Michael Lello of the New York Post reports:

His name is Cardinal Copia, but this guy’s no choirboy. The cross he wears is inverted, his face is obscured by spooky makeup and he sings hymns that praise Lucifer.

Copia — aka Swedish musician Tobias Forge — is the leader of Ghost, a heavy metal band whose blend of hard-rock hooks, theatrical concerts and cryptic backstory has been rewarded with a fervently devoted fan base, sold-out shows and even a Grammy…

…“In grade one and two, I was definitely into heavy metal and Satanic rock music, bands that had attributes that were quote-unquote ‘Satanic,’ even things like the Rolling Stones with Their Satanic Majesties Request and Sympathy for the Devil, but also like Motley Crue and KISS and Alice Cooper,” Forge tells The Post. “I sort of found King Diamond in second grade, but I didn’t become a devoted Satanist until a few years later, but that was very much part of my adolescence as well.”

Forge says religion “was invented for people back in the days when regular Joes didn’t question much and didn’t know much, and … invented as a tool to control people.”

“The problem with religious doctrine, as with politics, because of its ability to give people authority, it has a tendency to attract people that want authority for all the wrong reasons, and that is what it has done across all time,” he continues. “But, then again, in all fairness, I am not saying that there shouldn’t be faith. It’s completely different things. The belief in something bigger and supernatural is not the same thing as linear religion.”

“Bigger and supernatural” is an apt description of Ghost’s two-act A Pale Tour Named Death, staged in theaters besides stops at arenas in Los Angeles, near Montreal and in Brooklyn. Forge says the arena presentation – the sold-out LA Forum show was attended by members of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Alice in Chains and Avenged Sevenfold — “is a little bit more of a classic arena stage look, where there’s things that go on in the crowd and additional stairs and stuff.

Another big difference is we chose not to do any pyro on the majority of the tour just because it’s old theaters and permits and all that, it’s just a nightmare, [but] pyro is doable in arenas…”

…Forge, 37, had perpetuated Ghost’s mystique by keeping his identity under wraps, but it became an open secret in the metal community — later confirmed when he was sued by former Ghouls. (A Swedish court threw out the case in October; the former Ghouls appealed the decision…)

…The unorthodox approach has not limited the occult band to a cult following. In 2016, Ghost won a Grammy for the song Cirice, leading to a weird-even-for-Hollywood moment when Papa Emeritus III and the Ghouls, in full regalia, took to the podium to accept. Last week, Ghost was nominated for two more Grammys: Best Rock Album for Prequelle and Best Rock Song for Rats.

Four albums and more than a decade in, Forge says he doesn’t know how far he’ll take the Ghost story.

“Right now I can imagine what would amount to about five years of longevity in terms of what I know now, what the next album is going to be roughly about,” he says. “I know thematically where we’re going with that, I know visually where we’re going. Way too many bands just stick with it, they just settle, and they hate it, and they hate each other, and I don’t want to do that. Life is too precious, and if you want to do something else, do something else.”

Read the entire article at the New York Post.


8 Responses

    1. Have I mentioned at all that I’m a huge fan of Ghost?

      If you have not heard or seen this band live, I implore you, all of you to check them out. If you’re not satisfied then your bias is showing. ‘He is’ only for the open minded.

    2. I agree, Ghost is a great band. Great music and a great live show. Doug, I too, don’t agree with everything Tobias said in this interview. Generally, he doesn’t say anything very polarizing, but I think he’s getting kinda deep in his comments.

      But I do agree with him that too many bands just stick with it and settle…..

  1. Doug R., I was trying to think of words for a reply, but I really don’t need to, cos you already said it. I concur with your assessment. I do find it interesting what Tobias says about people being attracted to authority positions for all the wrong reasons and how some bands really hate what they’re doing and each other, but continue to do so just for the profit it generates. This is probably true for a lot of these high price meet and greets as well.

    1. On a side note his statement about authority also applies to serial killers, quite a few aspired to be Police Officers or join the military.

  2. An artist should never charge his or her fans to meet them…that’s so crazy…lol…the fans made them who they are! Lol…what dipstick would pay someone to meet them? The artist must try to rationalize it by saying that the autograph is worth money…well, then just sell your signed stuff then.

    DR…what bias? Bias regarding what? Ghost isn’t terrible but they’re nothing special…lol….really, freaking Ghost? It’s like we’re at the point now that if a newish band doesn’t totally hump the pooch then we start saying how awesome they are! I’ll take Adam Ant and the Ants any day over Ghost. Speaking of which…(play song here).

  3. This schtick just isn’t scary anymore…he looks like…you know, I could’ve said it but it was just mean…(ok,…cloris leachman…I said it). Now, I feel bad. I met Valerie Harper once and she was the nicest person.

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