In a brand new interview with Free Press Houston, GHOST lead singer and founder Tobias Forge — who performs as Papa Emeritus and does the act's interviews disguised as a member of his backing band of Nameless Ghouls — spoke about the experience of touring the United States with IRON MAIDEN. Asked how the first few shows have gone for GHOST, Forge said: "Amazingly well. I mean, coming on to a tour as support is very hard to predict; you can't expect a lot of things. You can expect things from a practical point of view, like whatever you agree upon. But from a crowd point of view, you have to go in with a very, very open mind, especially with established and iconic bands like IRON MAIDEN. People are there to watch them, you know? You just have to make the best out of it.
"I must say that, a couple of shows down, they have been overwhelmingly accepting," he continued. "Enormous responses from the crowd. If we don't have them by the first 5 to 15 minutes, we definitely have them within the last 10, so I see that as a good sign. But you know, it differs when you go to different areas. A lot of the cities that we're playing we've played several times on our own over the years. We've gone from venues that hold 500 up to 3,000 on our own, so I guess we're not entirely unknown. But there is a difference between a few thousand people and 20,000."
Asked if GHOST has had to change up its show when it plays large venues or massive festivals, being such a theatrical group, Forge said: "Well, if you're going to a show that we're providing support for, or a large festival, you're obviously going to see a condensed version. We have to shave off some fat from the show, so we have to stick to the so-called 'bangers.' But yeah, I think especially for these shows, we include the most important things about a GHOST show. Papa will come out, look very dapper, and we'll play our significant songs. We make the best out of the 45 minutes we're playing. That's it, really. Most of the time we do that we come back a year or so later and do a full GHOST show. Every time we've done one so far it's been bigger and bigger, so even if it's more fun to do your own thing entirely, the tour has been going very well. We've been treated very well. That's what you need to do to become a bigger and better band. It's part of the job. We love playing, and we're having a lot of fun."
Forge recently officially revealed his identity 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.
In his court documents, Forge — who had previously played in several other rock bands, including REPUGNANT, CRASHDIET, SUBVISION, MAGNA CARTA CARTEL and SUPERIOR — took credit for developing GHOST's image and stage show and blamed his ex-bandmates for "destroying the mystery" surrounding the group by lifting the lid on GHOST's business dealings.
GHOST is known for its eccentric performances and is composed of six members easily recognized for their satanic attires. Five men who call themselves as Nameless Ghouls play the instruments while the lead vocalist is known as Papa Emeritus. The Nameless Ghouls who are wearing identical devil masks and costumes represent the five instrumentalities or elements (fire, water, air, earth and aether or quintessence) while their leader Papa Emeritus represents the group's anti-pope symbol.