Ghost’s Cardinal Copia Salutes Christmas: “A Big Thing In My Household”
In this exclusive snippet of our huge new Ghost cover feature in the current issue of Kerrang!, Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge (aka Cardinal Copia) salutes – in his own way, naturally – the magic of Christmas, and the beauty of a deep winter rest…
Tobias relishes the rock world’s enforced “shut down” over the holiday period. Perhaps in their alternate reality, the clergy indulge in Black Midnight Masses or some ‘Antichristmas’ hi-jinks. For their flesh-and-blood counterpart, however, these are the few weeks of calm in an otherwise noisy year: an overdue opportunity to put away ghoulish things and reconnect with those parts of life that too often get lost in the showbiz shuffle.
“It’s hard not to slip into meek and clichéd rhetoric,” he nods, “but this is a special time. Over the years, I’ve found a bit of a tranquil space to enjoy. The emails aren’t coming in. The phone barely rings. It’s a good chance to rejoin reality and come back to an environment that’s not about myself.”
Allowing nostalgia to seep in, if only for a moment, he conjures a picture of festive warmth glowing against the stark Scandinavian winter. Rich food. Strong drinks. Syrupy music. An endless stream of matinee movies flickering away with their promises of heroism, adventure and endless possibility.
“I think of Christmas and I think of Ben-Hur,” he wryly acknowledges the omnipresence of media. “I think of The Ten Commandments; I think of Jason And The Argonauts; I think of the old cartoon Robinson Crusoe.”
More than that, he thinks of family and the values that made him the man he is today.
“As I’ve said many, many times, we were not a rich family by any means. I grew up in a broken home. We didn’t have a lot of money. But we did have a lot of culture, we did have a lot of love. I know now that meant a lot.”
Adulthood has only emphasised that importance.
“Both my kids were born on Christmas Eve,” he beams. “They’re the greatest gift ever. As such, the holiday gets to be a big thing in my household. It’s not just about that dude Jesus. It’s about the two kids at home. It all comes down to making the day as joyous and ‘perfect’ as I possibly can.
“When you’re a teenager or in your early-20s, you don’t give a shit for Christmas. Then you have a kid – or two kids – and they want the whole thing. The tradition rekindles. It’s circular. And now I feel like [National Lampoon’s loveable patriarch] Clark Griswold, always trying to recreate the things that I did as a kid…”
For a second, the cadaverous facade slips. The decrepit Papa is replaced by a warm-hearted father. The Grinchy, single-minded head-honcho is momentarily filled with the holiday spirit. Ever self-aware, he can’t help but laugh.
“Wow, I just sound warm talking about Christmas, so jolly!”
He grins goodbye.
“I guess I’m just doing my best to cover up the Krampus inside…”
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