Artists: Johnny Kelly of Type O
Date: November 1, 2000
Interviewer: Derek and Matt
On November 1st Matt and I went to the Avalon with the intent of doing an interview with Johnny Kelly of Type-O-Negative. This time around the questions were going to be posed by you the fan.
After watching TON do their sound check ("Too Late" in case you are wondering) Johnny came over and grabbed us and upstairs we went. We chatted for a few minutes about his new arrival. For those of you interested his wife is due in January. We teased him about having the whole band in Playgirl. The answer was NO WAY! We got a good chuckle out of that. With that we jumped into your questions. So here goes:
Derek: What is your favorite "Greatest
Hits" album you own?
Johnny: "We Sold Our Soul for Rock And Roll"
Derek: When will the band be playing in Sweden again?
Johnny: Probably with the next record when we go to Europe. There is some talk..there is always talk. The plan is to have the next record written and recorded in time to go to Europe for the summer festival circuit, and have it released around this time next year.
Derek: Have you done Dublin before?
Johnny: Once, it felt like your are playing back at home (NY for them), everybody looked like they were related to each other. When we were in Dublin, and you look at these people and your like "Don't I know you?" Everybody looks the same.
Derek: Have you heard from Sal Abruscato?
Johnny: Sal? I worked on his truck a few weeks ago. He builds S & M furniture. We actually have a banner to his website on ours.
Derek: Haha that's cool. (Points to Matt) This guy is all into that shit. He gets beat up by Chics all the time
Johnny: Yeah he has the paddles and the racks and all that stuff.
Matt: I'll have to check it out then.
Derek: Do you play live acoustic drums on all recordings or do you use Pro-Tools. It sounds like first TON stuff you played on (Paranoid and Black Sabbath) that you recorded with acoustic drums and the OR stuff (and WCD) you used pro-tools? Am I correct?
Johnny: Partially! The Black Sabbath stuff was done acoustically. October Rust and World Coming Down were done with Performer. We tweaked it till we got the sound we were looking for. I don't even know how to use Pro-Tools. Performer is a MAC program, and Josh swears by MAC. Pro-Tools is a PC program.
Derek: Are there any plans in the future to release a live album?
Johnny: Uhhhhh....the contract says we have to put one out? So I would imagine at some point in the future.
Matt: Are you guys recording any of the current shows?
Johnny: No, not on this tour.
Derek: After being a part of a couple CD's, do you still feel like the new guy?
Johnny: No, now I feel like a very old guy. (Laughs)
Derek: Well the Chic's still love you guys.
Johnny: Yeah supposedly when guys get into their 30's they become like studs. (Laughs)
Derek: Yeah Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler, I bet Mick is keeping Viagra in business.
Johnny: Yeah well he is doing pretty well for himself, he just got that little Brazilian girl pregnant. That Brazilian model? I don't know who she is.
Matt: I hope I'm that lucky
Johnny: Yeah man I hope women are chasing me around when I am that age. Maybe that is when it will start. When I get old.
Matt: When the equipment won't function.
Johnny: Yeah exactly when I have no use for it. (Laughs)
Derek: When was the last time you were stopped by the police?
Johnny: Ahh......actually great story. I was drag racing with a cop the other night. It is not technically being stopped.
Derek: Did you know him, or was he chasing you.
Johnny: No, I was in my Super B. I was coming home from rehearsal with my crew in the car. There were 5 of us. We were going to Staten Island, that is where I live. There was a detour to the bridge. As I am waiting at a light a cop car pulls up next time. He starts asking me "Oh does that car move?" He starts lighting up the tires in the cop car next to me. You know and he takes off and I am driving. The cop car pulls over and wants me to get ahead of him.And then he is driving along with us, and he is checking out the car, he really likes the car, and he pulls up next to us.. starts gunning the motor, and all of a sudden he nails it, and I go with him, and we are racing on the bridge with him.It wasn't far or anything, then he put on his lights. He waved to me at the toll and everything and everybody in the car was in aw. Then after the cop pulled away. We are all like "can you believe what happened here?"
Derek: That's awesome!
Johnny: How many people can say they were drag racing with a cop car.
Matt: And not get pulled over.
Johnny: Right, and he was encouraging it.
Derek: How late was it?
Johnny: Not that late around 11. There was a little traffic.
Derek: That's a riot.
Johnny: Sometimes I will see some highway patrol man in Brooklyn at the 7-11, and every time I go there they are checking out the car and are like "Light it up." I'm like is this a trick? What are you kidding me. (Laughs) and he goes "No I'm not fucking with you, go ahead and light it up." So I will do a huge burn out down the street. They get off on it. I don't drive like an asshole so I don't drive like a maniac.
Derek: Do you have visions of being a race car driver?
Johnny: (His face lights up) I did when I was a kid. That's what I wanted to do.
Derek: Who was your favorite racer?
Johnny: When I was a kid, I was into NASCAR a little bit. I liked AJ Foyt and Richard Petty, I liked the drag racers Don The Snake Prodone who was huge when I was a kid. I just wanted to be a race car driver.
Derek: Do you watch it currently, or is it to hyped up?
Johnny: Once in awhile. My wife won't let me watch it in the house. (Laughing)
Derek: Yeah women, race car driving and football don't go hand and hand.
Johnny: She tolerates me watching hockey cause I am an avid Ranger fan.
Derek: Oh no! Gotta go I am an Islanders fan.
Johnny: Oh are ya?
Derek: Remember the four cups back in the day?
Johnny: Yeah I remember the first one. When Bob Nystrom scored the goal on an offsides call. They didn't call it, but it was clearly offsides. The thing that stopped me from being an Islanders fan was they won the Stanley Cup, and no team had won a cup in the NY area since 1940, and I think it was Mayor Kotch at the time who wanted to give them a ticket tape parade. And the Islanders said "no, we are a Long Island team." I said "Oh fuck you."
Derek: Did they really? I did not realize that.
Johnny: I think that was one of the things that drew the line. And I just found out our manager is cousins with Dennis Potvin. (Laughs) I was like "Are you kidding me?"
Derek: Since you came to the band, did you introduce more influences of the Beatles?
Johnny: I don't think I have impacted that way. I have kind of maybe encouraged it a little bit to go that way. The Daytripper medley. Just from playing it on the bus. I don't think I had anything to do with the direction of the band.
Derek: Since you are about to be a new father, how squeamish are you about changing diapers.
Johnny: Uhhh I'm used to picking up shit with three cats. It's so easy with a scooper. I can't say it is something I am looking forward to. But I am going to get used to it.
Derek: How do you see album number 5 evolving?
Johnny: No idea, no idea where it is going. I am just as curious as anyone else.
Derek: On a side note the last time I talked to you, every album is supposed to be your last, and you said about future albums you would a have to ask Peter. But you are definately doing album number 5?
Johnny: Oh yeah!
Derek: And you guys are inspired to do another 10 years?
Johnny: Keep going till we aren't able to go anymore. Or until it isn't fun anymore. I mean there are times where things are very frustrating. Where you don't want to be attached to this collective for another few years, it passes. I think it is the best job in the world.
Derek: As long as your heart is in it right?
Johnny: Yeah, if you are having a good time doing it.
Derek: Do all you guys in the band get along well?
Johnny: Yeah..it is safe to say that. We hang out a lot.
Derek: Even when you are not touring?
Johnny: Yeah, now that Josh and I have babies, there is a lot of similar parallels with everyone.
Derek: Can't say that with every band.
Johnny: We get out moments like that, we just had a few days off, I didn't call anyone in the band. You'll be living with them for the next 6 weeks.
Derek: We do that, fight about the website.
Johnny: Yeah when you work with people it becomes a family and you just don't want to hang out with them, and they are the last people you want to deal with. When you are in a band they are your friends and your co-workers. When you get back from the road, they are the last fucking people you want to talk to. (laughs)
Derek: What kind of an educational background do the guys in TON have?
Johnny: Uhhhh not much!
Derek: You don't have to answer that!
Johnny: Peter went to college. He did 2 years. He has 2 years Associates degree?
Johnny: Josh dropped out of high school, got his GED. Went to college and dropped out. Kenny dropped out of high school and got his GED, and I finished high school.
NOTE: At this point the tour manager was bugging us cause Johhny had to meet up with someone else. But we did go on and chat about his past jobs, a lot of personal stuff. More race car talk, more hockey talk, and about future endeavors with MegaKungFu.com. To be honest with you the interview just stopped and we talked about everything but the band, Mark Messier vs Kasparitis, hockey jerseys, his family, NY. Lori and the street team, you name it. But make sure you catch the band on the road. If you get a chance to chat with Johnny do it. Class Act! And keep coming back to MegaKungFu.com over the next year. We will continue to keep in touch with Johnny on album number 5.