a “I’m an vid FIFA fan.”

is very sombre and romantic. You hear a lot of Swedish folk in ABBA and a lot of it in the whole Gothenburg Sound. If you go up north and go to a midsummer’s evening and you have an old fashioned folk music band playing, you’ll probably think it was a nu-metal band because it sounds like that! When that’s transferred into popular music there’s a tonal language there that is somewhat unique. Te reason why we’re traditionally so successful in metal is due to a snowball effect – in the early 80’s we had Europe who came from Stockholm – there was John Norum, their guitarist, and he was friends with Yngwie Malmsteen. So everyone around them wanted to become shredding guitar heroes and all of a sudden you have a bunch of really good guitar players. It’s a bit contagious. Bathory were historically very valuable but they didn’t spawn as many

other bands as Entombed did. When Entombed really hit it home and became huge there were all those metal bands from Stockholm - Dismember, Grave, Tiamat, all those bands. Tat in turn led to another wave of bands, and because of all that bands from Sweden have since had a quality stamp. I’m not saying that all Swedish music is of a high quality but it’s been easier for Swedish bands to break through in metal than perhaps, say, Czechoslovakian bands. Tat means that more 14 year old kids apply themselves more seriously to learning instruments and starting bands, their conviction becomes greater. It has an enormous effect when you have acts like Europe, Entombed, ABBA, Roxette, Te Cardigans and Max Martin who have enjoyed such success worldwide. Sometimes you need gate- kicker-inners to start things off, and that in turn creates

more talent. On stage you all wear masks, make up and robes, so no one knows who you are. Does being anonymous make it easier or more difficult for you to have a private life away from the band? It has been both a blessing and a curse. I pretty much full time work with Ghost almost every day, and spend so much time thinking about it and creating it, both artistically but also practically. My whole being is consumed with Ghost. For some of the people who have been in the band over the years it’s been more of a curse than a blessing, who haven’t spent a lot of time doing Ghost other than being onstage, they’ve wanted to branch out more or be more visible and more married to your persona. My story is quite different from almost everyone else in the band though. You’ve done some covers of somewhat unexpected songs by ABBA, Echo and the Bunnymen, Simian Mobile Disco and the Eurthymics. How did you come to choose those particular tracks? Some of them are songs that I have listened to most of my life. I’m an avid FIFA fan and play it a lot, have done for 12 years, and that Simian Mobile Disco song was on the soundtrack of FIFA 07 or something. I always found myself liking that song, if it was on the pause menu or whatever, I really liked it, and that’s where I found it. I always felt the song was a bit unexplored in a way so it was great to cover it. You’ve released three albums now – are you working on a new one? Yes, as we speak I’m going through a lot of writing and demoing and planning. Tat’s

going to continue until the summer, and come August we start recording. Te new album should be out early next year. You’re supporting Iron Maiden in North America this summer – that must be a very exciting prospect. Yeah it’s fantastic. We’ve toured with them previously but most of the time it’s been within a festival or arena context so it’s been a lot of on and off’ where we haven’t actually played together, just us. We’ve been saying for years we’d like to just do a straight, normal tour where it’s just us and them and it’s the same every day because that’s also very nice. I’ve been wanting to do it for some years and now that it’s going to happen I’m very excited. Norwich is the first date on your Popestar European tour –what can we expect from your show? Oh if you’ve never seen us before you’re in for something a bit different from most things! It’s even more fun touring now that we have managed to amass a repertoire where we’re not necessarily playing all our songs. In the beginning we played everything – when we had a headline show we struggled because we only had one record out which was 30 minutes long. All we could do was extend some solos and Papa Emeritus could tell some jokes to get our set up to 45 minutes! We had to really scramble to fill the time. But now we struggle to get the set down to one and a half hours. It’s fun. Will you be playing any songs we’ve never heard before? No, we don’t do that. We’ve got enough songs to chose from already!


INFORMATION Ghost play the LCR on 24th March. Tickets available from


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