This story originally appeared in the 2009 "Top Shelf Edition" CD reissue of Bloody Kisses. It has been updated for this publishing.
After burying Brooklyn, New York, under the dense power-dirge cacophony of 1991's Slow, Deep and Hard, and then recording most of the LP over again as a fake live set for 1992's The Origin of the Feces — complete with a cover of a rock song popularized by Jimi Hendrix and a close-up of vocalist-bassist-mastermind Peter Steele's rotten sphincter for the album art — Type O Negative decided to get serious. Or at least as almost serious as Type O could ever be expected to get.
As such, Steele (who was still working for the NYC Parks Department), guitarist Kenny Hickey, drummer Sal Abruscato and producer-keyboardist Josh Silver descended upon Systems Two in Brooklyn to record the album that would propel them to international rock stardom. Originally released on August 17th, 1993, at the tail end of New York City Mayor David Dinkins' "gorgeous mosaic" of race riots and unemployment, Bloody Kisses offered both a response to the controversy that had enveloped Type O's debut and an enhanced pop sensibility.
Born in Alphabet City's long-gone goth clubs, the 73-minute opus featured infectious doom-pop epics ("Black No. 1," "Christian Woman"), sarcastic hardcore screeds ("Kill All the White People," "We Hate Everyone"), bizarre noise interludes ("Fay Wray Come Out and Play," "Dark Side of the Womb," "3.0.I.F") and a cover of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" that somehow managed to be both lush and beefy.
As the band spent two years touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, the Exploited, Queensrÿche and Danzig, the album went gold on the strength of "Black No. 1" and "Christian Woman" — not to mention Steele's fully erect appearance in (and on) the August 1995 issue of Playgirl magazine. By the time his well-publicized boner presumably receded, Type O had a certified platinum record on their hands.
Sandwiched between a photo of two green lesbians in the throes of simulated passion and that unforgettable slogan/warning "Don't mistake lack of talent for genius," Bloody Kisses remains the diamond in Type O's extensive back catalog, and one of the most elaborate revenge records of all time.
THE SONGS ON BLOODY KISSES HAVE MORE OF A POP SENSIBILITY THAN THOSE ON SLOW, DEEP AND HARD — AND PETER IS DOING MORE SINGING. WHAT PRECIPITATED THE SHIFT? PETER STEELE Most of the songs on Slow, Deep and Hard were leftover Carnivore songs. But with Bloody Kisses I wanted more of a challenge. I mean, I love hardcore. But hardcore and rap are very similar — they take almost no fuckin' talent.
During the Eighties, I'd go to CBGBs and L'Amour with my longhair Motörhead friends, and I could never admit that I really liked Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, Psychedelic Furs and shit like that. At 30 years old, I became a different person, so I just decided to do what I wanted to do. I felt it was more of a challenge to write songs and sing on key.
JOSH SILVER I see what you mean when you say "pop sensibility." But I think it was just a more melodic record. I think pieces of that melody did exist on Slow, Deep and Hard — like on ["Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity, III.] I Know You're Fucking Someone Else," so I think it was a natural thing. Our backgrounds are based in the Beatles and Black Sabbath.
We've all heard that said about Type O 10,000 times, but that's because it's true. We're taking the heaviness of Sabbath and the melody of the Beatles, and that's kind of what Bloody Kisses was. We didn't have to live up to Slow, Deep and Hard because as far as anyone was concerned, that record was a disaster. It was like, "If you don't do better, you're done."
KENNY HICKEY It was a conscious effort to get more melodic. That's what we were looking to do. I can't say we were doing it to become popular, but it was a conscious effort [in that] we realized that anyone could just fuckin' scream. There's an art to screaming, I guess, but we wanted to expand and bring the band to a different level. And there was a lot of gothic influence, from hanging out on Avenue A back when it was cool.
SAL ABRUSCATO Me, Peter, Kenny and sometimes Josh would go out every weekend to Alphabet City. And at that time in the late Eighties and early Nineties — there was a pretty good goth scene going on around Avenue A, in all these bars that don't exist anymore, like Alcatraz and King Tut's WahWah Hut. We were all very heavily influenced by that, but at the same time we were huge Black Sabbath and Beatles fans.
We were so into that retro, psychedelic sound — Sgt. Pepper's and stuff like that. And that stuff obviously influenced Peter heavily on Bloody Kisses. The songs were real trippy: There was sitar, there were real cool flanged-out vocals, a lot of emotion. It was different from what was going on at the time — all that grunge shit like Pearl Jam.
WHO'S THE GIRL MOANING ON "MACHINE SCREW"?
SILVER That was an ex-girlfriend. But I didn't actually screw her. She screwed me. And I mean that in every possible sense of the word. Every young man's life is spent learning and getting screwed over. Maybe it's because I'm a man, but it always seems to me that women fuck over men more than men fuck over women — probably because men are weaker and attach themselves more quickly.
But Type O has obviously spent a lot of time, regardless of what album it is, mourning relationships. Obviously, Peter has had some troubled ones. "Nothing but love songs" — that's been our slogan forever. They're all love songs.
WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND "CHRISTIAN WOMAN"?
STEELE I think what came about with that song is that I was, uh, incorporated with this girl. She was a Roman Catholic, much as I am. But she would get off on breaking the rules a little bit. She would ask me to dress up as a priest and, well, I guess you can just imagine what would happen after that. So, I guess you could say I have a bit of a priest infection. But the song itself, you know, I had always loved Eighties rock — I always like to refer to Type O Negative as "Flock of Assholes." But we have somewhat better haircuts.
"BLACK NO. 1 (LITTLE MISS SCARE-ALL)" WAS A MASTERPIECE OF SARCASM IN THAT IT SEEMED TO BE PAYING TRIBUTE TO AND MAKING FUN OF GOTH GIRLS AT THE TIME.
STEELE I wrote it while I was driving a fucking garbage truck. I was waiting in line for three hours to dump 40 cubic yards of human waste at the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station, and I wrote the song in my head. I'm not kidding you. And it's about the girl I fucking slashed my wrists over. She was the ultimate goth girl, and I was poking fun at her because she was in love with herself. I actually lost the original lyrics to that song, so I had to rewrite them.
ABRUSCATO All those lyrics were totally derived from hanging out in the Pyramid Lounge and the Limelight, looking at these girls all done up in black with the mascara and the clothes. All those things he's talking about is all the shit you would see at these clubs. And at the same time, he was infatuated with dating these kinds of girls.
I'm not sure how much he was making fun of them, though — I think it was more an admiration of their beauty. So, yeah, "Black No. 1" comes from that,"Christian Woman" comes from that. It's not some big, crazy secret: We all thought those chicks were hot.
HICKEY One of Pete's girlfriends was this goth girl who made him feel really insecure because she was like, "Oh, you just listen to that stupid heavy-metal stuff — you don't know what's cool. You don't know about Bauhaus and the Cocteau Twins." She dyed her hair, she was a goth chick, and he hated her for it. "Black No. 1" is about her. The lyrics are brilliant, and the hook is beautiful in its simplicity.
SILVER The brilliant part is that goth kids still take it totally seriously. But the people who get the sarcasm also like it. So, it worked out pretty well. I guess being sarcastic has its rewards. But I'm so fuckin' sick of that song it's not even funny. If I never played that song again for the rest of my life, I'd be happy. I think it's a good tune, but I thought "Smoke on the Water" was a good tune, too. I just don't need to hear it again.
STEELE The thing is, I was never a big fan of the whole goth scene. I like how goth girls look, though. I wasn't even trying to make fun of the whole goth scene, either. I was just pissed off at what happened between me and this girl who I was with. I was seeking my revenge through those four notes. When it became a hit, I was like, "What is wrong with people?" But it didn't really mean anything to me. I went to work the next day.
BOTH "BLACK NO. 1" AND "CHRISTIAN WOMAN" WERE EDITED DOWN FOR RADIO AND MTV. AT THE SAME TIME, TYPE O ARE NOTORIOUS FOR WRITING LONG SONGS. DID YOU FEEL LIKE THE EDITS COMPROMISED YOUR INTEGRITY?
ABRUSCATO I had no problem with it. I always knew that if we wanted to have any success we'd have to edit our 11-minute songs down. [Laughs] So, I personally didn't have a problem with it, and I didn't think it was compromising our music because the parts were all there. It was just a matter of how many times they were being done. No biggie to me.
You have to compromise sometimes if you want any kind of exposure. We could've stuck to our guns and had no songs on the radio, but then the record wouldn't have done as well, obviously. So, I think doing that was a key move.
SILVER I do all the editing, and it was very hard. Peter can't bring himself to do it because it's like cutting up his kids. But the reality was that someone was gonna do it, so it should be someone who actually cares about the music — not someone who's looking at a clock. The "Christian Woman" edit wasn't too bad because it was just basically leaving off the last two-thirds of the song. "Black No. 1" ... well ... it was hard to cut out two-thirds and still have anything left. It was more of a traditional rock song — if you can call any 10-minute song a traditional rock song.
STEELE I call it rape and roll, you know? When those edits happened, I was much more inexperienced than I am right the fuck now. I had to listen to managers and accountants and record companies and band members. I mean, the most horrifying thing in life is depending on other people for your progress. To be successful, you really have to have a common goal, and that's what pisses me off about this fuckin' band. Even though I'm a Slavic schizophrenic — which makes me a bi-Polack — I try to be reasonable. I asked, "Where do we want to be in five years?" We wanted to have fun, but we wanted to make money, too.
HICKEY "Christian Woman" was the most editable song. It worked. And don't forget what was going on at that time: All the other stations were copying the big grunge station in Seattle. We had gone up there and played the famous club [RCKCNDY] from that movie Singles. Some radio guys were there and they thought we were great, so they started spinning "Christian Woman." And of course, so did the rest of the country, because they were copying anything that was coming out of Seattle. That was the last springboard that shot the band over gold.
HOW DID THAT SUCCESS CHANGE THINGS FOR THE BAND?
SILVER Even before the record went gold, I think the record company had some expectations to turn the band into something that sold more, because that's what record companies do. So, I think that they pushed for more accessible material, and I think that's evident to some extent on October Rust. I mean, we could've just tried to redo Bloody Kisses, but we never did, and I think that was great. One of the best features of Bloody Kisses is that there's only one.
STEELE I'll be extremely honest with you. By that time, at the age of 30, I had had sex with maybe 10 or 12 women. Then we go on tour, and there's a hundred of the hottest fucking women I have ever seen standing outside the tour bus. I'm thinking, these girls must be waiting for a different bus. I could not believe it. We didn't know what we had in our fucking pocket with Bloody Kisses at the time, but apparently the record company did. I'm not gonna say that I feel exploited or anything like that, but I was a bit naive at that time. But I should've known better — they're not in business for my health.
TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU THINK YOUR APPEARANCE IN PLAYGIRL CONTRIBUTED TO TYPE O'S SUCCESS?
STEELE I'm not really sure how to respond to that, because it would be egotistical. But I can step outside and look at myself in a different way. And yeah, I guess I was in the right place at the right time. It really had nothing to do with who I was or who I am. It came from opportunistic people. Did it go to my head? [Laughs] Well, it went to two heads. But you can't take away my memories. If any man is jealous of me, let me tell you: They really should be.
SILVER I think Playgirl changed a lot for Type O. Could you attribute the success of Bloody Kisses to Peter being in Playgirl? Sure, you could. I always thought that it was accurate and humorous that Peter always felt his commercial success was like Revenge of the Nerds. And I understand why he would think that. None of us were smashing with the women, and suddenly we're in a semi-successful rock band.
WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO COVER SEALS & CROFTS' "SUMMER BREEZE"?
HICKEY It certainly wasn't me — I never liked the song. But Peter grew up listening to that kind of soft rock — he got it from his sisters. I like our version. I just don't like the original. It's elevator rock. It makes me feel like I'm sitting at the dentist, waiting to get a molar removed.
STEELE Most bands like to take heavy songs and redo them as if they can do them better. I like to take light songs and turn them into something heavy. I'm not sure exactly how that one came about, but I think at rehearsal about 4,000 years ago, I said to Kenny, "Play this fuckin' riff." Someone in the band had some pills, and we were chewing them up and swallowing them, so I started singing, "Some of these make me feel fine."
ABRUSCATO Peter always loved doing covers, even in the early Carnivore days. "Summer Breeze" is kind of a girly song, and it allowed us to really expand production-wise and experiment with all those cool effects and sounds and ambiences that were popular in the Sixties. I mean, that song is like syrup. We made it heavier, but still retained the ambience and beauty of the original track.
SILVER We always tried to choose songs that were not in the same vein as the band. We didn't wanna do a metal cover or a rock cover because that's stupid. A cover shouldn't be verbatim, but that's what so many bands do. When I listen to something like [Black Sabbath tribute compilation] Nativity in Black, it's incredible how little creativity went into a lot of those things.
I mean, doing a cover and redoing a song are such vastly different things. We're not a cover band; we're an original band. So, it follows that we could take someone else's material and do it with our own identity, our own spin. But a lot of bands lack identity.
WHO IS "BLOODY KISSES (A DEATH IN THE FAMILY)" ABOUT?
STEELE [Laughs] That was actually about my cat Venus that died. I had this cat for 17 or 18 years. No one wants to hear about a guy who's six-foot-eight with long black hair and fangs crying about his fuckin' cat, so I had to make it extremely metaphoric. I have a huge problem with abandonment and loss, so I took it very seriously. I love animals. She used to sit on my chest while I was doing bench presses.
When I was burying this cat in the backyard, a family member made a very brutal and disgusting comment about what I was doing. I mean, it wasn't even her backyard, but she had something to say about me digging this plot. She made this comment, and I turned around with the shovel, and I was a nanosecond away from throwing it at her.
Now, I used to sharpen my shovel and practice throwing it at things on my lunch hour when I worked for the Parks Department. And I was extremely fucking accurate. I was in great pain at the time she said what she said, and I told her, "You really should walk away right now. Blood might be thicker than water, but it's also harder to clean up."
IS "TOO LATE: FROZEN" ABOUT THE SAME GIRL YOU'RE REFERRING TO IN "UNSUCCESSFULLY COPING ... " FROM SLOW, DEEP AND HARD?
STEELE Yeah. I was with this woman for 10 years, and I found out she was cheating on me. But I was a pussy, and I didn't have the strength to break up with her. When I confronted her about what I had found out, she just lied about everything. So, I finally left her because it was the easy way out. And it did not end well at all
ALONGSIDE ALL THESE SLOWER AND MID-PACED GOTH EPICS, YOU'VE GOT TWO FAST, HARDCORE-TYPE SONGS IN "WE HATE EVERYONE" AND "KILL ALL THE WHITE PEOPLE." BUT THOSE SONGS ACTUALLY SERVED VERY SPECIFIC PURPOSES, DIDN'T THEY?
SILVER "We Hate Everyone" was a response to what happened with "Der Untermensch" from Slow, Deep and Hard. The press in Europe didn't get it — they thought we were Nazis — so we were like, "If you hate humanity, how can you be a racist?"
STEELE It wasn't meant to be retaliatory, though. "Der Untermensch" was about when I was working for the Parks Department, this white guy working in black neighborhoods, and having bottles thrown at me and being screamed at like, "Fuck you, Tarzan!" Meanwhile, the guys yelling at me were selling drugs to little kids. So, yeah, the song was provocative, and it was supposed to be.
I was baiting the hook, just like when Carnivore did songs like "Jesus Hitler," "God Is Dead" and "Suck My Dick." If you're gonna preach to the choir, it ain't rock. All these groups that are like, "Fuck the police, fuck your parents, fuck the church" ... I'm not like that. I'm pro-police. I'm pro-parent. I'm pro-rules. This is what makes Type O Negative a real fuckin' rock band: We don't go along with what everyone else believes.
At the same time, we had so many problems with our first tour in Europe, especially in Germany [because of "Der Untermensch"]. There were posters with my fucking face on lampposts and trees that were like, "Kill this guy." I have to admit, I was ignorant. You can't go around saying stupid shit in Europe. World Wars I and II did not occur in Brooklyn, New York. I made a mistake, and I do apologize.
ABRUSCATO "Kill All the White People" came from the frustration of the Dinkins era. ["Der Untermensch, II.] Waste of Life" was derived from that as well — the frustration with the political situation and racial tension that was going on in New York City when Mayor Dinkins was in charge. "Kill All the White People" was a sarcastic take on African-American feelings about "the white devil." It was very humorous to us at that time.
SILVER "Kill All the White People" was a media experiment. It's like, if you hate yourself, then who do they yell at? I mean, I'm not a completely inept jackass. I understand why it's OK for black people to use racial slurs about themselves, but it isn't OK for white people. But at the same time, there's a double standard there, and the world has become so stupid that they don't understand things like Jewish humor — self-deprecating humor. Those old Jewish comedians didn't just make black jokes — they joked about everyone, including themselves. But now you can't do that. You'll get sued. The NAACP will get involved — it's ridiculous.
We're supposed to have attained this enlightenment, but the truth is that it's gone completely in reverse. Instead we have a complete suppression of everything that's real and honest. And it seems that suppression is now equal to acceptance. "Kill All the White People" was making fun of that whole thing, but that was also just the beginning of that whole era. You could still be kinda raunchy in the early Nineties and get away with it. Now, forget it. If you're not Nickelback, you're not gonna see radio play.
WERE THE INTERLUDES — "FAY WRAY COME OUT AND PLAY," "3.0.I.F" AND "DARK SIDE OF THE WOMB" — MEANT TO BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN SEGUES?
ABRUSCATO I'm not too sure. [Laughs] I mean, we were very influenced by Pink Floyd, so that's where "Dark Side of the Womb" obviously comes from. We wanted to make a soundscape that followed how the record traveled from beginning to end. I think "3.0.I.F." had to do with Peter turning 30 that year.
SILVER I was just stoned out of my face one day and made some crazy shit and said, "Peter, listen to this!" And he said, "That's great — let's put it on the album!" That was the kind of atmosphere we were working in. Anything went. And then he came in and made up titles and added stuff or whatever. He said one of them sounded like him dying on a motorcycle before he would ever turn 30, so it became "3.0.I.F." But the best part was listening to people read into it. We'd do press, and the interviewers would have these insanely complex explanations for something that was absolutely meaningless.
STEELE "3.0.I.F." came from falling off my motorcycle the day before my 30th birthday, but the others ... well ... everything about Type O Negative is not what it seems. It's an inside joke, it's not fuckin' serious. It all has to do with science fiction movies, horror movies, Saturday morning cartoons and fast food.
THE INTERLUDES AND THE HARDCORE SONGS WERE CUT FROM THE DIGIPAK RE-RELEASE OF BLOODY KISSES, AND "SUSPENDED IN DUSK" WAS ADDED IN THEIR PLACE. WHY?
STEELE I actually kind of ordered that, because I felt that most of the tracks were slow and dreary, but there were a couple of faster ones that I thought broke up the whole vibe. So, we got rid of those and put in "Suspended in Dusk" to make up for taking out the two faster tracks.
That was a song that was left off the original album, but we actually redid it for the digipak. And you know, I like the digipak version better, but I don't feel comfortable ripping off the public by putting out a product a second time. I don't think that's fair. But it was nice to have an opportunity to repair what I felt was a musical mistake.
HICKEY Peter was trying to push toward the vision of Type O that came out on October Rust. Every song on that album has the same feel, the same atmosphere. It's a single piece of work. There was a lot of spontaneity in the original version of Bloody Kisses, but he wanted to take it out. And "Suspended in Dusk" is a really slow, endless, painful song, isn't it? The only way you could sit through that song is if you're playing it. We tried doing it live once, and the audience looked like they wanted to vomit. It was like listening to a seasick elephant for an hour.
SILVER I think the digipak sucks. Part of Type O to me is the eclectic insanity. Going from a song like "Black No. 1" to "Kill All the White People" is the whole thing, and it's such an accident that even Peter doesn't get it half the time. Which is fine. He doesn't have to get it — he just has to do it. But he wanted continuity, so they put out the digipak.
THERE'S A HIDDEN MESSAGE AT THE END OF "SET ME ON FIRE." WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU SAYING?
SILVER It's an "I Am the Walrus" spoof. The Beatles said, "Everybody's fucked up, everybody smokes pot." We said, "Everybody smokes pot, Monte Conner sucks cock." We kinda did it to take a shot at [Roadrunner Records A&R man] Monte, but it backfired and he loved it. Upon reflection, I'm sorry we did it because it gave him credibility.
ABRUSCATO [Laughs] Monte didn't know what we were saying for years. But we were just being wise guys. We were chanting and doing that whole "I Am the Walrus" kind of vibe, and it was years without him having a clue. I'm actually surprised to hear that he knows about it now, because I never divulged anything. So, I guess Josh must've told him. But wow — I guess he's got a good sense of humor, because that record sold a million copies. [Laughs] I don't know if I'd be so cool about it.
IT'S BEEN SAID THAT THE SONG "BLOOD & FIRE" WASN'T WELL-LIKED WITHIN THE BAND.
HICKEY That fuckin' song is horrible, and it's even worse live. There's always some fat goth girl who's like, "Why didn't you play 'Blood & Fire?" I hate it. Peter probably loves that song.
ABRUSCATO Peter was the only one who liked it. I remember all three of us cringing when we had to play that song. … It was an OK song, but it sounded more like filler to me. It was a little too Eighties — it felt like we were doing something that was trapped in another era. But Peter had a big thing for it, so I gave it my all nonetheless.
SILVER The song is too Eighties, and it's got an old Judas Priest riff. The romantic stuff never did it for me. I'd rather complain about romance than try to acquire it. Acquiring romance is something that you do at a bar when you're drunk. And you're probably drunk because you can't cope with the fact that you can't acquire romance. But acquisition, to me, doesn't really have a place in music.
STEELE Well, it meant something to me. I'm not into the whole blood thing, but I do have a smoke and fire fetish. All of my songs are like my kids, and when it comes to kids, you don't look at them like they were when they were first born. They grow, and you look at them as they are now. When we play those songs now, I look at them in a different way. But we have not played "Blood & Fire" in a very long time. And we probably won't ever again.
THE BAND MEMBERS FROM LIFE OF AGONY DID BACKUPS ON THE HARDCORE SONGS.
STEELE They did, and they were also in the "Black No. 1" video, dressed as the guys from A Clockwork Orange.
ABRUSCATO That was actually the same year I did River Runs Red with [Life of Agony]. I think the albums were recorded two months apart. If I recall correctly, February and March was Bloody Kisses and May was River Runs Red. For a couple of months, I was in both bands. Josh was producing Life of Agony and kind of cultivating them at the same time, so whenever we needed big-sounding gang vocals, we brought in those guys. And then later [in 1994] I joined Life of Agony.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SONG FROM BLOODY KISSES?
STEELE It's a very logical and reasonable question, but it's like asking me to pick my favorite kid.
SILVER I hate to choose favorites, but I know you're gonna make me. I like "Death in the Family." Even though it's not up there on the popular list like "Christian Woman" or "Black No. 1," it has that honest feeling to it. It's the combination of the melody and the lyrics that make it a masterpiece to me. I go for the honest themes, because you do them better. There's no better motivation for art than honesty.
HICKEY I would say "Christian Woman," even though it's the hit and it's the most obvious one. But to this day, I love playing it onstage. It's the quintessential Type O Negative song.
ABRUSCATO "Too Late: Frozen," probably. I'm a big fan of the psychedelic sound that song had. But overall, I like the whole album with the exception of "Blood & Fire." That's at the bottom of the list
WHO CAME UP WITH THE CONCEPT FOR THE ALBUM COVER?
STEELE I suppose that was my idea. I'm not really sure how it came about, but there's nothing better than having two flowers in one place at one time, so that's what we did. I still complain that the color is off, though. It should be PMS-360.
SILVER The album cover tortures me to this day. Let's put it this way: If you want to have two gothic girls on the cover, never leave it to a guy who has blond hair and is from Atlanta, which is what the photographer was. Those girls are so ungothic, it's not even funny. But that kinda makes it Type O, I guess. I think Peter had a darker idea in mind, but he likes lesbians, so it's OK.
WHAT ABOUT THE SLOGAN ON THE BACK: "DON'T MISTAKE LACK OF TALENT FOR GENIUS"?
ABRUSCATO That was Peter. Classic Brooklyn sarcasm.
SILVER Peter had a knack for slogans, and that was a big part of the self-deprecating nature of Type O. You know, we never had expectations of success in any form — and really, we were only moderately successful — but the way I feel we did succeed is that I think we influenced a part of music that not every band gets to: self-awareness. That was our success: not selling a million records. That was Peter's way of saying, "Hey, we just made this dopey album. You might think it's a work of genius, but guess what? It isn't."
STEELE Exactly. What we do is not brilliance. It's moronic. We're just four dickheads from Brooklyn. That's it. I can't believe that this band has been together for almost 20 fuckin' years.
SILVER It's funny, because a lot of the fans we picked up from Bloody Kisses just saw the slick side and never got the sarcasm. Like with "Black No. 1," there's a whole group of people that didn't get it — and they still don't. They think Type O is a serious rock band. Even some of the band members have become quite serious about themselves, and that to me is a bigger loss than the fans. [Laughs] When you can't spoof on yourself, you're fucked.
BUT THEN YOU OPEN UP THE CD BOOKLET, AND YOU SEE ANOTHER STATEMENT : "THIS ENTIRE OPUS IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY ONLY TO HAVE THEIR HEARTS UNANESTHETICALLY RIPPED OUT: BASE NOT YOUR JOY UPON THE DEEDS OF OTHERS, FOR WHAT IS GIVEN CAN BE TAKEN AWAY. NO HOPE= NO FEAR. — PETER" THAT SEEMS LIKE AN EARNEST STATEMENT. IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE HE'S FUCKING AROUND.
ABRUSCATO No, you know, he's not. Those records contain all sides of emotion, from anger to love, and I think that's what was appealing to people. People could relate to those messages, too. In this case, the guy who's pissed off at a girlfriend who cheated on him.
SILVER Yeah, I think that's a heartfelt statement. Like I said, I think most of us spent a lot of time coping with those kind of relationships and the pain that they bring. And Peter is certainly far from being an exception. In fact, he probably takes things harder than most people.
IN RETROSPECT, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D CHANGE ABOUT BLOODY KISSES?
HICKEY No way. I mean, I'm a better guitar player now, but the band will always be known for Bloody Kisses. That's the platinum album I have on my wall.
SILVER There are things I regret, but I'd never go back and change a body of work because I don't wanna live in the past. I mean, when we do a record, I'm there for every part of the process — the rehearsals, the recording, the mixing. So, by the time we finish, I'm just fucking sick of it and I get away from it as quickly as possible.
A finished work, for better or worse, is finished. Put it away and do another one. Don't harp on what could've been. The sum of your artistic career is your cumulative experience. Do you think [Vincent] van Gogh sat there and went, "Those fuckin' sunflowers should've been more yellow!" I hope not.
ABRUSCATO The only thing I would change is that I probably would have stuck around longer after it came out. But once in a blue moon, I'll put on that record and it'll blow me away. There's moments on Bloody Kisses that I don't think even Type O Negative themselves could reproduce. It was a total classic, instantly, and I don't think anyone could pull off what we pulled off on that record.
For me, that record was the pinnacle of Peter's writing. I've heard all the records, and they're all good, but I just think that record stands a cut above the rest. I've got the plaque hanging on my wall, and that's something I'm proud to show people. So, I wouldn't change a single thing about it.
STEELE We had no idea what the fuck we were doing when we did that album, and I believe that's apparent. Everything I've done with this band, I'd like to remix or redo slightly, but it's like Paul McCartney said, you know: "Let it be." But I don't like the color. It should've been PMS-360 green