Ghost: Tobias Forge Says Nameless Ghouls Will Not Perform on Next Album

Creatively speaking, Ghost is very much the Tobias Forge show, the vocalist having always written most of the band’s music and conceptualized their mythos and story. A dispute over this very issue is at the heart of the ongoing lawsuit between Forge and some former band members.

On Ghost’s next album, which Forge has said will arrive in late 2020 at the earliest, he’s leaving open as little room as possible for future creative disagreements: not only is he writing the whole thing (which isn’t in itself a revelation), but his live band, the Nameless Ghouls, will not perform on the record either. If that seems cold, it’s not necessarily… Forge gave some pretty good reasons for that decision in a recent chat with the Talking Metal podcast:

“I have never in the history of Ghost ever had… There was never any demands or expectancies for the people touring to play on the records for several reasons.

“One is that I’ve always had a favorite drummer that I always wanted to play on the records who’s never been in the band. He’s never been in the touring band. He and I work very well together. He’s perfect for the studio requirements — he does that really well — and I have a favorite keyboard player, who is extremely good at translating the things that I want him to play.

“During the writing, I always play everything anyways, so if you start involving people — which I have done from time to time, just to be nice, basically, just because I wanted to give them an incentive — you end up in a situation where you have to tell them to exactly replicate what I just did, just symbolically. In my efforts to try to be nice to people, that has also turned out to be not so cool. I’ve learned a lot from that. Besides, if I’m not going to ask everyone to do their part, then what’s the point? I don’t want to segregate people. I don’t want to favor people. If I’m not asking everyone, then I don’t want to ask anyone.

“Basically, all of the people that are in my band are doing other things — they have solo careers; they have other bands — so I want to give them time off, or time away from Ghost to do their things, because I know, come 2021, when the new record comes out and there’s this 18 months of touring coming up, they will come back having gotten their rocks off. They will be ready to do my thing, whereas a lot of other bands where you have that demands, where you have people in the studio and half the band just sits around waiting for the record to be done, you end up having a lot of maybe not-so-good feelings when you start a tour, so the touring becomes way more heavy because you’re already tired of each other and you’re already at odds about this, that or the other. You just fuel a lot of potential negativity into touring.

“I am very determined to make records — I don’t need necessarily other people to make those records, except for the ones that I choose myself — and I am a very determined tour artist, and I want the tours to be very good as well. That’s the short answer. [Laughs]”

All of that seems very reasonable and makes a lot of sense! Hopefully none of the live band members harbor any resentment for not being asked to record, but, as Forge said, as long as none of them are being asked it should go over OK. Communication, as in most cases, is also key.

Ghost still have a North American tour to complete before Forge can even begin writing in earnest for the new record, though; get dates for those shows and buy tickets here!