A new year for Ghost brought an ace and chart-denting new album in Meliora and, so we were told, a brand new Papa (although he really does look frighteningly similar to his predecessors close up).
That said, the mission of total global domination remained the same, and as 2015 draws to a close, the mysterious Swedes can take stock of how far their message has travelled.
“Personally, it has been overwhelming,” asserts A Nameless Ghoul (who really does sound frighteningly similar to the new Pap— oh, never mind). “It’s been very productive, obviously, very fruitful. We found ourselves with a very strong album!”
As the Ghoul notes, however, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. “This particular cycle was supposed to start with the album recording and then a break before touring,” he reveals. “Unfortunately, the album took so long that we were straight into touring and promo. So, that has been tiring, but now we are into it I can look back and think that we have done something good.”
‘Something good’ meaning more converts into the cult of Ghost than ever?
“We have made more friends, for sure,” he agrees. “We’ve been to America, and we can see the difference. There you will reach out to more people and a broader audience, and we are booked to do TV now! But this band has always been about pushing everything that we do as far as we can. Whatever it is we do, it will be taken to the furthest level. That is the point of this experiment.”
Five Finger Death Punch’s chaotic year has armed Zoltan for the future
Five Finger Death Punch have had a hella busy year, from sparking rumours of their demise with that controversial onstage bust-up in Memphis in May, to smashing Download’s main stage in June, releasing acclaimed album Got Your Six in September, and headlining London’s Wembley Arena in November. For Zoltan Bathory, it’s been a rollercoaster ride that’s left him in a somewhat philosophical mood.
“I had some of my greatest moments this year, as well as some of the hardest ones – which I turned into great ones, too!” he says. “You see, calm seas don’t make great sailors; only in the face of adversity will you learn who you really are. There is something to learn from the warriors of the past, as they understood that it’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit.”
Indeed, he also openly admits that the band’s Memphis meltdown sparked some much-needed reflection and, ultimately, brought the guys closer together than ever.
“After 10 years of an uphill battle, it was inevitable,” he muses. “We were just charging, and never recharging, so there was a moment of uncertainty when, in a highly publicised fashion, we wrecked the freight train in Memphis. There were a few hours of vacuum – and that was dark – but by the next day we were back with a vengeance.”
Of his number one greatest moment from 2015, he’s in no two minds, however.
“Got Your Six debuted at Number One on the Billboard chart,” he gushes. “That is next-level stuff – a real middle finger to all the naysayers!”