Sean Stewart of Chattanooga, Tennessee FM radio station Rock 105 recently conducted an interview with GHOST founder and main songwriter Tobias Forge. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On “Rats”, the lead single from the band’s forthcoming “Prequelle” studio album:
Tobias: “I wanted a big opening track and, to be super-specific, even though I wasn’t trying to mimic that exact song, the feeling that I wanted with the song was… There was a broadcast from the Moscow [Music] Peace Fest in 1989, and when Ozzy Osbourne started his show, he played ‘I Don’t Know’. It just had a spectacular opening-track flow over it that I really wanted on this album. Obviously, there was going to be this sort of ‘Black Celebration’ intro, but, then when it erupted, it was important it had sort of an immediate gallop to it. It ended up being a good thing. I was very adamant about… The previous records that we have done, the full-lengths, have always began with sort of a weird track that has that sort of odd triplet-y signature that I like, but it’s not necessarily a good ‘Uh!’ Usually, our shows, the 500 first of them, began with that sort of track that puts the crowd into a little bit of ‘Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…’ then, about the third or fifth song, we loosened up. That is cool from one aspect, but I definitely wanted to change that up on the previous EP when we added ‘Square Hammer’, because we needed an opening track.”
On whether winning a Grammy Award in 2016 for “Cirice” (from their 2015 “Meliora” studio album) is his proudest moment:
Tobias: “I think that it was the most sudden, triumphant moment because as opposed to, if you’re a sportsman, there’s a lot of sudden moments where one minute you haven’t won, then the next, you have won, or you have lost. It’s like either/or. You can just win or lose or tie, but in most cases, you win or lose.”
On whether he expected to win a Grammy:
Tobias: “No. I was more in the mindset that we got nominated, that alone was a win and we probably need to work quite hard to possibly be nominated again. Then, if we get nominated again, we might win, but it’s a little uphill. Traditionally, it seems like if you go back and look at all the categories and winners — I mean, METALLICA didn’t win the first time [infamously losing out to JETHRO TULL in 1989]. I know several bands that have been nominated multiple times and never won, so I thought it was one of those ‘You have to stick around for a while, kid’ [type of things]. But then we got it. That was one of those few, sudden, where you feel, ‘I really want to win this. If I don’t, it’s going to be fine, but now since I won…’ [Laughs]”
On overseeing GHOST‘s merchandise and stage costumes:
Tobias: “Everything that is sort of ‘official’ GHOST stuff at some point or another, I’ve had something to do with it. Some artists are phenomenal at creating designs that just work from the get-go. My only input might be ‘Make the logo bigger.’ I always want the logo to be sort of chest-size and to keep that sort of old-school technicolor. I want all of our stuff to sort of look like RUSH shirts from 1979. I always strive to keep track of the old-school sort of way. I’ve always been like that in all of my bands, very much like the keeper of aesthetic. For the most part, I sort of get my will and it works. There’s a lot of stuff that we never put out either, just because it doesn’t work out or it doesn’t look good. At the end of the day, our merchandise and our visual presentation is definitely far exceeding anything. Without being a sourpuss, you don’t really sell records the way that you did back then.”
“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).
GHOST played the first official show of the “Rats! On The Road” U.S. tour on May 5 at Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California.