Ghost leader Tobias Forge, who recently scored his biggest-ever chart success, said rock music had been less successful than other genres in securing its future, and cited a “lack of ambition” for having cause a gap between rock’s big names and its next level of artists.

Discussing the deaths of icons like David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister, Forge told Full Metal Jackie (via Blabbermouth) that “rock music needs to step up. We need to have new, bigger bands. Bands need to step up and try to fill these spots. I definitely don't think that rock is dead in any way. But I think that there has been a lack of new talent or new ambition.”

He said the distance between bands that have been around for three or four decades, and those attempting to follow, was “alarming.” "I don't wanna compare rock and hip-hop in any way," he said, "but the hip-hop scene has been way better at bringing up new talent where artists and bands that weren't around 10 years ago are now filling arenas and stadiums and are a huge success."

Forge noted for rock music to survive, he didn't think "bands that are on the bills right now, the ones that have been waiting around for 20 years on the bill, on the middle part of the bill, they are not the ones that are gonna rise to the top part. I think it's gonna be new bands that we don't know about right now.”

He added that “15-year-olds that maybe are listening to this show right now, you are the ones that need to create these new bands; you are the ones that are gonna be the big band 10 years from now. … Again, you have to face the fact that things are changing and things are circulating."

Ghost’s fourth album, Prequelle, reached No.3 on its release last month. The band is currently touring Europe, with North American dates starting on Oct. 26 and running until Dec. 15.