While Ghost aren’t a traditional metal band, the idea of them being an active rock radio band sounds like it makes even less sense. A masked Swedish band singing hymns about Satan? That just doesn’t seem like something that makes sense. However, after winning a Grammy, anything is possible, and the band currently have a #12 active rock hit with “From the Pinnacle to the Pit.” In Tampa for the 98 Rockfest, the band played an acoustic set on April 29th, including the first-ever acoustic performance of the song they won a Grammy for, “Cirice.” Given that it was the first time they played it, you might expect them to slightly mess up, which they did, but they recovered nicely.
Also, if you were expecting to see the band play without masks, you should maybe stop expecting that. In an interview with the UK’s Planet Rock, a Nameless Ghoul says that they’re not about to drop the mask thing anytime soon:
“We have been completely accepting the idea of being revealed ever since we got our first record out, because we thought that it’s just a matter of two shows and then someone will [be], like, ‘Here they are. There you go.’ And now, five [or] six years later, it’s still sort of uncertain, which is to our surprise. And we want to differentiate between being masked and anonymous, and this is because of several reasons. Becase we don’t feel very anonymous, because usually, after a show, there’s always people outside our bus and we always sign things and we always hang out and all that. We don’t take pictures, but we don’t cut people off or shy away from meeting people face to face. But we will never do GHOST officially without masks. For the same reason I don’t wanna see ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ with their normal street clothes; that wouldn’t make sense. We don’t promise to have side projects where we will be anonymous and masked, and if that is a problem, tough shit.”
The Ghoul admits that when they formed, they only thought they’d be playing a few shows here and there and didn’t know that they’d become the commercial juggernaut they are now. That’s led to the band’s multiple Papa Emerituses (Emereti?):
“The thinking was, since we knew already very early that having this imagery, with the possibility of us making more records, is gonna seriously paint us into a corner. So we figured that, in order for this to feel like it’s changing, we need to really come up with eras and themes in order to make it interesting. I mean, obviously, yeah, it’s premeditated, it’s thought through, it’s sort of strategic. Obviously, there isn’t a day when we are not wishing, for the sake of practicality, that we were just a normal band, in a way, because it’s so much easier just to let your face do the aging. But the attention span of the world right now is so short, so… We also knew that one thing that will probably aid people to understand and cling on to what we do is to quickly create nostalgia by having eras. I mean, it’s proved to be working, because people are very much clinging on to… ‘Ah, I like the first more.’ ‘I like the second more.’ And as crowds got more vivid and bigger, we felt that it might be well worth the risk in having a third Papa who’s actually wearing pants, who’s able to… I don’t know… go down into the crowd. Because, as much as the sort of papal Papa looks cool, it’s very impractical. We’re surprised that he hasn’t killed himself over the years.”
Check out the band’s acoustic debut of “Cirice” below;
[via theprp, transcription by Blabbermouth]