Ghost leader Tobias Forge said he’d prefer to be the band’s guitarist, while admitting it was something of a petty complaint.
In a recent interview with Louder, he discussed his ambitions beyond playing the various incarnations of Papa Emeritus at the band’s highly theatrical shows.
“I mourn the fact I get to play the guitar so little over the course of my life, because I love playing. I think I am a better musician than I am a singer. I just happen to be a good singer in Ghost,” he said. “But that’s like complaining about not being the general because you got to be the king instead. I would have felt more fluid being the guitar player, but the difference would have been that, mask or no mask, my onstage persona would have been closer to my real one – my actual one, my private one – than it is nowadays.”
Despite that, he confirmed that he usually feels “phenomenal” when his shows begin: “It’s one of the few moments where I don’t think about much else. Most of the time I am thinking of something else. I’m worrying about all kinds of stuff at the same time. The best nights are when you flow through them, and the worst nights are when you think: ‘Oh shit, I forgot the last step, I need to go back,’ and you start thinking about it.”
Another aspect of being leader is taking part in the majority of interviews. “I guess from a therapeutic point of view,” Forge said when asked how he felt about talking with journalists, “speaking so much about yourself, your background and your motivation of why you’re doing this, it does have a cathartic function. But I definitely reach a point each day where I don’t want to talk any more.”
When asked if he had acting ambitions beyond playing the Papas, he confirmed there were specific roles he’d love to take on, but added: “As an actor you are working with your physical attributes as your currency; so I know, being five foot nine, white, with a certain body shape, I couldn’t do everything on the menu.”
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Swedish band gives pop metal a fresh spin and a new measure of respect.