Ghost is slated to play exactly one show in 2020 so songwriter and vocalist Tobias Forge can work on the band's new record. Forge promises the new album will have more riffs than Ghost's 2018 record Prequelle, and will feature the return of the Papa Emeritus character. Perhaps more importantly though, Forge reveals to Global News that he's not likely to choose a metal producer to produce the new record.
Forge said that while metal producers are very purpose-driven and do a great job, he feels metal in 2019 has a "puritan-like conservatism" that he'd like to avoid.
“I’m sure people in the heavy metal sphere might have noticed that too. … And there’s a reason for that: metal producers are very purpose-driven. They do a fantastic job and they know exactly what they’re going for. They’re experts in doing exactly that. And I have nothing against it, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. So I need to be fully aware and completely awake in trying to find the right producer for Ghost in that moment.
“Klas [Åhlund] was perfect for me. His whole professional life, he has been writing pop music and playing in Teddybears and writing records for Robyn and Ellie Goulding. You have all these different artists and this huge variety, but he started off playing prog music. He was a guitar virtuoso playing Yngwie Malmsteen/Ritchie Blackmore-type stuff.
“So when I came and talked with him about making a rock record, he was just, like, ‘Yes, I’ve wanted to do that for such a long time.’ It was perfect for both of us, because we were able to talk about all the common denominators. We could reference things from Euro Disco all the way to Slayer just to explain a simple idea. Whereas if you end up with the typical metal producer, they might say, ‘Slayer, of course. But everything else you mentioned is just ‘ordinary music.”
“I’m not saying that every heavy metal producer is like that, I just feel like metal today, as opposed to 1975, is such a defined genre, that people our age and younger have lived their entire lives knowing exactly what heavy metal is. But people who were around when they made Back in Black didn’t really know what that was. There’s so many rules now. It’s too refined. The whole culture breathes a little bit of a puritan-like conservatism. In order to make new records, I think sometimes you need to try not to think too much about all of these rules.”
Ghost's 2018 record Prequelle was produced by Tom Dalgety, who produced such bands as Pixies, Rammstein, Opeth, Killing Joke, The Damned, and Royal Blood.