Tobias Forge (41) has just returned from a walk along the Limmat. He loves Zurich and knows the few record shops that still exist. Because he visits her every time he’s here.
The singer of the Swedish shock rockers Ghost, who have already won two Grammys, is one of the most striking, and also the most sinister, figures in rock music. Privately though, Froge is one of the friendliest guys around.
How did you survive the corona pandemic?
Tobias Forge: Like most at home with the family, which has been good for me. For my teenage twins, on the other hand, being at home all the time wasn’t easy. And the isolation was also a trying time for my mother, who likes to socialize, travel and visit museums.
They were one of the first bands to tour again. Already at the beginning of the year you filled the halls in the USA with Ghost.
It was good to get out there and realize that life goes on. But only vaccinated people had access to our shows. Which was not a problem in the metropolises. In contrast, in the upstate, in the Midwest and the Southern States, where there are many skeptics, the halls were not always full.
Ghost’s concerts are like horror theater. Did you ever expect to be so successful with it one day?
no When I founded the project, I still had a telephone operator job. For a long time nobody knew who was behind Ghost because we all remained anonymous. My boss didn’t know either. I was always absent from the office because we were becoming more and more successful. When it finally became known that I was behind Ghost, my boss said: “It’s unbelievable that you built all this parallel to your job here in the office.”
What was your original goal with Ghost?
My dream has always been not to live my life according to the X scheme. I wanted to be a musician from a very young age. As is well known, there are many definitions of success: It was never important to me to be able to perform in front of 10,000 fans every night or to win a Grammy. Of course, it’s wonderful that things like this have happened now. But I would also be happy to be part of a smaller band. As long as I can do what I believe in, so I don’t have to bend over backwards, I’m happy.
The Eurovision Song Contest took place at the weekend. Would that also be something for you with the spectacle you offer on stage?
no For one reason: we are already very successful, so we could only lose. Apart from that: apart from Abba, Céline Dion and recently Måneskin, no one, as far as I know, has managed to have a long-term career after participating in the ESC.
Why is that?
The hype about the respective winner is so overpowering, so direct, so powerful. And that means that the magic fizzles out again just as quickly. Every hype is limited. Don’t get me wrong, I like the contest as a spectator. In fact, we were indirectly asked whether we would be interested in participating for Sweden. But: No, thank you!
New album: Ghost «Impera» (Universal)