Paul Di’Anno Criticizes Tobias Forge’s Vocals on Ghost’s Iron Maiden Cover
Ghost recently released a cover of Iron Maiden's "Phantom of the Opera" as part of their Phantomime covers EP, which came out on May 19. Paul Di'Anno, the former Iron Maiden vocalist who sang on the original track, has asserted that he doesn't think Ghost frontman Tobias Forge "tried hard enough vocally" on the cover.
When Di'Anno first heard Ghost's rendition of the Iron Maiden song, he shared his sentiments in a since-deleted Facebook post, where he wrote, "Everyone asking my opinion on the Ghost cover of 'Phantom' well not that it matters but it fkn sucks" [via Blabbermouth]. The singer has since revisited his feelings about the song in a new interview with Loaded Radio.
"The music's great. I just don't think Tobias fucking tried hard enough, you know? Vocally, you know what I mean? He sounds a bit bland… It's not that bad — the music's good on there, but... And he's changed the lyrics slightly to make it more sort of… That was a bit weird," Di'Anno elaborated.
"When I first heard it, I was probably in a bad mood that day. I said, 'This is fucking bullshit.' But I've listened to it about three or four times, it's pretty damn good, actually, to be honest with you. But as I said, I just feel like Tobias didn't give it some welly, as we say, 'Give me some fucking welly!'"
Di'Anno assured that he takes it as a compliment when other artists cover his work with Iron Maiden on those early records, and that he's really happy for Ghost and all of their success. He just wishes that Forge would have "put a bit more effort into the vocals."
Listen to the full chat below, and listen to Ghost's cover of "Phantom of the Opera" underneath.
Forge has expressed his admiration for Iron Maiden in the past, so it's really no surprise that he chose to cover a song by them for Phantomime. In a conversation with Revolver, the frontman explained that he asked permission from Maiden's own Steve Harris to alter the lyrics a bit for the cover, and the bassist granted the request.
"The original lyrics are written in three perspectives, or at least that's how it came off to me when I tried to learn the song, which didn't make much sense to me," Forge said, adding that he wanted to narrow the perspectives down to two.
"And Steve is so cool — talk about big-dick syndrome — he just said, 'Absolutely.' We had that plan with Genesis, as well, but the problem was that we waited too long and by the time we asked, it was five hours from recording. I wanted to change the line with 'phone book' in it to a less dated reference — not Facebook, by the way — but it was too late."