Ghost has turned its tour into a theatrical production to keep audiences engaged and give them a performance like no other.
The band has decided to skip the never-ending drum and guitar solos and instead pace its show differently.
“We chose to do the theatrical Act I and Act II, because, one, since we’re headlining and the price of tickets, we want to give people value for their money, and playing for two hours 20 minutes, it’s a little bit of a stretch,” said frontman Tobias Forge, who now takes on the persona of Cardinal Copia. “I think it’s very much like comparing it to film; I always draw cinematic parallels to making records to the show. I just like the format because you play an hour and that hour will feel like a beginning and an end. But it’s like making two films: a one and then a sequel, where you leave it sort of hanging on the first act and then it comes to this resolve at the end of the second act.”
The show features a collection of songs from Ghost’s musical repertoire, including its latest album, “Prequelle,” which was somewhat inspired by the Plague.
“That doesn’t mean I was trying to do a historical account of what happened physically with that contagion,” Forge said. “That was not the point. It was a great metaphor for the world coming to an end, especially back then the various theories that they had as to why they were subjected to this turmoil and the wrath of God and God casting damnation upon humanity for this, that or other reason. And it’s also interesting in times of mortality being questioned. We all tend to do mean things. It’s just an interesting metaphor for things that go on and has been happening for hundreds of years after the Plague. People during the plague thought the world was definitely coming to an end, but it didn’t, obviously, but the world has come to an end many, many times, many, many places afterwards, and that will continue happening, unfortunately.”
Ghouls and Ghoulettes have been added to Ghost, which makes for a better live show. The additional band members have replaced back tracks, which has made for a better-sounding, more organic performance. Being summoned to be a Ghoul or Ghoulette takes versatile musical talent.
“You need to have certain metal chops,” Forge said. “If you are a guitar player in this band, it’s very old school, it’s very much old rock style. I am an old school guitar player. I’m not an ’80s-’90s sort of shredder who plays a million notes a minute. I am way more ’60s-’70s kind of style, and I write very ’60s-’70s. If you come in like a typical modern drummer who is used to playing only with tricks and double kick and, like, big, big, big, fast roles but you can’t play a swinging shuffle, then you can’t play in Ghost whatsoever. You need to have spent your time from playing Top 40 pop rock in order to know how to play a song like ‘Ritual,’ a song like ‘Absolution’ or ‘Idolatrine.’ You need to know your classic drumming and your classic guitar. You can’t have people in the band who’s like only metal, either, but if you don’t know metal, you can’t play Ghost anyway because there are elements in my guitar playing that are very, very, very based on me having played death metal, like ’80s death metal, so you would have to play a Slayer riff as well. You need to be sort of equally familiar with Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple as you are with the more extreme forms of metal, generally. So it’s not for everyone.”