TOBIAS FORGE Says JAMES HETFIELD Covering GHOST's 'Cirice' Is 'The Ultimate Circle'

May 12, 2023

In a new interview with the 93X radio station, GHOST leader Tobias Forge was asked how he felt when he first saw the video of METALLICA vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield jamming the GHOST track "Cirice" during a 2018 rehearsal session at METALLICA's headquarters. The footage showed Hetfield playing the intro and riff from the song, which originally appeared on GHOST's 2015 album "Meliora". "Awesome. Of course," Tobias said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I guess that's the ultimate sort of circle. Hetfield, everything he's done, basically… He was a very early influence for me and keeps on being one. And going from a childhood hero to now a mentor and friend and colleague, if you will, and then having that sort of… receive back in the form of that flattery is amazing, of course. That humbles you."

In a 2019 interview with Impericon, Forge said that METALLICA is "one of the most important bands for me — has been for a long time. Definitely a band without whom I probably wouldn't do these things," he said. "I wanted to be a rock musician before I knew, or before I was enamored with METALLICA, but they definitely inspired me. When I was a kid and liked THE ROLLING STONES and PINK FLOYD and Jimi Hendrix and all that, they were clearly from another time doing something that sort of belonged to the past, whereas METALLICA, when I started listening to them, they were very much current and they were very now. They were the biggest band in the world at that time, and still are. But they inspired me in many, many ways. And nowadays, of course, I get the amazing opportunity to be inspired and be taught, firsthand, by a band that I've spent so many years learning from from a distance."

Back in 2017, Forge told BBC Radio 1's "Rock Show With Daniel P. Carter" that some of the first "really big shows" he ever saw were METALLICA concert. "That also set a standard," he said. "So now, being mentored by those bands and being close to them and close to their crew and watching that operation, it's, for me, very, very inspiring, and I'm happy that I have the luxury of seeing that. METALLICA was also one of my brother's favorite bands, so there's definitely moments where — because he passed away, basically, just before GHOST happened — so there's definitely moments there where it's… You have that feeling of, 'Look at this. I'm here watching this. Being asked to… I just played on this stage now. There's James Hetfield playing that song.'"

GHOST's cover version of the METALLICA classic "Enter Sandman" was included on 2021's "The Metallica Blacklist", a massive 53-song collection featuring covers of every track off METALLICA's self-titled breakthrough album.

Forge founded GHOST nearly a decade and a half ago and has written almost all of the group's music, while also performing for years in costume as first Papa Emeritus and later Cardinal Copia. His real name was a mystery for the first few years.

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