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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's BUCK DHARMA Praises GHOST, Downplays Musical Comparison

"I think Ghost is certainly paving their own way as far as how they've gone down their road."


It's no secret that for many fans's ears, there's a certain degree of influence of legendary rock band Blue Öyster Cult on modern Swedish occult rockers Ghost. While some hear echoes of Blue Öyster Cult in Ghost's music, Buck Dharma, guitarist for Blue Öyster Cult, seems chill about the whole thing.

In a recent interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, he acknowledged the comparisons, yet downplayed any notion of plagiarism: "To the degree that there is a similarity, I think they're welcomed to it. I think Ghost is certainly paving their own way as far as how they've gone down their road. I wouldn't say they're really copying us. To the degree that there are some similarities, that's fine."

Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge has a different perspective. While admitting his appreciation for Blue Öyster Cult, he insists their influence on his music has been overstated. During a past interview with Loudwire, Forge pointed to other bands as stronger inspirations and suggested the multi-layered vocals in both bands might be the root of the comparisons.

"I love Blue Öyster Cult. They are nowhere near as much of an influence as people think they are for me. Especially not back in the early days. I'd say I probably listen to them more nowadays than I did back then. But never, ever were they as much of a big influence as… I can list so many more things that would be way more obvious, where I can say, 'That riff is from that. That riff is from that. That riff is from that. That vocal bit is from that.'

"It's just that the combination of, basically, slightly more confrontational rock and sort of AOR vocals that makes everybody think that it's, 'Oh, Blue Öyster Cult.' Just because a lot of the other, sort of, 'occult rock' bands usually have just one singer, like all the Trouble's and all the Saint Vitus's and all those — it's just one singer, so you don't have that sort of multi-layered vocals."

Blue Öyster Cult's career has spanned five decades and over 24 million records sold worldwide, including classics like "Burnin' For You" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," and it's fair to say they have left an indelible mark on the genre. Their influence extends beyond their music, with heavyweights like Iron Maiden and Metallica citing them as major inspirations.

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