Ghost’s Tobias Forge: “We’re Already Conspiring About The Next Couple Of Years”
Kerrang! Awards, huge headline shows and playing stadiums with your boyhood heroes – it doesn’t get much better than Ghost and Tobias Forge’s 2019
What was it like headlining Wembley Arena last year?
“It was good – a big night! It felt like a step up to a next level. Everyone knows London is important for rock music, and it’s a special place, but Ghost kind of started our career there. Our second-ever show was there, and we were signed to a London label, Rise Above Records, so we’ve got strong ties to the city.”
Did it feel good to wrap up the year with such a momentous show?
“Of course. It was important to wrap up the year on a high note. We’ve achieved a lot, and that has left me feeling inspired to go back into the studio. We’re already conspiring a lot about the next couple of years. So we’ve already got some things in motion.”
You did a massive European tour with Metallica over the summer as well. It sounds like you had a terrible year…
“That was a very cool tour. I ticked off a lot of venues I dreamed of playing. When you’re being asked to support a big band, because they want to give you their support, that makes you very strong as a band. I think if you ask Bokassa as well, they’d probably say the same thing. They were there on the initiative of Metallica, which is such an endorsement that you’d be crazy – or stupid – not to do it.”
Still, it must be a hell of a job, warming up a Metallica audience?
“There’s pressure, but we’ve done it before, opening for other bands in similar settings. So I didn’t feel the same pressure as I would have felt five years ago. I mean, we had the luxury of doing it 25 times! So you get accustomed to the stage, to the format, and you know the crew. It was a full-production tour where Metallica had their own stage, as well, so nothing really changed in a sense, except the views from the stage.”
As someone who grew up listening to Metallica, how does it feel supporting them?
“When you think about it like that, it seems strange and surreal. There definitely are moments where you have to pinch yourself. I’m so lucky that I got to tour with and watch the band every night – a band I used to go see when I was a kid. It was a surreal experience, considering that journey. To your younger self it’s an unrealistic dream, but when it happens it doesn’t feel so strange. I probably feel the way Metallica felt when they met Queen or became friends with Deep Purple.”
You won your first Kerrang! Award in June. What are your memories of that night?
“That was really cool, but I didn’t think we were going to win it, so I wasn’t prepared at all. It felt really good to be a winner in a room with so many cool people you love and respect in it. It was a very big honour. Lars [Ulrich, Metallica] was there, and I saw Jimmy Page across the room. Does that count as meeting him?”
Sure, why not? Did you rub shoulders with any other famous folk this year?
“I spent some time with Rob Halford from Judas Priest – that was cool. He’s a fan of Ghost, which is crazy, because saying I’m a fan of his is an understatement. Oh, and I went to a barbecue a few months ago, and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath was there. His lyrics and bass playing made him a childhood idol of mine. But meeting him, I realised he’s also a really nice man!”
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