GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge has SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" that he appreciates being able to maintain a sense of privacy even after his true identity was revealed.
"As long as I've been doing GHOST at least, I've been very keen on maintaining not necessarily an anonymity, but a low profile," he said. "But, on the other hand, I spent 25 years not doing GHOST where 20 of those years I wanted to be nothing but a famous rock musician. So it's not like I started playing rock in order to not become known and recognized. Of course, like anyone who puts their guitar on a body and [rocks] out on a stage, you're doing it to make people look at you."
In the past, Forge was known to give interviews in character and/or in costume in an effort to drive the story forward and keep up that air of anonymity. But since his true identity was confirmed last year, he has been slowly letting the guard down without losing the aura of mystery that has surrounded the Swedish band since its 2010 inception.
"Honestly, it's a necessity," Forge said about his slightly more transparent approach to publicity. "Even though I like speaking freely, I don't really have a desire anymore to profile myself as the individual wanting to be recognized. But I'm doing that because I have the luxury of having been in the limelight disguised. So I know the pros and cons of being able to step in and out of your known guise. So, if you'd asked me when I was six, 16 and 26, I wanted nothing more than to be a big, recognized rock star. Especially when I was six and 16, because I thought that if I was a known guitar player in a known band, only cute girls would talk to me. And now I know better." He added: "I enjoy the idea of being able to, sort of, flip-flop between being recognized and not being recognized."
Asked how often he is recognized when he is out in public, Forge said: "I don't know, really, because when I'm at home in Stockholm, I do not spend a lot of time out and about — I'm not out in the bar scene or anything — so I don't really move around in circles where I guess the frequency of me being recognized would be higher. So walking around the city, obviously, you have a lot of people walking the streets who are interested in so much other things. Yeah, if I go to a record store or I go to a record fair or I go to a concert, the odds are higher that I will be recognized."
Forge revealed his identity last year while responding to a lawsuit filed by four former members of GHOST, who accused him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group's album releases and world tours.
Since the musicians in GHOST wear masks and are only identified as Nameless Ghouls, personnel changes in the group over its eight-year existence have gone unannounced.
At the end of October, GHOST kicked off a massive North American fall tour, which will wrap on December 15 in Brooklyn, New York.
GHOST's latest album, "Prequelle", debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and features the chart-topping rock single "Rats".