The 2006 Swedish band Ghost’s lead singer Tobias Forge had a conversation with Audacity Music and talked about covering Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ in the band’s tribute album ‘The Metallica Blacklist.’ The singer stated that it is harder to cover Metallica’s songs than Bob Dylan’s.
The band recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of their iconic album, ‘Metallica’ or ‘The Black Album,’ by releasing a remastered version. However, they also collaborated with several artists to create a record featuring the covers of their iconic songs, under the name ‘The Metallica Blacklist.’ The record was released in September 2021 and was appreciated by both fans and critics.
Ghost was also proposed to partake in the album, and they covered ‘Enter Sandman.’ The band’s lead singer talked about the experience of singing a Metallica song in his recent interview. He stated that he might have briefly considered covering someone else’s song, but it was a hard yes when Metallica asked them.
The singer continued to say that until that day, they had only covered songs that had a plain field to work some interpretations. For instance, Ghost has covered the Beatles’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and added their touch by making a darker version of it because it was easier to change.
Here is what Forge stated about covering easy songs:
“I think I might have briefly considered something else, but as we were asked to participate in that, on the ‘Blacklist.’ I think it was quite clear, at least in my head, that we were gonna put together a real recorded version of ‘Enter Sandman.’ The concept of making covers, and I’m not trying to in any way.
All the songs that we’ve ever covered have been subpar songs that we wanted to fix. But sometimes when you decide to cover something, at least in my world, at least in my head, in my heart, I feel that I need to do something to them that either puts it forward in terms of sound – it could be something that’s simple – or there’s some sort of skewing with it. We did ‘Here Comes the Sun’ years ago, which is obviously a very, very happy, summery track, and it was turned into this minor very dark, almost nuclear track.“
He then addressed why everyone loves covering Bob Dylan and stated that his songs are ‘bare,’ so there is a lot of room to put new sounds and interpretations. They are easier to cover since the artist can get more creative when working on the track.
His opinions on covering Bob Dylan songs are as follows:
“And I think that historically, one of the most covered pop artists, popular cultural artist, Bob Dylan – the reason why a lot of artists have covered him is not only because the tracks are so good, but it’s also because his own versions of his own tracks are usually very, very bare-boned.“
On the other hand, it is challenging to cover Metallica because their songs are complete. They are more refined and already fully composed pieces in which there is not much another artist can contribute. He indicated that when a musician covers Metallica, they don’t add much, they only sing the same version of the song.
His opinions on covering Metallica are as follows:
“And they’re sort of insinuating the melody. You hear the melody, and as a singer, you just want to sing it out, you want to sort of flesh it out more. The problem with Metallica songs, the songs are so fleshed-out, they’re so cemented, there’s really no room for interpretation in my head.”
You can watch the full interview below.