Interview with Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative
by Steph Perry
March 15, 2008
Type O Negative’s latest album Dead Again has received thunderous acclaim. What stands out in your mind the most from the writing and recording work?
We spent a really long time in our rehearsal space putting the songs together. I remember at one point it felt like we were never going to get the songs recorded. There were some disruptions and setbacks. Sometimes it felt like we were doing something pretty interesting. I was very relieved when we were finally recording tracks and even then, I wasn’t convinced that the record was going to be released in my lifetime.
You’re giving the fans what they’re dying for, with two choices on the special edition Dead Again re-release. And the Vinyl package is unbelievable. How involved does the band get in deciding what goes into the package?
I’ve read some fans complaining that this was done! They’re complaining that they should’ve had the dvd with the initial release and that they’re being “forced?” to buy it again. Peter really gets into the packaging. I can’t say that I’m that blown away by the red cd but I was really impressed with the vinyl. I think that it’s cool that the added dvd is with both packages. The vinyl also comes with a t-shirt. Both packages are limited runs so it’s not like everyone that bought the green version will be able to get the red one. It does offer a little bit more bang for the buck. I loved vinyl when I was younger. Maybe it reminds me more of my childhood and that’s why I like it. There’s just something really tangible about it. It’s hard to describe. Both the band and the label work on the packaging together.
How did the Dead Again re-release party go at Duff’s in Brooklyn? Sounds like that’s a pretty special place for you guys.
When we first arrived, there wasn’t anyone there. I was a little concerned but after a few drinks, it didn’t really matter who was there. A little bit later into the party lots of people showed up and we had a great time. A large part of the night is a blur though. There aren’t too many bars like that around here. Jimmy Duff is a great guy and it’s a local spot for us. That night just had a different reason for hanging out.
You bring new depth as a musician to each release. What was the most challenging song for you on the new album?
It’s really hard to pinpoint one song as being the hardest. Some songs went together faster than others. I’m thinking that These Three Things was pretty challenging. It’s a very long song with many different parts. Trying to make it all work together and feel good was challenging.
Will TON be touring in 2008?
We just announced a co headlining tour with Hatebreed that starts in May and takes us around the country. It’s the next version of the Jagermeister tour. Details are still being sorted out but most of the dates were announced last week.
What’s up with Seventh Void?
The record is about 99% percent finished. There’s just a few things left to be done before Vinnie Paul and Sterling Winfield start mixing and mastering it. We’re putting the artwork together now also. Everyone involved is really excited about it and I can’t wait for it to finally be released. We did a couple of shows locally but right now, the focus is to get the record finished. We’re shooting for a summer release. It’s going to be released on Big Vin Records here in the states.
You’ve got to be one of the busiest guys in the business, with TON and Seventh Void, and yet you make the time to play in Earl’s Court, your Zeppelin tribute band. How do you juggle all this work yet still find time for a personal life?
You would think that playing in a few bands would keep me busy but there really is a lot of down time. Each band has moments when things are busy but I manage to have quite a bit of time at home. I guess the main reason why I am involved in a few things is because all of them aren’t busy enough for me. There’s a lot of time off with Type O Negative. It’s not my preference but that’s just the way it is. We don’t tour as much as we used to and that makes for quite a bit of time off. Seventh Void isn’t really all that busy but I’m hoping that’s going to change. I haven’t done anything with Danzig since December of 2006. We’ve talked about possibly doing something but there isn’t any timeframe on that. Earls Court plays maybe, once or twice a month here at home. We hardly ever rehearse so there’s plenty of downtime there. So far, everything seems to be working well with each other and it all manages to keep me busy while still having a personal life.
Has Myspace, iTunes and other online music services allowed you to broaden your audience?
Those avenues have certainly made bringing your music to people a lot easier. It does have it’s disadvantages however. I think that it’s great that someone can instantly post their own music and others can check it out. The bad side is that there is a lot of crap out there and the biggest problem is with illegal downloading. I don’t understand why some people feel it’s their right to download songs without having to pay for them.
Any other news or info you would like to share?
I’m really excited about hitting the road again this spring and I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you so much for your time on this interview. Best wishes to you.