GHOST's TOBIAS FORGE On His Songwriting Process: 'Almost Every Time When You Write A New Song, It Feels Like Virgin Territory Again'

May 29, 2023

During a recent question-and-answer session with France's, GHOST leader Tobias Forge was asked about his songwriting formula. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When you've written one hit, it doesn't get easier. Once you're done with one, you have to write another that is supposed to be different. Then it's even harder. And you have the sharks underneath you. You want to entertain people; you want people to be happy. Almost every time when you write a new song, it feels like virgin territory again. You're, like, 'Ugh, how do I do this?' Like, 'Ugh.' You feel better all of a sudden because you think it's good. And then you go back and start doubting. And sooner or later, you just have to, sort of, [say to yourself], 'Now it's done. It's an album. Hopefully people will like it.'"

He added: "We've been able to deliver every time something that people feel is a new thing, that I feel is a new thing, that is not a repetition of what I just did."

GHOST performed its cover version of GENESIS's "Jesus He Knows Me" live for the first time on May 21 at the opening concert of the band's 2023 tour at Zénith in Rouen, France. The band's 20-song setlist also included "Respite On The Spitalfields", the closing track of GHOST's latest album, 2022's "Impera", which was aired for the first time since the LP's release.

On May 19, GHOST released "Phantomime", a five-song EP which sees the Swedish occult rockers offering takes on IRON MAIDEN's "Phantom Of The Opera", GENESIS's "Jesus He Knows Me", TELEVISION's "See No Evil", THE STRANGLERS' "Hanging Around" and Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)".

GHOST is no stranger to covers, having previously tackled material originally written and recorded by THE BEATLES ("Here Comes The Sun"), ABBA ("I'm A Marionette"), DEPECHE MODE ("Waiting For The Night"), Roky Erickson ("If You Have Ghosts"), METALLICA ("Enter Sandman"), PET SHOP BOYS ("It's A Sin") and EURYTHMICS ("Missionary Man"), among others.

This past February, GHOST revealed details of its upcoming "Re-Imperatour" summer 2023 U.S. tour with special guest AMON AMARTH. Produced by Live Nation and FPC Live, the 27-date trek kicks off on Wednesday, August 2 in Concord, California at Concord Pavilion, with stops in Salt Lake City, Chicago, Cincinnati, Austin and more before wrapping up with the band's Monday, September 11 return to the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.

GHOST is continuing to tour in support of "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. The 12-song effort was produced by Klas Åhlund and mixed by Andy Wallace.

"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.

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 January, GHOST released a new version of its song "Spillways" featuring a guest appearance by DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott.

"Spillways" is taken from "Impera", which was released in March 2022.

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