GHOST leader Tobias Forge has confirmed to Metal Hammer magazine that he has written "a few songs" so far for the follow-up to last year's "Impera" album. Regarding how he approaches the songwriting process, he said: "I like to compare what I'm doing to being a chef. A chef with a few different interests and specialities. So you might start a few different restaurants — an Italian one, a Greek one, an Asian Fusion one. But what they all have in common is the seasoning and the decor and the interior design... the secret sauce. With me, each record, each new cycle, is a new restaurant, but I don't have to sit with an empty paper and come up with something new every time because the secret sauce is the same. If it comes from my notebook, it will sound like GHOST."
Forge worked on "Impera" with producer Klas Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Forge discussed the "Impera" songwriting process in a 2022 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He said: "When you're writing, you just wanna make a really good record, drenched in as many hooks as you can possibly muster. The only problem with trying to create records for me, besides ability, is trying not to repeat myself. I always try to write songs that I have never written before. I always try to add songs to our repertoire that we don't have already and, lyrically, I also try to not use the rhymes that were done in the past. That's probably the hardest because you sort of run out of rhymes and words and phrases and, thus, you need to really sharpen up. Sometimes it comes out really good and sometimes I can look back on lyrics and I'm like 'yecch.'"
Asked how the collaboration with Salem and Vincent played into that, Forge said: "They are good friends of mine and we've written quite a lot together. If we set a date to work and spend a couple days in the studio, we always come out of there with something that sounds rockin'. Usually, I come in with a few ideas to work with and then we take it from there. Since they are very professional and they work together and also together with a lot of different artists, they will always give me a little bit of outside perspective. But they have another objective to what I'm doing. Where sometimes I would dismiss an idea of my own, just because I found it predictable, they can turn around and say, 'We should do that, that's how the song should be, because it sounds so much like GHOST.' 'Oh, okay.' If I were alone in the room, I may not have thought that."
GHOST's two September 2023 shows at the Forum in Inglewood, California were professionally filmed and recorded and will be used as part of a future film project.
At the Forum shows, GHOST performed the song "Twenties" live for the very first time live. They also played their cover of Roky Erikson's "If You Have Ghosts", which was originally reimagined by GHOST for their 2013 EP "If You Have Ghost". The band's version of the track at the Forum featured two cellists with a piano playing, and it was performed on a separate stage from the rest of the set.