GHOST frontman Tobias Forge recently spoke with Cameron Buchholtz of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma radio station 100.5 The KATT. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group’s upcoming arena concerts in Los Angeles and New York City:
Tobias: “[It’s] very exciting. A lot of planning… It’s always ideal if the production that you’re taking out on tour is the one that you spent two weeks rehearsing with, and you just do the same show thirty nights in a row. If you come to the tenth show of that, that’s going to be fucking amazing, whereas now we’re doing three [sic] arena shows in the middle of it. You need to prepare the slightest minutiae, which is a little bit grueling, I must say. There’s so many things to think about, and there’s so many aspects that you really would like to rehearse before, but it’s a good problem having. The hard bit is not to play. Once it happens, it just goes, but just to give you an insight of what I’m talking about is that as soon as you play an arena, you have to have a film team there, because shit needs to be shown on the Jumbotron. Otherwise, our band will look so much smaller than the band you saw last week. You need a photographer, or a director of photography, who knows the shows exactly and exactly who to film at what point, and what he’s doing, and, ‘Oh yeah, he’s going to be on that wing over there that is not on the production right now, because he’s going to stand there and hopefully there won’t be a bomb right there going off at that point, because he’s not going to stand there.’ We’re adding a lot of staging. It’s going to be a completely different back[drop]. Everything’s going to be different and bigger, and tons of bombs and fire and curtains — all that fun stuff. But you really, really want to do it for a whole tour, and you want to rehearse it.”
On his previous experience playing large venues as an opening act:
Tobias: “Artistically, or just performance-wise, I love playing arenas. I think that is my favorite form, because it’s big enough to feel like a big, grand show. You have people on the sides and up and down there. Especially if you have a stage that’s constructed to reach out a little, it’s a very good format, I think, for at least what I like doing, and what I’ve always envisioned us to do. Then when it gets bigger than that, it’s harder to reach out. Obviously, opening up for other bands when we played football stadiums and all that, you have to make a lot of effort, but then you’re using the cameras more. When you’re playing outdoors, you’re sort of relying on the camera, so sometimes it’s actually better, rather than pointing at someone over there that the rest of the audience won’t notice, it’s better to point at the camera. You just have to learn those things, but obviously, with practice comes perfection, and the more you do it, the better you get.”
On how this American tour differs from the group’s “Rats On The Road” tour earlier this year:
Tobias: “Stage-wise, it’s very similar. ‘Rats On The Road’ was just a pre-album promotion tour, so that was not the tour. ‘A Pale Tour Named Death’ with that stage production, that is the theater version of the tour. Then ‘A Pale Tour Named Death’ will continue as an arena tour, hopefully, later on, where we’re going to do the arena stuff. If you sit around YouTube this fall and you see the arena shows, that is what hopefully is going to come to some place close to you next year. We’re sort of promoting the album on one hand, and then we’re promoting the show. We’re sort of cross-pollinating promotion-wise, but the arena show, you cannot do that in a theater… ‘Rats On The Road’ was just a promotion tour. It was just leading up to the album release. Now, we’re adding more songs from the new album that we haven’t played; we’re changing the set around a little; so the real tour really starts now. We did about ten shows in the summer, which is nothing, because we were doing a few festivals in the summer that we picked and chose, and those 19 shows in the spring, it just feels like it’s starting now. This is when we’re starting the real tour — it’s going from now until way into next year.”
On whether the band will release another EP or live album in the near future:
Tobias: “My intention is not to release just another EP of covers. There might be something else coming out next year, maybe, that might have been recorded already, that won’t be covers. If the production on the live front gets to the point where I want it to be, and if we happen to play two dates at a venue that caters to the full production and it’s somewhere geographically where there’s an audience who is very, very, very avid and very lively, I would love to record a film — a live, visual capture. The problem is that you don’t wing that – you need to do it in a venue where you’re playing two nights in a row; it needs to be sold out; it needs to be huge; and it needs to be a very, very vivid crowd that’s fun to film and fun to look at. Sometimes, it kind of rules out certain cities. People can be super-passionate, but they can be very, very still. Certain countries just have a way to sort of appreciate things very noddingly — they’re nodding and they’re applauding and they have a drink in their hands, whereas if you go to Buenos Aries, they will fuckin’ trash the place, which is so much more fun to look at from a video point of view. Depending on those things, it’s definitely on my to-do list. I definitely want to do our statement sort of video capturing of our live show, but that requires a lot of stars to align, so we’ll see if that happens on this cycle or the next cycle.”
The North American leg of GHOST‘s “A Pale Tour Named Death” kicked off October 25 in Grand Prairie, Texas. The nearly two-month trek includes performances at the Forum in Los Angeles and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the group’s first American arena concerts as a headliner.
GHOST‘s latest album, “Prequelle”, was released in June.