In a brand new interview with River Cities' Reader, GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge was asked what he thinks of fame now that his identity has been revealed. He responded: "I have, as much as anyone who has any inclination to rock in a band, always wanted to be in a well-known rock band. What comes with that is fame. Up until I was probably 30 years old, I wanted to be very famous. And I wanted to be known. After I started working with GHOST, I was definitely enjoying… I wouldn't say anonymity. I was never anonymous. But GHOST and the visual side of GHOST was definitely overshadowing anything that I was. Over the years of being in a well-known band without being a very well-known person myself, I actually started to prefer that over being a recognized person myself. Despite having wished for that before, there are definitely two sides of being recognized. When you dream about it, you only see the upsides. It's only about the perks of fame.
"I don't feel in any way or form that my so-called 'coming out' was negative. It was just a weird thing having to deal with a higher level of recognition so far into your career. That was a little bit weird because it usually comes gradually. For example, for seven years, I never took photos [with] people. If you ever saw a photo of me, it was always a friend of mine that took a photo and I thought it would never be posted online. Or it was someone taking a photo of me without me knowing it. So all of a sudden, when I was out of the closet, you couldn't really tell people any more that you wouldn't take a photo with them. All of a sudden, you can't say no to anyone. That is something I suddenly had to adapt to, because it was very easy earlier to say no, no, no, no. You know how it is. Now if I say no, someone could be very offended. Which is a little sad because I might be on my way into a car that is leaving in 10 seconds and we're in a hurry. And there are 10 people by the car and you're, like, 'I really don't want to do this to you but …' And I can't even finish that sentence before the door is closed. And people get offended. I don't want people to be offended and sad.
"Fame is something that sort of came overnight," Forge added. "But it's a good problem to have."
Forge, who founded GHOST a decade ago, was sued by the four ex-members in April 2017. They accused the singer of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours. As a result of the lawsuit, Forge was forced to reveal his identity after years of performing in a mask as Papa Emeritus.
Forge has written almost all of GHOST's music, while also performing for years in costume as first Papa Emeritus and now Cardinal Copia. His real name was a mystery for much of that time and still does not appear on GHOST LPs.
GHOST's latest album, "Prequelle", debuted in June 2018 at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band will embark on a North American tour this fall in support of the disc, starting on September 13 in Bakersfield, California and wrapping on October 26 in Glens Falls, New York.