Swedish radio channel P1 has a summer series called "Sommar i P1" where a notable Swedish musician guest-hosts each day. Yesterday, the host was none other than Tobias Forge, the band behind the mask and founder of Ghost.
Rumors started circulating that the band had canned its entire lineup outside Papa Emeritus when he was the only one to show up to accept a Grammy, and the rumors were fueled even further once Magna Carta Cartel's Martin Persner outed himself as a former member of Ghost.
About two weeks later, a former Nameless Ghoul said the band had gone through about 10 members thus far, and then came the lawsuit against Emeritus for royalties and payment from former members. Things got so heated, that for the first time ever, Tobias broke character to explain that Ghost was always his vision and everybody he hired were merely session players, noting that the drummer who performed on the last two albums never played live with the band.
For the first time in a public setting, Tobias revealed himself to be the frontman of Ghost. You can listen to the show at this location but it is in Swedish. Somebody on Reddit did their best to transcribe the entire hour.
The devil became my companion, we went unconditionally hand in hand throughout my puberty and teeange, he was exactly the pointed finger in the air I needed when I was the most angry. And also now in less agitated days are we still great friends.
As most of you understand I often get quetions regarding religion and my believes, I usually answer that it depends on which part of me it is that answers – My younger self, who hates the world and everyone who lives in it is one answer, my adult me – a more balanced answer, as a envisioning individual I can admit that I want to believe in a lot of stuff, but exactly as the Star Wars universe is placed as an actual world in my reference-library, I most be open to the possability that also others written stories are coming from fantasy – maybe inspired by true events and happenings, but still.. a combination. And similar to Star Wars, composed with the intent to entertain and bring a bit of wisdom.. But also to make money.
My name is Tobias Forge – I'm a discophile. On pure street-Swedish it means I'm collecting LP-discs. To be a collector of something as a grown-up can by the surroundings appear as waste, unnecessary maybe. Not at all, to my wife I call it an investment despite the fact that I, of course, won't ever sell them. "Are you listening to every record?", a few asks. "Yes, at times, absolutely". "Do you like every record then?" – No, of course not. I love a massive amount of bands and artists, and collects all sorts of things, mixed is the best.
Some albums I worship and search for in record shops around the world in order to find that rare press of. In some way I feel like I get closer to the experience if I have atleast a pressing of the disc which is somewhat contemporary. It must not be the very first edition, but close enough. It's exactly like "A Saucerful of Secrets" of Pink Floyd feels better to listen to if the pshysical disc also is created in 1968. I becomes a larger experience then.
And here, I must actually praise the Swedish welfare. I often get the question nowadays what we have in our Swedish water that makes us so good at writing songs, forming bands, and simply be so good at music. And now I'm not just talking about the largely successful bands like ABBA and Rexxet, Max Martin. I mean the huge ocean of successful punk and metal band that our land has cared very much for.
Sweden is associated with quality, and if someone is a band or a songwriter from Sweden, one already almost has a inherited guarantee when it comes to claim oneself internationally, something which most musicians from other countries does not carry with them.
Reasons as to our lands colossally fantastic rumors and success are surely many, but I must point out that without our outstanding social safety net, many Swedish punk and metal band and lyrics writers for that matter, not gotten all the time it took in order to reach their full potential. With this I do NOT mean that all Swedish rockers are welfare-takers, but that a lot out us without doubt has being going forward by taking some, at least professional-wise totally worthless course with some point at the university with student grand. Go and stamp, small jobs, study circles (?), undeclared working, "Learn to find job" courses, work by the hour, ect. At the same time is we've been able to sit home and write songs, having repetitions, recording demos and been playing live without making a penny on it. That is a fact. I've definitely done it.
He ends his show with a tribute to his brother, who died before Ghost released their first song. He started sobbing while speaking to his brother, lamenting "we didn't get to experience this thing together."
Did I tell you about the Grammy, by the way? I got one of those.. about a year ago. We were in LA and went on a celeberty party, it was very big. 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.
My name is Tobias Forge. I'm the man behind the mask in Ghost.
Here is the full rough translation, thanks to a very friendly Redditor.