Ghost’s Tobias Forge Blasts Bands Who Postponed Tours During the Pandemic for Financial Reasons: “That Is a F***ing Horrible Message to the Crowd”
At this point in their career, diet occult rockers Ghost have enough money and momentum to basically do whatever they want. But they were once a scrappy young act, too, and one wonders how they would’ve reacted to the COVID pandemic had it happened when they’d just released their debut, Opus Eponymous. But apparently, Tobias Forge doesn’t sympathize with bands who made the business decision to postpone tours until it made financial sense, but told their fans it was due to safety purposes.
In a recent interview with Avenged Sevenfold‘s Johnny Christ, Forge vented his disappointment at bands who postponed tours for financially-driven reasons (as transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
“Well, the problem now is that a lot of these bands find the bottom line not to be satisfactory. They don’t go out and say, ‘Look, we’re not making as much money as we wish, so we’re going to cancel or we’re going to postpone till the stars are aligned and the marketplace looks better.’
“They go on and tell the crowd, ‘Oh, because of safety concerns we’re not touring,’ and that is a fucking horrible message to the crowd, to the rest of the business to everyone that we’re all relying on – as in all the promoters and everyone working at the venues, everybody working as vendors, all the crew members, all the busing companies, all the truck companies, all these people who just had their tour canceled just because these four or five dudes/girls just decided that the money wasn’t great. And then they go out and tell ‘Oh, by the way, don’t even go to shows because it’s not safe.’
“That is what becomes if one band decides to go and say like, ‘No, [it’s] because of safety, it’s not safe to tour because of COVID.’ Of course, you’re sending a message to the crowd that ‘Oh, maybe it’s not [safe]…’ And it takes a lot of courage for a lot of people to go out. It takes a lot of courage for people to go to show to a show. And when one band goes out and says, ‘Oh, we’re not going to tour because of safety concerns, because the world is not a safe place because of COVID.’ It does say to the fan that ‘Oh, maybe that’s right. I shouldn’t even go out now.’”
So, okay, to give the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like what Forge is saying is that bands should’ve been honest that they were postponing tours due to financial reasons. We don’t know if there’s a specific band he’s referencing here, but his message appears to be that bands shouldn’t hide behind health concerns.
But what we’re hearing is that one of the biggest metal stars in the world right now is calling out a legion of bands who simply could not risk getting deathly ill or blowing a shitload of money by touring when it didn’t make sense. At this point, COVID and live music are intertwined — worrying about getting sick IS a financial decision, and going out at the right time for a tour to work financially IS always a heightened risk. The whole ‘using-one-to-excuse-the-other’ thing is a strawman argument.
Forge can dictate the terms of his career at this point, but instead he’s sitting here judging artists who had to make really tough decisions based on how to feed their families and keep their bands together. What a shmuck.
You can watch the full interview below: