GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge spoke to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about his plans for the follow-up to last year's "Prequelle" album. Tentatively due in 2021, GHOST's fifth album will be followed by a massive 18-month touring cycle.
"I look at many fifth albums as a guide as to the urgency for what that record will need to be, with [IRON MAIDEN's] 'Powerslave' being a great example," Tobias said. "By the fifth album, you're at a point in your career where you have this momentum built up, and you have the expectancy of people depending on you, so you have to put something special in those many spotlights. You need to step up and make a record that's worth it and justifies all of these things."
Asked if the current incarnation of Cardinal Copia will lead the charge, or if there will be a new character fronting GHOST, Forge said: "I just know that person will have the name Papa Emeritus IV. It will be the fourth Papa Emeritus. But who that is, we don't know yet."
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 "Prequelle".
Last month, Tobias told Illinois's Herald-Whig that GHOST will do "absolutely zero" touring in 2020 as he turns his attention to the band's next studio album.
The Pulse Of Radio asked Forge if he's okay with having his life planned out years in advance. "I prefer it that way," he said. "When I had no plans whatsoever, I didn't get anything done. And I'm sure that one day when we're not in demand and all of this might be over, I'll have plenty of time to think about that."
"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".