Ghost have come along way — from their very underground first show in NYC back in 2011, to now headlining arenas worldwide with a massive, pyrotechnic live production. In a wide-ranging, genre-crossing article, the Wall Street Journal looked to the Swedish occult-rock troupe as one of the select younger acts that are following in the footsteps of elder statesmen like the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen by packing large concert venues. Interviewed in the piece, Ghost ringleader Tobias Forge shared some of the keys that enabled his band's improbable graduation to arena-rock status.
For one, Forge reveals that he consciously took lessons from heroes of his, including Metallica and Iron Maiden, who have made the leap from clubs to arenas. "I sat with a map and just mapped out how they traveled," he explained. "So, for me, it's always been, if you want to make it big, if you want to be a musician, you need to tour all the time. And you need to do, like, five shows in Wisconsin."
He also credited Ghost's strong merch game. "If it wasn't for the fact that we had a very strong merch situation, I don't think we would ever be able to tour the way that we have done over the last 12 years," he pointed out.
Believing that "there's something timeless about the desire to attend large-scale events," in the Wall Street Journal's words, "where many thousands of people are intently experiencing the same thing," Forge concluded on a positive note: "I wouldn't be too worried about arena rock or stadium rock dying."