GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge has confirmed that the band's next album will be more guitar-driven that last year's "Prequelle".
The 38-year-old Swedish musician spoke about GHOST's upcoming disc in a brand new interview with 1428 Elm. He said: "I always say that each new album is like a reaction to each of the previous so since 'Prequelle' is not a hard rock or heavy, heavy metal album, the natural reaction to that will be to write something that isn't — I don't want to use the word 'soft.' It will be different from 'Prequelle', the same way 'Prequelle' was different from [2015's] 'Meliora', etc. I'll write a record that we don't have yet, because otherwise what's the point? But I definitely have an album in mind with slightly more riffage. [chuckles]"
Earlier in the year, Forge told Revolver that "Prequelle" was "a little ballad heavy" and its follow-up will lean more in the direction of "Meliora" without repeating the same ideas.
"I want it to feel different," he said. "If I dare to say heavier, people think that it's going to be MERCYFUL FATE all the way... but I definitely have a darker, heavier record in mind."
Back in February, Forge told Billboard that he had already been working on music and lyrics for GHOST's next album for "months." But he recently revealed that he has only demoed one track in full so far. He told the "Talking Metal" podcast: "That song was based out of three ideas that I had. That's usually what it takes for me to go into a studio and start hammering it out. I have maybe 50 to 60 ideas lying around, which means, that if I just invest two or three days on piling together three ideas a time. It's almost mathematical."
Forge said that he plans on entering the studio in his hometown of Stockholm in January and spending five months fine-tuning the material before beginning the recording process in June. "It's actually back to quite normal working hours, Monday through Friday, 9 o'clock to 5 o'clock," he said. He explained that he will use a studio close to home, because he wants to spend time with his wife and two kids.
As for the musicians that will be featured on the new GHOST disc, Forge said that none of the members of his live band will make an appearance.
"If I'm not going to ask everyone to do their part, then what's the point?" he said. "I don't want to segregate people. I don't want to favor people. If I'm not asking everyone, then I don't want to ask anyone."
He explained that basically the band members have their own solo careers and are doing other things and he "wants to give them time away from GHOST." He also said that he has musicians he wants to record with, including a favorite drummer that's never toured with the band.
Forge founded GHOST more than a decade ago and has written almost all of the group's music, while also performing for years in costume as first Papa Emeritus and now Cardinal Copia. His real name was a mystery for much of that time and still does not appear on GHOST LPs.
"Prequelle" debuted in June 2018 at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Last month, GHOST kicked off a North American tour in support of the disc. The trek will wrap up on October 26 in Glens Falls, New York.