Phantomime - EP

Phantomime - EP

When Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge originally conceived this covers collection, it was meant to be a full-length rather than an EP. In fact, he recorded five more songs in addition to the Genesis, Iron Maiden, Television, Stranglers, and Tina Turner covers that appear here. “I had just come off making the IMPERA album, and I just didn’t have the energy to go through another full-length album process,” he tells Apple Music. “That deflated me a little, but as soon as I split the list in half, I saw there was a rock connection in these five songs. It just felt like a more cohesive and attractive solution. As with so many things in life, you just have to rethink your idea and all of a sudden it feels so much more doable.” What hasn’t changed is that Phantomime is a companion piece to Ghost’s aforementioned 2022 album. “It’s the same way that Iron Maiden’s Live After Death is obviously very connected to Powerslave,” Forge explains. “When Phantomime comes out, we’ll still be on the IMPERA tour. And even the artwork between the two releases is connected. But we used different artists because it was interesting to see someone else’s take on almost the same thing.” Below, he discusses each track. “See No Evil” “For those of you who know Television, even when they played upbeat music, they played so soft. They sound like they’re playing in front of 10 people at CBGB’s, which they probably did at the time. That doesn’t say anything about the quality of the writing. I love the first two records they made, Marquee Moon and Adventure—it’s really good songwriting, but the delivery is very subdued. I felt if we did a Ghost version of this, it’s going to feel more like a very tight Rolling Stones in 1982, playing on cocaine. So, this is like a hyperbole-steroids version of the song.” “Jesus He Knows Me” “Had it not been for Disturbed, I would say that ‘Land of Confusion’ would’ve been on the list as well, because it’s a really, really good song. But the reason I’m choosing these rather than an older Genesis track has nothing to do with me preferring the newer Genesis, when they became more of a pop band. It’s simply because those songs are a little bit more up for interpretation, whereas a lot of their old prog songs are not easy to interpret because of the grandiosity of the arrangements. And ‘Jesus He Knows Me’ felt like such a given. It felt super relevant, and it translated really well.” “Hanging Around” “I chose this very much for the main riff, which is very swinging. It has a cool swagger that I’ve always liked, that I think in many ways has influenced my writing before. And like The Stranglers, we definitely use keyboards as a lead instrument in a way that most hard rock or metal bands do not—I definitely think our common denominator is The Doors. This is probably one of The Stranglers’ more famous songs, at least among fans, that’s based on a certain groove like that. There are other very good, strong Stranglers songs, but this one also has the lyric about Jesus ‘hanging around’ on the cross.” “Phantom of the Opera” “This is probably the song on the EP that, at least musically, is truest to the original. But when it came to the lyrics, I got the thumbs-up from [Iron Maiden bassist/lyricist] Steve Harris to alter them a bit because the character Papa needs to be, in this case, the Phantom character. Whereas in the original, the way Paul Di’Anno sings it, he’s slaloming between being Christine and the Phantom and then this third-person perspective. So the original lyrics are a little confusing, which I hadn’t noticed before, despite hearing the Iron Maiden song many, many times. When you start breaking these songs down, you hear them in a new light with a new ear.” “We Don’t Need Another Hero” “As a songwriter who learned by listening, I can’t read music. I don’t know almost any of the scholastic part of music. But if I can remember the melody of a song, like I did this one, I can usually decipher from memory what the chord sequence is—because there’s usually not too many to choose from. But with this Tina Turner song, I couldn’t really decipher what the third chord was in the chorus. And that’s because it’s actually just two. That’s why it sounds like it does. When I figured it out, I was like, ‘Motherfucker! So smart.’ And that was the push for me. I wanted to formulate this into a bigger, more hard-rocking song because it’s so good and so well-written.”

Music Videos

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada