Tag Archive | Type O Negative

"Black No. 1"

Heaviest song ever about a box of hair dye. Rest in Peace, Peter Steele, who Passed on this day, April 14th, in 2010.

Read my interview with Peter from 2003 at This Link.

Remembering Peter Steele

Peter Steele White Shirt
Image Source

Type O Negative vocalist/bassist Peter Steele passed away due to heart failure on this date, April 14th, in 2010. RIP Peter.

Read my interview with Pete Steele from 2003 at This Link!

Saddest News Ever: RIP Type O Negative Vocalist Peter Steele

“Loving You was Like Loving The Dead…”

From Blabbermouth Dot Net:

“As previously reported, Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver confirmed to blabbermouth.net that Peter Steele passed away yesterday (Wednesday, April 14) at the age of 48. No official cause of death has yet been released, but it is believed that Steele died of heart failure. According to unconfirmed reports, Steele had been ill for days leading up to his death.

Steele was born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. He stood 6′ 7″ tall, and had a low, bass-heavy voice, which was one of the most recognizable features in Type O Negative’s music. Before forming Type O Negative, Steele played for the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.”

This news just kills me. Forty-eight year old men aren’t supposed to die of heart failure. I’ve seen Type O Negative live more times than I could even recount and their shows were always memorable and amazing. Especially their “Annual” Halloween shows at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom – who remembers those? Amazing! Besides being super talented and beyond gorgeous, Pete Steele was also the nicest guy to his fans. He even signed the cover of my Playgirl issue that had his centerfold spread in it – which is framed and hanging on my wall to this day. What a fucking tragedy for the music industry. He will be so missed.

You can read my really fun interview with Peter Steele from 2003 at This link. You can tell he had a unique and engaging sense of humor. Rest in peace, Pete.

The Origin of the Species: Ten Illustrated Versions

The Origin of the Lego Man

2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s most famous work On the Origin of Species (published 24 November 1859). Plus, Thursday (2/12) would have been his 200th birthday. The New York Times’ science section published this article on Tuesday, and I have even been invited to weird FaceBook events honoring both this controversial book and Darwin’s anniversary of birth . Of course, I can’t even think of the book’s title without also being reflexively thrown to thoughts of Type O Negative’s infamous live CD, The Origin of The Feces, but that is a different story. Keeping it on a lighter note, Listicles looks at the evolution of the most familiar graphic shorthand for Darwin’s entire theory with their 10 Illustrated Versions of Evolution, including the Evolution of Lego Man, seen above.

Thanks to Neatorama for the tip!

RIP Playgirl Magazine

Type O Negative's Man of Steele

Man of Steele, Indeed!

It’s official: Playgirl Magazine has shuttered for good. This is sad news for gay men, and women who enjoy looking at naked pictures of  gay men, everywhere. Playgirl was never really my thing, but I’ll always remember when Type O Negative’s lead singer, Peter Steele, took it all off for the magazine back in 1995. Ah, sweet, sweet memories.


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Dethklok Rocks!


My pal Swami recently turned me on to the virtual Death Metal band Dethklok, and I have been enjoying their cartoon adventures on the Adult Swim Channel’s very clever show, Metalocalypse for the past couple of days now. What I want to know is this: does anyone else out there notice a resemblance between Dethklok vocalist Nathan Explosion and Type O Negative’s Pete Steele? Anybody?

NathanMean Peter

Nathan Explosion              Peter Steele

Because the similarities are obvious to me.

The End of An Era: CBGB Closes Its Doors

Ramones 1975 CBGB Bob Gruen
The Ramones Standing Outside CBGB in 1975, Photo By Bob Gruen. Worth a Thousand Words, at Least

This past Sunday night, a few of my more rock-savvy friends went downtown to the place where Bleecker Street meets The Bowery for the final concert performance at CBGB before that legendary club closed for good. While I’m not generally a huge supporter of people who don’t pay their rent (and think they can get away with it), it’s a shame that club owner Hilly Kristal made the tragic mistake of thinking he’d be bullet proof to eviction in a town where real estate is more precious than gold or diamonds. But that’s hardly the point anymore.

Over the nearly eighteen years I’ve lived in Manhattan, I couldn’t recall with a gun to my head how many nights I spent “making the scene” at CBGB. Beyond attending countless local or up-and-coming band gigs, a dozen worthy-cause benefits and my fair share of overcrowded CMJ showcase schmoozefests, being a member of the press also got me into some pretty exclusive shows. One of my favorite memories has to be seeing Cheap Trick perform the brilliant “Ballad of TV Violence” (coincidentally, on the very same day as the Columbine shooting) on CB’s dilapidated stage for the release of their live CD Music for Hangovers. Two other great shows that stand out are a press event for the Brooklyn-based Goth Metal band, Type O Negative (who I affectionately refer to as “The Beatles of Heavy Metal”) and my first Black Halos show, which must have been about seven years ago now, at least. I fucking love those guys.

But if I had to isolate just one golden moment, my favorite memory of time spent at CBGB wouldn’t even be a show I saw there, but an interview I conducted in the empty club late one weekday afternoon, with the Canadian pop-punk band, Sum 41. This was in the fall of 2002, when that dubiously talented band was riding high on the charts and their goofy faces were plastered across the covers of every rock glossy on the planet. It didn’t hurt that I was on a cover story assignment for the now-defunct Request – my first cover for a national rock rag! Since the band was participating in the article’s photo shoot on site – because, let’s be real here, nothing says “We are punk rock” quite like a group photo taken in CB’s infamously skeevy toilets – I was sent to interview the band ‘in their element,’ so to speak.

I’d never confess to be a fan of SUM 41’s music, but that day, something about the undeniable vibe of CBGB allowed those kids (I think their names are Derek, “Cone,” Dave and Steve) to really channel a kind of “roots punkiness” that made them sound like they knew what the hell they were talking about. It didn’t matter that their music was retarded; they gave me a really interesting, funny interview from which I wrote a great article. I’m sure that those guys don’t even remember talking to me, but I’ll never forget that afternoon.

These days, when I walk down St. Mark’s Place just east of Third Avenue, I can no longer pick out the store front that once marked the entrance to Coney Island High and it still blows my mind that what used to be the Fillmore East on Second Avenue near 5th Street is now an Emigrant Bank. Soon, CBGB’s former address will be home to a Laundromat or a bodega with a prohibitively expensive, high-rise apartment building sprouting from it. And as the replicant, Roy said at the end of the film Bladerunner, “All of these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” That’s life in the big city.

An Interview with Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative

metal edge logo

Type O Negative understands that change is good. After releasing seven albums during a dozen years with Roadrunner Records, Brooklyn’s favorite purveyors of lead-heavy melodic metal (think: The Beatles-Meets-Black Sabbath) jumped ship for a new home at SPV. While Peter Steele (vocals/bass) Kenny Hickey (guitar), Josh Silver (keyboards) and Johnny Kelly (drums) completed pre-production on their much anticipated follow up to 2003’s Life Is Killing Me, SPV threw the fans a bone in the form of an amazing live DVD, Symphony for the Devil. “We’ve actually been working on that project for a while,” explains Johnny Kelly. “The concert footage was a bootleg of our performance at Germany’s Bizarre festival back in 1999. It was a professional-quality, multi-camera shoot that we just loved and, fortunately, we were able to get the master reel. It took time to edit the performance footage and go through all of the candid, behind the scenes video of the band that’s also included on the DVD, but it came out pretty cool. The band looks surprisingly well preserved!,” he jokes. Keeping busy with various side projects that include nailing all of Bonham’s best licks in his Led Zeppelin tribute band Earl’s Court, Johnny spoke with Metal Edge just days before Type O Negative entered the studio to record their as-yet-untitled eighth album.

Metal Edge: You’ve played a couple of tours with Danzig; most recently in 2005 on the Circle of Snakes tour. How is drumming with Danzig different than what you do with Type O Negative?

Johnny Kelly: To me, the drumming on Danzig records is more rock oriented. Some of the later stuff gets a bit more metal with more double bass, but it seems to have a rock ‘n’ roll approach to it. There aren’t that many tempo changes, whereas Type O songs are much longer and there are a lot more changes in the song structures. The good thing is that my drumming style with Type O seems to have lent itself to what Danzig has done, though there were little things I needed to be aware of to really keep the integrity of what the music is all about. It was a lot of fun and at times it didn’t seem like work at all. I’ve always loved playing different music with other people. It’s a good way to keep my chops up and to keep things fresh.

Metal Edge: You were out at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) convention recently. As a drummer, what are the high points of attending that show?

Johnny Kelly: I go to NAMM because it’s a great opportunity for me to see and meet all of my endorsers – guys that I only speak to on the phone or via email because they’re all in different parts of the country – in one place. It’s great to go out there, get face time and maintain the relationship. As far as gear, it’s also the best way to see what’s new or what’s old and new again (laughs).

Metal Edge: Between recording Life Is Killing Me and this new record, have you recorded with any other projects?

Johnny Kelly: I recorded one song for the Roadrunner United CD that came out in 2005. I went down to Florida and worked with producer/engineer Jason Suecof along with Matt (Heafy) from Trivium and we recorded a song Matt wrote called “Blood and Flames.” The day before I left, I got an MP3 of the song with just a guitar track and a click track. When I got down there I asked if they had anything in mind as to what direction they wanted the song to go. Matt said, “When I wrote the song, I had all of the other parts written out but I just didn’t think about the drums.” At first that was kind of scary, because we had just a couple of hours to learn the song, get the creative aspect of it solidified and get a good performance out of the track. I’d had a couple of thoughts on the plane (laughs) so I played them my ideas on how I felt the song should go and they were like “Dude, it’s great, let’s go!” We went through the song a few times until we got a performance they were happy with and that was it.

Metal Edge: On some of the previous Type O albums you’ve relied a lot on drum programming. Will you be taking the same approach for the new one?

Johnny Kelly: No, on this record we’re going to do live drums. The way these songs have developed, we want to get more of a ‘live band’ feel to it. You know, Type O songs, when recorded, have lots layers and textures. This record is going for a looser feeling – a little bit more raw and reckless. The impression that I get is that this CD will be more like the first two records: Slow Deep and Hard and Bloody Kisses. Thinking about it, I was actually listening to World Coming Down yesterday (laughs). I hadn’t listened to that in a long time and I could hear a similarity between our new songs and the songs on that record. We’re all looking forward to the end result.

Johnny’s Gear:
Drums: Pearl Masterworks in John Bonham Green Sparkle finish
Sizes: 24×16” kick, 14×12” rack tom, 16×16” & 18×16” floor toms, 8×14” free-floating snare
Cymbals: Sabian
Heads: Attack
Sticks: Ahead, Tommy Lee Studio Model

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/typeonegative/

johnny kelly drummer

This article was originally written for Metal Edge Magazine as part of a monthly column by Gail Worley (under the pen name Jayne Rollins). With the magazines’ dissolution, the article has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.