GHOST leader Tobias Forge says that his legal battle with several of the group’s ex-members was “a culmination of years, years, of complaints and ungratefulness” on the part of his former bandmates.
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 spoke about the impact the legal battle has had on him, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “There was a string of events that led up to that, of course.
“As any individual in some tandem with other individuals, there are times when you need to break up and times when you have to get divorced, and do a spring cleaning. That itself is not different than any other band or any other social circle. Of course, it’s never a joyous experience, but it was something that needed to be done.
“We’d come to a point where we’d exhausted …I’d done everything in my power to try to accommodate a few of my friends to enjoy this ride that I had taken them on, but the project and myself had just come to a point where I couldn’t make them happy, whichever way I chose to go,” he continued. “It was only met with resentment and complaints and general obtuseness, and at the end of the day, you had to come to a point where, ‘Well, you guys don’t even need to be there. You’re free to go. I need to survive. I need to do my thing. This is my thing. None of you were here from the beginning and you have no responsibilities except to be on stage at 8 o’clock and you’re getting paid.'”
Forge concluded: “What you heard is just a culmination of years, years, of complaints and ungratefulness, let’s put it that way.”
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”, was 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).