Ghost’s Tobias Forge Outlines What Traits He Looks For In His ‘Nameless Ghoul’ Bandmates


At this point there have been well over a dozen members to have cycled through the lineup of Ghost as ‘Nameless Ghouls‘—some of them more contentiously than others. However, with the band being the work of mastermind Tobias Forge (aka Cardinal Copia/Papa Emeritus), most fans are likely none the wiser.

While playing in a hit band in complete anonymity with limited creative input certainly isn’t for everyone, it turns out it may be even more taxing to even get the job in the first place. In a recent chat with The Albuquerque Journal, Forge explained what he looks for in those who don the masks beside him onstage:

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“You need to have certain metal chops. If you are a guitar player in this band, it’s very old school, it’s very much old rock style. I am an old school guitar player. I’m not an ’80s-’90s sort of shredder who plays a million notes a minute. I am way more ’60s-’70s kind of style, and I write very ’60s-’70s.

If you come in like a typical modern drummer who is used to playing only with tricks and double kick and, like, big, big, big, fast roles but you can’t play a swinging shuffle, then you can’t play in Ghost whatsoever. You need to have spent your time from playing Top 40 pop rock in order to know how to play a song like ‘Ritual,’ a song like ‘Absolution’ or ‘Idolatrine.’ You need to know your classic drumming and your classic guitar.

You can’t have people in the band who’s like only metal, either, but if you don’t know metal, you can’t play Ghost anyway because there are elements in my guitar playing that are very, very, very based on me having played death metal, like ’80s death metal, so you would have to play a Slayer riff as well. You need to be sort of equally familiar with Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple as you are with the more extreme forms of metal, generally. So it’s not for everyone.”