Ghost are a band all about evolution both musically and theatrically. With their latest album, Prequelle, came the heir to the succession of Papa Emeritus papal figures, Cardinal Copia. He’s the first Ghost frontman (they’re actually all Tobias Forge) not to don papal robes and that’s something Forge hopes will change in the future.
“One thing that I’m looking forward to is having a pope back in the lead. Technically, we do have… Because Cardinal Copia is not the leader yet; he’s working his way up,” Forge told “Loudwire Nights” affiliate station KLAQ in a recent interview. “And I’m definitely also looking forward to him possibly becoming the real deal,” he admitted.
The band’s leader also expressed that he misses the “skull-painted pope figure” and that he’s “okay” with Cardinal Copia. “I think he’s cool — and I guess that’s the idea when you have a protagonist villain; he’s a lot of those things that you’re not, and I regard him the same way — he is a lot of the things that I guess I wish I was… We differ quite a lot, him and I. But I’m definitely looking forward to, in the future, where he could also have his additional papal robes,” Forge continued.
Hinting at even larger scale stage productions, he elaborated, “There’s definitely a lot of things that we can do that will be even more theatrical, more gags and more things changing. That’s also the part that sometimes is a little bit hard working with a two-hour show — to try to get the stage to appear in different ways. So there’s a lot of things like that that I’m looking forward to exploring in the future. You’ll see.”
Presumably, any ascension (within the papal ranks, not Heavenly) will be announced as a video message from the clergy and Sister Imperator, as has been the trend with any major shifts within Ghost. Social media has been the vessel for these announcements and when speaking with Download Australia, Forge said his use of these online platforms has been very strategic, careful not to overload fans with content.
“I’d look back at bands like Venom, Mayhem and Blasphemy – bands where you’d only seen maybe one or two pictures of them, because there wasn’t any more than that,” he recalled of metal’s pre-Internet days. “You’d see one or two interviews in print, and maybe a video, and you had to fill in all the blanks. All you knew about them were the little quotes in magazines, and lore. There were a lot of rumors.”
In an attempt to capture that mythical presentation, Forge said Ghost have taken the opposite route of many groups who lean on social media to expand their fanbases. He exclaimed, “On the contrary, I see it as though part of our success has been because we gave people less!”