that the band had canned its entire lineup outside Papa Emeritus when he was the only one to show up to accept a Grammy, and the rumors were fueled even further once Magna Carta Cartel's Martin Persner outed himself as a former member of Ghost.
About two weeks later, a former Nameless Ghoul said the band had gone through about 10 members thus far, and then came the lawsuit against Emeritus for royalties and payment from former members. So what is going on? Why are there so many lineup changes? The man behind Papa Emeritus, Tobias Forge, spoke to Radio Metal, as translated by The PRP. Although this interview was translated from French, it seems as though Forge wasn't pretending to be A Nameless Ghoul, but rather speaking as the leader of the band. He revealed Ghost was never intended to be a band, and the lineup changes are basically to be expected.
“I can not tell you the whole story but without going into the details, the whole thing, and it’s a fact, is that Ghost was never formed as a band and its first line-up was formed after the first album was recorded, and it was only a live line-up.
And from this line-up, it has changed many times. If you have been following us since we started performing in concert in October 2010, you will have noticed that there have been many changes over the years. None of the line-up people who were active in November last year played on Opus Eponymous, for example, know [laughs].
We never formed the band together, it was always, I suppose, a band in the Bathory, Where there were people who played live and the people who played live were not necessarily the same who played on the albums.
On Opus and Meliora, there is a drummer who has never played live with us, for example. For my part, there has never really been … What some fans seem to think is not true. So, for me, the fact is that a time will come when people will discover that what they say or think is not correct, it is not based on the truth, but it suits me, No problem, no worries!”
He adds that he wishes he would've included anonymity clauses in former members's contracts, but he didn't because he thought it would be understood… which you should never, ever, ever do. If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's this – GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.
“I think one of the mistakes was not putting pressure on them and not imposing a contract on them [laughs]. Let’s just say that obviously there was no such clause, because I thought that it was [tacitly] part of our agreement, but it was not, so … There was not a formal prohibition of revealing his identity.”
The one downside for the fans through all this is that it seems to have affected the timetable of the new album, which was planned to come out this year.
“You can expect forty-five minutes of music on vinyl [laughs]. No, actually, I’m going to record all through the fall and the new album will be released within a year from now. It will be a darker album, it’s a bit of an idea, because the album takes place at a time I suppose full of people, especially in Europe, have found completely apocalyptic, and this period has made a lot of.
But it also led the continent to prosper after the fact. It is an album that will be completely impregnated by death, but it will also be an album on survival. Combining these two things is my driving force in the design of this album. Because it will be dark but there will be … You know, in order to really, really see the darkness, we need light, So as to have a reference and know to recognize the darkness. It is my vocation today, make this album.”
Not having new Ghost this year is a bit of a bummer, but if it means that Ghost will have a great album in 2018, then it will be worth the wait.
While we wait, here are our Ghost interviews throughout the years: