Ex-GHOST Members Say The Band Is Not The Solo Project Of Tobias Forge
Back in April, several ex-Ghost members began the process of suing Papa Emeritus, better known by his legal name Tobias Forge. The lawsuit essentially boils down to the ex-members saying they never quite got their monetary dues in the band, aren't being recognized for their contributions, and are trying to prove that a partnership was formed rather than Forge owning the band.
Forge has since responded multiple times saying that Ghost is his project, that the rest of the band outside himself are not completely crucial, and even broke character for the first time ever to talk a little bit about what was going on.
Now the ex-members have finally responded to Forge's response to the lawsuit, and kick off their lengthy response (translated by the ever-vigilant Joppe777) by saying that Ghost is absolutely not Forge's project.
Tobias Forge is trying in his reply to paint a picture of the parties' cooperation in Ghost has been a solo business run by Tobias Forge, with the other musicians being hired guest musicians and almost passive puppets in the business. This is not in compliance with the truth. Tobias Forge has certainly been the band's main songwriter, had the role as the band's cinematic front figure "Papa Emeritus", has been a driving force in the band's business, as well as handling to the band's affairs business outward. However, the activities carried out with respect to Ghost have extensively been handled jointly by the members, for example. by making decisions jointly regarding the band's image, by participating in interviews, and by the fact that every member has, at some time or always, contributed when recording the band's albums and singles and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.
The response also touches on the claim that Peter Hällje came up with the idea for Papa Emeritus. The ex-members claim that permission was given to ex-guitarist Martin Persner for use of the character and not Forge. It's also worth noting that Persner is not part of the lawsuit.
It is also noteworthy that the figure "Papa Emeritus", as Ghost builds his entire image, was created by Peter Hällje. Peter Hällje has never been a member of the band but was involved in the circles around the band when it was formed. The reason Peter Hällje let Ghost make use of the figure and concept he created was that he was a good friend of Martin Persner. It is also noteworthy that the permission given by Peter Hällje was not given to Tobias Forge, but to Martin Persner for use in the band Ghost.
One interesting passage of the lawsuit cites the origins of Ghost, saying the project was initially Forge and Simon Söderberg. The passage goes on to say that all the music and lyrics were Forge's, which seems to undermine the whole that the band isn't Forge's work.
Tobias Forge mentioned the project "Ghost" to Simon Söderberg for the first time in 2009. Tobias Forge said he had tried to record some songs along with a friend from Stockholm, but according to Tobias Forge it was mostly just a "goofy project". At the same time, Tobias Forge had revived his old band "Repugnant" and Tobias Forge's plan was to restart Repugnant with brand new members.
In 2010, Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge recorded new versions of the songs that Tobias Forge had recorded for the first demos for Ghost, but it was only a hobby project for both people. Both Tobias Forge and Simon Söderberg were still members of the Magna Carta Cartel, and Tobias Forge was the also involved in Repugnant as well as a solo project.
The new demo recordings with Ghost were made by Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge in Simon Söderberg's recording studio. Tobias Forge had composed the songs and written the lyrics, but Simon Söderberg led the recording work, produced, programmed all drums and arranged together with Tobias Forge. Since Simon Soderberg and Tobias Forge were satisfied with the demo recordings, Tobias Forge posted them on the internet site Myspace under the name Ghost. Soon afterwards, Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge decided to transform the hobby project into a full band, Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge agreed that Simon Söderberg would play guitar and that Martin Persner and Gustav Lindström would join the band. However, Gustav Lindström had previously figured in the project (even though he did not participate in the demo recordings that Simon Söderberg and Tobias Forge recorded). In addition, a keyboardist and drummer were needed. Simon suggested and then contacted Mauro Rubino and Aksel Holmgren.
If you missed it above, you can read the entire response below.