Jon Wiederhorn of Revolver magazine recently sat down with TYPE O NEGATIVE members Josh Silver (keyboards), Johnny Kelly (drums) and Kenny Hickey (guitar) to remember the band's lost leader, Peter Steele, who died in April. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Revolver: A couple of years ago, Peter moved to rural Pennsylvania with his new girlfriend. Did he like being away from the city?
Silver: He hated it. Peter liked the woods, but he was bored out of his mind.
Hickey: One day he calls me at 2 in the morning and goes, "Can I tell you a story?" At the time he was living with his girlfriend and he had another girl [on the side]. He says, "I was at the other girl's house, and then I got a call from my girlfriend saying she was goin to be home in a few minutes. I got dressed in pitch black, wasted out of my mind. I get in my Jeep and I'm driving down the road, and a bear jumps out in front of me. I swerved off the road and hit a pole." So the cops show up, arrest him, his main girlfriend comes to bail him out and picks him up. He goes back to her house — and here's the kicker. He gets undressed, and she says, "What are you wearing?!" It turned out he had his other girlfriend's panties on because he got dressed in the dark when he was really drunk.
Kelly: I don't believe the bear part. But that accident is what made him get sober. He had to go to court and they put an ankle bracelet on him [that detects alcohol consumption]. The cops said, "If this comes up dirty, you're going to jail for six months." He didn't want to go to jail again so he took it serious and straightened up. And he was clean and sober from then until the day he died.
Revolver: Was Peter in a relatively good headspace at that point?
Hickey: Yeah, he was sober, coherent, and really excited about working on the next TYPE O record.
Silver: It was something we regularly talked about. He was thinking about going for a new tuning to give the album a new sound.
Revolver: Was he seriously ill before he died?
Kelly: No. It was crazy. I called his house three hours before he died. His girlfriend answered the phone. She said he was sick in bed and that he had a flu bug for a couple of days and was throwing up. So I was like, "OK, tell Peter that Kenny and found a studio. Tell him I hope he feels better and to call me when he's up to it." We had rehearsal with [Kelly and Hickey's current band] SEVENTH VOID that night, and I got a phone call from a number that I didn't recognize, so I let it go to voicemail. It was Peter's sister. I called her back and she said, "We lost Peter." I said, "What do you mean?" And she goes, "He's gone."
Silver: I was sitting at home, and Johnny called me and said, "Did anybody call you?" Then he told me Peter was dead. I was surprised, but to be honest, I was shocked that he lived as long as he did. His lifestyle was so unhealthy that I couldn't believe he was as strong as a horse most of the time.
Hickey: There were many, many times when we were like, Uh-oh, this is it. A million times. Nobody could consume like him, nobody. Nobody could drink as much as him, nobody could do as much drugs as him, nobody could eat as much as him, and nobody could fuck as much as that man. He was the only guy I knew who could do two eight balls and eat 60 dollars worth of Chinese food. The only guy.
The cover of the new issue of Revolver magazine features a stunning painting by legendary comic-book artist J.G. Jones (Superman, Batman, Wanted). Jones depicts Ronnie James Dio, SLIPKNOT's Paul Gray, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's The Rev, TYPE O NEGATIVE's Peter Steele, PANTERA's Dimebag Darrell, METALLICA's Cliff Burton, NIRVANA's Kurt Cobain, OZZY OSBOURNE's Randy Rhoads, QUEEN's Freddie Mercury, and ALICE IN CHAINS' Layne Staley rocking together in heaven. The cover painting also appears as a free poster with the issue.
Inside the issue, Revolver remembers the cover artists and many of hard rock and metal's other fallen heroes via exclusive interviews with members of SLIPKNOT and TYPE O NEGATIVE, Dio's wife and manager Wendy Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, METALLICA's Lars Ulrich, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. Shadows, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, ALICE IN CHAINS' Mike Inez, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's Zakk Wylde, RAMONES' Marky Ramone, MELVINS' Buzz Osborne, rapper Ice-T, and more.
As a tie-in to the issue and a special tribute to PANTERA's Dimebag Darrell, Revolver has produced a highly limited-edition commemorative coin in his honor. The coin comes free with the magazine when purchased at Barnes & Noble. Otherwise, it is available with the issue and an antiqued metal coin holder at this location, where a portion of the sale proceeds will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.