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Metallica‘s “Master of Puppets” wasn’t the only metal song to become an unexpected hit in 2022. While Stranger Things was driving the 1986 thrasher back to the charts, Ghost‘s 2019 single “Mary on a Cross” gave the Swedish band their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 after going viral on TikTok.

In an interview with Metal Hammer, Tobias Forge calls the TikTok success of “Mary on a Cross” “just a giant bonus.”

“That was never something that we planned,” Forge says.

And, just like Metallica before them, Forge is welcoming any fans who discovered his band through TikTok to the Ghost community.

“We’ve made five records, a bunch of EPs, and I am glad that there seems to be a song that has a way to suck people in,” Forge says. “And if they go into our world and like it, there is plenty to find. If you like ‘Mary on a Cross,’ you can just jump on the train and go where we already are heading.”

Along with inspiring a TikTok trend, Ghost crept more into the mainstream in 2022 with a performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and their album Impera won Favorite Rock Album at the American Music Awards.

“It’s such a slow process that you don’t notice until a half year later when new fans come in and say, ‘I saw you on Kimmel’ or ‘I saw you with my dad,'” Forge says. “I wouldn’t say that being on Kimmel changed everything. It’s been slow, step-by-step, but it builds new branches onto the same tree and you keep growing higher.”

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