Ghost frontman Tobias Forge and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott spoke to NME about working together on their “Spillways” collaboration, as well as the morning they spent together in an Irish pub and why Måneskin is proof that the real rock revival.
Spillways” originally appeared on Ghost’s 2022 album “Impera”, but earlier this year the theatrical rockers released a revised version featuring the Def Leppard icon. Speaking to NME, Elliott described it as “a lot of love” .
Elliott has been a fan of Ghost since the release of 2015’s “Meliora” after being introduced to him by Phil Collen and loving “Impera.” “I put the shit out of Ghost’s music on my radio show [Planet Rock]and then we saw that they were promoting us in the media,” Elliott said.
Forge then revealed that much of “Impera” was inspired by Def Leppard.
“I’ve always been a fan, but with this record I really got into his singing,” he said. “I’ve always been in awe of Def Leppard’s various records, but especially the big ones like ‘Pyromania’ and ‘Hysteria.’ pop that’s wrong.”
Forge continued: “We’re always told that we have to get to the chorus fast, that songs have to be short and to the point, but Def Leppard’s songs are often the opposite. “
With much public and mutual respect, the teams Ghost and Def Leppard respectively began to discuss possible collaborations. “Out of the blue, they told me that Joe would love to collaborate,” Forge said.
But those conversations came as Ghost was in the middle of an ambitious headlining tour and while Def Leppard was selling out venues with Mötley Crüe.
“I heard it was going on, but we didn’t see each other because we were both so busy,” says Elliott. “So I took the bull by the horns and started singing. By the time we finally got to talk, I had already recorded ‘Spillways’ because I was dying to.”
Elliott continued: “I love that song. The keyboard intro blew my mind the first time I heard it, and a band like Ghost had the balls to do something so unexpected and a hybrid record of ‘Jane’ by Jefferson Starship and ‘Hold The Line’ ” by Toto. I liked it. For me it was the pinnacle of a great album. As soon as I knew there was probably going to be a collaboration, I got down to business.”
Forge described to NME how he was “blown away” when he first heard Elliott’s voice on the new track.
“Right away I thought it was great, and Joe’s voice really adds a twist to the song,” she says, “what he put on was so different to what I had, but it still clicked. I was surprised at how similar it sounded. .”.
Elliott agrees: “I think we both have the sound. I’m from Yorkshire, but I don’t sound like that because [cantar con ese acento] it wasn’t in style until the Arctic Monkeys came along. Some people have said they can’t part with Tobias and me, but I take that as a compliment.” ‘Spillways’ never broke in the first place, so I wasn’t going to come in and change what it did in the first place.
“If I were to sing ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles, I couldn’t change the tune because it’s already perfect. Same with ‘Spillways.’ There was no need to settle.”
The recording was made, but the first phone call between Forge and Elliott still lasted nearly three hours. “We realized we had a lot in common,” Elliott explains. “So when Tobias pitched me the idea of making a video, of course I said yes, but I couldn’t go anywhere because I was taking care of my kids. So it happened he engaged, bless him.
Elliott added: “He came to Dublin and we went to my place, which is a mile from my house. Luckily the landlord knows me, so they were more than happy to have me. put up, and Tobias ran it like fucking Steven Spielberg.” .
As a result, the usual numbered Ghost websites are replaced with “In Dublin Meanwhile”.
“It was great that we had this great song and then played it with some karaoke,” Elliott said on the video. “We were there for about four hours, but we only shot for an hour. The rest of the time we were just talking.”
“For me, it’s all about vibrations,” continues Forge. “You can’t point to a pretty boy and a pretty girl and say, ‘You should fuck’ to create an illegitimate child. It’s about meeting and hanging out. It’s the Good luck with this.”
Elliott agrees that the move to work with Ghost “wasn’t something related to his career.”
“It wasn’t about any of our bands needing to be pushed, because there’s certainly nothing wrong with any of our careers at the moment,” he said. “It was about two fans getting together and working on a song for the love of it. That’s always been my favorite kind of project.”
So can fans look forward to more collaborations between Tobias Forge and Joe Elliott?
“He’s come up late, and I’d love to,” answered Elliott. “Next time, though, when we both have some free time, I want us to find somewhere neutral where we can meet in a room with a little tape recorder, a few guitars, a pen, paper, our brains, bottle. wine, and see what will happen to us.”
She continued: “I’d love to sit down and write a song with him because it would be fun. That’s our word for the morning, ‘Fun’. I’m not trying to do it for a job, I just want to do it . write together to see what we get. I want to play and see where it takes us.”
Later this year, Ghost are set to embark on a massive US tour following their breakout performance at Download festival, and Def Leppard’s Stadium Tour is finally coming to the UK. At the same time, groups like Metallica and Bring Me The Horizon are taking TikTok by storm, while newer ones like Spiritbox, Code Orange and Nova Twins are targeting a new generation of fans. What do you both think of the so-called rock resurrection?
“I’m in Mexico City, where Def Leppard played to 56,000 people,” says Elliott. “Ghost also play for huge crowds. Metal, pop rock, soft rock, hard rock, you name it, fucking rock, it has never really gone in the eyes of the fans. But it comes and goes. No in the ’80s. It was very popular, until us and Bon Jovi came along and it kicked its ass. Then it went underground again, before it turned into grunge and then emo. Who knows what’s next.”
Comparing it to the world of cinema, Forge explained that “hard character has always been like horror, but especially nowadays.”
“There are huge horror films that would never be considered for an Oscar because they’re horror films, so they’re automatically considered not that good,” he says, “That may change over time, but that’s the stigma which belongs to him. they still have metal and rock It’s considered less sophisticated than other things You can’t argue against that, but you can still sell records, you can be big in streaming, you can sell tickets No you need to be on daytime radio to be successful.”
Forge continued: “Look at a band like Måneskin. It’s a sign that people don’t shy away from organic music. When we talk about the health of rock music, there’s a common misconception that if there’s going to be a revival, classic. Bands are going Back.” I’m relying on bonds that we don’t know to be ahead.”
“In the early 2000s, I was completely removed from popular music until groups like Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes and The Hives made it interesting again. I think that’s what we’re destined for: a group of 18-year-olds who listen [‘Spillways’] and they feel they should go out and play music”.
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe’s 2023 UK and Ireland tour kicks off in May. Visit here for tickets and information. Meanwhile, Ghost will be performing alongside Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Metallica, Placebo, Disturbed and Architects at Download 2023 next June. Visit this link to purchase tickets and learn more.