GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge has lamented the lack of humor in heavy metal, arguing that the marriage between the two makes perfect sense.
"As most things age they have a tendency to grow very conservative and puritan," Forge told U.K.'s The List in a new interview. "The same thing happened with extreme metal, so many followers of the genre … created dogmatic rules about how it should be and for some reason there's this idea that this kind of music shouldn't be fun — which goes against the whole idea. VENOM [widely acknowledged as the first black metal band] was a lot of fun. Even if you skip the subcultural aspects and look at it from a Biblical point of view, the Bible is dominated by a lack of humour, unintellectualism and slavery, suppressing what is human, so obviously the exact opposite should be intellectualism, laughter, fun, being free, living life, thinking, feeling."
In a 2017 interview with the Dallas Observer, Forge said that humor is an essential element of GHOST's live performances.
"It came organically because of how stiff the show was to begin with," he said. "As a kid, you get applauded for saying funny things. You notice people find it funny, you sort of continue doing that and then you refine it."
Last year, Forge told HardDrive Radio that he wanted GHOST's concerts to be "slightly more tongue-in-cheek" and "slightly more comedic" than the band's albums. "The actual recordings, I tend to not want to be as comedic — I don't want it to be funny that way," he said. "I want the records to be serious. I like to compare it to… It's the scripture, so that's the bible, and the live show is sort of the interpretation of it. So it's slightly more loose. It's more of an interpretation of the ritual. So when you are trying to conduct a ritual, you sort of fuck up a little and everybody starts giggling and everybody is a little bit nervous. And that's the point. That's why I want the records to be a little bit more rigid and a little bit more firm. That's sort of the serious side of it. And then the live show and our interpretation and our re-enactment of these songs are a little bit more fun."
GHOST's recent North American tour wrapped October 26 in Glens Falls, New York.
The band's live set included two new songs, "Kiss The Go-Goat" and "Mary On A Cross", which are both featured on a new limited-edition seven-inch single, released in September.