Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ghost frontman responds to lawsuit by former band members

Ghost founder and frontman Tobias Forge, aka Papa Emeritus, has filed a response to a lawsuit brought by four former members of the group in a dispute over financial issues.

In the character of Papa, Forge leads the Swedish outfit alongside a rotating band of Nameless Ghouls, some of whom revealed their identities in the suit filed earlier this year in a district court of Linköping, Sweden.

Simon Soderberg (Ghost member 2010-2016), Mauro Rubino (member 2011-2016), Henrik Palm (member 2015-2016) and Martin Hjertstedt (2014-2016) are seeking compensation for unpaid wages as part of what they claim to be a business partnership agreement between all five parties..

The four musicians are asking the court to have Forge confirm and provide Ghost revenue reports from the financial years from 2011-2016, with a penalty of SEK 200,000 (approximately $22,000), or an amount that the court considers reasonable, if he fails to do so as part of the proceedings.

In his response, Forge contests that “no legal partnership” with the plaintiffs exists, that “none of the plaintiffs were present” during the time he conceived and formed the project between 2006-2008 and that he “exclusively” makes “decisions and controls of the operations of Ghost.”

The frontman also states that “the plaintiffs have only had the task of performing - executing - the musical works and the image in Ghost that Tobias Forge has created, produced and decided, all according to Tobias instructions. For their assignment, the candidates have received a fixed fees / salary.”

In direct response to the plaintiffs request for financial reporting, the singer maintains that “as no legal partnership exists, Tobias Forge is not required to report revenue, costs or assets in the Ghost business.”

From a creative standpoint, Forge states that he “is the main author of all Ghost musical works” – with the exception of two songs initiated for a former member not involved in the suit – and that he “has, in all cases, performed all vocal efforts on these recordings, with the exception of some choir singing performed by hired singers.” The founder also explains that his demos form the basis of all Ghost recordings and that he instructs band members on how to play the songs during studio recordings “in exactly the same way that [he] recorded them on the demo(s).”

An English-language translation of Forge’s full response can be read as posted via Reddit here and here.

The former Ghost members reportedly parted ways with Forge following their 2016 tour.

The band debuted its new lineup of Nameless Ghouls at the launch of a spring European tour in Norwich, UK on March 24 in support of their 2016 EP “Popestar.”

Ghost are currently playing dates with Iron Maiden on that band’s summer tour of North America.

See also:

Ghost frontman sued by former band members
Ghost add headline dates to North American tour with Iron Maiden
Ghost win Swedish Grammis Award for Popestar
Ghost make US chart history with Popestar EP
Search Ghost at hennemusic