Ghost frontman Tobias Forge (aka Papa Emeritus) recently talked to Revolver for his first unmasked interview in the U.S. During the chat, he discussed the group’s upcoming album, which they mixed with Andy Wallace last month. The effort is “loosely themed around the concept of death and doom,” and it will feature tracks with titles such as “Rats,” “Life Eternal,” “Faith,” and “Dance Macabre.”
Forge said the following about the album’s theme:
“It is loosely themed around the concept of death and doom. It’s a themed album around medieval times, but it’s definitely clinging onto a lot of very current things. The Black Death [plague] is a great example of a turning point for a whole civilization. Complete villages were annihilated. Most people knew very little, so all of it was God or the Devil — and about their faith being questioned: Why are we being stricken down by this great scourge? It must be because of our not fearing God enough and all this superstitious bullshit.
There’s a lot that you would recognize today in online mannerisms. In many ways, we’ve gone back a few steps because now it’s closer to how it was back in the old days when people were standing at the square and all of a sudden, it’s like in Monty Python‘s Life of Brian: “Stone him! Ra! Ra! Ra!” Public trials are very unsupervised and extremely swift and speak to the most primordial parts of us.”
Forge also commented on unmasking himself, which he officially did on Swedish radio last year, following the lawsuit former members filed against him:
“The original idea of being anonymous — it was a great, naïve idea on paper in 2008, not knowing to what degree we’d be touring or to what extent this was going to be a professional operation. That regimen is very hard to live by. What I hadn’t foreseen was the fans and their willingness to embrace that and play along. [Laughs] I guess that’s the whole thing with showbiz and magic tricks: It’s like you have a silent agreement with your audience.
Now, I feel like this has already become more of an entity on its own. As long as I don’t go onstage completely normal and then jump into character onstage, I assume that most fans would be able to accept me as the creator. I can comment on the work the same way a director would on his movie.”
He was then asked if he would consider changing the band’s image, and he replied with the following:
“No, no, no. The exact opposite, actually. The plan is for it to be even more theatrical and even more dressed up.”
Head to Revolver to read more about specific songs, etc. You can also read more in a seperate Metal Hammer interview as well.
Ghost’s new album is expected to be released during spring/summer.