In a recent interview with Impericon, GHOST leader Tobias Forge was asked to name his top three favorite bands of all time. He responded (see video below): "I like a lot of different music. If I was to make a top 20, I would have a hard time. Let's say the bands that [have] meant the most to me and that I keep returning to and that continuously keep rocking my boat, for more reasons than just being good music writers, but also historically, and also that keep inspiring me in terms of work ethic. I would probably say PINK FLOYD. Probably THE ROLLING STONES, even though, in many aspects, I would say that musically I think that maybe THE BEATLES were better… I don't wanna say better, but more pushing boundaries. But I think THE ROLLING STONES, when they were at their writing prime, in the later '60s, just on the brink of early '70s, their hits were amazing — very, very good rock. And what I really loved about THE ROLLING STONES — and still do — is that it's punk and it's attitude-driven as it possibly could have been, which is something that, I guess, THE BEATLES didn't really have; they weren't as dirty as THE STONES were. In that way, I like THE STONES a little bit more when it comes to the flair of what they did. So, PINK FLOYD, THE ROLLING STONES and probably METALLICA."
He continued: "I would say METALLICA is one of the most important bands for me — has been for a long time. Definitely a band without whom I probably wouldn't do these things. I wanted to be a rock musician before I knew, or before I was enamored with METALLICA, but they definitely inspired me. When I was a kid and liked THE ROLLING STONES and PINK FLOYD and Jimi Hendrix and all that, they were clearly from another time doing something that sort of belonged to the past, whereas METALLICA, when I started listening to them, they were very much current and they were very now. They were the biggest band in the world at that time, and still are. But they inspired me in many, many ways. And nowadays, of course, I get the amazing opportunity to be inspired and be taught, firsthand, by a band that I've spent so many years learning from from a distance. That is, obviously, not a luxury that I have with either THE ROLLING STONES or PINK FLOYD, so METALLICA, I would say."
Last December, Forge told the American Forces Network about the prospect of doing a full tour with METALLICA: "[I'm] very stoked. All of us grew up listening to METALLICA, and they're definitely one of my absolute favorite bands, and very much one of the reasons why I'm doing this. Of course, it means a lot. They've gone from being very far-away idols to over the years becoming basically mentors. They've been so supportive. We've played with them before, but never a consecutive tour like that, so to be able to do a full-on European stadium tour, that's a huge endeavor."
Forge founded GHOST more than a decade ago and has written almost all of the group's music, while also performing for years in costume as first Papa Emeritus and now Cardinal Copia. His real name was a mystery for much of that time and still does not appear on GHOST LPs.
GHOST's latest album, "Prequelle", debuted in June 2018 at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band will embark on a North American tour this fall in support of the disc, starting on September 13 in Bakersfield, California and wrapping on October 26 in Glens Falls, New York.