Sheila Rene': Hello, Peter.
Peter Steele: (low sexy voice) Sheeeela!
It's a pleasure to be talking to you again.
I don't understand this song called "Wolf Moon." It's got marching and screaming sounds, and "The Liberation Of Vinland by Pan-European Forces."
That comes back to the fact that I think this country should be overthrown and re-christened Vinland, which is what the Vikings named this land many years ago.
That's not a different song, it's part of "Wolf Moon," right?
Where do I sign up for the overthrow? Are you going to lead us?
I'm going to have to give it some more thought. I think it might be an error. I expect the FBI to be waiting outside my house any day now.
We're not going to let that happen.
Maybe I should move to Montana!
I've been listening to this advance CD of several tunes from the upcoming album. It's killer. You had a lot of directions you could have gone, such as the "Kill All" and "We Hate Everyone" route.
The production on this album is so rich. So many levels of sound.
It's a lot more laid back, and it's more sensual. Anybody can scream and have a tantrum, but that doesn't take much talent. The goal is to try to layer stuff on top of other stuff, nice and compact, but not muddy. It takes a little more effort.
At 3:00 am this morning, I was surfing through Roadrunner's Website looking for more information on you. I hit upon a chat room where someone was asking, "Is Type O Negative gothic?" I told him to put the new album on, turn it up to eleven, put on the headphones and just leave his body.
(laughing) Good for you. We're "junk rock", maybe.
Is there any significance to the album's title?
First and foremost, I just like the way the words sound. Also, I love autumn. October happens to be my favorite month. I like working with metal, so I'm often full of rust.
I did learn one thing from your Website - your lifetime goal is to be able to play bass and sing at the same time.
It's a very difficult thing to do. That's why I look at Paul McCartney as one of my all-time heroes, because he's such a great vocalist and bassist, yet he can do both things completely independent of each other. It's as if two people are playing his instrument. The guy is just amazing.
It says here in the biography that some of these parts were written when you were 13 or 14 years old. You remember back that far? Hell, I can't remember last week.
That's absolutely correct. I remember these little riffs I came up with. Simple little things I exaggerated on the album, to make them a little more interesting. But yeah, the ideas did come from when I was a post-pubescent.
Is that your garbage truck that you sampled? Do you miss it?
Yes, it was. You're not working for the State of New York anymore. (laughing) I miss it greatly.
Our last interview, you were talking about how you wrote a lot of songs while waiting your turn to dump your trash load. Now this latest album was mostly written in the back of a bus while on tour.
Yeah, that was not conducive to creativity...sitting in the back of a tour bus, looking at the Martian landscape outside the window, wondering where the hell I was. So I really had to search my soul to come up with some ideas. Unfortunately, I don't have a soul, so when I looked into myself there was nothing there but a black hole. So I just had to play Beatles albums backwards and steal all the riffs off the Sgt. Pepper's album.
I love your sense of humor, it's so great. I consider you to be quite a spiritual person, personally speaking.
It's a strange thing - people have said that to me, but I don't even think I have a spirit. I don't think I've lived before. I don't believe in anything after death. I consider myself to be 240 pounds of organic chemicals, and that's really about it.
I've always thought you would make a great runway model.
I'm a lot of meat in motion.
I was at the Austin show. Standing right underneath you. I loved the whole thing. Was it a memorable show for you guys?
Really? I'm trying to think of the Austin show. I only recall one bad show on that tour and it wasn't the Austin show, so I'm forced to say that it was a good show.
Did you have any time to spend with Ozzy?
Ohhhh. Mr. Osbourne seemed to be really busy at that point. He came into our dressing room once or twice and said a few kind words to us. But otherwise, there wasn't any mingling or hanging out.
That's too bad, because you have a lot in common. You think alike on many subjects.
He seems to be a really nice person. He was just really busy. I didn't want to be like every other band that's toured with him these last 25 years, and which wanted to tell him what an influence he was. I just wanted to leave the man alone and give him some peace.
That's the way I feel about you. I was hanging around but didn't see a time when I could interrupt you with so many folks around you.
You can bother me anytime. Next time make sure you say hello.
Okay, next time I'll come over and say "Hey good lookin', what you got cookin'?" What's been your favorite tour to date?
(laughter) The Pantera tour was fun, just because those guys are party animals. I mean I'm not really into partying, but they're just down-to-earth fun people. They treated us like brothers. It was quite refreshing, and I miss them a lot. We might be touring with them in Europe around Christmas.
You're leaving for Europe, aren't you?
Yes, we're leaving next week to play ten festivals, and then we're doing two weeks of press. We're going to be on the move.
I just got the Donnington Festival lineup. It's pretty impressive.
Yeah, I wasn't really too happy about that, but we think that we have a lot of fans over there. We feel that they've been so supportive that we should go over and play for a while. We'll be there for a month and then we're coming back to New York, then we're going back for two weeks for press. I believe we're going back around Christmas for a month.
That doesn't leave much time for your U.S. fans.
Things change by the minute, and I'm sure that everything I just told you will be completely different. It's just how things work.
The West Palm Beach show was a lightning scare. That show got the most mentions as being a great show on the Internet.
Yes, it was. That was our last show, too. I wonder why they thought that was our best show?
I just think they thought that God had spoken with nature's light show. They'll remember that show for a long time.
I felt really bad for our fans at that show. They were really getting soaked, but there was nothing I could do about that.
I'm glad to see that you've keep the "thigh" thread going on this album. You had a sensual line in "Christian Woman," and now again in "Druidess."
(laughter) Oh, the thigh thread. That's something I didn't even think of, to tell you the truth. Thigh rhymes nicely with many words.
I really, really love that "Druidess" tune. "Smell your hair, brush my hand against your thighs." Very, very sensual. It's 7:18 of sensuality.
Who was Bacchus? I looked up Bacchus and Druidess and they're not in the dictionary.
Bacchus was the Greek god of wine, merriment and the woods. I came up with the Druidess word myself. I was always into druids and Celtic lore. I figured what if there was this Druidess and I was her male slave and she had me do certain things to her. It's just a fantasy of mine.
It's on the same plane as "Christian Woman."
That song was actually autobiographical, but I didn't want to write about my boring puberty, so I projected my body into a 13 or 14 year old girl and exaggerated it to make it interesting.
The guitar solo on "Druidess" is suburb. Is that Kenny Hickey?
It's simple, but it rocks.
Has Johnny helped out on any of the writing? I see you "decomposed" almost everything.
Not really. Pretty much like Sal, he's just really good at taking orders. Not that I'm a dictator or anything. I just tell him what I'd like to hear and he comes up with three or four different things and I choose the best one. There's a lot of cooperation that's necessary between us. There's an understanding that I write the songs and bring them down to the band; if somebody wants to add something to the song, that's fine, so long as it doesn't change the overall idea. It seems to have worked the last five years.
Did Monte Conner have any input on this album?
There were some things I listened to him about. I'm essentially pig-headed and shut out everyone and did just what I wanted to do.
Your production skills keep getting stronger.
That's also because we had a much larger budget this time. If we didn't like something that we heard back on tape, our motto was "when in doubt, throw it out." So we just worked it out until everybody could live with it.
I know you used "Cinnamon Girl" on this album because you played it in concert. Did you get a lot of requests for it to be recorded?
No requests. Actually, it was always one of my favorite songs. Having been born in 1962 and having five older sisters, I was constantly exposed to all different types of music. This one song seems to have stuck out. I was never a big fan of Neil Young, honestly, but I just happen to like this one song. It was easy to make heavy. It only has four chords, and I only know four chords, so it's the song for us.
What are you listening to these days?
Everything from Devo to Curve, My Bloody Valentine and stuff like that. Red House Painters is another. Since my testosterone level dropped I just can't get into really heavy music anymore.
What are you looking forward to with this band in the next year or two?
Meeting more of our fans, hopefully, and perhaps finally gaining financial independence and being able to take care of the people close to me that I care about.
Are you married?
I've been married, but I'm not anymore. It wasn't a real marriage. It was like playing house. Just the wrong thing to do. She went her way and I went mine.
I don't think rock and roll and marriage mixes very well.
No, it's not a good thing. There's a lot of temptation out there on the road, and being human, sometimes I fall into the passions of the flesh.
There's a tune out speaking to the same subject as your "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend." So we've got a trend going here. Two girls, one guy and one bed. Your last cover on Bloody Kisses would have worked here.
There's no doubt about that. We've got a lot of female couples that come to see the band, which is not a problem for me. The more the merrier, I always say.
What's the new cover? I just have the advance with no paperwork.
It's a picture of four thorny stems that run from top to bottom on a black background. It pretty much represents the four members of the band. It looks very phallic, too. The thorns on the stem say something about the dangers of the penis.
I love your quote in the bio that goes, "We decided to follow our hearts and penises and see where they take us. That usually leads to trouble, but that's what I'm used to."
(laughing) Yeah, but trouble is fun. Fun without danger really isn't fun. You might as well go to Disneyland.
Have you ever thought about doing a spoken word album?
Ummm...no, I haven't, honestly. I don't really see people wanting to know what I have to say. My opinions are based upon my environment, so those who've not walked in my shoes I don't think would really give a shit. Anything is possible. I've learned to never say never.
How long was the recording process on "October Rust?"
Recording and mixing took about ten weeks.
Back to Systems Two.
Yeah, they're in Brooklyn. The whole band is from Brooklyn, so it made sense.
Are you friends with those Biohazard guys? They're coming to Austin in two weeks.
Yes, we're good friends. When you see them please tell them I say hello.
Lots of interviews today?
You're my seventh out of ten for the day.
I'll let you go because I know you're really busy.
That's okay. This has been fun. They've got me working. They're feeding me so that's fun. They have a girl who comes in every hour and she puts a bib on me and spoon feeds me while I talk. She will not breast-feed me. I just don't know what the problem is!
What's been the most common question?
The question about the title of the album, "October Rust."
We all just want to know everything about everything.
Yes, yes, inquiring minds just want to know.
I wish the best of times in Europe, and I'll track you down when you get back to Texas.
Thank you, sweetie!
Interview by Sheila René.
Peter Steele, vocals/bass
Josh Silver, keyboards
Kenny Hickey, guitar
Johnny Kelly, drums
Producers: Josh Silver and Peter Steele