Tobias Forge Explains Why Ghost Use Piano in Their ‘Enter Sandman’ Cover
Still, the quiet piano that opens the version of the classic heavy metal single can be a little surprising.
Ghosts's rendition emerged on Sept. 10, the same day The Metallica Blacklist — a various artists compilation tribute to Metallica's 1991 "Black Album" — arrived in full, alongside a remastered reissue of the effort that starts with the original "Enter Sandman."
But how did Ghost decide on the piano in their cover?
This week, Ghost bandleader Tobias Forge (AKA Papa Emeritus IV, et al.) explained to Guitar World, "We had performed that track when Metallica got [Sweden's] Polar Music Prize in 2018, so it felt like something we knew how to do. But when it comes to covering other bands' songs, I try to find something that isn't in the track in its original state. And, honestly, I find that difficult in a lot of Metallica songs because I feel they are pretty fully fleshed out."
He continued, "But with 'Enter Sandman,' I could hear a piano. I could hear the vocal melody speaking in a way where you could build another chord sequence underneath. Which, you know, I can't really do that on 'Of Wolf and Man.'"
But Forge confessed that capturing Ghost's "Enter Sandman" cover "wasn't without a wee bit of anxiety. But the biggest part of that was the way I felt two or three years ago when we did that performance. Because that was on live TV and it was in front of Metallica and it was in front of the [Swedish] royal family and a lot of the elite in Sweden. So that felt like the big weight."
Those who are longtime fans of both likely know that Metallica have been mentors to Ghost. Of course, they've also toured together, giving Ghost a leg up.
Forge admitted Metallica's support has been crucial. "Ever since [Metallica's] James [Hetfield] started pushing the band about 10 years ago, from that moment on we definitely rose to bigger fame. We performed on their [Orion] festival, and we also did some touring together with them when they were doing Sonisphere."
He added, "Eventually they asked us to support them on an entire tour. So I'd say that we have had a mentor/student sort of relationship. It feels, you know, like the most Miyagi of dojos — you get the hand of the sensei on you."