Mysterious Swedish buzz band GHOST will release its sophomore album, "Infestissumam", in the spring via Loma Vista Recordings, the new record label founded by Tom Whalley in partnership with Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Frontman Papa Emeritus and his Nameless Ghouls summoned Nashville-based Grammy Award-winning Nick Raskulinecz (DEATH ANGEL, DEFTONES, FOO FIGHTERS, RUSH) to produce this offering.
Speaking to Decibel for the magazine's February 2013 cover story, one of the Nameless Ghouls stated about GHOST's decision to use Raskulinecz: "The reason we wanted to work with Nick was because all the recordings he has produced sound uniquely like those bands. The RUSH album he did sounded like a RUSH album. The ALICE IN CHAINS album sounded like ALICE IN CHAINS; the FOO FIGHTERS sounded like FOO FIGHTERS, and so on. Whereas there are producers out there who are very fond of stamping whatever record they're producing with their own sort of sound. Nick is not one of those, and he seemed to be one of the few who seemed to understand our archaeological approach when it comes to our sound, which is something that we began doing on the first record. Now, with more resources, we're doing what we set out to do, which is to make a record that sounds like a real expensive record done in 1978, as opposed to a lo-fi album done in the '70s. Nick is one of the few who understood what we meant by that, and he's very devoted to Satan."
Asked about GHOST's decision to sign with a major label and the impact it has had on the expectations for the new album, the Ghoul said: "In some aspects, [being on a major label] has changed things for the better. Obviously, we went into this with expectations and demands, and so far it's been surprisingly open-minded in terms of creative freedom. There haven't been any problems. Obviously, if you compare this with releasing an album like [GHOST's debut CD] 'Opus Eponymous', the expectancy is very different at this point. The planning and overall scheme for this release is much different than what we're used to. Nobody had any expectations for the first record, whereas obviously this record is going to be given to a lot of people who already have expectations.
"Overall, it's not really as corporate as I expected it to be," he added. "I think a lot of the major labels have shifted from being these conglomerates of people who don't give a shit about music, because that didn't work. Those guys were kicked out. Now the ones that are actually still working there —not the owners, but the guys who work there — they're die-hard record-collectors, like guys who would run an independent label. They have dedicated their lives to rock 'n' roll debauchery, so they have first-row seats in hell, as do all people in show business. In that sense, they are true devil worshippers. But obviously this is our first record on a major label. It's an experiment. Ask me again in a year."
One of the songs GHOST recorded during the sessions for "Infestissumam" is a cover version of ABBA's "I'm A Marionette" as a potential b-side or bonus track.
"We are Swedish, and ABBA has always been a very, very strong part of our modern musical heritage," the Ghoul explained about what the move that might seem strange or even ill-advised on paper. "We all grew up with their music very present. Not only that — ABBA basically took a few hundred years of traditional Swedish music and made it into pop songs. I'm talking about folk music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Anybody outside Scandinavia probably isn't familiar with those tones or musical language. But one of the reasons ABBA broke through so enormously first in Sweden was probably because of their folk music influences. I think anyone from Scandinavia is easily infatuated with that sort of music, so ABBA has a deeper meaning to us, I think."