The Beat
By Monica Ortwein, Associate Editor

Type O Negative:
Getting Positive
Goth metal makers Type O Negative have finally made a "happy" record. Wanna know what it's called? Life Is Killing Me.

Sadly, the hearsay just isn't true: the four members of Type O Negative aren't vampires, and they don't sleep in coffins, either. The good news is, the metal quartet that first acquired national fame with 1993's Bloody Kisses actually has (surprise!) quite a sense of humor -- even if it is a bit morose.

WHAT? Type O Negative, Laguna Coil

Crocodile Rock
520 Hamilton St.

Wednesday, September 17, 7:30 pm
$13 in advance, $15 at the door
610.434.4600 or

Case in point: on their latest disc, Life Is Killing Me, the band has once again employed the Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir as background vocalists. In reality, the choir is actually none other than the band members - four heterosexual males - themselves. The idea was Peter Steele's; he's the frontman behind Type O Negative's morbid magic, and the one that most of the rumors circulate around.

In addition to Peter, Type O Negative is drummer Johnny Kelly, guitarist Kenny Hickey, and keyboardist John Silver. We called Kelly to ask about Life Is Killing Me and its subsequent tour (which hits Croc Rock soon), and he mentioned that he was "a little bit worried" that the Type O shows wouldn't be well-received in the States since the group hasn't toured over here in a few years.

As it turns out, Kelly was wrong. "There were only a couple shows where you were wishing you were somewhere else," he said. The rest were sold out.

PULSE WEEKLY: Are you guys really as gloomy in person as the media's image portrays you?

JOHNNY KELLY: No, no, I think that's really one of the biggest misconceptions about the band - we've always been a bunch of clowns. Just very sarcastic, self-deprecating.

PW: What's the most outlandish rumor you've ever heard about yourselves?

JK: That Peter sets animals on fire when he's having sex.

PW: Aw, so it's not true?

JK: No, it's totally ridiculous.

PW: Since you're from Staten Island, would you say New York has gone back to some degree of normalcy yet?

JK: For the most part, yeah. There are still some problems with traffic, but everybody's been getting back to work. The economy in New York really got beat up, so as far as employment, it's still kinda tough up there. I live right next to the airport and you can't help but look overhead when you see a low-flying plane.

PW: I read in an interview that you think America has become too PC now, and therefore too Big Brotherly.

JK: Absolutely. It seems like people can't live their own lives most of the time. I don't like the idea that the government has so much of a say in things. But really, all I can do is vote. If I don't vote, then I really can't complain about it, and I haven't voted in a long time, so there's really not much I can say. PW: Oh yeah? Why haven't you voted?

JK: Every time I vote I get called for jury duty. [laughs] I got called and I was able to annoy them into not making me stay.

PW: Did you tell them who you were?

JK: No, they just figured I was a guy with long hair and played in a band. If they did know who I was, they wouldn't care - it's not like the celebrity status of Type O Negative is that big that it would be a distraction in the court. But it was pretty easy to get out of. Usually when attorneys are assembling a jury, they're just looking for sheep that are easily impressed. You just starting asking a bunch of questions and stuff, and they're like, 'Thank you, Mr. Kelly.' It worked like a charm. If there's one thing I'm really good at, it's being annoying.

PW: Did you see Marilyn Manson was just acquitted for rubbing his crotch on a security guy's head? Do you think he's a good showman or just a show-off?

JK: I'm sure if it was a girl rubbing her crotch on his head, the security guard would've loved it. I think Manson was just looking for the shock value that night, I'm sure he didn't expect to be taken to court over it. I have a suspicion that the security guy was just looking to cash in. That's totally retarded. But living in America, it didn't cost that guy anything to take Marilyn Manson to court.

PW: Are you still playing with Glen Danzig's band?

JK: No, he has a new drummer. I met him when I played LA with Danzig at the Blackest of the Black and he seems like a cool guy. I'd love to play with Danzig more but he needed someone more permanent who would be committed to him.

PW: Did Danzig mention anything about getting back together with the Misfits anytime soon?

JK: No. [laughs] A lot of that stuff is all rumors.

PW: What one word would you use to describe Type O Negative's latest album?

JK: I think it's probably the happiest record we've ever done. I think it's laughing material compared to World Coming Down. The title track [Life Is Killing Me] I wouldn't consider to be a happy song, far cry from it. But the video is actually really funny. Peter has a wide range of music that he listens to, from the Exploited to the Bee Gees, and everything in between. Most of it makes it onto our record in some form or another.

PW: What's next for you guys, since your contract with Roadrunner Records is now up?

JK: We're not sure if we're going to leave Roadrunner yet. We're still testing the waters. We're free agents, now we just have to decide what's best for Type O Negative. The Beat

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