Former GHOST keyboardist Mauro Rubino, who performed with the Swedish band from 2011 until 2016 under the stage name Air, has uploaded personal home-video footage from the group’s first ever visit to the U.S., which took place in May 2011. He wrote on his Facebook page: “We were invited to play Maryland Deathfest at the end of May 2011 so we also booked the Studio at Webster Hall [in New York City] the day after, 1st of June.” The two clips, which include personal notes from Rubino about the gigs, can be found below.
Rubino is one of four former members of GHOST who sued the band’s frontman and founder Tobias Forge last year, accusing him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group’s album releases and world tours.
The original lawsuit, which was filed in the district court of Linköping, where GHOST was originally based, claimed that Forge solely controlled the band’s business affairs without input from anyone else in the group. The four musicians furthermore stated that a partnership agreement existed between them and Forge which put Tobias in charge of carrying out the company’s management duties.
In a statement explaining the lawsuit, the musicians officially revealed their identities as Rubino, Simon Söderberg (Alpha; member of GHOST from 2010 until 2016), Henrik Palm (Eather; member of GHOST from 2015 until 2016) and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth; member of GHOST from 2014 until 2016).
Forge was asked in an interview with CBS Philadelphia if he considers GHOST a solo project or a band. He replied: “I actually refer to it as the earlier of the two options. Even though I’ve never wanted it that way, but at the end of the day, that is what it is. So I think it speaks clear for itself. I mean, I started it in 2006, and no one that was ever in the band in 2016 was even on the first record. Call it solo, if you want to, but I call it a project.”
Forge, who does all the band’s interviews as a Nameless Ghoul, dismissed the entire lineup at the end of 2016 and brought in a fresh group of players. He explained: “I have been in the band since I started the band. I started writing songs for it in 2006. Nowadays there’s a handful of very new members, yeah. But there has been about 10 to 15 people now going in and out of the band, so there’s been a lot of rotation.”
He added: “People have a tendency to want to feel that they’re very important for something, and if it’s not crucial that they’re there, there will also be a little bit of a friction there.”
Forge entered the studio in August to begin recording a new GHOST LP. The follow-up to 2015’s “Meliora” is expected out sometime this year.
First two gigs on American soil. Part 1
We were invited to play Maryland deathfest at the end of May 2011 so we also booked the Studio at Webster Hall the day after, 1st of June. We flew over and landed in the heat of NY, tired and hungry, so our agent took us to a Mexican place. I thought he was making fun of us when he recommended a seitan burrito, what do you mean, satan? The day after we woke up at the hotel and I could hear salsa and reggaeton playing down the street and realized we were in a Hispanic neighborhood and had the opportunity to use the little Spanish I know. We stayed there two nights I think, then the Brooklyn band Natur who was going to open for us invited us to their homes in Williamsburg. On the Baltimore gig day we met up with our TM/FOH guy Lewis, he looked like a biker and he drove like one, we'd never been on American roads and wondered what we gotten ourselves into. We found out later that the roads around that area are especially bad. We finally got there and while driving through the suburbs realized that it looked exactly like The Wire. My keyboards were hired for the occasion so I had to get them at the festival, carry them up to the hotel and start to program all the sounds from scratch, so while the others checked out the festival I sat in the hotel room programming keys. The gig started in the worse possible way. We had the backtracks on an iPhone operated by our drummer. Something happened, I don’t know what, but the first word “Lucifer” came in too early so Aksel killed the backtracks and we played the rest of "Con Clavi" without them. Embarrassing start I would say but the rest of the gig went well. Before leaving the day after I wanted to see the Frank Zappa statue since he is one of my big influences and Baltimore being his hometown. We found the place at last, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, but the statue was gone. I found out later that the first statue got stolen right away and that they later replaced it with plastic ones but people steal them as soon as they put one up. Maybe next time.
No pics but some scrappy footage instead.
Posted by Airghoul on Monday, September 11, 2017
First two gigs on American soil. Part 2
The Studio at Webster Hall.
The second gig in the US was the Studio situated under the Webster Hall. There were already some fans waiting outside the venue when we arrived. We never had that kind of fans before, they even helped us carry the gear down the stairs to the stage. I used to meet some of them during the years and even at the Brooklyn show 2016. The Studio is a 300 caps, I believe it got slightly overcrowded that night, rumors said there were around 450 people in the room. You access the stage thru a small stair at the front and a speaker was hanging down very low at the top, I’m 6”2 so I had to watch my head on the way up. We had to go thru the crowd to the stage, that could have been a problem but everyone let us through without even touching us. Maybe they were a bit scared of the "satanic Swedes". We started off and the audience went crazy, this was the first time we really met an American audience this close. I remember looking at the crowd thinking that we were here trying to scare them but some of this guys looked pretty frightening. The place was boiling, it was hot as hell and we were sweating profusely and had trouble breathing under the cloaks. Walking off stage I thanked the crowd and next thing BAM! I rammed the speaker with my head and almost blacked out both from the blow and the lack of oxygen and lost my balance. I started to fall off the stage sideways like in slow motion, I even had the time to think “Shit I’ve never fallen off a stage ever and now I’m faaallllii… suddenly this big warm hand picked me up and pushed me back onto the stage. You guys who did it, thank you very much, you saved me from some serious damage that night. That and the response we got during the gig made me realize, American crowds are among the best on the planet.
Posted by Airghoul on Friday, January 5, 2018