Ghost’s Tobias Forge received some professional criticism after lawsuits were filed against him in 2017. Despite anonymity being one of Ghost’s biggest themes, Forge’s identity as Papa Emeritus was revealed following a lawsuit in April 2017 by former Ghost members over a royalties dispute. They also claimed he was trying to transform Ghost “from a band into a solo project with hired musicians” in an “underhanded and shameless way”.
Forge has disputed this, claiming that Ghost “was always sort of… I guess a Bathory sort of band, where there was people playing live, and the people playing live [were] not necessarily the same that played on the records.” Forge claimed that “no legal partnership” ever existed between the other members and himself; they were paid a fixed salary to perform and execute the band’s image as he instructed as “musicians for hire.”
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich though praised Forge as pleasant to be around in a new Kerrang! interview. Ghost will open for Metallica at shows this year.
“To me, Tobias [Forge] is a super-cool dude,” Lars said. “I really like his energy and being around him. Everybody in our band is a huge fan of Ghost. It seems like the fans of our band love them too. With support bands, we always try to take out people we like to be around and get along with. We’re looking forward to our whole jaunt with them.
“And Bokassa [who are also opening for Metallica] are incredibly fucking good,” he continued. “The songs they write, their whole energy and vibe is such a breath of fresh air. When I heard their music a year ago, they blew my head off. Getting a chance to introduce them to a wider audience is going to be super cool.”