Ghost’s Tobias Forge – ‘I Want to Be What Metallica Was in the ’80s’
Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge has never been shy about his love for Metallica. (Even the group’s cover of “Enter Sandman” – from 2021’s The Metallica Blacklist tribute album – is affectionately imaginative.) During a recent chat with AL.com, Forge admitted that he admires the iconic thrash quartet not only creatively but also commercially, especially during their initial decade.
Near the end of their conversation, interviewer Matt Wake and Forge began discussing Ghost’s atypically astronomical success. Specifically, Wake stated: “There aren’t many rock bands from your era as big as Ghost. Why was Ghost able to breakthrough at a time when pop, R&B and rap acts dominate commercially?”
Candidly, Forge admited that there are “various reasons,” such as the notions that they’re “not writing the same record every time” and that they're “consistently [trying] to bring a show to the people.”
He added: “It defies logic for a lot of bands, I think, to try to expand beyond their means.”
He then offered two specific examples of artists and albums that he esteemed from decades ago: “Because I was so determined that, yeah, I want to be what Metallica was in the '80s, on the ‘…And Justice For All’ tour. That sort of band or like ‘Powerslave’ with Iron Maiden. That sort of f---ing theater and playing arenas.”
While he’s “always been very, very influenced by Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones,” Forge continued, he can’t help but “have a huge alignment and childhood love with big-ass arena rock.”
Finally, Forge offered “a lot of kudos and credit” to Metallica – as well as Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Guns N’ Roses Duff McKagan – for bringing Ghost along on previous tours.
“They lifted up the band . . . onto their stages and put us in front of a lot of people. Without that, this wouldn’t have happened,” Forge concluded.
To his point, Ghost have been doing exceedingly well lately. In fact, their latest LP – 2022’s Impera – earned them their first No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. Plus, they’re in the midst of their North American IMPERATOUR (alongside Mastodon and Spiritbox), which is said to consist of many career-spanning gems.