Type O Negative is bringing its "mesmerizing melding of dense, Gothic heaviness and song-oriented, '60s-influenced pop" to the Des Moines bar Super Toad tonight as part of its ambitious national tour in support of its new recording, October Rust.
Although the tour involves 23 concerts in 36 days, across 16 states and two Canadian provinces, Type O Negative drummer Johnny Kelly doesn't consider the tour ambitious at all.
"It sounds like a lot of days off," he said. "I like working straight through every day better than having days off because on show days you don't think about home."
Kelly has not had a lot of time to think about home. While October Rust has already become gold-certified, the first single, "Love You To Death," has been burning up the music charts. Not to mention, the band just began a tour that will last at least through summer.
"We're going to tour the United States until April, then we'll be doing a United Kingdom run through Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and Europe," Kelly said. "In November we'll be performing at the "Die Em Up" festival in Holland"
After all of the touring is over, Type O will hit the studio once again. "We're definitely not going to wait another three years to release a new record like we did between Bloody Kisses and October Rust," Kelly said.
"We're anticipating entering the studio after the summer and we might release a new record, perhaps at the beginning of 1998."
In the meantime Type O Negative just finished a cover version of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" with Ozzy Osbourne for the soundtrack to Private Parts starring Howard Stern.
The band also completed an instrumental version of "Haunted" from October Rust for the video game Descent 2, and a video for "Love You To Death".
October Rust is Type O Negative's fourth release following Slow, Deep and Hard (1991), The Origin of Feces (1992) and Bloody Kisses (1993).
The group has experienced a lot of changes during the six years since its inception, including the addition of Kelly after the release of Bloody Kisses.
"I decided I wanted to be a drummer when I was 15 years old," Kelly said. "A kid on my block taught me how to play and I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn't afford a drum set, so I would play on other people's drums as a hobby."
Kelly ended up getting a job as a drum technician for the band a few years later. He had been friends with guitarist Kenny Hickey for a long time and had played in bands with him since they were younger.
"I knew Peter (Steele, vocals and bass) from Carnivore, a group that he was in, and I have also known Sal since I was 15 years old," Kelly explained. "Sal decided to leave the band, so they needed another drummer. I asked for an audition and ended up with the job."
Commercial success is something the band has rarely dreamed of achieving. "Overall, it was a surprise," Kelly said, "but it wasn't an overnight success. I think that we succeeded because no one does what we do. We've been adding a different dimension to our music and our fans appreciate that."
That appreciation has led to the gold status of October Rust, which is something that Kelly is not particularly proud of. "It's just something that takes up space on my wall," he said.
"Having a gold-certified album is almost like being forced into a status position. It sets this standard that we have to live up to. Now people won't judge our albums by quality of expression, but on how many copies it sold," he said.
Just making the album proved to be a challenge for the band, let alone dealing with its success.
According to front man Peter Steele, the band members decided to follow their hearts and penises and see where it took them. "That usually leads to trouble, but that's what I'm used to," he said.
Kelly is a bit more optimistic, especially about the recording process. "It was exhilarating, frustrating and enjoyable. Every day and hour was different."
Kelly is particularly enthusiastic about touring. "The response has been pretty good and I suspect it will be in Iowa as well.
This will be the second time we have been here as headliners and we've also toured here with Ozzy Osbourne, Queensryche and Pantera."
So what can fans expect to hear at the concert?
"A lot of mistakes and wrong chords," Kelly jests. "Usually it is a band effort. We play whatever sounds best with the set. We'll be playing a lot of material from October Rust, including "Cinnamon Girl," and we'll be playing "Christian Woman" because we're obligated to play that song for the rest of our lives."
Kelly listed other possibilities such as "Wolf Moon (Zoanthropic Paranoia)," which the band has supposedly substituted for "Summer Breeze."
Type O Negative will be playing at Super Toad (1424 E. Euclid Ave.) in Des Moines tonight with the rock/industrial outfit Sister Machine Gun and Drain opening the show.
Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster for $14.50 and will be available at the door. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 6p.m.