Halloween is upon us, meaning it’s the perfect time to catch up with one of the spookiest bands in Rock… Ghost!
Ghost frontman Tobias Forge joined Audacy’s Taryn Daly for an Audacy Check In as the two discussed their brand new single “Hunter’s Moon,” their contribution to the Metallica Blacklist project, and more.
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“I’m very happy with being back, it feels very nice after this long dormancy,” Forge said at the beginning of their conversation.
Ghost has been relatively quiet during the COVID-19 pandemic, but activity is bubbling and Forge has been hard at work the whole time. One of the tangible results of his work was Ghost’s cover of “Enter Sandman” for the Metallica Blacklist project.
Whenever Forge decides to cover another artist’s song, he aims to create something new while honoring the original piece. Metallica’s cover was especially difficult, but with a pretty good reason.
“The problem with Metallica songs is that they’re so fleshed out, so cemented, and there’s really no room for interpretation in my head,” Forge says.
“I feel that the concept of making covers, and I’m not trying in anyway to say that all the songs we’ve covered have been subpar songs that we wanted to fix, but sometimes when you decide to cover something - at least in my world, at least in my head and in my heart, I feel I need to do something to them that either puts it forward in terms of sound… Or that there’s some sort of skewing with it.”
Ghost has certainly seen the size of the venues they perform at grow exponentially over the years, but it’s not something Forge was unprepared for.
He described the cycle in which a band gets experience on all different types of stages while touring. Initially, you start out with your own tour, then you support another act, then you do your own tour again, then you may go play a couple of festivals, then you have your own tour, you support another tour, and so on, and so on.
If your band ever gets to the point where you can headline a large stage, Forge said you’ve already been exposed to that environment and know what to expect. “Usually by the time, if you ever get to play an arena or sport hall yourself, for the most part I think most Rock bands at least have done that before [by] supporting someone else. That’s sort of the code of the road.”
“Sometimes the novelty of doing something might not be as overwhelming as the first time you played a stadium show at all. We don’t play stadiums ourselves. We don’t play football stadiums, but we’ve done it many times supporting Metallica, Iron Maiden, Foo Fighters, other bands in stadiums as well. Same thing with arena shows. We’ve done arena shows with all those bands I’ve said before. Once you sort of accidentally do an arena show yourself, it feels like ‘oh yeah I know this. I know what to do.’”
Ghost is fresh off the release of their new song “Hunter’s Moon,” which appears on the soundtrack to the latest installment of the Halloween series, Halloween Kills. It marks their first new song in two years as Forge finally got the opportunity to fuse his love of horror films with music.
“As I got older, as with music, I started going backwards and started exploring the more kitsch cinema of the 70s.... [I] was enormously in awe of the whole genre,” he said.
The video for “Hunter’s Moon” is a visual spectacle, but is different than what the Ghost frontman had in mind. “The idea for that video was originally different. I had a script written that was more of a story,” he said.
“Because of budgets and because of traveling restrictions, we had to rework the idea. It had to become what it had to become basically, as we say in Swedish.”
While Forge did go on to describe his grand vision on what the video would have become had he directed it, he understood it may have been too complicated to become a reality. “It always ends up on a list of unfulfilled ideas, and that is getting pretty pretty long,” he said with a laugh.
Ghost is currently preparing for a lengthy co-headlining tour with Volbeat that’ll see the duo perform in arenas across the country.
The tour is set to kick off on January 25 in Reno, NV and will wrap up on March 3 in Anaheim, CA.