Ghost leader Tobias Forge described the band’s upcoming fourth album as “very sincere” as he discussed his large-scale ambitions for their future. He and two of his bandmates premiered new material at a private event on April 6, which came after they’d released two teaser videos revealing their “new” frontman.

“Essentially, it’s a record about survival, even though it’s a record totally drenched with the threat of death,” Forge told Loudwire after the event. “But for me, it is pure, very honest, very real, and for lack of a better phrase, very sincere, Ghost has always been about make-believe. And it's still about make-believe. But it feels very good to create something that is totally from the heart — not to say that previous records have not been from the heart. But this is very close to the heart. And still be able to intertwine those things.”

He’d previously stated that, despite having confirmed his true identity, Ghost’s theatrical presentations would remain a large part of their show. Saying he was “relieved” to have combined those theatrics with the new sincerity, he added: “Once you get people's attention, you have a greater responsibility to tell them something of value.”

The first single to arrive from the follow-up to 2015’s Meliora is entitled “Rats,” and Forge revealed he’d deliberately set out to create a song with a sense of scale, calling it a “song that could get 80,000 people to jump,” and reflecting: “If you ever want to play bigger places, you need to have records that sound like you're playing in big places.”

The band’s "Rats on the Road" U.S. tour begins on May 5 and runs until May 27.