Why Ghost’s Tobias Forge Called Judas Priest Pop Music

Tobias Forge of Ghost by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Image.Rob Halford WikiMedia Commons
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Ghost’s aesthetic is as metal as it gets.

Even though their music is more mainstream than Cannibal Corpse, Tobias Forge wears his metal influences on his sleeve when he becomes Papa Emeritus.

However, Forge does like to differentiate between what’s metal and what’s pop music.

When asked about his influences, Forge had an eclectic mix of inspiration saying,

I am a big fan of what most people would regard as ‘well-written’ music. I like music that moves me and makes me feel things and, more than often, it’s music that falls within a certain sort of pattern. But that could be anything from Fleetwood Mac to Venom.”

While he mentioned Judas Priest among his major influences, he debated whether to call them a heavy metal band saying,

“I think that Judas Priest writes pop music. They have a very pop sensibility to their music.”

Although Priest have dipped their toes into pop music before, they were the forerunners of metal music in the ‘70s.

Even when metal wasn’t in style, KK Downing mentioned the band never straying from their trademark genre saying (42:54),

“There was a period where no one wanted to admit that they were metal in any way but in Priest we were always proud to fly the flag.”

That sentiment was echoed by Rob Halford as well saying,

“We are who we are. We believe in ourselves and we’re strong about what we set out to do. So right from the very beginning that’s all we wanted to be known as in Judas Priest. WE’RE HEAVY METAL.”

The Metal God doesn’t want to pick a fight with Forge either, saying,

Ghost are an important band on a variety of levels. Rock and roll — I use that term loosely in this context — needs a band like Ghost to refocus and re-energize us.”

Regardless of what genre Forge likes, Priest are responsible for exposing legions of fans to the power of heavy metal. 

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