9th grade shop class is where I first heard Type O Negative. There was a TV in class that we watched MTV on when we weren’t building bongs, pipes or smoking by the dumpster. When the video for Type O Negative’s “Christian Woman” came on TV I was blown away. I had never heard a song quite like that or even a style of music such as that.
I was in my first band where I played guitar and my best friend who played bass in the band was also in the class, witnessing this amazing, dark, down-tuned band come into our lives. After class, we had to immediately find our drummer in the halls and tell him about what we had just witnessed. We all went out and bought the cassette and spent the next few evenings and nights at home working on learning the song. By band practice that weekend we were ready. We plugged the Christmas lights up that were attached to the drum-set, warmed up the lava lamp, flipped on the black-light and then flipped off the room lights. We set off practicing “Christian Woman” several times in our darkened rehearsal room (the drummer’s bedroom). I was forever changed from that point on and my tastes in music were more-or-less cemented to a view that I continue to envision even today.
While this first album of theirs, Bloody Kisses, was a fantastic album I feel that the later album, October Rust, was their best. October Rust fits a handful of albums that I prefer to listen to from beginning-to-end rather than just a few songs at a time. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and Tool’s “Ænima” are the only other albums that I can listen to in the same way. This album was a masterpiece from middle to end. I’ve always enjoyed that Type O Negative songs were slow, heavy pop songs at heart most of the time. Goth Metal was always the genre they were labelled with but I believe they created their own genre and I have not heard any band since them that fits with what they did.
There’s so much more that could have come from this band but right before Peter Steele was set to write and record new material he passed away at just 48 years old. It’s sad to think of all the music that was in his head but we will never hear. His personality was so that he never really took what he was doing that serious and we are lucky to have heard the music he ended up creating at all because he was actually just a normal guy who enjoyed his job with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
If you are a fan of Type O Negative and would like to read more about who Peter Steele was as a person you should check out this article written by his cousin James Toth.