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Ghost’s Tobias Forge on the Swedish group’s eclectic new ‘Phantomime’ EP: ‘I want Iron Maiden to love our cover’

'By reinterpreting something, it's like you're always at the mercy of, well, you're sort of meddling with their creation,' explains Forge of their latest EP.

By Nick Reilly

Ghost (Picture: Jimmy Hubbard)

As Ghost fans continue to devour the latest EP from the Swedish group, the metal heroes have opened up on why they’re hoping that Iron Maiden appreciate their new take on a classic song by the band.

Last Friday (May 19) saw the band share Phantomime, an eclectic five-track EP that sees them escaping their comfort zone to cover acts as varied as Tina Turner, Genesis and The Stranglers.

But one cover that’s definitely within their typical lane is their cover of ‘Phantom of the Opera’, Iron Maiden’s 1980 classic.

While fans have already hailed the band’s take on the track, frontman Tobias Forge admits that their friendship and past tours with Iron Maiden added another level of pressure.

“You always want to pay homage, of course, but especially the ones, the artists that I know or have some sort of personal connection to,” said Forge.

“Of course, I want Steve [Harris] and Dave [Murray] to love my version of this track.”

But at the same time, Forge admits that a degree of originality is just as important too.

“You need to do something with it as well and by reinterpreting something, it’s like you’re always at the mercy of, well, you’re sort of meddling with their creation,” he added.

Elsewhere, covers of Tina Turner, Forge admitted, were inspired by a childhood love of watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome – in which Turner starred and recorded the soundtrack hit We Don’t Need Another Hero.

Similarly, a Genesis cover was inspired by hours spent watching MTV.

“Jesus He Knows Me was on MTV all the time back in 1991,” said Forge

“Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins was the mainstream and they were they were all over the place. It was what I listened to, so for me it doesn’t feel very eclectic.”

The EP also comes as Ghost prepare to return to the UK at Download Festival, playing one of their biggest shows to date.

“We’ll be playing the Genesis cover at that show!,” revealed Forge.

“But on this tour we’re doing a lot of stepping up. This is the first festival tour that we’ve done in four or five years maybe, I think the last time we fully did the festival circuit was 2018. We’re playing much bigger spots and there’s gonna be a lot of people that have never seen us before and so we need to focus on our music. When that happens, you can’t play too many covers, you go out and play your best shit. You don’t fuck around!”