Tobias Forge recently stated that he expects Ghost’s new album to drop in April of 2018. After telling a reporter at the German Metal Hammer awards that Ghost has been in the studio for about a month, he added that, “by the end of the year, if everything goes according to plan—knock, knock—we’re gonna have a new album, not out, but we’re gonna have a new [album] recorded and mixed and delivered.”
After winning the ‘Metal Anthem’ award for “Square Hammer,” a Nameless Ghoul from Ghost gave a quick interview. His voice, slightly muted behind a metallic, horned mask, did not sound as scary as his outfit looked. Five members of Ghost wear the same outfit as the Nameless Ghoul seen the interview barring the sixth, Papa Emeritus. He wears face paint in the image of a skull in lieu of the mask worn by his bandmates and is easily distinguishable.
Anonymity is a pillar of Ghost’s philosophy. The band members go further than Daft Punk and Gorillaz. Ghost’s changing lineup leaves little evidence. Live performances and recording sessions often feature different musicians. The group maintains that their commitment to anonymity is not for attention, but to help fans appreciate the music on its own merit. Think of Miles Davis soloing with his back to the audience. It’s even rumored that Dave Grohl dressed up once to play with the band. Ghost members’ namelessness often creates problems most bands have never dreamed of. Once, they got kicked out of their own venue. “Forgetting our backstage pass is a big problem,” says one Nameless Ghoul. Ghost’s problems polarize those of The Beatles, who once fled a concert via rooftop. Members have admitted that, “for house peace,” they reveal their identities to close friends and family. It isn’t easy to live a double life if one involves heavy metal.
However, the law, as inevitably as time, reveals all truths. In April 2017, straight out of a scene from Scooby Doo, a lawsuit against Papa Emeritus revealed him to be Tobias Forge. ‘Those meddling kids,’ the plaintiffs, made up of four previous members, argued that Forge owed them royalties. Forge tried to frame Ghost as more of a solo project than a band. Previous members are not so sure. One can imagine how anonymity would complicate a royalty payout. The suit uncovered names of several other members as well. The band lives on despite its newfound loss of privacy and will deliver their new album in 2018. It seems that to take off someone’s mask one simply needs to sue; superheroes, take note.
Photography credit: Boston Lynn Schultz