Fans will know that the beloved Swedish melodic heavy metal outfit Ghost has been going through some rough legal proceedings throughout the past year. Last year, four musicians who were formerly part of the band and known as the Nameless Ghouls revealed their identities while filing suit against Ghost frontman and mastermind Tobias Forge. Just yesterday, it was announced that the Linköping district court ruled in favor of Forge.
Guitarists Simon Soderberg and Henrik Palm, drummer Martin Hjertstedt and keyboardist Mauro Rubino sued Forge for 200,000 Swedish Krona (around $22,000) in unpaid compensation, saying that though the musicians were being paid a fixed salary, they believed that they had not received their rightful share of Ghost’s profits during their tenure. In November of last year, the parties actually got together to see if they could reach a settlement, but they came out of the meeting without a concrete solution.
Having lost their case, the four musicians were forced to pay the frontman’s 1.3 million Swedish Krona (around $145,000) legal proceedings, in addition to their own bills. Forge had originally asked for 2 million Swedish Krona (around $224,000), but the court apparently decided on 1.3 million.
Local news said that “The district court also writes that it is unclear what is actually meant to ‘constitute’ a music group. They also think it is obvious that Tobias Forge, Simon Söderberg and three other people were involved in the band in different ways. They agreed that they would play together, repeat and perform at concerts. But that is not enough to show that it would be a business relationship. The judgment states: ‘On the contrary, a number of circumstances speak for the lack of such intention.'”
Forge himself seems to have taken the lawsuit without much pressure, saying that it was a result of “growing pains [in Ghost], and all of this shit has been the result of things going well, not the opposite.” He also claimed at the time that “no legal partnership” existed between the ex-members and himself.
The four musicians have three weeks to submit an appeal, but there’s no word on whether they plan to continue legal proceedings.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried