Josh Silver from Type O Negative
By Heather Bourgault
November 1, 2000
The Avalon Ballroom - Boston, MA
HB: How did the band come up
with the name "Type O Negative"?
Josh: "Well actually it was initialy 'Repulsion' and a band called 'Repulsion' surfaced with a lawyer and since we really hadn't done anything yet, we figured why should we go fight a big legal battle over a name that has actually no exposure whatsoever yet, and we came up with Type O negative. Cause it didn't sound, really you couldn't tell what kind of band, what type of music it would be. It didn't sound too metal, it didn't sound too anything, We like ambiguity, and it seemed to work."
HB: You guys have been around for some time now, exactly how long has the band "Type O Negative" been together?
Josh: "Technically since about '89, which is about 11 years at this point. Wow! That's what I say every time I look back, phew... I can't believe we're still here!"
HB: Who are some of your main musical influences?
Josh: "Well I think my favorite band would probably be the Beatles, and Black Sabbath. The Beatles probably the most diverse songwriters, they've done 25 styles, each incredibly. And so, you know, I have to have the ultimate musical respect for them. I am a fan of melody. I really am not a big fan of screaming so the Beatles, also are at the top of that list as well. Black Sabbath, has been a huge influence, they also have done many albums, each with it's own character and I just like it! It's that simple!"
HB: Questions about your latest release 'The Least of the Worst of'
Josh: "That's a lie... Some of it is the worst!!"
HB: How did you guys choose the tracks that were to be included on this release?
Josh: "It wasn't easy. To represent ten years of a band is pretty difficult. Especially when the band has made a name doing twelve minute songs. That makes it really hard. So we ended up using a lot of radio edits because we really had no choice. I mean, to honestly represent a decade, you know, if we used full length songs, there would be four songs on it and that wouldn't be too cool. So,we tried to make it a combination of, I hate to say 'Greatest Hits' because we never had a hit, so that can't be true. So we tried to make it uh, you know, just a representation of ten years plus adding some rare stuff. Just because I hate 'Greatest Hits' records. They are such a rip off. You might as well try to give people the most you can. You know, we were contractually obligated to do one, so we really didn't have a choice and uh, might as well make it the best you can right? Cause you are stuck there doing it so, might as well try to make it decent."
HB: I understand that you also put together a DVD to go along with this... could you tell me a little bit more about what people can expect to see on the DVD?
Josh: "We had a home video out, released I believe in '98, and they wanted to do a DVD format of that home video, and again, we wanted to put as much extra stuff as we can. So, we went in and did a commentary track and threw a new video on it, and a couple of songs, just as much as we could. Because you know, record company's job is obviously to make money and our job is to try put out whatever we can that's good. Give people more for what they're spending, that's what we tried."
Now some questions about touring.....
HB: You guys have been on the road now for quite some time without a break it seems, about how many days now has it been?
Josh: "This is only the 5th show actually, of this tour. Before this was 'World Coming Down', which was about 3 or 4 months. Which for us is really a light schedule. That's nothing... For 'Bloody Kisses' we did three years, virtually straight. You know, little breaks here and there, and a week home, but when you are on a bus for a year, a week doesn't seem like a whole lot of time. You're just getting used to being at home and then you're gone. But, that's part of the life you know, and if you choose to be in this, then you really better be able to do that. And there are great things about it too. I mean you get to see the whole world and It's not all trauma, but there's certainly an amount of trauma, and like everything in life, it's a mix. I accept it."
HB: Do you have a favorite city or venue that you have played over the years?
Josh: "Most of the places we really don't spend enough time to really make that kind of judgement but uh, Amsterdam we had a ton of fun in. Not necessarily because of the drugs, that helped too, but, you know, great restaurants, great city, very free environment and that kind of stuff. It really depends on the crowd. You know, we've had good shows in most places and we've had some pretty bad shows in most places, so the crowd and the head of the band, cause a lot of bands have all the DATs and pre-taped stuff and we don't do that so, you know, our mood is going to adversely effect the show. For good or bad, and we accept that. To me, that's part of rock and music."
HB: What should a fan expect to see/hear at one of your shows?
Josh: "I like to say, expect nothing and they'll never be disappointed. I don't know, it's really hard for me being up there to say what people think of it. We're a tough band live because the length of the songs makes it kind of a hard thing to put across in a live venue. But people do seem to come back, so I guess we're not all that shitty. They must like something, I can't say what."
HB: Ok... We all hear about the crazy things that bands do to each other while on the road... can you tell us about anything that has happened to you, or jokes that you or your band mates have played on another band with whom you have been touring?
Josh: The whole band's a joke, so it's hard to say. I think one of the more bizarre things that happened to us was there was this girl at the Ozzfest, she was calling us, she was behind the fence, and she was going 'Come here, Come here'... like a million people do that, so you really can't react to every one of them, but she was so persistent. We decided to go over to her. She then took out her breast and sprayed us with breast milk. Which was pretty amazing. I thought that was pretty incredible, but on top of it, her husband, who was a southern gentleman, goes 'That's my wife!'.... and I'm like whoa.. he's proud of that huh? Whoa!! So, I don't know which was scarier, her breast milk or the husband. Either way it was a weird experience. Kind of dangerous too, in the world of AIDS... I was like, 'Gotta take a shower now guys, see ya!'..."
HB: Do you have any items that you find you cannot live without while on the road?
Josh: "No, I try not to have any bizarre superstitions, or any weird things.. I'm pretty basic. As long as I'm wearing long johns I don't care where the hell I am. As long as I'm not freezing, cause there's a lot of cold on tour. Especially America, and especially Europe. In the winter it's brutal. The first tour we ever did, I went over totally, basically with nothing and I learned what suffering in the cold was. We were living on the bus, we had no hotels and they would turn that shit off at night, and it would drop down to about 20% on the bus. So, as long as I have long johns on and cigarettes... that's all I need!"
HB: What types of things do you do in your "off time" while on the road?
Josh: "I like to do nothing, tell you the truth, because you know, it's so constant on the road that anytime you get to sit on a soft couch and put your feet up on a coffee table and vegetate... that's usually what I end up doing. I'm having a kid now in February, so that is over. That is gonna end I'm sure, there's no more vegetating ever. I will moving 100% of my life until I die."
HB: That's what life is all about isn't it?
Josh: "I think so, yeah! I love kids, so it's something I want. It's just also I think any sane person would be horrified by the proposition of having children, and I am. It's the biggest thing you could ever do."
HB: If we were to take a peek into your CD player, what might we find there?
Josh: "Dust! Tumbleweeds and dust. Yeah, I don't listen to a ton of music when I go home, because my ears are usually ringing for two months. But if I did it would probably be The Beatles and Black Sabbath."
HB: Do you listen to anything while you are on the road?
Josh: "Yeah... whatever Johnny forces me to. Whatever he wants to hear. He doesn't stop with the sensory input so, the minute we're off stage he's blasting some CD. He's a real rock n' roll guy. Not me, I'm fake."
HB: You've probably gotten to live a lot of these out, but if you had the chance to tour with any band or artist that you desire (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Josh: "Well, the one that we didn't get... you're right, we have lived out a lot of them and you never really know who you want to tour with cause you don't know what they are going to be like until you're there. I'd say Pink Floyd, The Beatles, I love Pink Floyd.... That kind of stuff , I think we'd go pretty well with because it's also very slow and ambient for the most part. It's very tough for us to find any kind of musical match at this point, so Pink Floyd would be my top choice."
HB: What are your thoughts/feelings on the Internet and how it's impacting today's music industry?
Josh: "Well, I think the 'net itself is a pretty decent idea. I think like any other form of media it's full of shit a lot of the time. There's a lot of garbage, and a lot of... I mean, you have to sift through 15 pages of crap to get to anything with content. There's really nothing verifying the content, so you really have no idea if even what you're reading is even close to reality. As far as its impact on music, my answer will be unpopular but I will answer it anyway. There is no debate in my mind whether Napster are criminals, they absolutely are criminals, It is not an if or an and, it is a theft to distribute music without paying artists. That's it. There's no debate, and people can debate it, but that's like saying is murder illegal... well, of course it is, and ultimately if this continues, and it will, with MP3's and so forth, then you will have a bunch of artists that will be happy not getting paid, and that will probably lead to some really shitty music. So in my opinion, that's exactly what is going to happen. You are going to have a bunch of twelve year olds doing music who seriously don't need to get paid because they are not real musicians, they're kids just doing it for a hobby, and it that's what people want, that's what they're gonna get. I hate Napster. It's been a law that artists get paid for the distribution of their music, there's no debate. It's leading to a very bad thing for this industry. I hate to see record companies get paid, cause I don't like them either, but so far, that is the only way we have to do what we do. In an adult world, you know, we have children, we're supporting families, we're not twelve. So, we need the money, and it's that simple. We're not rich, despite what people may think. So what little money we have coming to us, we need it. So, I hate Napster. I know the fans will balk at my saying so, but I don't care. It's bullshit. You cannot distribute music for free, that's all there is to it."
HB: Does the band actively interact with fans via the Internet? (using emails or message boards)
Josh: "I tried to do the email thing. You know, we have a site, that's run by a very nice guy who doesn't want any money to do it, which is really cool... A friend of ours. We participate in the message board and stuff like that. Johnny is the big email freak, he emails every person that writes him. But I realized after I answered 20 emails and I got 60 more responses that it would just multiple into something that was so unmanageable, I couldn't deal with it. So, I stick with the message board, personally, and if somebody makes me react, posts something interesting, then I react to it, post my opinion, however valueless it may be, and it often is."
Interview taken from: National Noise.