Pete Steele has been on the road for several months with Type O Negative, so he knows exactly what to pack in his suitcase for the band's trip to New Orleans - extra large condoms, black silk underwear and lots of pills. "Hey", he tells Jason Arnopp, "I'm a classic guy..."
"Shut up and sit down", booms Peter Steele as Kerrang! Clambers onto Type O Negative's silver bullet of a tour bus, which is parked behind the band's New Orleans hotel.
Type O Negative have been solidly ever since 'October Rust' came out. By now, Sir Steele should have his touring business down to a fine art. We would like to view his indispensable on-the-road possession, because frankly we don't get out much. After the lord of gothic rock has finished munching his sandwich, he will happily be our guide, assailing us with his usual blend of irony and sarcasm. Interestingly, we have an MTV camera honed on us. It's been suggested that they film us interviewing and taking pictures of Steele. Fair enough. Onwards then, O Sultan Of Shag-E-Rama...
1. A blender.
The first thing Steele does is reach up on a shelf and pluck down a white blender. "I use this to make protein shakes twice a day", he explains. "I try to eat two grammes of body weight. That's 5000 grammes a day."
Obviously, this 10-inch titan looks in perfect health. But does he never fancy shoving it all in a f**king off to munch serious lard? "Yeah, sometimes", he admits. "I take a week off every six weeks, and just not really think about it. Just to clean my mind out."
2. A painting.
Pointing at the bus' bunks, Steele brings our attention to a perfectly respectable portrait of himself, which was given to him by a fan in Corpus Christi, Texas. "It's very nice that the girl took time out to do this for me", he notes.
These bunks are far too small for Steele. Where does he sleep? "Through here", he explains, leading us through to the rear, which would normally be a lounge with seats. It has been transformed into a miniature gymnasium and bedroom. "This is where I sleep, and do other things from time to time", he says, 'cryptically'.
3. A disgusting pair of
Pete Steele takes lots of weights on the road. He's got 600lbs of plates, and a couple of benches to play with. Of course, he waves several of these around nonchalantly for us, and then he grabs some grotty-looking trainers.
"These are my size 15s", he says. "The smell is kind of like a cross between tuna fish and mould. Come here..." Next!
4. A leather
"This is the motorcycle jacket that I've had for the past 15 years", says Pete, holding up a worn leather jacket. "I actually bought this after making a deal with my parents that I would paint the back porch. I've kept it, even though it doesn't fit me any more." Nice
5. A pint of
We discovered a carton of milk an the floor of Pete's gym/room. Presumably, this is an essential refreshment for a man whose body is a temple."I'm still waiting for the endorsement", Steele rumbles. "No, I don't prefer any particular brand - just anything fresh." Peter decides that now is a good time to have his first drink of milk of the day.
"Cheers", he says. "Notice, I'm sipping. I have f**king class." At this point, the MTV camera crew appear to be under the illusion that we are getting in their way. We appeal for help, and they are shooed away.
"Hey, who's got the territory here?" one hisses, in a very American fashion.
6. A CD collection.
Back to Mr. Steele, who is unfolding his large collection of CDs, which he keeps in one of those handy Case Logic holders."About half of these are for using while I'm working out", he explains. "I figure any time I'm back here listening to music, I should be sweating. Whether I'm vertical or horizontal."
"Okay, we got AC/DC, the B-52s, the Cocteau Twins...Here's Front 242 - great to work out to. Here's Laibach, The Exploited's last record, 'Beat The Bastards', Zodiac Mindwarp's 'Tattooed Beat Messiah', Talk Talk..."
Steele quickly realizes that his goth overlord credibility is beginning to slip."We should tell the readers that half of these CDs in here are for the romantic interludes that I sometimes find myself in", he says. "Where there's a womb there's a way." We catch sight of Duran Duran, Enigma, Einsturzende Neubauten, The Swans' 'Children Of God', Discharge, Venom's 'Black Metal', 'Beast Of The Doors', and Samson. Luckily, Mr. Steele doesn't insist on playing all of his CDs.
7. A lot of
The next item turns out to be a white box of various medicines and pills. Full of fold-out drawers, it is the size of a pig's head. "Airports love me every time I go through with this thing", he says. "This contains my vitamins, Prozac, medication, and aspirin, because I get a lot of f**king headaches."
A lot has been said about Prozac. What does it actually do?
"It doesn't make you feel good; it just stops you from feeling really bad. I started taking these last year when my father dies, because when you're on tour there's no time for tantrums."
We also found a picture of Pete's cat. "I got her on Halloween about seven years ago. Her name's Griselda", he coos.
8. A lot of
Just as things are getting sickly, out comes Pete's condoms - in predictably enormous gold packs.
"Yes, they're Large Size", he says.
So when did you last tear one of those little babies open?
"Last night, in Houston. I'm not boasting. Look."
He opens a nearby cupboard, revealing a black garment hanging on a coathook."here's a sweater that she left, which has a backstage pass on it." He fishes a pair of silk black smalls from somewhere other, and holds them up for our inspection. They appear to have been torn. "here's her panties, too. I have a thing about chewing the panties off of women", he chuckles.
We'll get our coats...
Interview from Kerrang! Magazine
by Jason Arnopp