Thursday, April 15, 2010
RIP Peter Steele - My 2003 Boston Herald Interview
Peter Steele was a lot of things but dishonest was not one of them. This interview below gives just a small snapshot into the complex, tortured Type O Negative frontman. RIP dude . . .
Music; This isn't a Type O - he really is that Negative
25 July 2003
© 2003 Boston Herald Library. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights reserved.
The rock star dream apparently faded long ago for Pete Steele.
"I just wanted to have enough money to have a house, wife, maybe four kids. I'm not at that place right now and I really don't see things changing very much," said Steele, the hulking, vampiric frontman for Brooklyn goth metallers Type O Negative.
"That's the main problem, is what am I doing here? I'm 41 years old, and rock is for youth."
While many bands spend interviews gushing about their latest albums, praising their bandmates as their best pals or thanking their lucky stars to be playing music for a living, Steele is brutally disenchanted and blatantly depressed. A former New York City Parks Department worker, he said he rues the day he gave up the salaried job to front the brooding metal outfit.
Now 10 years and five albums into the Type O experiment, he still lives in the same basement apartment, has no girlfriend and describes his life as one of disappointment and frustration. He claims he stays in the band only because of contracts and because he made a promise to the rest of the group: keyboardist Josh Silver, guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly.
"I do it because I made a commitment to my so-called friends in this band that we would see this through to the end. I didn't realize it would be a life sentence," he deadpanned.
Formed in the bowels of Brooklyn's early 1990s goth scene, the group slithered out of the shadows and made its mark on the black- metal underground with 1993's "Bloody Kisses," a spine-tingling offering that went platinum. The group, which headlines the Worcester Palladium tonight, followed up with 1996's "October Rust" and 1999's "World Coming Down," neither of which lived up to "Bloody Kisses" commercially or in the eyes of fans.
Their latest, however, the aptly titled "Life Is Killing Me," is an instant classic, bursting with hypnotic, melodic hard rock, tongue-in-cheek potty-mouth speed punk and their signature dead-to- the-world metal. Brimming with bleakness and unflinching honesty, the album is burning up college radio and metal charts, but Steele isn't impressed.
"I wouldn't buy it," he barked.
While some songs, such as the mind-numbing "Anesthesia" and the crushing title track, portray Steele as a tortured intellectual on the brink of suicide, others, like the homophobic "I Like Goils," use black humor as a weapon. Musically, the disc sounds like Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath unleashed at an Irish wake. Lyrically, shrinks could write volumes analyzing the subject matter. Fresh off a miserable, if slightly profitable, European tour, Steele is candidly unexcited about heading out in a bus with his three brethren for a U.S. tour.
"It's like four people being married and all of them having their period all the time," he said of the band. "There's an old saying about husbands and wives getting on each other's nerves, like fighting about stupid things, like leaving the cap off the toothpaste. Well, let's just say the cap is always off the toothpaste."
Beyond the bus, he said, he detests playing the same songs every night: "I can't imagine how Ozzy (Osbourne) does it. I mean, how many times has he had to play `Paranoid'?
"I really hate being onstage," he continued. "It's usually a balmy 130 degrees onstage and I've got these french fry lights burning on my back. I don't like traveling. I just don't get anything out of it."
Fed up and angry? Yes. Giving up? Never. In fact, there's a clear, revenge-driven method to Steele's madness.
"I feel like I've been disillusioned," he explained matter-of- factly. "But it's no one's fault but mine. No one made me do this. Now my goal is to complain, annoy and irritate everyone around me until I get out of this band, die or someone kills me. My motivation is aggravation."
And check out a live performance for "Anesthesia" from 2003's Life Is Killing Me: