INTERVIEW WITH TYPE O NEGATIVE FROM TheCelebrityCafe.com ARCHIVES
Kenny Hickey of the band Type O Negative is a man who’s certainly not afraid to tell his story from his success to his failings.
DM) I noticed that you are also a fellow Brooklyn native.
KH) Yeah, the whole band is from Brooklyn.
DM) How did the band meet in Brooklyn?
KH) It’s a small place if you play music. Two rehearsal studios, and one club. I actually knew Peter (Steele) for years because my brother grew up with Louis Vito, the drummer from Carnivour. I had known Louie since I was eight years old. I met Peter and Josh through him. I was about fifteen when Carnivour needed a guitarist. Louie knew me, and he suggested me for the job. At the time, I was a scrawny little runt, and my arms were as thick as a broomstick. Peter came up to me in some club on E. 36th St. in Brooklyn. What was the name of that club again? (Pauses)
DM) 36th St. and Quentin? Didn’t that club just burn down?
KH) (laughs) Yeah. It’s all burned down now. I just remember Louie saying, “You’ve got to work out.” And then, he said, “Do you have a Marshall Stack?” “No.” And then he said, “You got to get a Marshall’s stack.” This was when I was fifteen years old. Years later, I did some of my first recordings in Josh’s studio. At the time Type O formed, it was a time when everybody’s past projects had failed or succeeded in a half a– way.
DM) So what sold you on Type O Negative?
KH) Nobody else in the neighborhood was focused. What sold me on Type O, was when I first invited Peter up to my house and he started showing me his music, I knew it was something else. My mom was there, and she’s quite a screamer. He started yelling, “Lower that sh–!” That was Peter’s first overwhelmed reaction to my mother. First she screamed at him, and then she asked him to drive her to buy a Christmas tree.
DM) So what does dear old mama think of the band now?
KH) My mother was always against music. Her famous line, which actually could be inside the album was, “You’ll never get anything out of this besides a free drink and a whore.”
KH) These days, I’ve made a little money, but I’m no rich man, that’s for sure.
DM) I’m also amazed at the fanatic fans you have for the band.
KH) Yeah, we do. That’s how I would describe us. Almost an “above ground” cult band. I think that’s part of the charm.
DM) What are some of the freakiest things your fans have done so far?
KH) We’ve had some stalkers. We had some girls from Texas once who came up and searched us out. Just from the information in the album, they were looking for us.
DM) Did they actually find you guys?
KH) They found Peter and Josh. Josh flipped out. (Imitating Josh) “I’ll call the cops on you.” Peter gets a lot of sh– ,you know. He’s gotten his windshield busted. He gets boxes of human feces left on his front stoop.
DM) Why would somebody do that?
KH) I don’t know. Because of some of the brutal nature of the stuff we do, some fans think that’s what we like. We might have been used to the box of human feces as a metaphor, but that doesn’t mean we like it.
DM) If your die-hard fans got to know the real you, would they be shocked at all by the truth they discovered?
KH) They would probably be shocked to find out that we’re a bunch of goof-offs, with strange senses of humor and everything. People seem to take us all a little bit too seriously. People have to believe in something a certain way, and usually when they picture it, it’s got to be in same way. It’s got to be funny, or it’s got to be sad, or it’s got to be be angry. And the truth is, Type O is all of those things.
DM) So, what do you guys do for fun? What have you done for the past few weeks now that you’re home in Brooklyn?
KH) Past few weeks, working.
DM) Well, maybe a better question is, what do you do after work?
KH) Fight with my wife, (laughs) I really enjoy my daughter’s company, and I write. I write stories.
DM) Have any of them been published?
KH) Not as yet. Everything I write is currently on the Internet.
DM) Have you ever thought of expanding that further and doing something professionally with the writing?
KH) I want to, eventually…break out and maybe write for a living. That might be nice to break out and maybe go to independent films. Music is just like every other medium, or maybe every other art business is going to be just as much hell. Maybe I’m getting too old to be touring around the world, staying away from my family for months on end.
DM) There have been times when you’ve been away for months?
KH) There’s going to be. We have a six-week tour coming up and it’s going to be rough for me. The thing about me is, I always saw myself as the type of personality that was made for the road, which is true… I am a great runner. I run from everything. But now things have changed, I’ve got a daughter now.
DM) Does she understand what you do?
KH) No, she understands that I go to work and I fly across the ocean. So she doesn’t really understand. But I’ve also changed things. I was a really horrible alcoholic. I went to rehab and tried to clean myself up. So this time out, the road is going to be a little rough for me.
DM) Is this the first time you’ve been out on the road since then?
KH) I have six months sober, and then we’ve done nine days of press in Los Angeles, and I found myself, after six months of being sober, drunk on La Cienega Boulevard.
DM) Oh no.
KH) Yeah, I had a bad bounce. And then I got home again, and I did all right. I just got back from Europe, where we did two festivals, and we did lot of press. I found myself sitting at two in the morning in the hotel, wrestling with the wet bar. I drank a few times there. So when we go out on the American tour, I’m going to have my tour manager set up AA meetings for me every day.
DM) That’s impressive that you’ll be doing the meetings.
KH) So it’s that, on top of missing my daughter…
DM) And missing your wife, that must be tough, too.
KH) (sighs) Yes, yes. So it’s not going to be the same way I used to be when I used to tear all over the world and drink and f— myself to death. That was my whole plan, and now a monkey wrench has been thrown into that plan.
DM) I’m sure that would put a little bit of a damper on a relationship if on this tour, you went out did all that stuff.
KH) There’s been lots of dampers; me and my wife have been together for 13 years. We’ve had some good years and some that were not so good.
DM) You’ve been together thirteen years. It’s pretty impressive, especially considering the lifestyle that you’ve led.
KH) We’re both masochists, I guess. We’re both two people trying to reach something that at most times seems unreachable, and we haven’t given up yet.