Ghost: Tobias Forge si confessa, e racconta degli esordi della band
La persona dietro Papa Emeritus si apre ai microfoni di una radio svedese, raccontando le influenze che lo portarono ad esibirsi in maniera anonima
Sommar i P1 è una famosissima trasmissione radiofonica svedese, che ogni giorno dell’Estate mette al microfono per 90 minuti un personaggio nazionale famoso, lasciandolo completamente solo a parlare di quel che vuole, e libero anche di decidere che musica mettere durante la puntata.
Il 17 Agosto è andata in onda la puntata di Tobias Forge, che si è conclusa con le parole “Il mio nome è Tobias Forge, e sono l’uomo dietro la maschera dei Ghost. Grazie per avermi ascoltato” – confermando ufficialmente per la prima volta ciò che ormai tutti sapevano, ovvero che Tobias Forge è Papa Emeritus, la voce (e la mente) dei Ghost.
Nei 90 minuti precedenti, Tobias ha parlato tantissimo della sua vita privata, della sua passione per i vinili, di alcune scene familiari con il fratello ed i figli. Solo oltre la metà del monologo, si è iniziato a parlare dei Ghost – vi traduciamo una parte delle sue “confessioni”, a partire da una profonda influenza relativa alle identità segrete dei membri dei Ghost.
“Ho suonato la chitarra in una delle band svedesi più segrete mai esistite, chiamata Onkel Kånkel. Un mico suonava la batteria in questa band, e mi proposi come chitarrista – mi accettarono subito, visto che avevano bisogno di un nuovo musicista. E’ così che ho incontrato Håkan Florå, il frontman, una persona circondata da mistero e la cui identità non era nota a nessuno. Non si sapeva che faccia avesse o cosa gli piacesse, e ora io lo stavo incontrando. Una delle ragioni che lo portava a nascondersi, era perchè i suoi testi erano molto provocatori, prendendo in giro pedofilia, nazismo, amore fisico per gli animali e utilizzando volgarità mirate. Conoscendolo, scoprii che aveva registrato tutto da solo, dozzine di canzoni per le quali aveva suonato tutto, ma che sull’artwork dei dischi metteva i nomi dei musicisti che si portava dietro in tour, anche se pure quelli erano nomi fittizi. Io ero da tempo affascinato da questa band, perchè non ne sapevo niente (erano anche i tempi pre-internet!), e trovavo esaltante suonare in una band della quale nessuno sapeva niente.”
Finito il progetto con Håkan Florå (che poi morì nel 2009), Tobias iniziò a scrivere musica da solo:
“Scrissi una canzone parodistica chiamata “Satans Natt” (la notte di Satana), e andai dal mio amico Gurra per registrarne un demo al volo. Eravamo estremamente soddisfatti del suono, ci sembrava una cosa molto particolare, e decidemmo di scrivere altre due canzoni su questa linea, per registrare una demotape. Impiegai un po’ di tempo per scrivere altri due pezzi, perchè ero impegnato con altre band e poi avevo una nuova ragazza, che giustamente impegnava la maggior parte del mio tempo – e poi lavoravo come assistente telefonico per una ditta di cellulari. In ogni caso, scrissi altri due pezzi: Death Knell e Prime Mover, e Satans Natt fu riregistrata come Stand by Him.
Scrivendo questi pezzi, compresi come mi piaceva fare tutto da solo. La melodia, gli assoli, le parti vocali.
Gurra fu molto soddisfatto del risultato, ed i testi erano molto blasfemi, anche se con un tono ironico. Iniziai a pensare al look di questa band: cantando testi come Prime Mover, non ci si poteva presentare sul palco con una maglietta dei Sodom e jeans. Dovevamo avere un look importante, e misterioso. Come gli Onkel Kånkel. Una band death metal con un look teatrale.
Il piano diventò questo: registrare un disco intero, non più un demo soltanto, e mandarlo in giro a tutti, presentandoci come una band già fatta e finita e sull’orlo del successo. Non avremmo potuto suonare come band di supporto a qualche gruppetto locale, o come headliner davanti a 100 nostri amici in qualche bar. E sapevamo che il nome della band sarebbe stato Ghost.
Ci serviva solo un cantante. Abbiamo fatto sentire la musica a tantissimi musicisti svedesi, ma nessun cantante sembrava quello giusto. La svezia ha tantissima diversità, a livello di cantanti metal, ma volevo qualcosa di diverso. Nel frattempo diventai padre, ed il progetto si fermò un po’. Anzi, visto che non avevamo un cantante, quasi lo congelai.
Ma mentre lavoravo al telefono, un giorno disegnai un logo che mi colpì: venne fuori mentre aiutavo qualcuno a sistemare il suo telefono, e compresi che sarebbe stato il logo dei Ghost. Quindi mi tornò la fretta di mettere in piedi il progetto.
Caricammo tre canzoni (Ritual, Death Knell e Prime Mover) su MySpace – all’epoca era il distributore principale di musica, se non avevi un’etichetta. Ti facevi conoscere, i contatti crescevano…
Quelle tre canzoni erano cantate da me, avevamo ancora in mente di trovare un cantante, ma non volevo aspettare oltre: volevo far sentire la musica dei Ghost.
Aspettai un giorno intero, prima di vedere su MySpace l’effetto delle canzoni. Fu una cosa inaspettata e incredibile. In un solo giorno, i Ghost stavano passando sulla playlist di centinaia di persone. Alcuni siti musicali avevano già iniziato a parlare dei Ghost. Un’esperienza incredibile, mi girava la testa dall’emozione.
Poi suonò il telefono della casa di mia madre: mio fratello Sebastian era morto, per cause naturali. La testa continuò a girarmi, e mi dimenticai dei Ghost.
Al ritorno dall’ospedale, il giorno dopo, aprii MySpace. Migliaia di persone avevano sentito i brani, la casella dei messaggi scoppiava, alcune etichette ci volevano contattare e ricevevo complimenti da musicisti molto famosi.
Fu stranissimo essere felice di qualcosa in quel momento, perchè il mio fratello maggiore era appena morto, prima ancora che potessi raccontargli di quell’esperienza incredibile.”
Tobias Forge a Sommar i P1: la trascrizione e traduzione (inglese)
L’utente totaljunkrat ha postato su Reddit la traduzione in inglese e trascrizione di tutti i 90 minuti di trasmissione, nel caso vogliate leggerli. C’è qualche errore di battitura, ma penso gli sia concesso…
Almost all my memories from my childhood I associate with either music, TV or movies. I remember almost everyhing as a accompaniment of pop culture. I remember a huge part of my childhood.
Maybe not exact details of it, but places and moments. People and meetings. I can still remember a great amount of details how it looked in the apartement we moved from when I was at the age of 4.
I have living memories from almost the entire ’80s – Barnjournalen, Bagen, Carola won Melodifestivalen, Solstollarna, Tillbaka till framtiden (Back to the future), Samanta Fox, Kim Wild, Ghost Busters, Vetenskapens värld, Ett med Naturen, Moonlight Shadow, Fragglarna, The Riddle, and Kiss was interviewed in the music program Norrsken.
I was always watching the news. There were many conflicts in the world which was very hard to grasp the idea of as a child, but I was very interested. I watched Rapport and Aktuellt. Lokala östnytt where the news contained everything from Thather, Regan, Arafat and Gorbatjov – to bankruptcy of Gusums bruk in Valdemarsvik. I remember small and large, as I said.
I remember very well when I were within a few days of my 5th birthday and I sat on the floor in my older brother’s room, he must’ve been 17 years old then, and was still asleep. It was the morning on a Saturday, and he let me be in his room, as long as I was calm. Our mom suddenly came into the room and turned on the radio, where a most serious voice announced that Olof Palme had been shot during the night. Everything became very serious, my brother sat up in the bed, and we listened together on the news. That was the first time I experienced a large political situation, that I myself could relate to in some way. Other dramatic situations involved people that I didn’t previously knew about, before I heard or saw them on the news. But I knew who Olof Palme was, and that he was liked by many.
My mother was from Stockholm and since my grandmother still lived there, we often went for a visit. I was familiar with the place from the repotage, and the bullets from Sveavägen therefore felt very close. It was a first of many homicide I was to follow close in media. I remember handling the news in the same manner as many other children do, I dressed up, loaded my cap gun, and went out on a murderhunt in the apartement.
You’re listening to Summer in P1 – My name is Tobias Forge.
I am from Linköping, I mainly grew up with my mother Siv and my brother Sebastian. Because my brother was 13 years older, we had a relation that differed slightly from most of my friends and the relation they had with their same-age siblings.
He was in many ways not a sibling, but a huge idol – a role model. Often, he acted as a father as well. We didn’t have any large amount of money, but the money we had was spent on culture. It was very rich on culture at home – art on the walls, music in the speakers and a lot of books in the shelf, that was read, and also discussed. The TV and the radio was often turned on at the same time – with about no censure. As long as a grownup was presence, I was allowed to watch almost everything.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been sitting, either with my mother, who often fell asleep on the couth, and/or with Sebastian, and was watching movies that I havn’t even dared to show my kids to this day. Scarface – No problems. It was explained to me that one actually doesn’t get to see when the saw enters the body, the camera is pointing another direction at the time, and it just sounds like a man being cut in half- that was fasinating to me. Not only that people was cut with a saw, but also that they could make it feel like it happened, wihtout actually being so. Forward – The Shining – absolutley, we were caddling in the couth, I think my mother had feel asleep at the time, actually.
We often rented movies down at the moviestore on Nya Tanneforsvägen, as an example, a few years later though, I was about 9 – I was sick, was going to stay home, and because my mother was going to work, she rented a movie for me, as she often did. Also this time, she rented the one I asked her to rent – she came up with the IT movie, in Swedish it’s called “DET”, which has led to a lifelong fear of people who are colored on their faces. The movie is about a really disturbing clown, who haunts childrens thoughts, and in the end kills the children. I was ofcourse watching children movies as well, and just as many other children I felt like it was the Star Wars triology that was the big favourite. I was playing with Star Wars toys, it was always great to visit someone who had more, or other figures or ships than myself. Usually, a large part of consumtion was of what my mother and my brother was watching.
Due to him being a teenager when I was a kid, my childhood was influenced by the teenage culture he and his friends was living in our home. It was tabletop games, punkrock, homemade fanzine, Måndagsbörsen on TV, we went away to London to see The Den – we then also, to my big joy from London, came home with new albums, Get-a-grip shoes, Stilettoknifes which I found very awesome. It was LP’s, beer, friends, girlfriends. I thought a lot of them where very cute – the girlfriends that is. It was very long, and large hair. It smelled of hair spray and dating perfume. It smelled of sunscreenfactor (no idea what this is called…), they used snus, they smoked, they cursed, and they were making out. In the middle of all this, I was sitting wide-eyed, watching. Often, I was allowed to join – not on the kissing so much, sadly, but in many other things.
Sebastian often took me with him out in the city when he was going to record or bookshops, was going to meet someone for a coffe, or home to someone. I where often to figurate as some type of mascot. They laughed when I said funny stuff, sometimes they asked me to say stuff that I myself really didn’t understand the funny thing in, but it didn’t matter, because I loved to entertain. One time when we were to go for a busride me and Sebastian, he said to me right as the bus came “Just tell the chaffour that you won’t pay, and just go straight pass him” – so I went aboard the bus and told the driver that I wans’t going to pay, I didn’t really understand what was funny about it, and besides that he payed for us both. It was a typical thing he did, that amused him. I often sat down and read Sebastians “Okej” magazines, he was always awesome and gave me the hard rock affishes that came with them. In my room, it was full of pictures on the walls – it was Kiss, Möntley Crue, Iron Maiden, about everything that was popular in Sweden during the 80’s. If you’d asked my 5 years old me about my favourite movies, the answer probably would’ve been Fritz the Cat, and Sex Pistols-movie “The Great Rock N Roll Swindle”.
There are in particularly one scene that plays in the concerthall L’Olympia in Paris, where we besides the points actually have performed 2 times with Ghost, however, Sid Vicious comes out on stage in white dress, and a padlock around the neck. I found it really mighty that when he’s finished singing, he picks up a gun and shoots and man and a women in the audience, then it’s “thank you, bye”
I lived with my mother in Linköping, and my father was living with his new family outside Norrköping, as a child and teenager I was often very upset about this situation, and felt robbed of a normal childhood, saftey and, well.. money, normality, parents who loves each other. I hated that I, every other weekend, was forced away, and it felt every time like being picked away from my own life where I had full freedom to dream away – I was instead to be forced into their new world, where they have chosen each other, they loved each other.. Where I was not only subordinate my new younger brother, who I was to play with, but also where I was to participate socially in their reality.
I stopped going there when I was 10. Now afterwards I just want to point out that I, nowadays are fine with my somewhat messy childhood. Partly because me right now as a grown-up know that it was as I experienced it, and not nessessarly exactly as it happened, and nowadays I have a really good relation with my father. I also have a good relation with my beloved younger siblings, who are not that small anymore.
And the fact that my fathers new wife was a friend of “Jesu – teach, believe” can I now regard as a happy circumstance condering what I came to work with. Her believes at the very least was scratching the manege of the underwordley figure that I in my early teenage welcomed into my life, as in any case officially, my biggest manly role-model That was “Sleepless nights” with King Dimond.
The devil became my companion, we went unconditionally hand in hand throughout my puberty and teeange, he was exactly the pointed finger in the air I needed when I was the most angry. And also now in less agitated days are we still great friends.
As most of you understand I often get quetions regarding religion and my believes, I usually answer that it depends on which part of me it is that answers – My younger self, who hates the world and everyone who lives in it is one answer, my adult me – a more balanced answer, as a envisioning individual I can admit that I want to believe in a lot of stuff, but exactly as the Star Wars universe is placed as an actual world in my reference-library, I most be open to the possability that also others written stories are coming from fantasy – maybe inspired by true events and happenings, but still.. a combination. And similar to Star Wars, composed with the intent to entertain and bring a bit of wisdom.. But also to make money.
To try grasping the idea of superhumanity and other dimensions, I believe that one should start affirm some kind of ‘recykle thoughts’ instead of the linear religions understanding that a person has one chance in one life, to end up in either heaven or hell.. Or Nangijala – when the big questions should be about where we should be in our real life, it appears the central question in the linear religions seems to be where we will be after life’s ended. And if a person does something wrong they can simply buy themselfs from gulit, with a guilty confession – which doesn’t even need to be meant, just because it’s said – or sometimes even economical, where one at some places can get a remission of sins in exchange of money. Linear religion therefore often leads to evil, because one can do a little bit of everything, especially if it’s done by the name of the religion. This in the opposition of the circular beliefs, where one has embraced the idea of that everything one does gets a consiquence.
And therefore can influence with actions instead of beheading someone and than blame god. (I hope to fucking Lucifer I got this correct.. Damn!)
What happens then.. After death? I do not have the slighest clue. No one can with full confidense tell – and it someone tries to tell you that they very surely knows the answer, you can be sure of two things – This is person either lies, or has a screw loose. But one thing is sure, if you have the patience, you’ll be fine.
I thought school was fuuuuucking boring, I had already got a glimse of a larger and more interesting world, than the one that was presented in first grade at Tanneforsskolan, and that my class manager was a really thight and strict hag didn’t help, futher more was she religious, and seemed to evaluating the children according to fear of god. Sure I was afraid of the dark, but I didn’t see god as some figue one should fear. However I started to understand that his most faithful subjects mostly was evil people, who didn’t have much over for people like me.
During the entire schooling I felt like I were on a visit in a classroom, but that not much of what was said, or the assignments, had any important to me. Page-numbers that was written on the board that was due tomorrow, or another day, well.. It didn’t appeal to me.
I had as many others, aesthetical difficulties in subjects such as mathematics and chemistry and likewise. More rigid subjects where nothing is a question of interpretation.
I was a bright star with humanistic subjects, where I could simply talk my way to results. Or.. “a bright star” might be a bit excessive, concidering that I at last, after many difficulities finished my schooling as a 19 year old with a final grade containing over about 20 failed classes and about 80% absense. I didn’t give a shit about it. Finally it was over, and it felt least to say very liberating.
I had during all my years in school been completely sure of what I would be, and what I wanted to do with my life…
I’ve played guitar in Sweden’s most secret band. It all began when a friend of mine was asked to play drums in the band during some concerts, because I also was a fan I offered to play guitar, and because it was a need for it, the job was mine.
During repetition before the gig I had the great pleasure of getting to know the bands frontman Håkan Florå. I had as so many other music interested teenagers in Sweden listened to his band since the early ’90s. And because his identity was secret it was a surreal experience to now hang out with this man. For being the brain behind an orchestra who’s repertoire most would view as in a slight term pubertal provocing, Håkan was very calm and intelligent.
He had since early ’80s composed and released a handfull of albums that contained so called “Könsrock” which can be explained as underground-toned musicstyle with roots in the punk, who’s characteristics is texts which on a provocative and ridicule way threats sensitive subjects such as stool, pedophilia, nazism, bestiality and handicap/disabilites. Combination of rough sexual language, sly rhimes gives the lyrics it’s specific characteristics – according to (Swedish) Wikipedia.
It became clear that it never actually had been a band, but he by himself with a portastudio at home, playing all the instruments, had recoded the albums for his own entertainment. And in some way it had succeded to pass unknown both who Håkan was, and the actual circumstances regarding the creation of his albums. On the album cover it was presented as a band, the members was names such as CP-Sven, Epilepsi-Kurt (Epilepsy), Stomi-Bertil (Stoma) and Arne Tammer, maybe one should take as a hint.
Regardless, I had always had an enormous fascination for the band, because I didn’t know anything about it. Remember that this was in a time before the internet, and there was only just rumors, which spread mouth-to-mouth. One didn’t even read about the band in the press, but what one had access to was the records and one’s own imagination. It was something very appealing in this, I thought, and the entire experience of playing in a band which nobody knows I’ve played in, and to move around in the dangerous and forbidden, inspired me later in a later project.
Håkan came to be a close friend to me and we had much fun together, he sadly passed away because of heartfailure in 2009 and I miss him greatley. Thank you Håkan, you were a genious. My name is Tobias Forge, and was in the beginning of the 2000 centry guitarist in Swedens most secret band – Onkel Kånkel.
Yeah.. Okay, ehm.. You people who are familiar with Håkans lyrics understands that we simply can’t play Onkel Kånkel in Sveriges Radio, it just doesn’t work, I’m sorry. It doesn’t fit in the “home sweet home” – because it annoys to much.
On the other hand, I can tell you an anecdote that goes in the “könsrocken” signature. My grandmother Allice took me to my 4 years control and when the doctor asked if I had any favouriteartist I answered Kiss. He also wondered if I could sing something to him, and because I had been memorizing couplet that had been going warm in the Forge’s home during the summer of ’85 I told him “Jajjemen!” – So in front of my frightened grandmother and the doctor I made my public debut as songer, gladly singing this…
My name is Tobias Forge – I’m a discophile. On pure street-Swedish it means I’m collecting LP-discs. To be a collector of something as a grown-up can by the surroundings appear as waste.. unnecessary maybe. Not at all, to my wife I call it an investment despite the fact that I ofcourse won’t ever sell them. “Are you listening to every record?”, a few asks. “Yes, at times, absolutley”. “Do you like every record then?” – No, ofcourse not. I love a massive amount of bands and artists, and collects all sorts of things, mixed is the best.
Some albums I worship and search for in record shops around the world in order to find that rare press of. In some way I feel like I get closer to the experience if I have atleast a pressing of the disc which is somewhat contemporary. It must not be the very first edition, but close enough. It’s exactly like “A Saucerful of Secrets” of Pink Floyd feels better to listen to if the pshysical disc also is created in 1968. I becomes a larger experience then.
With some other discs I want almost the diametral opposition, I sometimes rather listen to something which is really bad, than something that’s just mediocre. I feel the same ways about movies, rather a absolutley terrible horror movie than a mediocre action movie – but ehm, now we’re discussing music. An easy example on a disc that is not that good but very entertaining is “Philosophy of the World” with the American The Shaggs. It’s an album that almost can be discribed as unlistenable, but somehow get pleasurable anyway. From a disc-collection perspetive is the disc in it’s original edition a rarity that if one would ran into it would have to pay 10’s of thounsands of SEK for – a typical discophile disc. I don’t have it – yet.
Rock’n’Roll has since the beginning had the task of giving the listener an insight in a more insteresting world where they can fantasize themself to. A hope of a more beatiful existence, a wider horizon with more possabilites than those that might be served. The will of want more, to be seen.
One band that didn’t seem to have the slightest interest in selling the idea of a bigger and more tasteful world was the northern band Max Fenders, whose lyrics leave a whole lot to wish for, in many ways, but in it’s context, and now on a trusty distance yields a very high entertainement value in my opinion… Give it a listen!
I had together with my mother moved to Stockholm after 9th grade and lived after the gymnasium in a rather splattered existence where I changed job often in order to be able to work with my bands. Bands that in a mild expression went “sådär” (okay, good-ish). The ambitions was high and at least I thought that the big break was just right around the corner. Now afterwards, some of the bands has been growing, so it wasn’t an absolute waste. But there, and then, it went upwards, without any big results.
To release an album was really just to make it available, which not so many peole was listening to. When I look back I can sore for the younger us, and how damn far away from the large breakthrough we actually were. I called myself this entire time a musician, when I in reality were unemployed. Most of the time I really was just unemplyed. And I have probably been concidered by a lot of people in my life as workshy – but in my world I was working the entire time, and I was completely sure that I just got to work with what I wanted, I would in the end be able to show my surroundings that I also could work my ass off.
And here, I must actually parise the Swedish welfare. I often get the question nowadays what we have in our Swedish water that makes us so good at writing songs, forming bands, and simply be so good at music. And now I’m not just talking about the largely successfull bands like ABBA and Rexxet, Max Martin. I mean the huge ocean of successful punk and metalband that our land has cared very much for.
Sweden is associated with quality, and if someone is a band or a songwriter from Sweden, one already almost has a inherited garantuee when it comes to claim oneself internationelly, something which most muscians from other contries does not carry with them.
Reasons as to our lands colosally fantatic rumours and success are surely many, but I must point out that without our outstanding social safteynet, many Swedish punk and metalband and lyricswriters for that matter, not gotten all the time it took in order to reach their full potential. With this I do NOT mean that all Swedish rockers are welfare-takers, but that a lot out us without doubt has being going forward by taking some, at least professional-wise totally worthless course with some point at the universicity with student grand. Go and stamp, small jobs, studycircles (?), undeclared working, “Learn to find job”-courses, work by the hour, ect. At the same time is we’ve been able to sit home and write songs, having repitions, recording demos and been playing live without making a penny on it. That is a fact. I’ve definitely done it.
The years went by, I moved back to Linköping 2006. It was hard to live in Stockholm without any money or without a place to live. It was hard to stand and look at a muschbrach which didn’t want to welcome me inside.. Nope, I moved back to the city, and it felt really liberating. career-wise it could be seen as suicide, but I had a strong intuitive feeling that it was the right thing to do, I was single and had not job, not professional career either. Not really any commitments. I could do whatever. The whole world could be seen as a posability.
I moved into a secondhand apartement with one room at Apotekaregatan and began anew there. I had however not cut my strings entierly to the capital, partly because my mother still lived there, and also that I within just a few months after the move met a girlfriend – Boel, who was from Stockholm. All of a sudden, I was not single anymore, but very, very much in love for the first time – in someone who was in love with me, so I began travel between the cities. During my visits in Stockholm also and managed to start a new little music project with my friend Gurra who I had played with together in many bands previously. It all began just before I moved with me writing a ‘joke’song called “Satans Natt” (Satan’s night) at mothers place in Norsborg.
I took my bike to Gurra in Gröndahl where he helped me record a fast demo-version of song, we liked what we heard and thought the song had an unique character. I said to Gurra that if I would write 2 more songs in the same fashion, we should record more and take it from there. At this moment I had multiple bands to focus on and also my new realtionship which took up a lot of time, it was to take to Mars in 2008 before me and Gurra began.
He had began working at a studio in Stadshagen and we could record during a weekend, I had now wrote 2 more songs – Death Knell and Prime Mover. Also “Satans Natt” which later changed title to Stand by Him was also to be recorded. Always when I write a song, I arrange all the instrumentals – that is – all the arrrengements for all the instruments in the audiopic. I was singing as well, after all it was just going to be a demo to see how it sounded, not play it in front of the world. And when we on the Sunday where finished and listened to the 3 songs, we couldn’t hold back our smiles, it sounded very cool – strange in some way – but yet, cool.
I thought that the lyrics, which had fallen in place by themselfs as very blasphemous, the band needed a clear and big image. A band which plays a song such as Death Knell or Prime Mover can’t just stand on the stage with a Sodom-shirt and a jeansjacket, nope, this must be more awesome than that. And it was going to be anonymous. As Onkel Kånkel. But a death metalband with theatrical image.
We made a plan, we were to meet at a later date and I was to write more songs that we could record, later – when we had material for a full album, we would tell people about the band and hopefully advance a bit quicker. It wasn’t going to be good if we began as every other debutants and take gigs as opening act on Tantogården or Kafé 44, if we didn’t have a strong repertoire and a strong image.
Besides, it was hard to stay anonymous if we played at all to small places with just friends in the audience, we needed planning and preparation. But we knew one more thing – the band was to be called ‘Ghost’.
We had a large task ahead of us, we had to find a singer. A great singer. In this new band I only wanted to play guitar and maybe sing small parts. We played the demos to many of Swedens different metalsingers, but all of them had better things to do and said no. Yeah, yeah.. It was to solve it self in due time.
A write some songs more, and during spring 2008 we recorded 3 more, that combined with the 3 first songs all was to figurate on our debutalbum ‘Opus Eponymous’ 2 years later. But just at this moment I had quiet a lot to do. Boel was pragnant and was going to move down to me in Linköping and I was going to get a fulltime job to support us. It wasn’t just one little baby, but 2 who was in the belly, so now it was a sharp situation. Ghost had to wait until better times.
Besides, we needed more time to find a songer and I needed to write more songs. Now it went fast forward, 1th of November I moved from my 1-room apartement and together with Boel into a 3-room aparatment in Linköping. And me who had lived by myself, now all of a sudden shared my household. And the morning of the 24th December 2008 our 2 children was born – Morris and Mino, and nothing was going to be the same after this.
From single in a 1-room to a family father in 2 months. It was about time to find something useful to do in life. The entire of 2008 had for in the pratical been a sabbatical year from music, because my children were infants, and I spent most of my time either home or at my new job. My new job as a technical support at phone for a bigger Swedish mobiledeveloping company. This postition was quiet amusing now afterwards, because I was and still is, completely untechnical. I didn’t know anything about mobile phones of syncprograms, but I’m quiet good on the talking, and that can bring someone a long way. I was just asking a lot of questions and tried in that manner to lead the customer to help themselfs. In the end, it was a job, and I could support my family.
I was still writing songs for the Ghost-project and write down ideas for songs in general. I also sat on workinghours and worked, at the same time as I was in a conversation on the phone, I was painting what would become the Ghost-logo. First, I wrote the text, then I paused the conversation with the customer with the excuse of checking something regarding the matter. In actual fact I went to the copy-machine and made a copy on the original. I went back to my workstationen, resumed the converstaion with the customer and continued to “help”.
I placed the copy under the original until the angles was in order, then I filled the entire thing with a pen. Either way one can see on the original that it isn’t straight lines, but it’s actually kind of uneven. One of the papers must’ve slipped somehow.
I began to understand that I was on a “All time far” from my dream of traveling the world and rock.
I had to do something radical – soon, and I had to it.. by myself.
I talked to Gurra and said that it was about time to work on Ghost and we needed to record a new demo to upload on MySpace, which at the time was the largest music community on the internet, were unknown bands could reach out all around the world. Said and done, during a couple of days in the beginning of the year we recorded 3 of the songs we’d previously recorded – Ritual, Death Knell and Prime Mover.
We didn’t have a singer yet, I had to do the song and we were to fix that part later – now we just got to get started. We had some thounsands of MySpace-friends at this time and now it was just to spread the darkness.
I had along with my family gone to Stockholm for a weekend and borrowed now on the morning, Friday, 12th of Mars, my mother laptop and uploaded the songs, and then contacted all these so called ‘friends’ and informed in a genertic message that Ghost now was available and that it must be heard. I shut down the computer and spent the entire day away from home.
At mother’s home again later in the evening I was very interested in checking if we’d gotten any response on the songs, I opened mothers laptop and logged into MySpace. If you compare being a musician with example being a sportsman, a musician rarley experience instant success. The success comes – if there is any – gradually. And in a phase which makes it hard to notice it until afterwards – if there’s any notice. A few doesn’t experiences it directly either, but has it as a memory.
It’s really rare with the feeling that it must’ve felt for Iniesta made that goal in the VM finale between Spain and Holland in 2010. What a score! What an amazing experience it must be. One second you havn’t won, and it might as well end in a loss. And all of a sudden it happend, and everything is changed. Forever.
An equal quick success as Ghost now had done within one day, I had never experienced before. It felt for the very first time for real like I’d created an image, a moment. A moment which had created reactions the world over – in real time. I felt almost childish exitement and spent hours reading – answered mail that dropped in. Everyone was so entusiastic and sheerful that it almost was hard to grasp.
It had already on that same evening begin to be articles of Ghost on different sites. All of a sudden, it rings in mothers homephone, it’s the middle of the night a bit past midnight and mother who has been sleeping in the couth wakes up and trambles to the phone in the hallway, and answers.
I’m sitting with the laptop in the livingroom and can hear in her voice that what is said is confusing to her – something is wrong. All of a sudden, she makes a sound which I’ve never heard her do before. I go to her and she just gives me the phone. On the other line it’s Sebastians previous wife, she tells me that Sebastian has passed away.
Just as in a movie it’s like the body starts to pulsate, there are tinnittus, tunnel visions. I don’t remember what she said but I know that she and her new boyfriend by accident was in Stockholm just at that moment and was going to drive a car to Linköping during the night, we could come along if we wanted. So we did. Boel and the children stayed at home in Västertorp and me and mother was picked up and went down straight to the university hospital in Linköping. In a separare room at the emergency room we got to sit together with the doctor who had taken care of Sebastian, and he told from a medical perspetive what he knew had happened.
An autopsy would give more results within a few days, but shortly – he had passed away and it was due to natural causes. Along with us in the room, it was for me and my mother an unknown woman, who apparantly had figurated as a girlfriend the past weeks. She told that they’d spent the Fridaynight together and that he had gotten a heartstop after some funtime in the bed.
It had been very dramatic in the aparatement with ambulance staff and chaos, but he life hadn’t been able to save. What we nor Sebastian knew, which we later – after the autopsy got to know – was that he had a innately heartproblem that in short meant that the muscles around the heart when becoming of age are getting thight and looses it’s elasticity.
If one discovers the sickness during the teenage or earlier there’s a chance of living a long life, given that one doesn’t drink, smokes or moves more than is required. The last 4 years after his separation had Sebastian been living a eventfull life, he has drinking and smoking as the enthusiastic lifelover he actually was. His amazing energi had also led to as he described it – a whole lot of elegant ladies. He was also a relativly well-grown man, who by most was seen as big and strong – most of all by me. He was always the one who lifted large and heavy things, and push it really hard. A really strong older brother.
Now, he was laying there – sourrounded by living candles, unusually relaxed, for someone who in usual ways was so active that he talked and moved a lot while being asleep. I’d never seen him so… Calm.
My educator, my hero, my mentor. It sank into me that it was defenetly the end of the dance. But, he actually went away Inflagranti, and as the romatic he was, it was most probably this way he’d wanted to make an exit. After all, he had been living in 41 years, he got 2 sons he loved, he had a well-payed job, and he amused himself – anyway in periods of his life – as a king, with both intoxicants, galant ladies, and punkrock with good friends. Many people doesn’t even get that in life.
It felt like an entire new world. It was to the very eye very much alike the world I was used to, but in the world I knew, me and Sebastian was to live somewhat parallel about equally as long. Everyone who has lost someone close to them knows this feeling where it feels like a load of weight pressing over one, when it becomes clear that it isn’t a dream. You haven’t been woken from a nightmare, scratching your eyes, and everything feels good again – this is true.
I observed mother at this moment, all of a sudden I was her only son, she had now from my view a increadible calm and took for example initiative that for me was kind of unexpected – she went away and bought Pizza, that we ate in the apartement in Linköping before we went to a bus and went back to her in Stockholm.
We came home to her apartement in Hägersten where Boel and the kids where waiting for us and as I recall it we tried to have a somewhat calm and normal evening at home. All of a sudden, I came to think about the computer that I had left on the diningtable in the livingroom – All of a sudden I remembered Ghost and that it was something about that yeturday.
I opened the screen and visited MySpace – a MySpace that by this time had absolutely exploded with energy, 10 times more than the previous night. Thousands of people had been in an listening to the songs and it was more mail than I could answer. Mail from people from all around the world. Mail from record labels – record labels who wanted to check the possability of collaboration. Mail from members of famous bands – mail that was absolutley filled with praise.
Despite that fact that I don’t nessessarily feel myself in any kind of belief, it’s hard to not see anything relgious in the timing. If feel like I’ve been part of some.. Cosmic exchange deal, where I didn’t before hand knew that I was part of but now had done a deal.. Like it’s been some kind of mistake, but that the compensation now came in a form of a chance, from me never previous experienced. It felt like if I’d recived a huge gift as a comfort from the loss.
It felt strange to be glad about something just there and then but I coudn’t help notice that from a music career-perspetive, I had been taking longer steps in 24 hours than I’d done in my entire life before.
And Sebastian – It was as if he still was just a phonecall away and could encourage the whole thing and share this with me. I could hear his voice besides me, which communicated and said “Let’s rock – The train is on the station and about to go, now.. It goes now! Take the chance now, when you’ve finally gotten it!” – and I did so, I did it so fucking hard – and I didn’t stop.
I yet haven’t stopped, since that day. I’m not going to do so either, until it for real has reached an end – Do you hear me, Sebastian? I did it at last.. It took some time.. and it was very sad that we didn’t get to experience this thing together. It would be great if you could’ve come out on some tour and visit.. But, sometimes it actually feels like we meet, on different locations around the world.
I found some disc I know you loved, that you played on the sterio, I find discs everywhere in the world.. Sometimes with Crass, Adverts, Allsköns punk.. And I’m thinking of you. I’m watching movies, that I know I watched with you when I was young. Some of them are fantastic, some of them are beyond bad and not at all like I remember it.. Fun House, for example.. What a crappy fucking movie. I remembered it as very scary, despite you telling me that it wasn’t for real.
Not long ago me and Mino saw Aliens, the second one that is, when she was with me in the touring bus and.. she was sitting in my lap, like I was sitting in your lap when we saw the first movie.. We laughed and had a great time.. When the blood splattered.. Because we told each other all the time that it was all faked.
We have agreed on watching the real movie next time, the first movie, that really is so much better. A really really spookey movie.
I sometimes meet some of your old idols, Steve Jones interviewed me in his radioshow and he was actually exactly that punky-cool one can imagine, and he actually liked Ghost. I’ve gotten to know those in Metallica.. I have James number and we speak at times.. You didn’t see that one coming, ay?
Who would’ve thought that when we went to see them in Stadion ’93, and by the way – thank you for letting me sit on your shoulders then.. It must’ve been heavy.. It was a quiet long concert.
And I’ve just come home from a 7-week tour with Iron Maiden.. Grasp that.. We’re playing on icehockey-arenas, people cheered.. We apparantly have something very fucking largy going on “over there” as one says.
We just need to record a new album now and then.. In spring we can go on tour again and then it’s another years and a half on the roads, you see.. No rest for the wicked. No calm, and no rest.. I told you I’d work my ass off if I just got to work with what I wanted.. You remember?
Did I tell you about the grammy, by the way? I got one of those.. about a year ago. We were in LA and went on a celeberty party, it was very big. Mother is very proud, and tells everyone who I am, even if it’s supposed to be a secret. But fuck that now, I suppose.
I look for books that I know you loved and always told me that I should read. And I still miss some of those Sture Dahlström-books that you cheered for, but I’m keeping and eye out.. I’m always looking for them. The problem is that I only can find them in Sweden, and.. I very much want to have the original-editions and not new…
I still re-create your disc-collection in my own and I often feel closer to you when I listen to music to I knew you liked. Whereever I look, I see thinks that you’ve shown me.. It feels like you’re always walking besides me.. I still go hand in hand with you.. On our way from the city, home to Tannefors.. Home to Tegelsbruksgatan.. I’m still the 5 years old who jumps around in the couch at home, dressed in your and mothers clothes with make-up, rocking.. To hard rock. I’m still the 5 years old that you cheered for when I did something bad, that you’d encouraged me to.. I’m still the 5 years old who have a bad language in front of you and your lauging friends.. It’s a few more people who laughs nowadays.. And appluade they do as well, and that’s very fun.
It’s feels like you’re with me everywhere, and we’re happy together about everything that happens.. And one thing you must know.. I’m still your bigget fan.. Thank you for everything, my beloved brother.
See you in niagijala.
My name is Tobias Forge. I’m the man behind the mask in Ghost.
Thank you for listening.