The band’s leader, Tobias Forge, worked on the follow-up to 2018’s Prequelle with producer Klas Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Tobias said: “In every band I’ve ever had, every song I’ve ever written, I was always called a dictator, a control freak who couldn’t work with anyone else. And I am a dictator and control freak. But I can work with people.”
Speaking about his collaboration with Åhlund, Al Fakir and Pontare, as well as OPETH guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, Forge said: “I found that I can work really well with someone I respect, who is always pushing for the best. They make me want to write better, to get my game up a little.”
During a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie, GHOST leader Tobias Forge was asked what the benefit is to being the primary songwriter in the band.
“The good thing about that is since I don’t play one role in a band where there’s, like, five other egos, it’s easier for me to [go], ‘No, no, no. We can skip the solo here. I can move this solo around. Wait a minute — I can take this little bass part. I can do this little guitar part on the piano instead or the organ,’”Tobias responded. “Try saying that to a guitar player. If it’s his piece, if it’s his little thing, his moment to shine, that’s gonna cause problems whereas when you’re doing it my way…
“At least from my perspective, I can tell people that I bring in for a certain bit or a certain piece that I know that he or she will do better than I, I can just tell ’em what to do, that it’s already been predetermined what to do. It’s not like I’m [saying], ‘Oh, here’s free rein, here’s five minutes and you can do whatever you want on it.’ And it gives me a little bit more of a director sort of perspective on things, even though I wrote the story. Even when it comes to vocals, I can listen to my own vocals and go, ‘Oh, that sounds [like crap]. I don’t like that.’ I try to be as objective as I can.
“When you’re five months into making a record… I found that when we were making [GHOST‘s upcoming LP ‘Impera’], and that always happens — at least to me,” Forge continued. “At one point or another, all of a sudden my ears… I get — we call it ‘hearing AIDS,’ actually. That’s when your ears sort of die. That’s morbid and maybe not funny, but that’s what happens. And all of a sudden I don’t like the record anymore. There was a moment this [past] summer, I just came into the studio and my ears just died — ‘I don’t like this record anymore.’ And from then on, it was so much harder because I didn’t like it. [Laughs]
“Because you get so tired of it. And then when you’re in the aftermath of having made a record and you occasionally listen to it just because you need to, you have these moments of, ‘Woah, it sounds better than I remembered.’ And then you hear it again a few days later, and it’s, like, ‘Wow, this sucks.’ It’s a very painful process once you’ve gone over that little threshold. I think there’s ups and downs with everything — pros and cons. But I think that generally when a producer or someone comes in and is working with me, usually that person is really happy not to have an opinionated band around. That’s the classic endless pain of most bands.
“I’m not saying every band, but most bands at some point, you always have someone who doesn’t really carry the weight,” he added. “And that’s very impractical sometimes. And luckily, that would be me, I guess. [Laughs] At least I can tell someone, ‘I know this great keyboard player who can play exactly this little bit.’ I know what I want, I know what I hear, and we can fake it like that, but if we want someone who can actually play like that, we can just call that person and we don’t have to rely on our guy or girl to do that. But that is not to say that the band that I have live — they are really able; they are really good at playing; they’re really good at playing anything that I tell them to, which is fantastic.”
GHOST‘s upcoming album, Impera will be released on March 11 via Loma Vista/Concord. Album can be pre-ordered via Amazon here.
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