GHOST leader Tobias Forge spoke to the Colorado Springs Independent about the lawsuit filed against him by four former members of the band.
The musicians sued Forge in April 2017 after being dismissed by the group's founder the previous December. They accused the singer of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours.
The lawsuit was filed in the district court of Linköping, Sweden, where GHOST was originally based. It claimed that a partnership agreement existed between Forge and the four former members, all of whom performed anonymously in the band as Nameless Ghouls. As a result of the lawsuit, Forge was forced to reveal his identity after years of performing in a mask as Papa Emeritus. He has maintained that "no legal partnership" ever existed between him and the other members.
Asked if he thinks his former bandmates would have been less vindictive if he had given names to his Nameless Ghouls, Forge replied: "You mean, if I'd given them names instead of making them completely anonymous? Probably, I guess. It's hard to say. Because with most people that are drawn to the performance stage, you do so with a certain inclination to be seen and appreciated. So maybe if our positions were reversed, I would have felt the same way. Until seven or eight years ago, I really wanted to be famous, so my idea of being in a band was definitely different from what it turned out to be.
"I've been in charge and working on this full-time, nonstop, for 10 years. Other people in GHOST would work a few hours every day, and then, during the four months between tours when I was making a record, they weren't really doing anything that had to do with GHOST. And since I was representing the band at all of the meetings, I was getting pats on the back and feeling like what I was doing was good. Whereas, if you had nothing to do with the day-to-day stuff, you maybe didn't get the pat on the back that you needed in order to feel fulfilled in life. So, you know, maybe if they had gotten their name on there, and could at least be recognized in the street, maybe that would have changed things. But on the other hand, I've played with others who didn't give a shit about that happening.'
The four former GHOST members will have their appeal heard in a Swedish court in March 2020.
The original trial in Linköping District Court lasted for six days, and in October 2018, a 108-page decision was released dismissing the case. The four musicians were also ordered to pay Forge's legal fees, which could amount to approximately $146,000. But now a new court will hear their appeal six months from now.
Forge told The Pulse Of Radio at the time that the lawsuit only inspired him to work harder at making GHOST a success. "I had a situation that urgently told me to salvage the situation and reclaim what is mine and also justify that it was mine to begin with," he explained. "It's just growing pains, and all this has just been — it's the result of things going well, not the opposite."
GHOST's latest album, "Prequelle", landed at position No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The disc, which arrived in June 2018, shifted 66,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release. Of that sum, 61,000 were in traditional album sales.