As you are probably aware of by now, Ghost frontman Tobias Forge is in control of every aspect of the band. This includes studio albums, which are written and recorded without the help of touring members. Forge recently discussed his reasoning for that during an interview on the Talking Metal podcast.
Forge said the following:
“I have never in the history of Ghost ever had… There was never any demands or expectancies for the people touring to play on the records for several reasons.
One is that I’ve always had a favorite drummer that I always wanted to play on the records who’s never been in the band. He’s never been in the touring band. He and I work very well together. He’s perfect for the studio requirements — he does that really well — and I have a favorite keyboard player, who is extremely good at translating the things that I want him to play.
During the writing, I always play everything anyways, so if you start involving people — which I have done from time to time, just to be nice, basically, just because I wanted to give them an incentive — you end up in a situation where you have to tell them to exactly replicate what I just did, just symbolically.
In my efforts to try to be nice to people, that has also turned out to be not so cool. I’ve learned a lot from that. Besides, if I’m not going to ask everyone to do their part, then what’s the point? I don’t want to segregate people. I don’t want to favor people. If I’m not asking everyone, then I don’t want to ask anyone.
Basically, all of the people that are in my band are doing other things — they have solo careers; they have other bands — so I want to give them time off, or time away from Ghost to do their things, because I know, come 2021, when the new record comes out and there’s this 18 months of touring coming up, they will come back having gotten their rocks off.
They will be ready to do my thing, whereas a lot of other bands where you have that demands, where you have people in the studio and half the band just sits around waiting for the record to be done, you end up having a lot of maybe not-so-good feelings when you start a tour, so the touring becomes way more heavy because you’re already tired of each other and you’re already at odds about this, that or the other. You just fuel a lot of potential negativity into touring.
I am very determined to make records — I don’t need necessarily other people to make those records, except for the ones that I choose myself — and I am a very determined tour artist, and I want the tours to be very good as well. That’s the short answer. [Laughs]”