TYPE O NEGATIVE

untitled (4)By John Roisland

TYPE O NEGATIVE

In honor of the late Peter Steele celebrating his birthday January 4th, I bring you my personal tribute two Type O Negative.

Formed in 1989, Type O Negative, out of Brooklyn, New York, hit the hard core/heavy metal scene with a sound that was of their own. Heavily influenced by The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and The Doors, the "Drab Four", as they were nicknamed, lyrically gave us songs about romance, depression, death loss, addiction, vampirism, and hate. The lyrics were often with a very dark sense of humor that lady over many of their songs.

When I was first introduced to the band, just after the 1991 release of their first album Slow, Deep and Hard, I thought to myself, "Okay, not bad". But at the time, I was into heavy thrash metal, so these guys weren't fast enough for me. But before I knew it, I was absolutely in love with them. They just made sense to me at that point in my life; the lyrics, spoke to me. I can remember putting their CD on repeat while I would be home and my old roommate getting very pissed after hearing about 4 hours of Christian Woman!

Over the years their creative style and dark imagery was burned into my heart, my mind, and my soul. It inspired me to the point that if I were an artist, Type O Negative would have easily been my muse. And the odd thing is that they have actually inspired me to do artwork every time I've listened to them in recent years. The Brooklyn New York music scene was known for its hardcore bands, Agnostic Front and  Sick Of It All for example, and then some long haired guys come on stage with songs about vampires and a following of their own.

With the 1993 release Bloody Kisses, they took the world by storm! Type O Negative were now touring the world over and over again. A follow-up album in 1996, October Rust, earned them critical acclaim. From one album to the next as each followed, their level of maturity grew in their music, as lyrically they  became darker, more emotional, and more personal. The last three albums, World Coming Down, Life Is Killing Me, and Dead Again, were both incredible and very sad, because you could hear him singing about his real life monsters: alcoholism and paranoia brought on from newest vice, cocaine.

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Lead singer Pete Steele was a monster of a man who stood 6'8 and towered over everybody on stage. Though I am 6' tall, the few times I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Steele, my neck was sore from looking up at him. He was an incredible person to talk to, and he spoke genuinely and honestly. He didn't hold back, which I appreciated,  but he was also a very shy and depressed person. Steele suffered from being both bipolar and clinically depressed, which led him to drink before going on stage to get over his stage fright, and he sometimes consumed an entire bottle or two of red wine while on stage to continue.

Their shows were always phenomenal, no special effects, no fancy light show, just four guys performing great music. I think seeing them in DC on Halloween night was very suiting! Their songs are ones that you could dance to, throw down in a pit, work out, have on in the background while you were doing things around the house, or even have sex to, but their music to me was much more. Their music was never, ever turned off if ever their song was playing. I always allowed it to finish. I'm not trying to say that every song they wrote was  masterpiece, but there was never one that I could say I didn't like either.

Listening to Peter Steele's voice always amazed me. This 6'8 mountain of muscle had a voice that could hit some of the lowest sounds I've ever heard. It was as if you were listening to Lurch from The Addams Family singing to you, and on the flip side has voice with so melodic and graceful. If you didn't know who he was, you may have thought to put a battle axe in his hands and throw him into a set of Conan the Barbarian, but you wouldn't think of him as a a singer.

Back in my day, every time Type O Negative  came to town I always had my tickets and never missed a show. No matter how big or small it was, it was  always a great show. It didn't matter who they were performing with , the  likes of Danzig, Pantera. or taking a night off from a major tour and doing a small club show unannounced, they were always awesome!

Peter Steele died April 14th, 2010 from heart failure due to an aortic aneurysm at only 48 years old. I miss Type O Negative a lot, I still listen to it all the time.  As a  matter of fact, it's the most popular played Pandora station that I have. I listen to it at work, in the car, and any chance I get. The memories that I have of them are very strong though they weren't  everybody's cup of tea. The friends that I hung with were all metal heads and hardcore music fans. I was the Type O fan of my group, and they all knew and respected that.

The untimely death of Peter Steele and the end of the band hurt. I was living in Florida at the time and had just got home from work. I turned the computer on and saw the headlines. I was crushed! Memories of their concerts, sounds of the music, and friends I was with as their music played thru out the years came rushing to me like a hail storm of bullets.

To this day , through me, their music lives on and always will. People always ask one another, "What's your favorite...?" Well, I don't know what my favorite food, or actor is. Not sure what my favorite movie is (unless its horror), but I do know what my favorite band is, ..... Type O Negative.

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So to Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly, I thank you for the music and memories that were and will be made through it.

And to Peter, I hope you are no longer fighting with your monsters, and can nest rest easy.  We miss you.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland

Horror fan bringing my love for the genre to world in as many forms I can- website, podcast, vlogs, and coming soon, producer! Through this, I am living my nightmarish dreams. Join me.... if you can handle it!

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