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Type O’Negative

Onlangs verscheen de eerste live dvd van Type O'Negative 'Symphony For The Devil'. Een sfeervolle registratie van een concert van de legendarische band uit Brooklyn, gefilmd in Duitsland, doorspekt met de typische humor van het laaggestemde viertal. Inmiddels is de band hard aan het werk in de studio aan de opvolger van 'Life Is Killing Me' (2003) en was het niet zo simpel om één van hen aan de lijn te krijgen. Vandaar dat we onze toevlucht namen tot de elektronische snelweg, zodat we jullie toch nog het laatste nieuws kunnen meedelen. De steeds goedlachse drummer Johnny Kelly vond een momentje om op onze vragen te antwoorden.

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder gothic metal

Because Murphy's Law was very obvious last weeks while planning a conversation with you, I turn myself to this way and hope you don't mind a bit of writing…
I have to apologize for that! The first time, I was still recording my drum tracks on the day we were supposed to do the interview. The last time, I had forgotten that I wasn't going to be in town and wasn't able to notify Michael due to the holiday. I hope that this will work out for you though.

Sure, thank you. I understand that you are in the middle of the studio work for the new album. How are things going?
Things have been moving along. All the basic tracks are just about completed but there is still a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done. We're hoping to have the CD completed in about eight weeks.

Can you unfurl a bit of style and some songs you recorded until now?
I'm not sure of the titles of the songs. That stuff will always be changing until everything is finished. I would say that this CD is covering just about everything we have done musically over our career. There are songs that remind me of something that we have done on every CD. The new album is very heavy at times, but I'm sure that it has the layers and textures on it that some of our later songs had.

I heard that it should be a return to the days of Carnivore, so, more close ties with the hardcore scene again?
There are a few songs on this one that could've easily fit onto a Carnivore CD. I don't think that the lyrics will be as shocking but I'm sure that the sarcasm will be in there though.

What we are enjoying right now as press and public is your first ever live DVD 'Symphony Of The Devil'. You guys seems to have a lot of fun on tour…
At the time those situations were funny. I try to have as much fun as I can when I'm on tour. I don't see any reason to have to be serious all the time.

I think it must have been a huge job to choose the behind the scenes material. Can you tell me a bit more of that time you spent on sorting out things?
There was a lot of footage to go through, but I wish there had been more to be able to choose from. There have been a lot of funny things that have happened on tour that weren't being filmed. It's hard to pick out anything in particular but there have been a few over the years. Josh actually was the one who went through everything that we had on film and we all got together and chose what we each thought would be good for the DVD.

Can we interpret the title as a huge amount of the rebellion of the early Stones with the doomy symphonic touch of your music?
I would have to agree that's played a part in where the name came from. I never really asked about where the title came from to be honest with you, but being a huge Stones fan, that was the first thing that came to mind when I heard the title.

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Who is Slitzy? (the most hilarious personality in the DVD concerning humour – Vera)
Slitzy is actually our lighting director. He's a great friend of the band and he is completely out of his mind! He's a very funny person and he's great to have on tour. You never know what he's going to do next. Slitzy always has a camera with him when he's out terrorizing and if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have been able to make the DVD.

On the extra single we can hear a Santana medley. Surprising! Cause everybody expected a Black Sabbath homage I guess…
I don't think it's more surprising than say, Summer Breeze. I think that it came out cool too. Why should we do something when everyone is expecting it? There's no fun in that.

What were the reasons to chose the particular gig in Germany at Bizarre Festival which is quite a long time ago?
That was the only concert footage that there is of Type O Negative that was professionally filmed. I forget how many cameras were used for that show but there were quite a few. The festival was aired on national television, so it looks and sounds pretty good. We were able to obtain the original masters and mix them for the DVD. There wasn't anything else for us to choose performances from aside from the bootlegs that are out there.

After 'Life Is Killing Me' you changed label from Roadrunner to SPV. Can you go a bit deeper into your parting ways with your original label? And your expectations right now signed by SPV?
There really isn't any drama attached to us switching labels. We fulfilled our contract with Roadrunner when 'Life Is Killing Me' was released. After that, we spoke to a few different labels and SPV felt like the best place for us. I think that SPV is great label for Type O'Negative and they know what they're doing. So far the relationship has been good.

Does this DVD mark the closing of a chapter in your career?
Every time the band has released something I always feel that may be the final chapter of our career. I don't know if it's a closing chapter or not. When we feel the time is right for something we try to go with that feeling. We may release another DVD somewhere down the road but it's hard to say definitely, yes or no at this time. It is something that fans have been asking for since we released 'After Dark'. The fans have been asking for a live one and now felt like the right time to do it.

What is the story behind Vinnland?
Vinnland is North America actually. When the Vikings first came here, that's what they called it. Peter added an extra n in it this time around.

How long is the recording process going to last and are there tour plans for this year? Or more occasional gigs?
The recording will hopefully be completed in about eight weeks. We're planning on a fall release and will tour then. We don't have any plans for any shows until then.

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Now that we are talking about live gigs, what are your best memories on a gig or a tour?
We've done so many shows over the years, it's hard to say a particular show had the best memories. I will say that when we toured with Pantera in 1995, it was my favourite tour. I'm still enjoying myself when we tour. I loved the tours that we did with Lacuna Coil and Cradle of Filth was a lot of fun too.

I always identify the band with the colour green. Is there a deeper signification behind that?
I'm not exactly sure where it came from but it was Peter's idea to use that colour to identify with the band. I think that green is supposedly considered the most repulsive colour and that's why it was chosen to identify Type O Negative.

Can you give a brief impression of that period by mentioning the albums on following periods:

Slow Deep And Hard
When I first heard the demos I thought that this CD was the greatest thing at the time. I was simply blown away by it. I was a Carnivore fan and thought that this CD was a step up from that. There was a lot of garbage out at that time and this was something that had it all. There wasn't anything heavier and lyrics were hysterical.

Bloody Kisses
I remember hearing the demos for this and I wasn't sure how to accept it. It was a lot different from the first one but after listening to it a few times, I fell in love with it. The band used more instruments and textures. It went to different places musically. The tongue in cheek, sarcastic lyrics were still there. There wasn't anything else like it out there at the time. I joined the band shortly after the release and my life has never been the same since then. We toured for eighteen months to support this album. We opened up for a few big bands and had a great time.

October Rust
I like this CD a lot. I like all the layers and textures that were used. I think 'Love You To Death', and 'In Praise Of Bacchus' are probably some of our heaviest songs yet there's great melodies in them. 'Red Water' is probably one of my favourite songs that we have ever done. There were very high expectations for this CD because of the success of 'Bloody Kisses' which I wish there hadn't been, but I thought that it was a great CD overall. The band toured for fourteen months and we were on Ozzfest.

World Coming Down
This is probably our most depressing album. Lyrically, it's a very dark album. Some of the songs are so heavy and dirge-like. I think that a lot of fans were hoping for another 'October Rust' and unfortunately for them, this was definitely not that. This was a bleak look at life compared to what we had done so far. It wasn't as colourful. There was hardly any romanticism and sexual fantasy that fans had identified us with on this one. This CD took you to a place and it wasn't happy. One of my faves!

Life Is Killing Me
The only place to go after 'World Coming Down' was up. The sarcastic humorous lyrics were in full swing on this one. I thought it was a solid record from Type O. For us, I would consider this a fun record but there were a few songs that could've made it on WCD. I always loved the songs 'Nettie' and 'Anaesthesia'. I like 'Nettie' from the minute Peter played the opening bass line when we were in rehearsals. It's a simple song but I always felt that the melody was really strong. I would've preferred to had done more touring for this one. We were at the end of our contract with Roadrunner and I felt that the CD wasn't getting the support that it needed or deserved.

Is anyone of you involved in other musical projects or things? (for example you go on tour with Danzig and play in Led Zeppelin tribute band Earls Count, so, tell me a bit more about your plans with them)
Right now, getting the new CD completed is everyone's priority. Once that's done, Kenny and I have been working on another project for quite a while now. The both of us have been pretty busy the past year but we're hoping to have something for people to hear within the next couple of months. It's called Seventh Void. Kenny's singing for the band and he sounds great. The songs are good and I think that people will like it. Peter is planning on doing some Carnivore shows this summer. It's not the original line up but he wants to do some shows and have some fun playing his older songs.

Seems funny to close down with a statement of the band, last words are for you:
Thanks to all of our fans who have been so supportive throughout the years. I can't thank you enough. I'm really looking forward to everyone hearing the new one when it comes out and I can't wait to get back overseas with the band for some shows!

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