Alex Zander of MK Magazine recently conducted an interview with TYPE O NEGATIVE frontman Peter Steele. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
MK Magazine: Did you actually go to jail?
Steele: I was in Rikers Island [York City's largest jail facility] because I had violated probation.
MK Magazine: So you went to jail and you're a big guy, there's always somebody that wants to fight the big guy.
Steele: You know, when you are going to jail when you are like 43 years old, it's not like a high school territorial thing anymore. Like, unless somebody is in my face or touches me, like really touches me, I'm like what-the-fuck-ever. I have nothing to prove because I knew that I was only in there for 30 days because there were guys in there that were in there for life, and, of course, I was like one of three white people, so, of course, I am like the great white dope, you know and some guys in there would be like,"Hey, man, what's the name of your band?" and, of course, I am like, "TYPE O NEGATIVE," and they thought the I said "Tae Bo!" Tae Bo! Yo Tae Bo! Yo! Yo undertaker! Yo Tarzan! Tarzan! You know the worst thing was that, um, my mother was not doing very well and stuff. . .So I was in jail and you get like one eight-minute phone call a day and that's like where most fights come in. Yeah over fuckin' telephone usage. So I every time I would speak to my mother I never knew if I was going to speak to her again. So you know so that was like a real jail sentence for me. Thinking about what I was going to come home to but you know I have to admit that I got myself that, I violated probation because you know due to drugs and alcohol and just having a case of like all I had to do was like show up once a month and put my hand into a fuckin machine.
MK Magazine: And you just didn't show up once?
Steele: I didn't show up for like six months and then I'm like so, let them come and get me and you know what? Bang! Bang! Bang! Is Peter there? Housekeeping!
MK Magazine: And your mom was upstairs?
Steele: Yeah! And so they took me out in chains.
MK Magazine: I don't know if this rumor or what because you tend to hear everything in the press but, then I heard that there was an intervention.
Steele: There were many.
MK Magazine: How hard is that?
Steele: They were.
MK Magazine: I mean, did you just want to say "Fuck you?"
Steele: I mean, there was one of like, that show, like that whole friends and family comes down. There was one of those. I have had people you know, friends, family, co-workers, you know, pull me off to the side and say, "You know, Peter, you are really fuckin' up. You got to do something, blah, blah, blah." Yeah, there have been many interventions but I am a very stubborn fuckin' person, and as you see, I am drinking fuckin' alcohol here, I'm not coked up because if I was this interview would have lasted fuckin' three seconds because I would have answered all of your questions like, "Blah, blah, blah." But, um, so you know I have to get rid of one demon at a time. You know I have two demons cocaine and alcohol . . . Things are actually much better now, you know I am no angel, but I mean, I fall off from time to time, but listen, it's better to do — and I am not justifying my usage by any means — but I think it's some what better to do, I mean, like maybe one gram like every two weeks than like three eight balls a day like for fuckin two years. I mean, I can stick my fuckin' finger up my fuckin nose and hit the back of my fuckin' head. I have like burnt out my entire cranial cavity. I mean, luckily I was not born with a brain to begin with so there was like nothing to lose. I mean, I heard an echo in my head. It's like, "Hello, Merry Christmas!"
MK Magazine: So where did this translate into this record because it is night and day to the last one? Number one I got to say the new label [SPV] spared no expense and has done nothing but push this shit the way I wish Roadrunner would have the last one.
Steele: I have to back you up that they really did spare no expense, and I think that they are doing a really, really great job and a lot of people think that we were dropped from Roadrunner — we were not dropped, that wanted to re-sign us but under different conditions that were actually much worse then the previous ones. So rather than be a small fish in a big pond we became a big fish in a small pond. So this is call mutualism when two preachers or two organizations benefit each other by mutual respect so SPV wanted to break their German label here in the States and told us that we were going to be a priority.
MK Magazine: Do you feel like a priority?
Steele: With SPV, yes, and that was the motivating factor, but as far as what has happened over the past couple of years I have learned from jail and rehab and being in a psychiatric institution, I'm still learning. But I think that I after my mother's death, I was born a Roman Catholic and I think that I have gone back to my faith. You know, people ask me are you a born-again Christian and I said no I am a dead-again Christian I have always been dead. I believe in Jesus Christ and God and the whole thing but, you know, I don't shove it down anyone's throat. You know, it's a very private personal thing and faith is really strong and I really want to see my mother and father again. And also I can't believe that somebody like Hitler and Mother Teresa are going to the same place after death. I can't believe that.
Read the entire interview at MK Magazine.