Ex-TYPE O NEGATIVE Guitarist Wants AXL ROSE To Sing At Hypothetical PETER STEELE Tribute Concert

June 15, 2023

In a new interview with Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio, ex-TYPE O NEGATIVE guitarist Kenny Hickey was asked if he is surprised by the enduring popularity of his former band, more than 13 years after the passing of TYPE O frontman Peter Steele. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah. It's surprising, and I'm very grateful for it. I mean, the band has transcended, which is amazing. It's reached a whole new generation. We're doing better than we were doing before Peter passed. [Laughs] [There's] a whole resurgence on it. Which is good. It's a testament to the work we put into it and the honesty we put into it and the years of sweat. There was realism to the music."

Hickey also talked about the possibility of him and the other surviving members of TYPE O NEGATIVE staging a Peter Steele tribute concert with various guest musicians. He said: "People have approached us to try and reform the band with a singer and go on the road. 'Cause everybody wants a money grab. We personally don't think Peter is replaceable by anybody, and it just wouldn't work."

He continued: "A tribute I'd love to do. I'm sure Johnny [Kelly, drums] would love to do it. I know Josh [Silver, keyboards] wouldn't do it, because Josh is picking up body parts in East New York [during his work as a paramedic]. He's not gonna stop that to start rehearsing. But yeah, we would do it with guest musicians and stuff. If somebody had the idea and got it together and got the logistics together, sure — I would be into it."

When Penfold noted that Kelly previously picked HEART's Ann Wilson as a singer he would like to tackle Steele's parts during a hypothetical tribute concert, Hickey said: "Ann Wilson would be great, but she probably never heard of us."

As for whom he would choose to sing at such an event, Kenny said: "Axl Rose [of GUNS N' ROSES]." He added that "it would be very fucking cool" to hear Axl sing a song like TYPE O's "Love You To Death".

Steele passed away in April 2010 from heart failure at the age of 48. Born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, he stood 6' 7" (201 cm) tall, and had a low, bass-heavy voice, which was one of the most recognizable features in TYPE O NEGATIVE's music.

Before forming TYPE O NEGATIVE, Steele played for the metal group FALLOUT and the thrash band CARNIVORE.

In a February 2022 interview with Loaded Radio, Kelly was asked if there has ever been any talk of staging a concert in honor of the band's late frontman Peter Steele. He responded: "Coffee talk. There was never any serious consideration, like, should we do something? Is there even a point of doing it? Or also, is it just a blatant cash grab? So all these things go through your head.

"People celebrate [Peter] all the time," he continued. "They do it daily. I see it online all the time and the impact that he had.

"Maybe somewhere down the road there may be something that's… I don't know. But I know that for me, it would have to include Kenny and Josh as well. Anything that we do, it would have to be the three of us. And there's no way you're getting Josh to do anything like that. [Laughs]"

Asked who would handle Peter's vocal parts if they ever did end up doing a tribute concert, Johnny said: "I don't know. I'd want a girl to do it. I'd want a female vocalist — like Ann Wilson or something like that. [Laughs] But even so, that's the first thing. When you think about doing some kind of tribute show, you're just gonna get all these people… Yes, Peter was very highly regarded by our peers and stuff like that, and you'll just get a bunch of dudes up there just trying to sound like Peter. And you can't do that. And it's, like, all right, so what's the most remote thing from Peter? You'd have to do something completely abstract. And I would say get a female vocalist. I think Peter would get a kick out of… He would get off on seeing a girl sing his songs, seeing a female sing them. And it would really stress the point of doing something as a tribute instead of trying to recreate something."

Back in 2020, Kelly told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about Steele: "Peter, for the most part, he was a clown. He was always joking around — sarcastic, very self-deprecating humor. Just the opposite of what the music portrayed. When we were working on music and stuff, the end result, he was very serious about what he wanted, how he wanted something to sound. Other times, he was a clown.

"I always said that he wanted to be a normal person, but because he was Peter, that was just not in the cards for him; it was completely impossible," he continued. "I bet he would love to just be able to hang out, go to the bar, have a few drinks. And we would try to do that, and the minute he would come out to the bar, everybody gravitated towards him. He couldn't go to the store by his house without something happening to him."

Asked if that was because of Peter's size, Johnny said: "I think so. He just had this very striking look. He didn't look normal. And he had fangs. [Laughs] He was six and a half feet tall, [had] long black hair and fangs. You're not gonna get the normal response when you're going grocery shopping."

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