Jesse Capps of RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with TYPE O NEGATIVE drummer Johnny Kelly. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
RockConfidential.com: You guys have been out on the road for your Halloween tour. How was it this year?
Johnny: It's always been something of a tradition up until the past couple of years. There were various setbacks and we've always had to pull out at the last minute. Every Halloween we'd always go out on a relatively short run of dates and have a good time. It always brings out the craziest fans. This time around we've got LORDI with us and they're the best Halloween band you can think of. We've been having a really good time.
RockConfidential.com: There was a couple of years where TYPE O was off the map for whatever reason. Did that make you more nervous or anxious to get in the studio and start working on a new record?
Johnny: It was a little bit of both. You can sit at home and not do much and you get very apprehensive and want to get back on the road. At the same time you realize it's been a couple of years and you're not sure what the climate is. Are people still interested in TYPE O NEGATIVE? Are they gonna come out? Are they gonna pick up the record? There's always that little bit of uncertainity. You're a little nervous. Ever since the Internet you never know what's going to happen. Everything is so instant.
RockConfidential.com: That may be why people download music — not just because it's free but they can sit on their ass and do it!
Johnny: When I was a kid they were talking that cassettes would be the end of the record industry! At least you had to go to your friend's house to grab the record!
RockConfidential.com: What did you do during the downtime with the band?
Johnny: I was spending time with my daughter. I played in DANZIG. I play in a LED ZEPPELIN tribute at home with some friends of mine. Kenny and I have another band that we've been working on for a couple of years.
RockConfidential.com: "Dead Again" was the first album away from Roadrunner. Was it a relief or a hassle to switch labels?
Johnny: At first it was weird because we really weren't sure what we were walking into. So far it's been a change for the better. We're definitely a high priority at SPV and they've really busted their butts to make a strong presence for the record. They did a lot of promotion for it. They did a lot of things to let everybody know that there was a record out. We've done two videos for it. They've been really aggressive about working the album. We moved a little bit higher on the food chain here.
RockConfidential.com: Would you say "Dead Again" was a hard record to make?
Johnny: At times. There was a point where we spent months and months in the studio. It seemed like it was taking forever. Various setbacks would come up. When it came time to record we did basic tracks in a week. The things that took the longest were the vocals and the lyrics.
RockConfidential.com: What's it like when TYPE O NEGATIVE gets together to write songs?
Johnny: It's just a matter of getting to work and getting the studio booked. Where we go we have our own lock and key. We can go play for as long as we want. Some days we would sit in the studio all day long. Some days somebody would walk in cranky and we'd wind up getting into an argument and rehearsal was over in 45 minutes! Sometimes is was fun and sometimes it was a pain in the butt. We knew we were in there for a reason. All of us were concerned about making it the best thing we could.
RockConfidential.com: Do you usually write the music first and work on lyrics later or have you ever written the music around lyrics?
Johnny: It's the music first and then Peter will get an idea after hearing the song. It will give him an idea what to write the song about. All the music is written first — at least the basic melody and song structure. Then it takes a life of its own and creates its own identity.
RockConfidential.com: I saw you guys open for MÖTLEY CRÜE on their tour with John Corabi after Vince Neil left. That ended up being a strange tour for the CRÜE. What do you remember about it?
Johnny: When it first started out we were playing in sheds. It ended up not being all that successful for them and they were expecting more people. A lot had changed. I thought it was great when it scaled down and they were doing the theater thing. I thought it was better. I thought the band was better. The songwriting was a lot stronger. That's my favorite MÖTLEY record. I think they were trying to be something that they used to be instead of capitalizing and working hard on what they had in their hands. For us it was a win-win situation. A bad show for MÖTLEY CRÜE was 3,000 people. Had we played that town alone we'd maybe be playing to 30 people!
RockConfidential.com: What's up after this tour?
Johnny: I'm not really sure. We're going to re-release "Dead Again" with different artwork and there's going to be an accompanying DVD with it. We just shot a video for "September Sun". That's all I know of at the moment!
Read the entire interview at RockConfidential.com.