Ghost’s Papa Emeritus: Call it a solo project if you want


Ghost leader Papa Emeritus III has said he doesn’t mind if people call the band a solo project as he’s been the only constant member since he formed the outfit in 2006.

The vocalist, aka Tobias Forge, is facing a lawsuit from four former members of the band for “missing wages and allowances for several years.” They also say the singer wanted to “transform Ghost from a band into a solo project with hired musicians.”

And in a new interview, Forge admits that the band are essentially a one-man project as up to 15 musicians have been in and out of the lineup since they released their debut album Opus Eponymous in 2010.

Forge, appearing as a Nameless Ghoul, tells CBS Philadelphia: “I have been in the band since I started the band. I started writing songs for it in 2006. Nowadays, there’s a handful of very new members. But there has been about 10 to 15 people now going in and out of the band, so there’s been a lot of rotation.

“It’s always an inconvenience when you’re changing people in a band. You have to get someone else in there and you have to teach that person from scratch.

“We’re not doing 12-bar blues here, so it’s not something that you can just pick up on. Luckily for me, since I’ve written most of everything, I can teach anyone coming in. So it’s not very hard for me to make my stamp rub off on anyone coming in and playing that instrument. But that also adds to the friction over the years.”

He adds: “It’s never really been a band in the classic sense that you have someone who plays his or her instrument and that she or he is the only person in the world that can make it sound like that. People have a tendency to want to feel that they’re very important for something, and if it’s not crucial that they’re there, there will also be a little bit of a friction there.”

Asked if he saw Ghost as more of a solo project than a band, Forge responds: “I actually refer to it as the earlier of the two options. Even though I’ve never wanted it that way, but at the end of the day, that is what it is.

“So I think it speaks clear for itself. I started it in 2006, and no one that was ever in the band in 2016 was even on the first record. Call it solo, if you want to, but I call it a project.”

Forge went on to say that the band are planning a return to the studio in August to record the follow-up to 2015 album Meliora.

Ghost are currently on tour across North America with Iron Maiden and will headline the UK’s Bloodstock later this year.

Getting to know Ghost: The Swedish ghouls answer your questions

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.