GHOST's TOBIAS FORGE: 'Just Because I'm A Control Freak Does Not Mean That I'm In Control'

March 11, 2022

In a new interview with SoundMojo's "Innersleeve" podcast, GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge elaborated on his recent comment that he is "a dictator and control freak" when it comes to the way he runs his band. "I try to be a control freak, or I am what you call a control freak," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "But just because I'm a control freak does not mean that I'm in control; it just means that I'm freakish about having control — that desire, because I like to do things my way. But I've also learned that almost nothing that I plan goes the way that I plan; it always ends up being a different version of what I had in mind. What I know now, just because I'm somewhat successful doing it, is that it usually turns out quite okay, and as long as I have it on my to-do list, I can perfect it later. But I did not know that before."

Forge continued: "When I had all the time in the world to come up with my schemes and plans, because I had nothing better to do — I was not successful at all — then it was easier to sort of have a hard, firm, hundred percent 'This is my plan and this is exactly how things are gonna pan out.' And then when it didn't, then you got to go back to the drawing table and it felt like a big defeat. Compare it to war — it may be tasteless in this time and age, but if you wanna compare it to it, it's like being a general in a war. You have to have an end goal. Yeah, we're taking that fortress over there. I don't really know exactly how — I have five different plans of getting there — I just know that we might take that village as well, we might lose that village, but at the end of the day, my hope is for us to control that fortress and I want to control that harbor. But you have to be pretty elastic when it comes to retreating, giving and taking, and losing some, winning some and all that."

GHOST has just released its fifth album, "Impera", via Loma Vista. Forge worked on the follow-up to 2018's "Prequelle" with producer Klas Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Back in 2017, Forge was sued by four former members of the band after being dismissed by the group's founder the previous December. They accused the singer of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours. 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. As a result of the lawsuit, Forge was forced to reveal his identity after years of performing in a mask as Papa Emeritus. He has maintained that "no legal partnership" ever existed between him and the other members.

GHOST has just completed its co-headlining tour with VOLBEAT. The 26-date trek, which included special guests TWIN TEMPLE, kicked off on January 25 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada and concluded on March 3 in Anaheim, California.

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 would front the act for its next LP 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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