Type O Negative 'October Rust': 10 Things You Didn't Know About "Weird, Sexual" LP | Revolver

Type O Negative 'October Rust': 10 Things You Didn't Know About "Weird, Sexual" LP

Peter Steele's "Girlfriend's Girlfriend" experience, stolen Pink Floyd lyrics, shelved Sabbath covers and more
type_o_peter_steele_96_getty_by_niels_van_iperen-web-crop-2.jpg, Niels van Iperen/Getty Images
Peter Steele performing with Type O Negative, Lowlands, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands, August 23rd, 1996
photograph by Niels van Iperen/Getty Images

Revolver has teamed with Type O Negative for an exclusive 2LP vinyl variant of their classic album, October Rust, on "clear with orange mix" wax. Quantities are limited — get yours before they're gone!

When Type O Negative released October Rust in 1996, the rising goth-metal stars were in the position of trying to follow an unexpected cult classic. The band's previous record, Bloody Kisses, was a massive success. The album went Gold — and eventually Platinum — on the strength of sarcastically infectious goth anthems "Black No. 1" and "Christian Woman."

As if the sales pressure wasn't enough, the band also lost original member Sal Abruscato to fellow Brooklynites Life of Agony, leaving vocalist-bassist Peter Steele, keyboardist-producer Josh Silver and guitarist Kenny Hickey without a drummer. Despite everything, Type O delivered what might be their most accessible album. Not that Steele, who passed tragically in 2010, would admit it.

Just prior to the record's release, he described October Rust to Kerrang! as, "very drawn-out, repeating parts endlessly, moaning women, over-produced, the typical Type O Negative style." Which is to say: Fantastic. Here are 10 things you may not know about the album.

1. October Rust kicks off with a faulty speaker connection gag.
October Rust opens with 38 seconds of low-grade electrical hum before cutting to a spoken message from Type O thanking the listener for buying the album. While the gag may not translate well in the era of streaming music, "Bad Ground" was an annoyingly familiar sound to anyone who ever experienced a faulty speaker connection — which, in 1996, covered pretty much everyone with a home stereo. It worked so well that Type O pulled a similar prank at the beginning of 1999's World Coming Down, opening that record with the sound of a skipping CD.

2. October Rust is former drum tech Johnny Kelly's first album with the band — kind of.
When original Type O drummer Sal Abruscato left in 1994 to play full time with Brooklyn alt-metal crew Life of Agony, Type O replaced him with his own drum tech, Johnny Kelly. At least that's who's credited with drums on October Rust. But Josh Silver later revealed that they actually used a drum machine on the album, programmed by Silver himself.

3. Peter Steele lifted a lyric from Pink Floyd — and then sexed it up.
On October Rust's first proper song, "Love You to Death," Peter Steele nicked a line from Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and reworked it for a lusty goth fantasy — complete with lipstick stains, red wine and burning candles. Floyd's "Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying" became "Her hips move and I can feel what they're saying," through Steele's sex filter. Given what we've heard about his popularity with the ladies, we have no reason to doubt him.

4. The band performed their own backups under a fake name.
Like all Type O albums, October Rust credits backing vocals to the Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir, which was really just the band members — mostly Steele — and occasionally some of their friends. (For the uninitiated, "Bensonhoist" is the local pronunciation for the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn.) "It's a fictitious creation," Silver told an interviewer in the back of the band's tour bus in an uncredited YouTube clip. "It's just something we put on the album because Peter doesn't like to admit that he can sing that high."

5. October Rust is arguably Type O's most accessible — and sexual — album.
Unlike Type O's previous albums, October Rust is remarkably free of harsh industrial clanging and raucous punk outbursts. There's also a lot of sex. "[Of all our albums,] October Rust is the easiest listen," Silver told Decibel in 2007. "It was odd, it was weird — and very sexual. It worked. There are some songs that make my balls become ovaries, but that's okay. I can deal with my balls becoming ovaries, as long as there's some good stuff in between."

6. "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" is based on Peter Steele's "true-life experiences."
As October Rust's lead single, "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" saw Steele inserting his 6'8" frame — and presumably other parts of his anatomy — into a lesbian fantasy. The song's lyrics detail a polyamorous relationship with two women — or "meat triangle," as he so eloquently describes it in the song's second verse. "The song was actually based on a few true-life experiences which turned out to be quite pleasant," Steele revealed in a posthumously published 1996 interview with The Aquarian. "There are no philosophical implications. It's purely flesh and fantasy. You definitely have to be up for [the ménage à trois]."


7. Famed New York photographer Richard Kern shot the eye-catching single art for "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend."
Influential NYC photographer and underground filmmaker Richard Kern — known for his erotic, transgressive imagery and his video work with Sonic Youth and Marilyn Manson — shot the cover image for the "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" single, which depicted Steele in bed with two women. In an interview from the era, Kern revealed that the ladies were total pros. "Yesterday I shot some photographs of Type O Negative's lead singer Peter Steele with two porn stars," he told interviewer Alexander Laurence. "It's the same thing that I've always been doing. Nothing's changed!"  

8. Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" was widely covered in the 90s, but Type O's version was the heaviest.
"Cinnamon Girl" is the leadoff track from Canadian singer-songwriter (and grunge grandfather) Neil Young's 1969 album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. The song featured double-drop-D tuning and a descending bass line that clearly caught the ears of many musicians who would make their names in the 1990s. Hole, Mudhoney and Replicants (featuring then-members of Tool and Failure) all recorded "Cinnamon Girl" covers in various forms, and Foo Fighters and Radiohead have covered the track live. Even Smashing Pumpkins recorded the song in the 90s (though their version wasn't released until 2012). Type O famously put their morose stamp on "Cinnamon Girl" for October Rust, and, as you might imagine, the Drab Four's take was the heaviest cover of the bunch — by a long shot.

9. Type O recorded a Black Sabbath cover that wasn't included on the album.
The CD single of "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" includes a cover of Black Sabbath's occult classic, "Black Sabbath," that didn't appear on the original October Rust release. Naturally, Steele re-worked the lyrics to be, as the track listing notes, "From the Satanic Perspective." So instead of opening with, "What is this that stands before me? Figure in black which points at me… " we get, "Who is she that kneels, so respectfully, before me? A virgin of snow white…" You can see where this is headed…

10. October Rust was the sound of a much less angry Peter Steele.
While many of the songs on the first three Type O albums — Slow, Deep and Hard, The Origin of the Feces and Bloody Kisses — were inspired by cheating girlfriends and other failed relationships, October Rust offered a more hopeful look at romance. In a 1996 studio interview with the German video program Metalla, host Markus Kavka observed the marked change in tone and asked Steele to comment. "I think you're correct," the singer replied. "I'm certainly not as angry as I was five or six years ago, simply because I don't think that I'm the same person that I was. I've certainly grown — I hope up, not down."