Did Ghost End Up Ripping Off Underground Swedish Metal Band Notre Dame? Member Of Band Chimes In

Did Ghost End Up Ripping Off Underground Swedish Metal Band Notre Dame? Member Of Band Speaks Up
Tobias Forge: Mikael Eriksson/ "NotreDame Live @ Kôrpehôlfestivalen in Uddevalla.." - Harvester666, YouTube
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Author: Michael Pementel

In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, Swedish metal artist Snowy Shaw talks about whether he feels Ghost have ripped off his band Notre Dame or not.

Notre Dame was an underground Swedish heavy metal band that was more active back in the day, and who incorporated a theatrical presentation alongside their performances and music. You can find a video of one of their music videos below:

At one point in this interview with The Metal Voice, Shaw is asked if he thinks Ghost singer Tobias Forge “took his idea and ran with it”; Shaw responded with the following (all transcriptions are via Ultimate Guitar):

“Yes! [laughs]”

However, Shaw goes on to talk about the process of band’s copying and pulling inspiration from one another’s styles.

“You’re certainly not the first one to ask about that. Gus G, the guitar player, he was like, ‘What the fuck? This band is getting so popular, and they’re doing what you did with Notre Dame way back.’ [I said,] ‘Okay, if you think so.’ But there are touching grounds, I suppose.

“But it all stems from let’s say, Arthur Brown, starting out like with corpse paint and all that. And then… it was Alice Cooper, on to Kiss, on to… this theatrical thing. So, we all sort of take bits and pieces, and copy, and get inspired, and do our own version of it, like me.

“Without Alice Cooper, there wouldn’t be any Mötley Crüe; W.A.S.P. is inspired by Kiss and all that. King Diamond, I mean, he’s also a result of [Alice Cooper’s 1975 album] ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ – ‘Wow, I want to have that kind of theatrical show.’ So I wouldn’t say that Ghost has ripped me off, but they have certainly managed to make it big. Which I didn’t.”

Shaw continues, talking about how a band like Therion were probably one of the first to combine heavy metal and opera, but how a band like Nightwish was able to pick up on that style and were able to become more successful using it (and how he “can’t say that they stole the concept”).

“Therion, for example, they were probably the first band who combined heavy metal and opera. But they are not anywhere near as successful as Nightwish, who kind of picked up on that. I can’t say that they stole the concept, but they managed to be more accessible, and reach a broader audience…

“Maybe that’s the thing. The combination [of] the kind of music that Ghost is doing, and the way they present themselves visually – it’s a good combination. My music was far more underground. Kind of hard to access.”

What do you think about Shaw’s comments? Did you hear about King Diamond’s response when he was asked whether he felt Ghost ripped him and Mercyful Fate off? You can read more details about that story via the link below:

“I never felt that they were copying us”: King Diamond Says Ghost Did Not Copy Mercyful Fate


You can find the full interview with Shaw and The Metal Voice below: