A Nameless Ghoul From Ghost B.C. Speaks About ‘Infestissumam,’ the Devil + More
Before Ghost (aka Ghost B.C.) took to the stage of New York City's Webster Hall on May 11, we were given the opportunity to sit down with one of the act's nameless ghouls for an exclusive interview. Carrying an eerie sense of wisdom, the ghoul offered much detail on Ghost, allowing those who wish to listen a deeper understanding of the demonic act.
The ghoul, who only identified himself as a guitarist for the band, spoke with us about the concept of Ghost's second album, 'Infestissumam,' how the record continues the story that began with 'Opus Eponymous,' the future of Ghost's masterful stage show, the biggest public misconception of the band + much more. Enjoy our exclusive interview with one of Ghost's nameless ghouls:
I was perusing through the Bible recently and I found a line that made me think of Ghost: 'And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.' Revelation 12:9. How is this passage connected to Ghost?
The whole idea of a rebellious angel taking shape as the Devil as we know him, traditionally, it's pretty much based on what is written in the Bible. Since we are all about devil worship, in line with what is biblical; had that not been written, we would probably not be here.
Your music is so rich and beautiful in a similar tradition to that of the church. I feel that the church uses beautiful, epic music to help bring in their followers. It is fair to say that Ghost uses this tactic as well?
Yes. In many ways, we have a very similar approach of touching people in the same way the church has always done. We are creating a solemn moment where you are tickled visually, musically, with scent. Some get tickled sexually; we do, too. We're doing something very similar to the old traditional way of putting emotions into people by overpowering them with expression.
Your debut album, 'Opus Eponymous,' is about the absence of the antichrist and the prophecy of his coming. How does 'Infestissumam' continue the story?
As you say, the first album is about the forthcoming arrival of the Devil, spoken very much in biblical terms, much like the church will say that doomsday is near. This new album is about the presence of the Devil and the presence of the antichrist. Embroidered in these 10 songs, it is more about how mankind relates to a diabolical presence. That is the short version.
One of my favorite tracks from 'Infestissumam' is 'Per Aspera ad Inferi,' which translates as, "Through Hardships to Hell." There's a very similar phrase, 'Per Aspera ad Astra,' which means, "Through hardships to the stars." How exactly does one go through hardships to arrive in hell?
A lot of people would argue and say that is what they do every day. I think that is a very, very common human fate. Without diving into the toils of the poor people or those less fortunate, which is a separate discussion, it is about human ambition. It is a 'high horse' way of saying, "Does it really matter?" We're going to Hell anyway, regardless of what you do. It is a modern phenomenon that just with philosophy and partaking in whatever collective action that needs to be done to make a difference, whatever that difference is, the unique individual has a tendency to always rely on the collective to do one thing, where I, as an individual, can do something else. Most people can collectively agree upon a solution being the best, but I have my career, so do your thing. I'll just do mine. It doesn't really matter; we're all going to Hell.
Who or what exactly is Ghuleh?
She is the romanticized idea of either a being or a time being lost. It is about nostalgia. The absence of time or a person or a being or something has a tendency to fog up the idea of what the actual nature of that thing or person is. I have been out on the road for a month, I'm longing to go home. Right now, my home is more and more dreamlike. Not that I don't remember how it looks, but it has this 'Bold and the Beautiful' filter on it. It makes it look a little bit more shiny, it has a golden filter on it. Nostalgia is a very interesting thing, it can create wonders and destroy minds.
'Infestissumam' is a great progression from the first album because it really complements the character of your stage show. Was it a conscious effort to create a record more fitting to your live performance?
Yes, it was. The first album, we sort of took pride in the fact that it sounded very alive. It's basically just drums, bass guitar, guitar and some keyboards being played. When the time came and we started touring a lot, the songs still worked, but like most bands going from an embryonic rehearsal state to actually touring, when you're playing more in front of audiences than you are rehearsing, that always changes a few approaches as to the fact that certain songs do not really work in front of an audience, whereas other songs work perfectly well, whereas there are other songs that everybody in the audience might like and want to hear but feel very weird playing. All of those dynamics and that relationship with your repertoire can only be learned by playing. That's why second albums have a tendency to be more live-based.
Ghost has become a very popular band in a relatively short amount of time, and that's afforded you the opportunity to create a grand stage show. In Ghost's future, how will the stage show evolve? How to you plan to make it greater?
In our minds, what we are doing now is just a fraction of the idea that was there before we even got the first record out. A lot of the characteristics that we already have onstage are things that we intend to keep, but there are many ways to make it look grander, especially if you ever get to a level where you can be consistent in terms of production, which is always hard. Theoretically speaking, if you get to a level where you come into an empty room and you build your own stage, you can always control everything. If we ever get to that, there are definitely a lot of tricks that we are saving that would be a lot more theatrical and a lot more evolving as the show progresses. I think we have a lot of things up our sleeve if we ever get to that point.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Ghost?
I think one of the most common misconceptions is that we have chosen to be anonymous to gain attraction, but it's not very weird because that is part of what we are known for. The idea was always to take away personality or individuality in the modern form of being a celebrity in order to have people focusing on the artwork itself. Obviously, yes, Ghost wouldn't exist without the other. Had not the music been rocking, I don't think that people would have done gaga just about our looks. Had we not had the looks, I'm not sure we would have gotten the same attention. I think that is a common misconception. I think people generally have a pretty fair and sober idea of what we are about, I think. I hope.