Members hail from Sweden, dress in hooded cloaks, are led by a skeleton-masked frontman named Papa Emeritus II and, on their new sophomore CD, “Infestissumam,” they offer goth-metal dirges such as “Idolatrime,” “Monstrance Clocks” and “Body in Blood.” What’s not to love about the theatrical juggernaut called Ghost B.C.? Bandmates are not atheists, insists one of the perpetually anonymous members known as Nameless Ghoul. “But aesthetically, the younger me wants there to be a physical devil because he’s cool!” he says. “So we’re a combination of all the things that the 12-year-old me likes: horror, Satan, rock music and pop-cultural elements.”
Why are you Nameless, Ghoul?
Basically, we have chosen to remove identities from the band as much as possible in order for the experience to be stronger for anyone who is listening or watching. One of the reasons we’ve been able to maintain this anonymous aura is that we don’t socialize in the hip Stockholm crowd. We’re from a town of 140,000, and we’re not anti-social in any way. We just don’t make a big fuss about being in the band.
What do your neighbors think you do for a living?
Half of my neighbors know. They’re wondering why I was away for six, seven weeks at a time, and they’ll ask, “Are you working on an oil rig?” But I’m not very well-built, so I don’t look like your oil-rig kind of dude.
Is it true that the Ghost concept gestated for two full years before you ever played a concert?
Yes. Because we felt that the project needed a lot of production in order to come out the way we wanted. If we were going to have one shot at doing this right, it had to be as finished as it could be before we ever set foot onstage.
Now the former Pope Benedict is the real pope emeritus, and the Catholic Church is embroiled in countless scandals, right?
It’s evil in the true sense of the word. And that’s why we’re doing this — we’ve chosen to present a horror show, and one of the most horrific things we could come up with is evil and power. And religious authority is always very, very scary, with the idea of them having a greater, higher power on their side.
Where do you get your elaborate robes cleaned on tour?
Every third venue that we play usually has a washing machine, so we try to wash them whenever we get the chance. But they do spend a lot of time stinking.
So true hell is your tour bus?
Yes! Just stick your head in the trunk with our clothes!