A similar, if more recent, target for Ghost’s withering ire are those like former Trump-era Vice President Mike Pence, on Grift Wood (“People like that get wood from grifting,” it’s noted, sarcastically). Those who would jump through whatever hoop necessary, no matter how dirty, or at what cost to any principle, to advance themselves, while at the same time preaching righteousness and goodness.
“That song’s about him and anyone like him who's willing to soil everything they've worked for. They definitely qualify for a front-row ticket to Hell. Which is so ironic, because that's what they believe in,” he says. “[People like that] completely demean themselves, and just eat shit out of someone's ass in order to achieve whatever they're trying to achieve.
“Again, he stands as a symbol for people of all times, where the end game is wrapped with some sort of religious [thing]. He's known as this sort of Bible thumper, believing that he has strong faith, and he's just this awful, awful person in any way. He tries to tell the world that he serves God, that he's part of the good side. Whereas at the end of the day, the only thing he wants is power. But it doesn't have to necessarily be all about him. It's about people like him: a lot of politicians, lot of preachers, a lot of clergymen throughout the history of time.”
If there is history, then there must also be a present, and a future. It is said by some – with no small amount of wishful thinking – that we are due a Roaring Twenties-styled upswing. That’s something to look forward to, since the 1920s ended in The Great Depression, itself the fertile soil for that most prosperous and joyous period of the 20th century, the Second World War…
With a vibe of “Slayer meets some sort of Missy Elliott thing”, and a sarcastic similarity to Killing Joke’s wry observations of 1980s excess in their song Eighties, Twenties is a rambunctious parade through sardonic optimism, in which he sleazes that ‘We’ll be grinding in a pile of moolah!’ and ‘We’ll be grabbing them all by the hoo-ha!’ Tobias calls it a “pep-talk”, but also “a paradox”.
“That song has super-aggressive lyrics, it’s very hostile,” he says. “It’s still meant as a pep-talk, but it’s basically demeaning and openly hating anyone who's listening. It promises only air, but poisoned air. And yet it still wraps it up as a gift, as something you should say ‘thank you’ for. Which is like a lot of the bullshit that we've been seeing the past couple of years.”