ghost hires fredrik åkesson from opeth to play guitar on their new album: “he’s the kind of person who plays five hours a day”
Tobias Forge doesn’t just cope Phantom as Papa Emeritus IV, he is the mastermind behind the Swedish progressive metal phenomenon. He plays several instruments on the group’s records, while using his Nameless Ghouls to assume touring duties. But for the next Impera album, he had his hands full and knew who to call to deliver the goods on the guitar front.
“It allows me to have something similar to a slightly objective perspective that way because I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the actual game,” Forge said. strong wire of his ability to wear many hats in the creative process of Ghost. “I’m a good drummer, a bassist, a good guitarist, but I’m not a virtuoso”
But Forge knows a man who is. “This time around I actually had another guitarist come in and do the massive job of redoing everything. I’ve played guitar all my life, but unlike most guitarists who are in bands hit, they play on their tours. I do a whole bunch of other stuff, so I almost feel like every time I go back to writing and doing demos and doing pre-production , I have to get up to speed quickly.”
“I had a friend of mine, Fredrik Åkesson, guitarist from Opeth,” Forge added. “He’s the kind of person who plays five hours a day. He’s incredibly talented. He can play circles around anything I put on tape and he can do it brilliantly.”
It’s not the first time Forge has called on his friends at Opeth – Mikael Åkerfeldt contributed acoustic guitar to the instrumental track Helvetesfönster from 2018’s Prequelle album.
Forge describes the process of recording Ghost albums as “a very painful process” and his role as primary songwriter has distinct pros and cons.
“The good thing is that I don’t play a single role in a group where there are five other egos,” he explains. “It’s easier for me to say, ‘No, you can skip the solo here. I can move this solo around. I can take this little bass part…I can do these little guitar parts on the piano and the guitar. ‘Organ.’ Try saying that to a guitarist. If it’s his piece and his time to shine, it’s going to cause trouble.
“From my perspective, I can tell the people I bring for a certain piece that I know he or she will do better than me, I just tell them what to do,” Forge explains. “What to do has already been pre-determined. It’s not about saying, ‘Here’s the field, here’s five minutes and you can do whatever you want.’ about things, even though I wrote the story. Even when it comes to voices, I listen to my own voice and try to be as objective as possible.
And that’s where things can get painful – a kind of studio fatigue kicks in.
“This summer I walked into the studio and my ears died – I don’t like that record anymore.
“From there it was so much more difficult because I didn’t like it. You get so sick of it and then when you’re after you’ve made a record and you listen to it once in a while because you have need to have those moments where it sounds better than you remembered. Then you hear it again a few days later, it’s like, ‘Wow, that sucks.'”
Obviously, this is something Forge is working on.
“Once you cross that little threshold, there are ups and downs and everything has pros and cons,” he continues. “Usually when a producer or someone comes in and works with me, that person is usually very happy that they don’t have a strong opinionated group. You don’t have to deal with someone who doesn’t really have a weight.
“I can tell somebody I know who’s a great keyboard player who can play exactly that little tune that I know what I want. I know what I hear and we can pretend like that. But if we want someone who can actually play like that, we can just call that person and we don’t have to rely on our guy or girl to do that that doesn’t mean the band I have isn’t capable. They’re really good at playing whatever I tell them to, which is fantastic.”
Impera will be released on March 11 via Loma Vista. Pre-order the album.