Usually when a fight intensifies, people say “the gloves come off.” This time, it’s masks that are flying off as Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge and his lawyers have filed a response to the lawsuit filed against him by former members of the band. A few months back, we learned a few things about Ghost: namely the names of four former members and confirmation that there had been a revolving lineup of members since the band’s formation. Simon Soderberg, Mauro Rubino, Henrik Palm and Martin Hjerstedt said they were never granted access to the band’s financial records, and they were denied money by Forge.
In the response, Forge and his legal team state that none of the four members are original members, and even that some of the songs were recorded by freelance studio musicians as opposed to the members that filed the lawsuit. The response states that the lawsuit has ruined the mystery of the band, which relies on the band members as “nameless ghouls” and Forge as “Papa Emeritus.” With that ruined, the response names all of the musicians that have been in the band through the end of last year:
Gustaf Lindström (2010 – 2011)
Simon Söderberg (2010 – 2016)
Aksel Holmgren (2010 – 2014)
Martin Persner (2010 – 2016)
Mauro Rubino (2011 – 2016)
Rikard Ottoson (2011 – 2014)
Linton Rubino (2014 – 2015)
Henrik Palm (2015 – 2016)
Marin Hjertstedt (2015 – 2016)
Megan Thomas (2016)
All of the musicians apparently agreed on severance packages. The lawsuit also states that touring costs “exceeded the income” the band made, and Forge had only made income from publishing rights. Apparently, it wasn’t until this year that the band turned a profit.
At this point, Ghost are more popular than they’ve ever been. They’ve got a large audience that loves them and have made their way up to the point of headlining mid-size venues on their own. Opening for Iron Maiden will just put them in front of more potential fans, and their music transcends the gimmick. The lawsuit is a setback for the band, but only a temporary one.
A Reddt user has translated teh response from Swedish, and you can read it at the link below. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.