Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge at this years Heavy Montreal. Tobias spoke about the transition from being anonymous with make-up, to being unmasked, his singing influence and a potential concept album in the future.
When asked about the transition from masked to unmasked, he replied: “I didn’t feel like I was an unrecognized person before. I don’t feel like it was a night and day because it has been so gradual over all these years. I have also spent many hours standing behind venues talking to fans. I don’t feel like there is a major difference.”
Speaking about his vocal influences, Tobias said: “I have a lot of vocal heroes and Heroine that might not be super evident in my singing. Some of my influences are female. I love Tori Amos, I spent a lot of time listening to her and imitating her, even Debbie Harris. A lot of punk rock. PINK FLOYD as well specifically David Gilmour would have been the one I imitate the most. BAD RELIGION. A lot of the vocal harmonies and my way of phrasing is very BAD RELIGION inspired.”
When asked if he ever thought of doing a full blown concept album in the future, he replied: “The next album will be more thematically, the same vain as the previous one Prequelle. But I can definitely see doing a concept like a rock opera in the future. If I ever make a Rock Opera it would probably won’t be a rock record but more like classical. like the stuff you would hear in a musical, more score.”
In an interview with Ireland’s Overdrive, Forge has confirmed that he is planning on entering the studio in early 2020 to begin work on the follow-up to 2018’s Prequelle album.
He said: “I think about it all the time. But let me be very transparent here. I am indeed going into the studio where I will be beginning the work in January. We’re doing another American tour in September/October and then we’re gonna come back to Europe and that is gonna take us right up until Christmas, basically. So, after New Year’s, we are gonna have maybe one or two small things at the beginning of the year and then it’s gonna be all about the new album.
He continued: “People need to understand that I spend about five to six months in the studio. That’s not with red lights going or anything. [Laughs]. But it’s just being in that creative environment, you know? I also try to work ‘normal’ hours, because I have a family also, so, I try to work traditional hours. I like to come in on Monday morning at about 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and then I do normal stuff like have lunch and think about what’s going on, and then I wrap up for the day and head home and see my family.
“In order to make that record, it’s gonna take me about six months, and then that’s gonna take me to the summer, which we’ve already decided we’re gonna take a break a let the dust settle, and then hopefully by the end of the summer, the record will be finished.
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, depends on how you see it, the U.S. elections are happening, so bearing that in mind, it’s not the best time to release new material when people’s minds are focused on other things. I just want to make sure that when we release this new album, we have people’s attention.”
Forge added Forge that the “plan” is to complete the new album by the end of the summer of 2020, “but in the event that it’s not finished, it’s gonna be okay. I don’t want to stress the situation,” he said. “Every record I’ve done has been under some type of time restraint, even Opus Eponymous (2010); that album was on a very tight schedule. It was definitely last minute. [Laughs]. I just want to make sure that I have enough time to release the album that I’m thoroughly happy with.
When asked when he sees the new GHOST album finally being released, Forge said: “I would say by early 2021 you can expect the next chapter of the GHOST story.”
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.