onsdag 21 april 2010

"Thank you ladies and Germans!"
Pete Steele 1962-2010

2007 hade jag nöjet att få intervjua Pete Steele och Johnny Kelly i Type O Negative. I och med Steele´s bortgång tänkte jag att det kunde vara kul med en repris på själva intervjun.

"Type O Negative blev ett namn för den större massan i och med "Bloody kisses" (93) och har sedan dess skrämt livet ur moraltanterna. Efterföljande alster har kanske inte riktigt nått upp till samma höjder som nyss nämnda släpp, men flertalet har ändå visat att bandet fortfarande är att räkna med.
Nu skriver vi 2007 och "Dead again" finns snart i en skivhandel nära dig. I Stockholm ligger det snö på gatorna, temperaturen närmar sig noll och en genuint gladlynt Peter Steele stormar in på Playgrounds kontor med en magnifik romarhjälm på huvudet.
Han och trummisen Johnny Kelly är på promotionbesök och visar sig vara två förträffligt trevliga personer, trots all dyster musik de prånglat ut under åren.
Tillsammans med en utsänd reporter från getmetal.com (med andra ord är en del av frågorna inte ställda av Metal Shrine) fick jag möjlighet att få den senaste informationen från Brooklyn´s finest."

It´s been quite a long time since you guys toured here. When can we expect to see you again?

JK: We´re coming to Europe and Scandinavia in late May. We´re gonna do like four or five weeks. I´m not sure and I can´t say for certain exactly where we gonna be, but it looks like we´re gonna be hitting a bunch of festivals and stuff. All that stuff is in the middle of being planned. I did see a possibility of us playing in Malmö, so it´s not too far from Stockholm. That was like the one Swedish date that I saw.

The new album? It took along time to do. Tell us about why?

PS: "Life is killing me" was released when?

JK: June 2003.

PS: After that we did a couple of US tours and a European tour and at the same time we were switching record labels, which is really not a good tactic for a band to do when you´re trying to support an album. So after that we didn´t sign with Roadrunner Records anymore. They didn´t give us any tour support or anything else, so we kind of fell of the face of the earth for a little while. On the same time we were working on the "Sympathy of the devil" dvd and that took up a lot of time and in the mean time I was writing songs for this forthcoming album. After we finished the dvd we finally went into the studio and started to rehearse for the album and brings us to March 19 (release date).

I´m wondering about Rasputin on the cover? And I read earlier that the working title for the album was "The profits of doom"?

PS: "The profits of doom", I thought was ok, but the song "Dead again" was one of the least songs I had written and I fully expected that song to be the first single, but it´s not going to be. The first single is going to be "Profits of doom". I´m the songwriter and the art coordinator for Type O Negative and I was thinking about what visual with go with the title "Dead again". Being slavik and having quite a bit in common with Rasputin. He was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a womanizer, a brawler and he had a big penis and it´s also the whole blood thing. He could cure the Romanov prince of hemophilia just by looking at the kid. The communist couldn´t kill him as much as they couldn´t kill me. Four times in a row...and he looks like a Type O Negative member, but a very good looking one.

I was reading the lyrics for "Helloween in heaven" and it´s some of the funnier lyrics I´ve read for a while. Dead rock stars and all.

PS: It actually has a very somber meaning. Dimebag Darrel was a very close friend with Type O Negative and a very close friend to many many people and it kind of inspired me to write that song, because I know that Dimebag´s in a better place now and I´m sure he´s up there with Bonham, Entwistle and Lennon and all these other famous rock´n´rollers. I miss him and we all miss him very much and I´m still in shock about what happened. I left his name off the list of the deceased, because I didn´t want people to think I was exploiting his death. But it was like kind of a hymn.

It´s a really cool song.

PS: It´s one of my favorite songs and hopefully we´ll be playing that live and "Dead again" live. "Profits of doom" is gonna be the first single like I said. "September sun" after that. and probably "Helloween in heaven". We have the videos lined up to do once we get back to New York.

This song "Dead again" is about drug abuse and stuff. How´s your drug situation?

PS: Well, apparently not one hundred percent resolved. I mean, alcohol is simply just a liquid drug. I was pretty lost in the whole cocaine thing for a couple of years. I´m not gonna say that I´m an angel and I´ve fully recovered. Time to time I do find myself indulging and when I wake up the next day or next week I find this great sense of shame and I realize I´ve killed myself once again and so hence "Dead again". There´s an old saying that says "It´s better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own.", so I hope I can give something to the fans by saying, if you haven´t tried drugs, dont! If you are using drugs, try to get away from it beacause it´s only gonna get worse! I mean, I was 35 years old when I started doing cocaine and how fucking stupid is that! I´m ashamed of myself, but over the course of ten years...it´s hurt me, its hurt my family, it´s hurt my friends and it´s hurt my reputation. Fortunately I feel like I have a second chance. Maybe I can make lemonade out of lemons by saying to fans to don´t even try it.

I was wondering about the choice once again to produce the album yourselves? Has there ever been a thought of bringing someone in from the outside.

JK: Small talk, like what if, but it´s never been seriously considered.

PS: The person that I would´ve chosen would´ve been George Martin who worked with The Beatles. His fee would probably ten times the album budget, so we decided that´s not the way to go.

JK: We´re not expecting the like of George Martin to work with us. (laughs)

PS: No! But I´m 45 years old and I´ve been in bands since I was eleven or twelve. I think that after all this time I can get out whatever´s in my head. So we´re not really snobs. It´s just that you´re also taking a chance when you hire a producer. You never know how it´s gonna turn out, so we´d rather just do it ourselves. It´s just like masturbation, we do it ourselves.

About George Martin, there´s parts of "Hey Jude" in "These three things".

PS: You can blame Josh for that! Josh put that in there so if Michael Jackson wants to sue us, Josh is the one!

JK: Josh can easily be reached. (laughs)

It´s a cool thing and it blends in pretty good.

JK: I´m sure Josh put it in there to see if anyone´s paying attention. Like Van Halen not having green M&M´s...

What about the last song "Hail and farewell to England"? What´s the story about that one?

PS: Let´s see who´s on the cover of this magazine. (Holds up a copy of a magazine with Manowar on the cover.)

JK: It has nothing to do with England. It´s a metaphore.

PS: It has nothing to do with England. What happened was that on most other Type O Negative albums we added like soundscapes between songs and one of the soundscapes that I had come up with was having four British fighter pilots during World War I over Germany, being shot down and going down together and it kind of turned into a song. As they´re being shot down over Germany they say "Hail and farewell to Britain" and I have nothing against England what so ever or Germany or Poland or Iceland or fucking Queens, New York. It also gives the journalists another question to ask. "What do you mean by that?" and the answer is "I don´t fucking know!".

About touring? Now most of you guys are married right?

JK: I´m not. Josh and Kenny are.

Is it still fun to go out on the road for months and months?

JK: For me, I still very much enjoy touring. I got a chance to do a bunch of it with Danzig during the break between records and stuff, so it´s nothing that I am entirely unfamiliar with, but for me it´s always been something I´ve always wanted to do and now that I´ve become older and I have a daughter now...it´s very tough to be a way from my daughter and that´s something that is very much a part of me. While I´m out on the road I´m not gonna be so miserable and depressed because I´m not home. It´s still an experience and it´s still part of my life´s experience and I want to get the most out of it while I´m there. It´s just like when I´m home I want to be with my daughter and do as much as I can with her and be a part of that experience. It´s just about trying to get the most out of it where ever you are. Touring´s always been a fun thing and it´s always interesting. You never know what you´re gonna walk into. Not just the performance, but the rest of the day. Roll the dice! What´s gonna happen today? What´s under this shell. As long as it´s interesting and it doesn´t get repetetive and mundane. I love playing!

PS: Most of the other bands we tour with as well, they´re a lot of fun. We´re on their bus, our bus hanging out. Going out...I´m 45 years old and acting like 15. being in a rockband for me, means that I can be a kid for the rest of my life. I don´t have to grow up.

JK: We did our first shows in California a couple of weeks ago. The first shows we´ve done in three years and we picked up right we´re we left off. We went insane for three days. We had fun. We had a great time. We were laughing and kidding on each other and at the same time the fans got to see the band again and they were really excited and stuff. It´s like a win win situation. Talking about it, we forgot how much fun it was to play in Type O Negative and we kind of reconnected on that level and we can´t wait to go on the road.

I read somewhere that you toured with Mötley Crüe?

JK: Yeah, we opened up for Mötley Crüe.

PS: For three months.

Was that when John Corabi was in the band?

JK: Yes!

What was that like?

JK: For us, even if it was a tough tour for them on the level of success they were accustomed to, but for us it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Even though we were playing outdoor amphitheatres in the States, it was a great experience. We did that all summer and we partied like we were in Mötley Crüe! (laughs). But the tour wasn´t successful for them. Here you are playing in a 20000 seat venue and there´s only like 3000 or 4000 people showing up, so it was tough on them, but for Type O Negative who was unknown, 4000 people is the opportunity of a lifetime for any band. We made the most out of it and I hold Mötley Crüe pretty responsible for putting Type O Negative on the map. They were adviced by everybody that worked with them "Don´t take this band out! They´re not worth anything!". They (advicers) we´re like "We can get a band that can fill up seats!", but they (the Crüe) were like "Fuck that! We want Type O! We like the band and we want them out there! Make it happen!". We got along great and it was some crazy times! It was a lot of fun and things just went up from there for us, so it was a great experience for us. Tommy Lee was one of my idols when I was a kid and drumming and stuff, so I would just pull up a chair, grab a beer and sit behind him and watch the whole show the whole time. And then after the show we would all go crazy. The Mötley Crüe after the show parties are legendary! (laughs)

I read at KNAC that Danzig and Phil Anselmo were supposed to do some guest vocals on the album?

PS: I did that interview quite a while ago and that was my wish list. I wished that tha could´ve happened, but Glenn´s busy and Phil is busy. I wanted Henry Rollins, all the people that we´ve toured with, but due to time limitations and things coming up, even our own schedule was start - stop, start - stop, so I didn´t wanna have to bring some of them into the chaos that is Type O Negative. Hopefully down the line maybe Henry, Glenn and Phil and Rob Zombie would be guest vocalists. I think it would be fucking amazing!

I also read that you were thinking about doing a covers album, "Dis-covered"?

PS: I had many ideas, but it´s up to SPV really. The future of this band really depends on the fans reaction to this album. If this album sucked, which I´m not saying it doesn´t, but it sucks less than the others, I think that that would´ve been the last nail in the coffin for us. After waiting three and a half years and you put a product out that didn´t satisfy the fans it would´ve be like "Thanks and goodbye!".

Where do you see yourselves in ten years? Are you still doing this or...?

JK: It´s 2007 and we´re still here and I´m just leaving it completely open. I´m not making any plans, because I have a feeling that we´re still gonna be a band ten years from now.

PS: If you had asked me that ten years ago I would never have thought that I would probably be sitting here. Not that I did not want to be here, but to have a band last 17 years...

JK: It´s just something that just doesn´t happen. It´s only like a few bands that really manage to tough it out. The way I look at it is it´s just like family. You can pick your friends, but you can´t pick your family and that´s what it seems Type O is. Even if you wanted to leave you couldn´t!

PS: It´s like the mafia!

JK: No, but we´re still cool with it and we still feel like there´s a lot to be acomplished and a lot of goals that we have. As a band there´s still things that we want to do that we haven´t done.

PS: There´s also territories that we haven´t played yet. Australia, South America, Japan and southern Europe, so I´m looking very forward to that.

JK: Yeah, I mean, there´s still a lot of things that we want to do and there´s still gas left in the tank as far as creatively. I think this record came out a lot better than we all expected. Bottom line, we busted our asses on it and if we can work that hard now at this stage of the game, I think it says a lot about us as people and as a band.

PS: I may warn you that our next album may just be a disco album. It´s gonna be called "Saturday night seizure".

JK: Which I happen to like... (laughs). I love Motown so...

PS: I love Motown and some of that old stuff is great stuff.

Ok, Thank you!

PS: Thank you, ladies and Germans!

/Niclas Müller-Hansen

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