GHOST leader Tobias Forge says that his legal battle with several of the band’s former members “needed to happen” in order for the group to move forward.
Back in April 2017, Forge was sued by four ex-members of the Swedish act who accused Forge of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band’s album releases and world tours.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the district court of Linköping, Sweden, 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.
Tobias responded that “no legal partnership” ever existed between him and the other members, that they were paid a fixed salary to perform as his backing band, and that they were essentially session musicians.
More than a year after the lawsuit was filed, Forge is taking a pragmatic view of the situation, which played out in public and forced him out of the shadows.
“All things considered, a year down the line, having been through so much turmoil, I’ve come to realize that what happened needed to happen,” he told NME in a new interview. “Also, I’m a big fan of rock, of rock history, and I’ve read every classic rock biography of every band I’m a fan of. You know what? The same shit takes place in every single one.
“A friend of mine, a very successful songwriter, said to me, ‘You’re not really in the game until you’ve been sued, so welcome in!’ and I think he’s got a point,” he continued. “I’ve been in lots of situations in my life where I’ve managed to turn pain into growing pains. Really, what happened was a receipt that things are going well.”
He added, after taking a deep breath: “It’s fine. It’ll be over…”
Since the GHOST musicians wear masks and are only identified as Nameless Ghouls, most of the personnel changes in the group over its eight-year existence have gone unannounced.
Forge writes almost all of the group’s music and, prior to 2017, did most of the act’s interviews disguised as a Nameless Ghoul.
In a statement explaining their original lawsuit, the musicians officially revealed their identities as Simon Söderberg (Alpha; member of GHOST from 2010 until 2016), Mauro Rubino (Air; member of GHOST from 2011 until 2016), Henrik Palm (Eather; member of GHOST from 2015 until 2016) and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth; member of GHOST from 2014 until 2016).
GHOST‘s new album, “Prequelle”, will be released on June 1 via Loma Vista Recordings. The record 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).