GHOST's TOBIAS FORGE: 'A Lot Of Your Favorite Bands Are Really Suffering' Right Now

September 12, 2022

In a new interview with Z93's "The Morning After", Tobias Forge spoke about GHOST's touring plans for after the Swedish occult rockers' current run of U.S. dates with MASTODON and SPIRITBOX. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're gonna do a lot of touring in 2023. We were sort of a little bit out of sync. [GHOST's latest] record ['Impera'] came out in the spring, obviously, and that was great. We managed to do 50 shows in the spring, which was incredible considering where the state of the world was at that point with not only war and uncertainty, especially in Europe. We were leaving for the tour not knowing if some of these countries [were] gonna be open yet, and that the tour actually happened — there was one show that was canceled because of some sort of safety concern — that was incredible. But we had already decided to not do the summer festival route, just because 2022's lineup was 2020's lineups, so there was no place for us; they couldn't cater to a new band coming in, because all the slots were taken since two years back. So we decided, 'Okay, so we're gonna have the summer off. Fantastic. And then we're gonna do a U.S. tour.' And then we decided to sort of hunker down for some time."

The singer continued: "There's just simply too much going on right now — so many bands out — and it's just too crowded. And it's hurting everyone, actually. I don't wanna bring out the fiddles for rock and roll music, but trust me when I say that a lot of your favorite bands are really suffering because of… Coming out of COVID, everybody's trying to tour at the same time, and, obviously, people cannot see every band that comes through. So we just decided, 'Let's just stay out of [this shit].' It's just too much. We're happy for what we got. We are ecstatic about this tour that we're doing now, that people show up, and that's a lot. And also, not to sound too political or too aware of things, but we had a plan to tour in Europe also now in the winter, and Europe is just too weird right now. There's too much going on, and there's a huge energy crisis. So it was a nice relief to feel like, 'Let's come back in March' or something. [Laughs] 'Let's do something else, like, just stay out.' There's plenty of things that we can do, and there's plenty of others that need to do their thing. And we have so much going on in 2023 anyway. We're gonna do the whole fucking world in 2023."

GHOST's fifth album, "Impera" 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.

In March 2020, at final show of GHOST's "Prequelle" tour in Mexico City, Mexico, the band officially introduced Papa Emeritus IV, the new character who is fronting the act for its "Impera" album phase.

Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of the band's first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of "Prequelle".

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