It was recently announced that Ghost will be supporting Metallica on a massive 2019 European tour, and for just about any band, opening for the world’s biggest metal band would be an honor, but for Ghost frontman Tobias Forge (aka Cardinal Copia), the honor is extra special.
We spoke with Forge about the upcoming tour with Metallica, and he immediately professed his love for the metal giants. “It’s a huge honor, of course,” he told us. “We’ve played with Metallica maybe 20 times before in various occasions, in various places of the world, so we’re not new to that, but this is definitely the first time we’re part of their tour, which is a great honor.”
The Ghost mastermind went on to talk about how much Metallica helped shape his musical identity as a youth. “For me personally, Metallica is one of the most influential bands in my life,” he begins. “In 1992, when they released [the documentary] A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica, I got those VHS tapes on Christmas, and I watched those 100 times, each film. The film’s about the making of ‘The Black Album’, and then the second part is about touring ‘The Black Album’ — and I am a complete worshipper of Metallica from the beginning up until ‘The Black Album’.”
He further adds, “For me, seeing those films, that set the standard. If you’re going to record an album, [do it like] ‘The Black Album’ and if you’re going to tour, tour like Metallica did after that record — that’s how you do it, like three hundred and fuckin’ fifty shows, whatever it was, all over the world. You play a 150 shows in America, [including] five shows in Wisconsin. That set a standard for me — as well as Iron Maiden, I must say, with their Live After Death release.
Forge continues, “So, A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica was very inspirational, let alone all the musical inspiration Metallica’s first five albums had on me and still have. It’s fascinating that despite the fact that nowadays we know each other and we’re pals, and we’ve played together and I’ve seen them many, many times, not only as a fan, but also on the side of the stage or behind the stage, still, as soon as they start the show, and as I hear the ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ intro, I’m just blown away. I’m just transformed into a 11-year-old kid who saw them for the first time.”
He concludes. “I hope that never changes. I love that feeling, and as soon as I see an old clip of them, it just gives me a lot of inspiration. For me, it feels very, very rewarding, having gone from a fan who went to see them, and now I’m, I guess a colleague. But I’m very much an apprentice. I’m learning from the masters.”
For more from the Ghost frontman, check out our lengthier interview feature with Forge here. Ghost are currently on a headlining tour of North America, which they’ll follow with a 2019 headlining trek of Europe and the aforementioned stint supporting Metallica.