Ghost have emerged as one of the 21st century's premiere metal bands, being named Loudwire's Metal Artist of the Decade for the 2010s. In this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor, Ghost leader Tobias Forge reflected on some of the music that gave him his start.

“For as long as I’ve been playing guitar, I’ve done so playing to music. I started with KISS. That was very early for me," Forge recalls before playing a bit of "Strutter." "I was just more of a rhythmical player," said the singer-guitarist. "I’m a little bit more compositional in my soloing.”

“One of the first riffs that I remember playing, and I thought that was sort of cool that I learned how to play was 'Parasite.' It’s just a simple riff, but it suited someone who was 7-years-old," says Forge of the favorite.

Forge also has high praise for one of his recent tour mates, saying of Metallica's James Hetfield, “James Hetfield is definitely one of the best guitar players to have ever walked this Earth. Even though I sort of know theoretically how to play ‘Master of Puppets,’ it’s impossible to play it in down strokes the way that he does start to finish for seven minutes. It’s truly mind blowing.”

As for Ghost, Forge takes us into the band's early days, playing the "riff that originated everything" for the group and revealing his original vision for the band. “All the songs from the first record were supposed to be very pre-metal, very basic. Like the most primordial, caveman sort of riffing, but still sort of to the point," says Forge. "The band that I had in mind that I heard in my head, that would be Ghost, was very much sort of a ‘70s band, maybe slightly older so they would be in their 30s when they played ‘60s music.”

Forge also shares what he feels is the "most effective chord progression ever" and relays how it plays into his own music. See more of Tobias Forge's Gear Factor episode in the player above and click here to watch his full Metal Artist of the Decade interview.

The 66 Best Metal Albums of the 2010s