Ghost tops “Billboard” Mainstream Rock Songs chart with soundtrack for Black Plague partiers, “Dance Macabre”

Credit: Mikael ErikssonGhost‘s song “Dance Macabre,” the current single from the band’s new album Prequelle, has boogied all the way to number one on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart. In writing the track, frontman Tobias Forge aimed to surprise listeners…by foregoing his habit of trying to surprise listeners.

“I have a tendency, and have had a lot of songs written, where I tend to trick the listener with some sort of broken beat, or there’s a thing that just completely twists the whole song into a different direction,” Forge tells ABC Radio. “I love doing things like that.”

With the disco-esque “Dance Macabre,” however, Forge wanted to commit to recording a dance song, which means he had to stick to a continuous, pulsating 4/4 beat through the track.

“If this is gonna be a dance song, if it’s gonna be a party song, it needs to be one from start to finish,” he says.

Forge also had a narrative reason for making “Dance Macabre” such a dance-oriented track. The song falls in the middle of Prequelle, which is a concept album about The Black Plague. When researching the infamously deadly pandemic — which killed an estimated 75 to 200 million people in the 1300s — Forge learned that many people used their impending deaths as an excuse to party.

And having written the riff for “Dance Macabre” years ago with nowhere to use it, Forge realized he finally found the perfect pairing.

“People who had yet to succumb to this disease, they were partying like there was no tomorrow, because they thought that, ‘We are all gonna be dead within a day or two or a week or three,'” Forge explains. “So it just felt very fitting, like, ‘Well, I need a dance song, and yeah, I have one!'” 

“Rats,” the lead single from Prequelle, also topped the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

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