Ghost mastermind Papa Emeritus discussed his relationship with extreme metal music, telling BBC (transcribed by UG):
“The music style that hit me like a ton of bricks was the whole extreme metal thing.
“Let’s break it down to an album, or to a song.
“It must have been 1989. Not only did we have my brother, but my mom also had a friend who had a son, who was also 10 years older than I was – and he was an avid thrash guy.
“He was also very kind. He was always letting me into his room, and he was showing me stuff – he played guitar. I remember how he had Slayer, and Kreator, and all that stuff.
“For me that was a little bit more like a vision… I read about them in magazines, because I used to buy Metal Hammer for the posters. I couldn’t read what it said, obviously, but I bought them – and they were actually quite expensive, because they were imported. That way I discovered a lot of things, sort of visually first, and then the music came later.
“So basically, I was at their house, and I was like, ‘Do you have any Guns N’ Roses videos?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah.’ I guess that he saw that as the way out of babysitting me, so he was like, ‘Yeah, I can put something on.’ [Laughs]
“And then he just put a ‘Headbangers Ball’ video and he could sort of buzz off. It had the ‘Paradise City’ there, because at that point if there was one other band that I liked in 1989 was The Rolling Stones because they had the ‘Steel Wheels’ record, I loved that one. And it was Guns N’ Roses.
“And in the midst of this, there was this other video with another guy, or another thing that just blew me away. And that was ‘Sleepless Nights’ with King Diamond.
“I never really heard anything that was that pleasantly haunting. Like the beginning of that song… *sings the riff* That also was one of those moments, kind of like when I was 4 and jumped around on my couch listening to ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane.’
“That riff, still today, it just makes me wanna jump in a sofa, because it’s so great. And that sort of kicked off my journey into extreme metal.”