In a new interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine, GHOST leader Tobias Forge spoke about the musical and thematical direction of the band's upcoming fifth album. He said: "I look at many fifth albums as a guide as to the urgency for what that record will need to be, with [IRON MAIDEN's] 'Powerslave' being a great example. By the fifth album, you're at a point in your career where you have this momentum built up, and you have the expectancy of people depending on you, so you have to put something special in those many spotlights. You need to step up and make a record that's worth it and justifies all of these things."
Forge also brought up METALLICA as an example of a band that made the jump into the big leagues with its fifth LP, 1991's self-titled effort (commonly known as the "black album").
"You have to make a responsible record," Forge explained. "That doesn't mean to expect riffs. It's two different things — what the record sounds like and knowing to put yourself in the right spot at the right time. When I had nothing and lived in a small apartment that cost very little because the ceiling leaked, the dream was to be able to live off making music. When I had kids, that became even more important. Now it's about something else. I'm responsible for showing my wife and my kids that all these years of waiting for me have been worth it. And that goes beyond money, because at the end of the day, that's just seasoning. One day my kids will be grown up and I have to be able to show them that all this time playing rock shows had a real purpose."
Earlier in the year, Forge told Revolver that GHOST's latest album, 2018's "Prequelle", was "a little ballad heavy" and its follow-up will lean more in the direction of 2015's "Meliora" without repeating the same ideas.
Forge said that he plans on entering the studio in his hometown of Stockholm in January and spending five months fine-tuning the material before beginning the recording process in June.
Forge founded GHOST more than a decade ago and has written almost all of the group'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.
"Prequelle" debuted in June 2018 at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
GHOST's most recent North American tour wrapped on October 26 in Glens Falls, New York.