Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge opened up on being officially unmasked as Papa Emeritus, telling Revolver Magazine:
“The original idea of being anonymous – it was a great, naive idea on paper in 2008, not knowing to what degree we’d be touring or to what extent this was going to be a professional operation.
“That regimen is very hard to live by. What I hadn’t foreseen was the fans and their willingness to embrace that and play along. [Laughs] I guess that’s the whole thing with showbiz and magic tricks: It’s like you have a silent agreement with your audience.
“Now, I feel like this has already become more of an entity on its own. As long as I don’t go onstage completely normal and then jump into character onstage, I assume that most fans would be able to accept me as the creator. I can comment on the work the same way a director would on his movie.”
Asked if this means he’s not interested in changing the band’s image, Tobias replied:
“No, no, no. The exact opposite, actually. The plan is for it to be even more theatrical and even more dressed up.”
Forge then talked about KISS being unmasked way back in the day, saying:
“Growing up being a KISS fan, I definitely didn’t have a problem with it [the unmasking]. Granted, I was so little and I basically started liking KISS just when they had taken their masks off.
“When I was five years old, in my room I had KISS posters all over the place and it was masked and unmasked. I had the poster with Paul Stanley touching his nipple and they looked like this horrendous aerobics masquerade. I didn’t think anything about it.
“Why would Ghost be any different than any other band? Why would this be so strange that any knowledge about its true identity would tarnish it to the point where you cannot like it anymore?”
The musician was also asked whether there are any misconceptions about Ghost that have bothered him over the years, to which he replied:
“Over the years there have been several oddities that have been hard to handle. What we did – and trying to do it anonymously — goes against the idea of being an exhibitionistic rocker wanting to entertain people and to be seen. It’s very much theatrical.
“Punk rock and rock & roll have always been about being real. And this has been about escapism and not being real. When those collide, it’s been in limbo.”