GHOST leader Tobias Forge was recently interviewed by 97.1 The Eagle's Cindy Scull. You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Asked if GHOST's anonymity and costumed, pseudo-Satanic theatrics, especially during the band's earlier years, made it harder or easier for him to achieve commercial success, Tobias said: "There's obviously several aspects of our image and lyrical content, even though it's not taken as literal as some people might do. The idea with GHOST was never to make it, no matter what. First and foremost, it was an aesthetic idea. There were a few changes that were made on the premise of being more successful. Originally, I had the idea that we were not gonna do interviews. And how do we market your record? You sort of hit a bump there immediately."
According to Forge, GHOST's Satanic angle was never intended to be taken very seriously. "I grew up listening to heavy metal, a lot of heavy metal [having] a lot of Satanic connotations in there — from very subtle to completely outspoken," he said. "Especially my teenage years, I spent all my time tapetrading, playing in death metal [bands], and I'm very, very much from that scene. So, for me, creating a band that had a Satanic image, that was very home turf for me; I'd done that ever since I was 11 years old, because I grew up listening to stuff like that. My old school books were filled with inverted crosses and zombies and stuff, so, for me, it was very natural. Upon landing some sort of commercial success with GHOST later, I've sort of had to adjust my focus a little bit, because it didn't really dawn on me how strange and unorthodox, I guess, it is from a mainstream rock point of view. It was completely natural for me. I grew up with that. That's what I come from."
GHOST has just kicked off a 40-date North American headlining tour. The run will include two arena performances, November 16 at the Los Angeles Forum and December 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
METALLICA recently announced the Swedish band will be special guest on its 25-date European stadium tour next summer.
GHOST's latest album, "Prequelle", landed at position No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, shifting 66,000 equivalent album units during its first week of release. Of that sum, around 61,000 were in traditional album sales.
GHOST's first-week tally benefited from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band's spring U.S. theater tour, as well as the aforementioned arena dates this fall.
"Prequelle" was tracked last year at Artery studios in Stockholm with producer Tom Dalgety (OPETH, ROYAL BLOOD) and mixed in January at Westlake Studios in West Hollywood, California with Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, SLAYER).