Sweden’s huge metal scene has been a thing for some years now, and their latest and most popular export is Ghost. With Papa Emeritus on the mic, and five Nameless Ghouls on instruments, they’re wreathed in tongue-in-cheek Satanic language, melodic rock and total anonymity. Signed in 2010, their third album Meliora won a Grammy and their current EP Popestar has been streamed over 18 million times within just a few months. Ghost are bringing their epic and memorable stage show to the LCR this month so I spoke to the guitar-playing Nameless Ghoul about supporting Iron Maiden on tour, why Scandinavia so loves the heavy and why they chose to cover a Simian Mobile Disco track on their latest EP. Horns up.

of fire, water, wind, earth and ether. Which one are you and what do you play? I represent all of them, and most of the time I play guitar. How would you describe your music? I don’t think I’ve heard anything quite like it before in terms of the richness of its variety. Hmmm, I don’t know. We play melodic rock music with an image associated with the classic shock-rock era. How did you get involved in Ghost back in the mid noughties? I started the band! Have you all been in other metal bands before Ghost?


Nameless Ghouls represent the five elements

Yeah, I mean Ghost has always been an institution where there’s an influx of people coming in and out. We started as a very small project which wasn’t necessarily even a band, it was more of a singular thing, and then when all of a sudden it rose in popularity and we started touring heavily it quickly became evident that we needed various people coming in and out because not everyone is as into heavy touring as much as I am. We have a few newer members at the moment and as the years have gone by we have tried to recruit members who have a lot of touring experience. In the early days we were naively recruiting some


people that lacked touring experience and it showed after a while. Nowadays I’m pretty adamant about having people who have spend years and years and years touring because it does matter. We’ve all played different styles of music from rock, pop, metal, punk... What’s your favourite Ghost track? It depends. Usually when I’m writing and recording our music I listen a lot to that album we’re making and usually by the time it gets released I’ve stopped listening to it and I rarely go back to it. However I’ve spent some time recently with some new members of the band revisiting some of our older songs as we have

to teach them how to play them. Sometimes when I’m doing that I realise that something we did was very clever, or nice, and I think we have a few songs that I would consider better than others. I think Cirece is great – I’m lucky that we managed to do that one. Scandinavia is well known for being the birthplace of many rock and death metal bands. Why do you think heavy music is so popular in that part of the world? One of the reasons why a lot of the music that comes from Scandinavia strikes a chord that might not do the same from other reasons is probably because of what is referred to as the ‘melancholy of the north’. Our folk music

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