The makers of Ghost, the hand-crafted British ultra-premium vodka, have slammed GHOST leader Tobias Forge for allegedly initiating a legal dispute over the sale of their product.
The vodka brand, which was launched in June 2015, first revealed the existence of a conflict via a Facebook post on Saturday (May 9). The post consisted of a manipulated photo of the Swedish band at the 2016 Grammy Awards, where the group was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category, with Forge holding a Ghost vodka bottle instead of a Grammy.
After BLABBERMOUTH.NET reported on the alleged legal claim on Tuesday, Ry Leon, the sales director for Ghost Drinks Ltd., provided further information on the dispute in an effort to "clear up a few rumours going around."
Ghost Drinks Ltd.'s full statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET reads as follows:
"Small-batch British drinks brand Ghost Vodka are the subject of a legal dispute brought about by the Swedish rock band, GHOST.
"The band take umbrage to Ghost Vodka (trading since 2015) being allowed to title their brand as such, feeling they should have exclusive use of the word 'ghost' across a multitude of different sectors. This is despite their primary business and income deriving from music and not having a competing product in this sector.
"Ghost Vodka was conceived in 2013 and we launched in June 2015 at Fortnum & Mason in London. Hardly going for the rock metal crowd here. Since then we have nurtured our business to have a presence in 36 countries. At the time of launching we had never heard of the band or Tobias Forge.
"Since we went public with this there have been a few rumours appearing in various comment sections which we would like to put to rest.
* We are being sued purely because we are called 'Ghost' vodka. There are no other factors at play here.
* Prior to the meme we posted this week, at no point have we ever used an image of the band to promote our product.
* Fans of the band and fans of rock metal as a whole have never been our target market for this brand.
* Legal documents submitted by the band indicate they have known of the vodka brand since 2016, posing the question why they waited so long until finding an issue with it.
"They are trying to schedule a court case for June in Stockholm, despite the current lockdown and travel ban yet to be lifted on the UK and much of Europe. The band seems determined to take advantage of this, knowing full well that we cannot attend the hearing.
"Our thoughts on the matter? We believe Tobias Forge needs the money having recently settled another case out of court. Having observed us since 2016 he now feels that we might have the funds available to provide him with a decent sized settlement. The money made from selling their gin is negligible, the volumes just aren't there. He should stick to what he's good at.
"Until the end of last year we had never heard of Tobias Forge. Having looked into his background, this is all entirely within character. If he can screw over his own bandmates, he will have now qualms in coming after a small, independent business.
"We respect his success and we can understand how hard he has worked to get where he is, however, there is no excuse for this kind of shitty behaviour on his part."
In April 2017, four former members of GHOST sued Forge 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.
In 2015, GHOST collaborated with Sweden's Nils Oscar Brewery on two beers: Grale and Lincopia.
Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of GHOST'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 2018's "Prequelle" album.
Last October, Forge confirmed to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine that there would be a new character fronting GHOST by the time the group's next LP sees the light of day.
"Prequelle" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and featured the chart-topping singles "Rats" and "Dance Macabre".
In December 2018, GHOST nabbed two more Grammy nominations, "Best Rock Album" for "Prequelle" and "Best Rock Song" for "Rats".
The entire Ghost band case in one image ?
To clear up a couple of rumours:
- No, we have never used the band’s image...
Posted by Ghost Vodka on Tuesday, August 15, 2017