Ghost Frontman Speaks About Lineup Changes and Lawsuit Charges
Ghost have been in the headlines quite a bit lately for reasons they probably aren’t too happy about, with a lawsuit underway by several ex-members alleging unfair pay (among other accusations), rumors of mastermind Tobias Forge (aka “Papa Emeritus”) having fired everyone in the band following their fall 2016 U.S. tour, and several members’ “secret” identities having been revealed.
Now Forge has shed some light on these topics in a new interview with radiometal.com. Although he doesn’t address the lawsuit directly, he does speak at length about some of the charges within it, namely the other members’ claims that the band had been operating as a partnership with profits to be shared equally:
“I can not tell you the whole story but without going into the details, the whole thing, and it’s a fact, is that Ghost was never formed as a band and its first line-up was formed after the first album was recorded, and it was only a live line-up.
“And from this line-up, it has changed many times. If you have been following us since we started performing in concert in October 2010, you will have noticed that there have been many changes over the years. None of the line-up people who were active in November last year played on Opus Eponymous, for example [laughs].
“We never formed the band together, it was always, I suppose, a band in the Bathory [sense], where there were people who played live and the people who played live were not necessarily the same who played on the albums.
“On Opus and Meliora, there is a drummer who has never played live with us, for example. For my part, there has never really been … What some fans seem to think is not true. So, for me, the fact is that a time will come when people will discover that what they say or think is not correct, it is not based on the truth… it suits me, no problem, no worries!”
It’s not shocking to hear Forge claim essentially the opposite of what the other members did in their public letter excoriating him, so I suppose this is all going to come down to how Swedish law interprets these kinds of situations and the specific evidence available here. Does the participation of new members in an existing corporation in Sweden make them equal partners, as the lawsuit claims? If so, does that apply here given the specifics? Did Forge, as alleged, promise via email and verbally that new joining members would be treated equally, and if so, does it even matter?
The PRP has some more quotes from Forge, translated from the original interview in Spanish, about members’ implied duty to keep their identities secret and about Ghost’s next record.