The pandemic has forced many a band to have to shift their scheduling over the last two years, while others have just avoided booking tours altogether. During a recent discussion with Avenged Sevenfold‘s Johnny Christ on the Drinks With Johnny podcast (as heard below), Ghost frontman Tobias Forge weighed in with a critique on some of the decision making where tours are concerned and how those moves are conveyed to the fans.
While many tours were pushed back and statements were offered about health and safety concerns, Forge offers that that may not always be the full story. “Well, the problem now is that a lot of these bands find the bottom line not to be satisfactory. They don’t go out and say, ‘Look, we’re not making as much money as we wish, so we’re going to cancel or we’re going to postpone till the stars are aligned and the marketplace looks better,'” the singer explains.
He continues, “They go out and tell the crowd, ‘Oh, because of safety concerns we’re not touring,’ and that is a fucking horrible message to the crowd, to the rest of the business to everyone that we’re all relying on – as in all the promoters and everyone working at the venues, everybody working as vendors, all the crew members, all the busing companies, all the truck companies, all these people who just had their tour canceled just because these three, four or five dudes/girls just decided that the money wasn’t great. And then they go out and tell ‘Oh, by the way, don’t even go to shows because it’s not safe.'”
When Christ questioned if there were bands actually telling fans not to go to shows, Forge added, “No, it becomes that. That is what becomes. If one band decides to go and say like, ‘No, [it’s] because of safety, it’s not safe to tour because of COVID.’ Of course, you’re sending a message to the crowd that ‘Oh, maybe it’s not [safe].”
He continued, “And remember, we have cultivated this agoraphobia and this germophobia now that is a big problem. And it takes a lot of courage for a lot of people to go out. It takes a lot of courage for people to go to a show. And when one band goes out and says, ‘Oh, we’re not going to tour because of safety concerns, because the world is not a safe place because of COVID.’ It does say to the fan that ‘Oh, maybe that’s right. I shouldn’t even go out now.’ That is detrimental.”
Christ countered that it’s important that bands “don’t fake the fun,” adding, “If you’re not going out because you’re not making the nut that you want, then come out and say it. No one’s going to judge you anymore,” with Forge later adding that it would be “more responsible” to just be forthcoming about the financial factor where touring in concerned.
As for Ghost, they have returned to the road, currently wrapping up a European tour. See the remaining dates and get ticketing info here.
Ghost’s Tobias Forge Joins Johnny Christ on Drinks With Johnny