GHOST leader Tobias Forge said in a new interview that his legal battle with several of the band's former members was validation that he "must be doing something right." Forge, who founded the group eight years ago, was sued by four ex-members in April 2017 who accused the singer of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours. As a result, Forge was forced to reveal his identity after years of performing in a mask as Papa Emeritus.
Forge told The Guardian about the legal battle: "With hindsight, I think the reveal didn't really damage the band as negatively as the intention behind it [the lawsuit]. I had to go through a little bit of surgery when it came to my social life."
He continued: "A lot of the decisions that I made were based on trying to accommodate people's wishes, trying to be a friend and set them up for life. That intention seems to have been turned into me trying to fuck people over. That feels like a betrayal because this was not done out of spite at all."
Despite the legal action from his former friends, Forge is philosophical. "I took it almost as an acknowledgment that I must be doing something right," he said. "If things were going down the fucking tubes, no one would care."
The lawsuit claimed that a partnership agreement existed between Forge and the four former members, all of whom performed anonymously in the band as Nameless Ghouls.
Forge responded that "no legal partnership" ever existed between him and the other members, that they were paid a fixed salary to perform as his backing band, and that they were essentially session musicians.
Forge previously told NME that he realized the legal battle with his former bandmates "needed to happen. Also, I'm a big fan of rock, of rock history, and I've read every classic rock biography of every band I'm a fan of," he said. "You know what? The same shit takes place in every single one.
Forge added: "A friend of mine, a very successful songwriter, said to me, 'You're not really in the game until you've been sued, so welcome in!' and I think he's got a point. I've been in lots of situations in my life where I've managed to turn pain into growing pains. Really, what happened was a receipt that things are going well."
GHOST has announced a massive North American fall tour. The trek, which includes the Swedish band's previously announced headline arena dates at The Forum in Los Angeles, California and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, will kick off on November 1 in Chicago, Illinois and wrap on December 15 in Brooklyn.
A special BLABBERMOUTH.NET presale will begin on Thursday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. local time and end on Thursday, June 14 at 10 p.m. local time.
GHOST's new album, "Prequelle", landed at position No. 3 on this week's Billboard 200 chart. The disc, which arrived on June 1, shifted 66,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 7. Of that sum, between 61,000 were in traditional album sales.
GHOST's first week benefits from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band's spring U.S. theater tour, as well as a pair of arena dates later this year.
"Prequelle" was tracked last year at Artery studios in Stockholm with producer Tom Dalgety (OPETH, ROYAL BLOOD) and mixed in January at Westlake Studios in West Hollywood, California with Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, SLAYER).