GhostMikael Eriksson

Tobias Forge Speaks On Why Ghost’s Touring Band Members Don’t Play On The Band’s Records


Despite the band’s growing popularity and steady touring, being a ‘Nameless Ghoul‘ (or Nameless Ghoulette‘ for that matter) in Ghost isn’t for everyone. First you are saddled with a potentially uncomfortable level of anonymity that ensures you won’t be publicly credited for your playing. Then there’s also the lack of creative input, with frontman Tobias Forge (aka Cardinal Copia) essentially calling the shots, with everyone else more or less being a hired gun.

Given that potential for unrest and the legal drama with previous band members, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ghost‘s forthcoming new album is unlikely to feature anyone you may see onstage with Forge at a live show. Speaking recently with the Talking Metal‘ podcast, Forge elaborated on his plans to continue separating his live touring band from those who join him in the on studio on the band’s studio releases. He said of that:

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“I have never in the history of Ghost ever had… There was never any demands or expectancies for the people touring to play on the records for several reasons.

One is that I’ve always had a favorite drummer that I always wanted to play on the records who’s never been in the band. He’s never been in the touring band. He and I work very well together. He’s perfect for the studio requirements — he does that really well — and I have a favorite keyboard player, who is extremely good at translating the things that I want him to play.

During the writing, I always play everything anyways, so if you start involving people — which I have done from time to time, just to be nice, basically, just because I wanted to give them an incentive — you end up in a situation where you have to tell them to exactly replicate what I just did, just symbolically.

In my efforts to try to be nice to people, that has also turned out to be not so cool. I’ve learned a lot from that. Besides, if I’m not going to ask everyone to do their part, then what’s the point? I don’t want to segregate people. I don’t want to favor people. If I’m not asking everyone, then I don’t want to ask anyone.

Basically, all of the people that are in my band are doing other things — they have solo careers; they have other bands — so I want to give them time off, or time away from Ghost to do their things, because I know, come 2021, when the new record comes out and there’s this 18 months of touring coming up, they will come back having gotten their rocks off.

They will be ready to do my thing, whereas a lot of other bands where you have that demands, where you have people in the studio and half the band just sits around waiting for the record to be done, you end up having a lot of maybe not-so-good feelings when you start a tour, so the touring becomes way more heavy because you’re already tired of each other and you’re already at odds about this, that or the other. You just fuel a lot of potential negativity into touring.

I am very determined to make records — I don’t need necessarily other people to make those records, except for the ones that I choose myself — and I am a very determined tour artist, and I want the tours to be very good as well. That’s the short answer. [Laughs]”

Though no official number has been given, it’s speculated that well over a dozen members have cycled through the band’s ranks over the years. Forge himself outlined what he looked for in his ‘Nameless Ghouls‘ last November, you can read what he had to say about that here.

Ghost are planning to spend much of 2020 off of the road in order to focus on a new album for a 2021 release. At the moment they are wrapping up their current touring cycle with the below North American leg of shows that find Nothing More opening:

10/07 Green Bay, WI – Resch Center
10/08 Moline, IL – TaxSlayer Centre
10/10 Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
10/11 Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Superstore Arena
10/12 Manchester, TN – Exit 111 Festival
10/14 Grand Rapids, MI – DeltaPlex Arena
10/15 Toledo, OH – Huntington Center
10/17 Hamilton, ON – FirstOntario Centre
10/18 Ottawa, ON – Richcraft Tire Center
10/19 Portland, ME – Cross Insurance arena
10/21 Worcester, MA – DCU Center
10/22 Syracuse, NY – The Oncenter
10/24 Hershey, PA – GIANT Center
10/25 Trenton, NJ – Cure Insurance Arena
10/26 Glens Falls, NY – Cool Insuring Arena

[via MetalSucks]