Fredrik Åkesson had to “scale down” his leads on Ghost's new album, Impera

[L-R] Fredrik Åkesson and Tobias Forge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tobias Forge is the mastermind of Swedish rock outfit Ghost, and as such possesses supreme authority over the band's creative style and direction. Think of him not only as the group's frontman but also its musical director.

Forge works with a completely different set of musicians on tour and in the studio, meaning he doesn't have to cherry-pick among his live group. “I've done that before and it didn't end very well,” Forge explains in a new interview with, referring to when four former members of Ghost sued him in 2017 over their dismissal. The lawsuit was ultimately ruled in Forge's favor.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.