Type O Negative
Bloody Kisses (Roadrunner)
An interview with Peter Steele
by Joe Carnabuci
If you ever wondered what would happen if Lurch from the Addams’ Family started a rock band, your wondering has come to an end. The name of the band is Type O Negative and their Gothic style and sound mirrors that classic, morbid family.
Currently touring with the Vinceless Mötley Cüue, Type O Negative is turning on a new crowd to their superb blend of gloom rock and is steadily climbing the charts with the hit “Christian Woman.” The new album, Bloody Kisses (Roadrunner) has a depressing vibe that makes Pink Floyd sound like a hyena in heat. Negativity mixed with humor can work well if done correctly and scary vocalist/bassist Peter Steele is quite good at creating a damp, dreary mood. He also has a very big mouth, which makes him a target for the media. Accused of being a fascist, racist, chauvinist and just about every “ist” under the sun, Steele lives for this attention. To him, attention sells records. “It started with my days with Carnivore,” states the almighty ambivalent Steele in a recent interview. “The old Carnivore symbol, people thought, looked like a swastika. Combined with songs from Slow, Deep and Hard and some other things I had said during the course of interviews, people took all these little things I had said and done and made it into one big thing. They just wanted a scapegoat.” Steele credits this to the band’s success as the man, never short on words, continues, “See, that’s OK with me because they just made us very popular. They got so much free press for us that record sales really increased. Now I’m just thinking of other inflammatory things to say so that this album will be just as successful if not better.”
Bloody Kisses fights back to these accusations. Songs such as “Kill All the White People” and “We Hate Everyone” humorously heckle the accusers. Musically, Bloody Kisses has it all. Thrash to slow dark ballads… Beatle-like orchestrations to full-on punk.
“This is what I felt I should have been doing for the last 10 years,” continues Steele. “I was rapped up in hardcore metal and there were certain things I felt that I could not do because it was not cliche enough. I write songs for myself and I really don’t care what people think. If fans like my music, that’s great. If they’re disappointed with it, well I’m sorry, it’s not for you anyway.”
“Black No. 1.” a “cool” video aired on Beavis and Butthead, describes a relationship the frontman once had. “There was this really hot Goth girl I was going out with for a while and during the course of intercourse, she asked me to hold a mirror up to her face so she could look at herself. My rule in bed is never to say no, so I went with it. It hit a nerve that she could never love anyone as much as herself. I would have told her to go fuck herself, but she already did.”
Although Type O Negative has gained a huge following through their recent radio success, there are a couple of people who won’t be going to their shows. The gloomed-out cover of soft rock anthem “Summer Breeze” seems to have rubbed the creators, Seals and Crofts, the wrong way. Steele explains, “When I approached their label and told them that we were going to cover “Summer Breeze,” I also mentioned that I wanted to change the lyrics because the original ones made no sense to me. I asked them if it was going to be a problem and they, of course said no, it wouldn’t be a problem, go and do it. They sent a copy of it to Mr. Seals and Crofts and they said that they liked the version, but they did not like me changing their precious lyrics. So we had to go back into the studio, put the board up… I had to get the stupid lyric sheet out with their words on it, and go through the motions.”
Bogus lyrics and all, the song is destined to become an end of the summer hit. “It pisses me off because I don’t think that changing the lyrics hurt the song at all,” concludes Steele. “What I don’t understand is that they’re from some Indian sect out in California named B-Hai or something, where they disown everything material. If they’re not going to be seeing the royalties on this mess anyway, what’s the difference on what we do to it and why do they have to rain on our fucking parade? That’s life and I’m not going to question these two old farts… I just hope they die in pain.”