Earlier this year in April, Ghost founder Tobias Forge was taken to the district court of Linköping, Sweden to be sued by four ex Ghost members for allegedly not paying them their fair share of royalties from the group’s various tours and album releases.
In June, Forge denied any wrongdoing on his part and claimed the group had no official legal agreement, citing the fact that “none of the plaintiffs were present at the time” of Ghost’s formation” in what he says was 2006. Forge also said that the individual Ghost members were given fixed salaries depending on their contributions to the group, and were hired as musicians rather than band members.
Now in late August, the plaintiffs known as Simon Söderberg a.k.a Alpha, Mauro Rubino a.k.a. Air, Henrik Palm a.k.a. Eather, and Martin Hjertstedt a.k.a. Earth, are firing back at Forge’s claim as Ghost being his own solo project.
“Forge has certainly been the band’s main songwriter, he has had the role of the band’s cinematic front figure ‘Papa Emeritus,’ has been a driving force in the band’s business, as well as in the handling of the band’s business affairs,” said the ex Ghost members. “However, the activities carried out with respect to GHOST were extensively handled jointly by the members — for example, by making decisions jointly regarding the band’s image, by participating in interviews, and by the fact that every member has, at certain times, contributed when recording the band’s albums and singles and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.”
They also denied that Forge had ever told them they weren’t official Ghost members, and even insisted that he gave them the impression everyone was an equal contributor.
“The first time Tobias Forge, through the band’s management, mentioned that he saw them as hired musicians rather than full-fledged members of GHOST was in the context of a contract proposal presented in April 2016,” they wrote.
Forge has additionally taken credit for the creation behind Ghost’s direction and aesthetic, but the plaintiffs have seemed to debunk this claim as well.
“It is not true that Tobias Forge was solely responsible for the creation of GHOST,” the ex members wrote. “Its image based on anonymity and its special stage presentation. Tobias Forge might have taken the initiative of founding the band GHOST, but all members of the band were involved in the creation and development of the band’s image and live show…”
The official year that Ghost started has also come into question, after ex members denied that Forge created the group in 2006.
“GHOST operations began in 2010 when Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge recorded the songs ‘Ritual’, ‘Death Knell’, ‘Elisabeth’ and ‘Prime Mover’ and made them available on the MySpace web site, followed by GHOST’s first live show, which took place on October 23, 2010. The launch of GHOST was thus 2010, not 2006.”
The official document has been translated to English on Reddit, and separated into multiple parts. Click here to read the full document.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado