Ghost frontman Papa Emeritus has confirmed his real identity for the first time, revealing himself to be Swedish musician Tobias Forge.
In a Swedish radio show, focusing on his life and times, he signed off by saying: “My name is Tobias Forge and I’m the man behind the mask in Ghost.”
It had long been thought that he was indeed the driving force behind the Swedish outfit. Back in 2012, Classic Rock reported that Ghost’s principle songwriter, The Ghoul Writer, was registered with the Swedish Performing Rights Society under his real name, Tobias Forge. The frontman refused to confirm, however, even after he was named in a lawsuit earlier this year. Forge was a member of Swedish glam-metaller Crashdiet (under the name ‘Mary Goore’), the former frontman of death metal act Repugnant and a member of progressive pop band Subdivision.
During the radio show (transcribed on Reddit) he revealed that one of his first ideas was that the band should go out “with a theatrical image” and that he knew they couldn’t start in small venues with just their friends in the crowd, because it would be impossible to keep their identities a secret.
He devoted much of the show to his elder brother Sebastian, who’d been a leading light in his formative years, and who died suddenly just at the moment Ghost began receiving attention for demo tracks they’d streamed via MySpace in the mid-2000s.
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Forge said to his late sibling: “I sometimes meet some of your idols. Steve Jones interviewed me and he actually liked Ghost. I’ve gotten to know Metallica – I have James’s number and we speak at times. And I’ve just come home from a seven-week tour with Iron Maiden. Did I tell you about the Grammy? I got one of those.
“Mother is very proud and tells everyone who I am, even if it’s supposed to be a secret. But fuck that now, I suppose.”
He also confirmed that Ghost were preparing to record a new album and expected to begin an 18-month world tour early next year.