He said: “Well, it’s very important. But I will always hold the fact that with, GHOST music did come first.
“And because I knew that there was going to be a visual presentation that was going to be spectacular, I also made sure that the songs came out on MySpace before any photo did.
“I can honestly say that anyone who listened to GHOST early on did so without knowing what it looked like, what it was going to be looking like, so I know for a fact that the first thousands of people that started liking Ghost did so without even knowing what it looked like.
“Therefore, I dare to say that the music did come first. It was music.”
Tobias continued: “And now, fast-forward 10 years, I’d say that if we had a real kick-ass image – if the image here was great, we had the bombs and the fire and all that… but if the song stunk, we would not have been here.
“For me, they go in tandem. For me, it’s, like, my work, my job is to write cool songs for Ghost and we package it in this awesome sort of theatrical show. I don’t spend much time trying to overanalyze that. It is what it is, I just try to improve it.
“Every time I write a song, I try to write a better song than I’ve ever written before. Sometimes you do it, sometimes you don’t. Every time we put together a new stage show, we try to do something that we haven’t been able to do before, and luckily so far, we’ve managed to make better records and bigger shows.
“So far, we’re sort of we’re moving in a trajectory that sort of points slightly up.”
In a recent interview with Revolver Magazine, Forge talked about the musical direction he wants to pursue with the band’s next album.
The musician pointed out he is aiming to “make a different record” from the latest GHOST effort, 2018 Prequelle, which he described as “a little ballad heavy.”
Tobias added: “I want it to feel different. If I dare to say ‘heavier,’ people think that it’s going to be MERCYFUL FATE all the way … but I definitely have a darker, heavier record in mind.”
GHOST‘s latest album, Prequelle, was released on 1 June 2018. The album marked the band’s strongest selling debut to date, landing at number 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 66,000 copies in its first week, with 61,000 of those being “traditional” album sales.