ghost vs nameless ghoulsOne of the things we have learned over the years is that being in a band is a very difficult thing to do. We have learned that being in a band is like being in a committed relationship with your bandmates and we have learned from bands like Kiss, Motley Crue, Skid Row, White Zombie, Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, and so many other countless bands that sometimes divorces happen and those can get pretty ugly pretty damn often. A little more than year ago, a nasty break up was definitely the case when came to Swedish rock/metal act Ghost after four Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed some information to the world. The Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed their names and claimed that the frontman of Ghost Papa Emeritus a.k.a. Tobias Forge had screwed them out of money. Simon Söderberg (Alpha, Guitars), Mauro Rubino (Air, Keyboards), Henrik Palm (Ether, Guitars), and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth, Drums) all filed a lawsuit for compensation that basically totals $22,000. If you look below, you will see a full statement that Söderberg posted on Facebook airing out all of his grievances.

75071_0_wide_ver1527249826.jpg@642Of course, Tobias Forge didn’t stay quite for a very long time and he basically responded saying that Ghost was a solo project and that when the band was formed that, “none of the plaintiffs were present at the time.” He basically says that they were paid a price like hired guns that was fixed and that he is basically the mastermind of the band having created the image and music. If you want to read the full response to the lawsuit you can do so by clicking on article one and two. In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Gazette, Tobias told Scott Mervis, “There was a string of events that led up to that, of course. As any individual in some tandem with other individuals, there are times when you need to break up and times when you have to get divorced, and do a spring cleaning. That itself is not different than any other band or any other social circle. Of course, it’s never a joyous experience, but it was something that needed to be done. We’d come to a point where we’d exhausted …I’d done everything in my power to try to accommodate a few of my friends to enjoy this ride that I had taken them on, but the project and myself had just come to a point where I couldn’t make them happy, whichever way I chose to go. It was only met with resentment and complaints and general obtuseness, and at the end of the day you had to come to a point where, “Well, you guys don’t even need to be there. You’re free to go. I need to survive. I need to do my thing. This is my thing. None of you were here from the beginning and you have no responsibilities except to be on stage at 8 o’clock and you’re getting paid.” What you heard it just a culmination of years, years, of complaints and ungratefulness, let’s put it that way.”

papa-tobias-768x506One of the things that bothered me the most as a fan of the band was the fact that his identity was revealed. I thought it was a very cool mystique to have as people continually tried to figure out whether it was Tobias Forge behind the mask. Tobias doesn’t seem to be sour about it tell Blabbermouth, “I haven’t felt very anonymous for many years. I don’t feel very bummed by that. I can feel bummed about the reasons why it was revealed. [Laughs] But, it didn’t do much harm. I don’t feel, in any way, like a loser here and it didn’t seem to do a lot of harm. No, especially with a little bit of hindsight and couth. It’s fine. I feel good. It’s going well. I’m out here working. I made a record. [Laughs] You know, it’s always alarming, obviously, when you have people, and some of them used to be close to you, working diligently to destroy your life. That’s always a bummer. That sucks. Sometimes that happens in all parts of the world: at workplaces, in schools, in families, in relationships and friendships. There’s nothing new about it; it’s perfectly natural. It’s a sad avenue to ride down on, but it’s a part of life and it’s fine.” He also added to the convo about who he will choose in the future saying, “You should hire people because of their abilities and not proximity. You usually learn the hard way, unfortunately. I learned that. [Laughs] So, lesson learned! It’s all good. I’m never, ever going to do that again.”

GhostOf course, the band responded to the claims of Ghost being a solo act saying on Reddit, “Forge has certainly been the band’s main songwriter, has had the role of cinematic front figure ‘Papa Emeritus,’ has been a driving force in the band’s business, as well as in the handling of the band’s business affairs. However, the activities carried out with respect to Ghost were extensively 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 certain times, contributed when recording albums and singles, and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.” They went on to add, “To the contrary, Tobias Forge always emphasized that it was a collaboration that everyone was involved in, and would share in the profit of, once the business became profitable. The first time Tobias Forge, through the band’s management, mentioned that he saw them as hired musicians rather than full-fledged members of Ghost was in the context of a contract proposal presented in April 2016.” One thing is for certain and that is I agree 100% with Tobias and this statement regarding the lawsuit, “I took it almost as an acknowledgment that I must be doing something right. If things were going down the fucking tubes, no one would care.” Think about it, if Ghost was on their way out, none of these guys would have cared as much about it. It remains to be seen what happens next, but stay tuned for more because Justice will be served!

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