Ghost’s Tobias Forge: I was introduced to Satan by Mötley Crüe, Gene Simmons, and Darth Vader

The frontman's rejection of Christianity "started an interest in looking for the dark side"

Ghost, photo by Mikael Eriksson

Not too many metal frontmen sit down for a chat with the magazine Psychology Today, but that’s exactly what Ghost’s Tobias Forge did. Furthermore, the Swedish musician discussed the roots of his interest in satanism in the interview.

The Ghost mastermind, who performs as Cardinal Copia when fronting the band, reveals that the appeal of Satan formed out of a combination of his rejection of Christianity, and the music he listened to as a young boy.

“My brother gave me my first records when I was about 3 or 4 years old, because he bought a lot of records,” revealed Forge. “And he was very nice because he gave me the records he thought I’d like more. My first records were KISS’ Love Gun, Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry, and Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil. That had immense influence on me.”

He also talked about how his first teacher and his stepmother both soured him on Christianity. “My first teacher … was extremely strict, mean and deeply religious … And she definitely became the symbol for Christianity and not being very nice,” adding, “[My stepmother] was also a symbol of the not-so-nice Christian society. In one way they were proclaiming to be advocates for being nice, and kindness and understanding, whereas I saw nothing of that. And that started an interest in looking for the dark side.”

Forge continued, “As a young teen, Satan, and the idea of some sort of world that you could be in touch with that could empower you was very much the symbol for freedom. [And by then] I had already been introduced to [Satan] by Mötley Crüe and Gene Simmons and Darth Vader.”

Ghost will wrap up their fall North American tour with an arena show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, tomorrow night (December 15th). In 2019, they will embark on a headlining European trek, and provide direct support on Metallica’s headlining tour of Europe.

Click here to see our own interview with Tobias Forge, in which he talks about headlining arenas, the introduction of Cardinal Copia, and more. And see Ghost on our list of the Top 25 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2018.