GHOST's official tour photographer has shared an "unmasked" picture of all of the band's Nameless Ghouls and their female keyboardists, The Ghoulettes.
Following the final arena date of GHOST's European "Imperatour" Wednesday night (May 18) at Papp László Sportaréna in Budapest, Hungary, Ryan Chang, the Singaporean photographer who has been traveling with the Tobias Forge-fronted outfit, uploaded a stage picture of the entire GHOST crew (unmasked) with support acts TWIN TEMPLE and UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS. He wrote in an accompanying caption: "Tour done. I love these people."
According to the Greek Ghost FansFacebook page, the Nameless Ghouls and The Ghoulettes in the image are as follows:
* Chris Catalyst (a.k.a. Aether)
* Per Eriksson (a.k.a. Fire)
* Cos Sylvan (a.k.a. Rain)
* Hayden Scott (a.k.a. Mountain)
* Jutty Taylor (a.k.a. Swiss/Multi)
* Laura Scarbourough (a.k.a. Cirrus/ Tall)
* Mad Gallica (a.k.a. Cumulus / Curvy)
* Sophie Amelkin (a.k.a. Sunshine)
Catalyst shared the same photo on Twitter and captioned it: "Amaaaazing tour with our wonderful GHOST family. I suppose that’s that particular cat out of the bag. So great to be doing this again. Playing this fantastic music with these brilliant people makes me run out of superlatives."
Since GHOST arrived on the scene in 2010 via its "Opus Eponymous" debut, the Internet took stabs at the identities of the musicians behind the masks, as mastermind Tobias Forge conducted virtually every interview in the early years as a "Nameless Ghoul," which are the names also adopted by his backing band. While some considered this to be one of the worst-kept secrets in metal and hard rock, Forge and GHOST stuck to the script until he was publicly outed in 2017 by several of his former bandmates in a lawsuit that accused the frontman of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours.
Earlier this month, Forge was asked during an appearance on "Drinks With Johnny", the Internet TV show hosted by AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ, how many "stage members" he has had in his band over the years. He responded: "How many stage members? I don't know exactly — 15 maybe. Something like that. But on the recordings, I've used the same drummer for most records — a guy named Ludvig Kennberg. But he's been drumming on the majority of the records — from the first one to the third one, fourth one, and one of the EPs and stuff in the middle — but never with us live. So that relationship is sort of one standalone thing that feels like… Whenever we get together and we're recording, it feels like a great… 'Here we are again.' That is sort of one thing, and then the live band has always been different."
Regarding how he goes about choosing the musicians for GHOST, Tobias said: "If we were to change anyone now, it would have most likely been on recommendation, because there's definitely a combination… Originally, I put a band together [which] was based more on proximity than ability or professionality. And that will end up being a problem if you're not very lucky and you sort of just end up being RUSH — three best friends ever just being the greatest band together as well. But that is not very common…
"Basically, what is very important for me nowadays, and I've been trying to do this for the most part… And to be clear, I obviously look to the band first, but to me, the crew is very much an extension of the band," he explained. "And just overall, I'm very, very picky when it comes to people and attitudes amongst the band and the crew so that we have a very sturdy, friendly, professional team for the most part. I mean, obviously, on a big tour like this where it's 40 people — our buses is about 40 people, even more so — and then we have two [other] bands with us, of course, amongst 50 [or] 60 people, I can't curate everyone. But I'm really, really trying to get people that aren't privy to bullying and screaming and being a fucking dick."
Back in 2017, Forge was sued by four former members of GHOST after being dismissed by the group's founder the previous December. The lawsuit was filed in the district court of Linköping, Sweden, where GHOST was originally based. It claimed that a partnership agreement existed between Forge and the four former members, all of whom performed anonymously in the band as Nameless Ghouls. He has maintained that "no legal partnership" ever existed between him and the other members, that they were paid a fixed salary to perform as his backing band, and that they were essentially session musicians.
Forge later told The Pulse Of Radio that the lawsuit only inspired him to work harder at making GHOST a success. "I had a situation that urgently told me to salvage the situation and reclaim what is mine and also justify that it was mine to begin with," he said. "It's just growing pains, and all this has just been — it's the result of things going well, not the opposite."
GHOST is continuing to tour in support of its fifth album, "Impera", which sold 70,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the third top 10 album — and fifth top 40-charting set — for the Swedish act.
"Impera" landed at position No. 1 in Germany and Sweden, No. 2 in the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, No. 3 in Australia, No. 5 in France and Ireland, and No. 20 in Italy.
"Impera" was released on March 11. The 12-song effort was produced by Klas Åhlund and mixed by Andy Wallace.
Forge worked on the follow-up to 2018's "Prequelle" with Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Top GHOST photo: Mikael Eriksson / M Industries
Our beloved Nameless Ghouls and Ghoulettes and Ghost photographer shared this amazing photo with members of Ghost and...
Posted by Greek Ghost Fans on Wednesday, May 18, 2022