Former members of Ghost have taken the next step in their legal battle against sole original member Tobias Forge by denying his claim that the group was basically a solo project. Simon Soderberg, Mauro Rubino, Henrik Palm and Martin Hjertstedt launched a lawsuit after they left the band last year. Forge – who recently confirmed he is masked frontman Papa Emeritus – was accused of having failed to pay them their share of profits, and that, although he was in charge of all their business affairs, the band operated under a partnership agreement.

Forge replied that “no legal partnership” had ever existed and that the four men were paid a salary for their contributions to Ghost, adding that the band could be described as a “solo” venture.

The plaintiffs have reacted to his statement, which they described as “not in accordance with the truth.” In a statement translated on Reddit (via Blabbermouth) they added, “Forge has certainly been the band’s main songwriter, has had the role of cinematic front figure ‘Papa Emeritus,’ has been a driving force in the band’s business, as well as in the handling of the band’s business affairs.

“However, the activities carried out with respect to Ghost were extensively handled jointly by the members – for example, by making decisions jointly regarding the band’s image, by participating in interviews, and by the fact that every member has, at certain times, contributed when recording albums and singles, and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.”

Focusing directly on the solo claim, they said Forge had never shared his viewpoint with them. “To the contrary, Tobias Forge always emphasized that it was a collaboration that everyone was involved in, and would share in the profit of, once the business became profitable.

“The first time Tobias Forge, through the band’s management, mentioned that he saw them as hired musicians rather than full-fledged members of Ghost was in the context of a contract proposal presented in April 2016.”

Forge said during the radio interview in which he revealed his identity that Ghost would record a new album next year, before launching a new 18-month world tour.

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