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Ghost’s Big Day at the Grammys: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

From the moment they left the hotel to the revelry backstage, the Best Metal Performance trophy recipients show how to win gracefully

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Ghost give Rolling Stone a tour of their day at the Grammys and revel in their big win.

Photograph by Tergo

"I am remarkably thirsty today, which is a little bit odd considering how much I drank last night," one of the anonymous Nameless Ghouls who plays with frontman Papa Emeritus III in the occult-themed Swedish heavy-metal group Ghost tells Rolling Stone the day after the Grammys. The night before is still a blur. The band had seemed like underdogs when they were nominated in the Best Metal Performance category alongside genre giants like Slipknot and Lamb of God. Ultimately, though, they ended up taking home a trophy honoring their doomy, dramatic single "Cirice," a track off their most recent LP, last year's Meliora.

"We're flying back to Europe now," the Ghoul says. "We're currently on a European tour. So we just made a three-day offshoot for the Grammys. I'm sorry to say it was at the expense of a Polish show that we had to reschedule. Any Polish people reading this, sorry, but we had a lot of fun." He laughs. Asked if he met any interesting celebrities, he laughs again. "Josh Groban came up to us and said he was a fan."

In the slides that follow, the Nameless Ghoul guides Rolling Stone through each step of the group's big day, from departing their tony Hollywood hotel to making paparazzi scratch their heads to scratching their own heads (or what they can of them underneath their masks) when they heard that they had won. "Some awards are downright fucking ugly, but that is definitely a mantelpiece," he says.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Leave the Roosevelt Hotel for the Awards Show

The hotel was great. If you're into touristing in Hollywood, it's right in the heart of it. We're usually not in the epicenter, so it was a nice change. It feels very Hollywood and "gala." It was the perfect setting for us.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Have Fun in the Sun

If you're standing in the light, the masks are not very comfortable. They can be hot, but they're quite light actually. They're made of a fiberglass. They're not as heavy as they're made to look.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Hitch a Ride

I personally am not a super fan of riding in limos. It's always fun to say you have done it, but I don't find them very comfortable for some reason. It's not something that you'd want to travel cross-country with.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Pump Themselves Up for the Grammys

We had some classic rock playing in the limo. We usually have a mix of everything from Abba to Venom. We listen to a lot of different things. It can literally be anything from your standard Top 40 classic-rock party songs to Euro disco. We also like a lot of radio pop and pop music in general. Whatever makes you happy, listen to that.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Come to Papa

Papa wears white gloves to the amusement of our wardrobe girl, because they get dirty every day. You can't do shit with white gloves. They always get brown.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Dress for Success

Papa wears that outfit onstage. Half of the show is in normal papal attire, pope-like clothes, and the other half of the show is in the so-called "Dead Astaire" suit, the dapper Papa. It animates the show a little.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Papa Emeritus III Sees Red on the Way to the Grammys

I don't know why Papa's makeup looks red. He wears black-and-white makeup … like a skull.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

At the Gates

When we were approaching the Grammys, I was thinking that it looked like a clusterfuck. Awards shows are always a clusterfuck. You come with a car, but you can't park. Then it's, "Oh, shit, we have to go in there." And, 'Whoops, we took the wrong way." You get shuffled around. Usually, when we do things like that, I feel, "Just tell me where to go," and I just follow. So when I saw the entrance, all I thought was "OK, here we go."

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Steve Granitz/Getty

Ghost on the Red Carpet

Obviously, there's a whole lot of people in the normal media sphere that [don't] pay attention to a Swedish shock-rock band. So when you get on the red carpet, people look at you and don't know what to make of the charade that is waltzing past. It turns into a spectacle. We're dressing up for entertainment purposes. In many people's eyes, we're just a clown band of odd characters.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost Find the Awards Ceremony

What do I have to say to the other nominees? "Fuuuuuuck you." No, I have nothing to say. We might as well have been the losers. Well not the losers, but the non-winning people. Getting nominated for a Grammy award happens maybe once. It won't happen many, many times.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Photograph by Tergo

Ghost’s Golden Tickets

Technically, we never got seated. We spent so much time with the media on the red carpet, we were strapped for time. So by the time we got to the theater, we stepped in and we didn't have time to sit because our category was up within a few minutes.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

And the Best Metal Performance Grammy Goes to …

We never got to the nervous part, which was kind of surreal. We got in the room so late that our producer and one of our A&R men didn't even know we had made it into the room, so they headed to the podium to collect the prize. If you look at the video of our acceptance, you see those two dudes out of nowhere walking toward to the stage. Then they cut to us coming down the aisle. That was basically us coming into the room almost a minute before. The awards show itself was very, very short for us. We went in, got the prize and left.

We've never claimed to be anything but happy for the nomination. That's maybe a non–rock & roll thing to say, since most rock bands underline how little they care about getting prizes. But we're pretty open with the fact that we were happy to be nominated, especially for a Grammy. Very, very few Swedish artists are, and when they do, they don't win it. We had the motivation that we're not going to win this, but we're doing it for the laughs. We had already won in that sense. And when the category came up and we came into the room, it was "all right, no rest for the wicked." Then all of a sudden, you feel how fucking important it actually is. Getting a Grammy is not to be belittled at all. It means a lot. All of a sudden you're elevated to another level.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Jason Kempin/Getty

Ghost Take a Victory Lap to the Backstage Media Room

It's not very heavy. There are definitely other types of awards that are crazy heavy, to the point where, "Are you kidding? No one can carry these home." I've always admired the actual Grammy award, because it looks so beautiful with its little gramophone player. I think it's a beautiful award.

Ghost; Grammys; 2016

Mike Windle/Getty

Papa Emeritus III Tastes Victory

Papa may be taking a drink from his Grammy, but we have other uses for it, too. First off, we're going to put it on the floor and we're going to dance around it. Then I'm going to bring mine with me everywhere I go. If I go to a meeting or dinner, I will put it on the table [laughs]. Honestly, though, I'm going to have it in my home. I'm not super nostalgic. I don't have posters and stuff up in my home, but a gold record is worthy of display and so is a Grammy. It's something that you have out.

We had a few parties that we needed to attend after we won. We eventually ended up at Kendrick Lamar's afterparty. That was the last thing I remember, and then it all went black. The night was very "infused." Let's put it that way.

In This Article: Ghost B.C.

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