Twitching Tongues' Colin Young: My Favorite Type O Negative Songs | Revolver

Twitching Tongues' Colin Young: My Favorite Type O Negative Songs

Singer, also of God's Hate, hails band's "four-dimensional" songwriting
twitching tongues gods hate colin young press 2021, Colin Young
Courtesy of Colin Young

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There was no one quite like Type O Negative. They were four Brooklyn dudes who sprung up out of the city's extreme hardcore scene and evolved into legit (if tongue-and-cheek) goth metal icons. From their 1991 debut, Slow, Deep and Hard to 1993 breakout Bloody Kisses to their 2007 swan song Dead Again, frontman Peter Steele and the band cast a long shadow with their haunting music and inimitable, imposing presence.

Sadly, their influential career was cut short by the untimely death of Steele in 2010 — but the Drab Four's legacy carries on. Type O left the world with so many great songs that continue to inspire generations of gloom-loving, heavy-music fans. Among those is Colin Young, singer for groove-metal outfit Twitching Tongues and drummer/singer for L.A. hardcore crew God's Hate. Young is such a mega-fan, that when we asked him to pick his favorite Type O song, he couldn't do it. Instead, he opted for two.

"Gravitational Constant"

Peter Steele is my only musical hero that never got to disappoint me. He was brilliant, hilarious, and brutally honest about his emotions, and I know all of this without ever having a personal relationship with him. Every aspect of Peter's personality can be heard throughout the incomparable journey that is Type O Negative's discography. While most music is two-dimensional in nature, Type O constantly reminded me that there are no rules in songwriting. Your influences guide you through the process, but don't have to define you. Peter Steele, and Type O Negative, were four-dimensional.

I don't uhhh … quite know what the extra dimensions are, but like, you know it when you hear it. There will simply never be another band or artist that inspires me the way that Pete/Type O did, which is why I'd like to pick two songs: "Anesthesia" and "Gravitational Constant."

"Gravitational Constant" [from 1991's Slow, Deep and Hard] — a.k.a. "Gravity," [from 1992's The Origin of the Feces] — was the song that made me a fan, and it gave me such a deeper appreciation of music as a whole. This is the song I would show to someone from a hardcore/punk background.

Very early on in life, I was a mirror of my brother Taylor. I latched onto his interests and hobbies, as we grew up mostly unattended, which lead me to hardcore/punk and metal as early as elementary school. In the twilight of my teenage years, just as I had decided to try my hand at drums, I discovered Type O — and my relationship with music was never the same. It went from being a peripheral interest, to my entire life, and "Gravity" was the catalyst. It had the intensity and extremity of all of the hardcore punk music that shaped my childhood, with a shining layer of melody peeking through during the most powerful and memorable parts of the song — especially in the Origin of the Feces version.

I have dealt with suicidal thoughts and urges for the better part of my life, and there's something about songs like this that deal with the darkest of subject matters through sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that really made me feel like I wasn't alone. Truthfully, I had no idea what the fuck he was talking about, but I felt like it was Peter saying, "Hey kid, this could be you!" It wasn't an actual call to kill myself — even the part where he says to kill yourself, now! — but a warning. Something about a guy singing about ending it all in a way that was underlined with humor just hit me in a way that made me want to do the opposite. I wanted to live, so that I could eventually express myself in the same way. 


"Anesthesia" [from 2003's Life Is Killing Me], to me, is the full realization of Type O Negative's vision. This is the song I would show to someone with a heavy-metal background, or the general music fan. It is a heartbreaking journey about the loss of love and the inevitable pain that it brings. Even the best relationships can break you into thinking that maybe you don't need love.

Musically, it has everything you hope to hear in one of the big emotional set pieces that tastefully garnishes most albums of their discography; huge memorable riffs, innovative key leads, a big soaring bridge, fake drums that make your friends ask, "Are those fake drums?"

The lyrics and vocal melodies are the stars of the show. It is a lyrical masterpiece, and there has never been a better or more relatable realization of such a universal subject.

To feel pain by way of love is to feel human, but Peter is the only guy who will give you comfort in accepting that it kind of fucking sucks. I think I've used "Anesthesia" as a lyrical starting point five times when starting to write something. It is brilliantly paced and structured, it is both metaphorical and completely literal, it is a nonstop crescendo of emotional intensity. It is a masterpiece. This kind of creative transparency and honesty defined what I look for in music, and unfortunately, nothing is yet to come close.