GHOST's Tobias Forge says that his current stage character, Cardinal Copia, has a very good chance of sticking around for the band's next studio album.
Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of the band's first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of last year's "Prequelle".
Asked by Australia's "The Music" podcast in a new interview what his plans are for Cardinal Copia going forward, Forge said (hear audio below): "I have a vague idea of what's in store. It's gonna change over the years, to whatever extent we'll be around.
"Right now, if everything goes according to plan, we're hoping for Cardi to be strong enough and cool enough to possibly do something that none of the previous ones have done, and that's basically to do two cycles," he continued. "Which I just find interesting, because each of the other ones you've sort of met when they've already accomplished their thing — they're already accomplished; there's no story — whereas this time around he's presented very al dente; a little bit of chewing resistance. Not even I liked him to begin with. But now I can't wait to see him hopefully accomplish these things and I really look forward to possibly seeing him in the skull paint and real papal attire."
Forge recently told Billboard that he is focused on the band's next recording project, which he has been "working on for months now," with plans to be in the studio again by the beginning of 2020 with a release later that year.
GHOST's 2019 is packed with international touring, including a four-month run opening for METALLICA this summer, arena shows in Europe, festival gigs in Australia and more. Although Forge has mused about doing an EP this year, those plans seem to be on hold for now.
Last December, GHOST shared a music video for the song "Faith" from "Prequelle". The clip was shot at various stops on GHOST's hugely successful "A Pale Tour Called Death" North American run. The trek visited nearly 40 cities, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
"Prequelle" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and features the chart-topping singles "Rats" and "Dance Macabre".
In December, GHOST nabbed two Grammy nominations, "Best Rock Album" for "Prequelle" and "Best Rock Song" for "Rats".
Three years ago, GHOST became the first Swedish rock band ever to win a Grammy — 2016's "Best Metal Performance" for the song "Cirice".