Interview with Type O Negative: The Everdying

Type O NegativeReleased just a scant two weeks ago, Type O Negative’s Dead Again marks the culmination of about four years of tumult, despair and emotional upheaval. So, needless to say, the band were right in their element.

“Quite a relief,” says vocalist/bassist Peter Steele on finally being able to get the record out, putting much of the blame for the delay, characteristically, on his own shoulders. “It’s taken four years because, with a person like me, who’s mandated to a psychiatric institute, then Riker’s Island jail, then rehab, then you have the other guys with their marital problems and children and divorces and suicides and parents dying and attempted loitering, and that’s why it took four years. Every time we tried to start something, something else would come up. Some other social bullshit fucking problem.

“It’s like being constipated for four years and then you shit a pineapple.”

Though he puts it in different terms, keyboardist/vocalist Josh Silver, who, with Steele, also had a hand in Dead Again’s production, more or less agrees with the sentiment. “We’ve never done an album quickly. If you look at our history, it’s ’90, ’93, ’96, ’99, 2003, and now 2007, so there certainly was an amount of delay caused by him, I won’t deny that. Why did it take four years? Maybe we could have done it in three otherwise. There’s a huge stretch between Type O records and there always has been.”

Almost as much as the album’s timing is in line, the album itself is out. Not only is this the first record since 1994 to feature live drums by Johnny Kelly, and not only is guitarist Kenny Hickey more vocally present than ever before, and not only was it written with more of a live feel and hard rock aggression than anything the band has put out in well over a decade, but it’s also the first Type O Negative album to not be released by longtime label home, New York’s Roadrunner Records.

The band split with RR following 2003’s Life Is Killing Me, landing safely at SPV, who released their Symphony For The Devil live DVD last year. For the label, it’s one of the biggest releases they’ve ever had, and for the foursome themselves, it’s an entirely different experience.

“I think now it’s weird now that we’re dealing with press and doing all the stuff that we’d be doing normally,” Silver notes. “It’s different. I think SPV is putting us far more in the front thought than Roadrunner would at this time. It’s not bad, it’s just different.

“We made a lot of friends over 17 years. Lot of nicknames in both directions. My nickname was ‘Fuckin’ Josh.’ The president of Roadrunner gave me that name. We had respect for each other, which was the thing. We’d always argue, because we both had opinions, and they didn’t necessarily meet. The relationship was what it was for the time and now it’s time to try something different.”

“It’s a little strange,” admits Steele. “SPV works a little bit differently, but it’s refreshing at the same time. It’s stirring the shit pot. SPV is a good label and so far so good. I have no complaints, but then again, the night’s young.”