Friday, April 16, 2010

Type O Negative's Pete Steele Dies

Yes, I know my last post was about Richard Marx and Matt Scannell. But my musical tastes run far and wide. One of the very few things I can thank my ex-husband for is introducing me to the goth metal band Type O Negative.

I first listened to Type O Negative back in 1997/98. Frontman Pete Steele's deep voice and the heavy, rhythmic sound the produced was hypnotic. Standing at 6'7," Steele himself created a vampiric-like image of himself, adding to the mysterious/shocking air that surrounded the band. Of course, his stoic appearance on Jerry Springer and centerfold photo shoot for Playgirl in 1995 helped with that greatly.

You can imagine my (and everyone else's) shock and surprise to hear that Peter Steele, frontman and bassist for  Type O Negative, was found dead of apparent heart failure on April 14. He was 48.

According to the band's website, Steel had been fighting a sudden illness before his passing and had been enjoying much better health as a result of a "long period of sobriety." An autopsy will be erformed to determine the exact cause of death.

Like Steele himself, the band is best known for its heavily gothic music and lyrics that focus on rage, sex, fantasy, romance, death, and self-loathing. They also experimented with the boundaries of what made music music. On their 1998 album, October Rust, one track consisted of the buzzing sound that can be heard through an amplifier when you plug in a guitar. Another was a compilation of guitar, drums, and voice that depicted a war or battle.

“Peter Steele was one of the most brilliant and funny personalities in music and it was all for real," said Kenny Hickey, Type O Negative guitarist and Steele's friend since childhood. "Half the time people thought he was joking, but he was actually telling the truth. Part of me died with him.”

Services for Steele will be private, but memorial services will be announced at the band's website.

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