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Tobias Forge discusses how his struggles in the death metal genre left him feeling “broken.”

Tobias Forge

Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge has reflected on his earlier attempt to achieve fame as a death metal musician, characterizing the experience as “painfully out of touch” with the musical trends of the ’90s.

While Mr. Forge now enjoys significant fame, some Ghost fans may be aware that this iconic Swedish musician’s unique blend of pop, metal, and satanism wasn’t his first musical endeavor. Prior to donning his hooded robe and channeling his love for ABBA and heavy metal into his current project, he gained experience playing in various bands within the underground Swedish death metal scene.

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, he discusses his aspirations with Repugnant, a band he was part of during the late ’90s, where he had ambitious hopes, including the possibility of opening for Slayer.

“I learned the hard way in the late ’90s that wanting to play 80s-inspired death metal with my band Repugnant was painfully out of touch with what was going on at the time. It broke my heart; I wanted us to be signed to Roadrunner and support Slayer. That never happened, unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately, as it kept me grounded for a few more years and if those things had happened maybe I wouldn’t be here today.”

“Repugnant had a close shave with success. We signed to the [Dutch] label Hammerheart, which at the time felt like we’d made it because the first thing they did was take us out on our first tour, supporting the American band Macabre.”

“They were a favourite band of ours – still are, and whenever we play Chicago they come to the shows – and at that point it felt like we might be going somewhere, but we quickly parted ways with Hammerheart because we couldn’t agree. It felt like our chance and we’d blown it.”

Tobias Forge, Ghost’s vocalist

As fate would have it, Forge would later reevaluate his path and embark on the project that would ultimately elevate him to legendary status in the world of metal through Ghost. All in all, things turned out quite well for him.

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