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For a band that has been producing music and mayhem for 18 years, Type O Negative is still alive and well.
"Well, we're all nuts in the head, but other than that we're doing fine," said guitarist Kevin Hickey. "I see Type O Negative sort of like this old, broken-down car and the parts keep going and you keep replacing them because you can't afford to buy a new one."
The Brooklyn-based band - with Hickey, singer-bassist Peter Steele, keyboardist Josh Silver, and drummer Johnny Kelly - returns to Toledo Monday night for the Jagermeister Music Tour with Hatebreed and 3 Inches of Blood.
While critics usually categorize Type O's music as goth rock, Hickey said there's much more to the band than the genre known for dark lyrics and equally dark clothes.
"The initial idea for Type O Negative was to draw in the elements of dirge, industrial, and artcore music, which was a pretty original idea," he said. "The [band's debut] album 'Slow, Deep, and Hard' was based on that idea."
But when the group started out in 1989, its music was a bit too far outside the mainstream for most listeners to appreciate.
"Of course, people didn't get it at first - guys with screwdrivers onstage making noise for a half hour straight. They just looked at us," Hickey said with a laugh. "Then the gothic thing became a bigger part of it. But it's not the whole thing. It's maybe 20, 30 percent of Type O Negative."
The band's menacing image and full-bodied sonic assault are lightened by its sense of humor and slick, if twisted, wordplay, as seen in song titles such as "Dark Side of the Womb," "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend," "Life Is Killing Me," and "The Profits of Doom."
The group's latest CD is "Dead Again," featuring a photo of notorious Russian mystic Rasputin on the cover.
"It's an old joke," Hickey said of the cover photo. "We used to call Peter Rasputin because he could drink four bottles of vodka, get shot in the head and thrown off a bridge, and he'd still be walking around."
Six of the 10 songs on "Dead Again" are seven minutes long or longer, with the "These Three Things" clocking in at 14:21. The disc contains more than an hour and 17 minutes' worth of music.
"These songs are actually abridged," Hickey said. "It was like six months in the studio and a lot of it was these huge jam outros. We'd play them for a half hour, 40 minutes straight. We developed them so they'd sound raw, so they'd have a live jam feel. Then we consolidated them and condensed them just to cut them down to fit [on the CD]."
Paring down the song selections and trimming the final choices has been Type O Negative's standard operating procedure since the start.
"We never lack for music. We always have too much," Hickey said.
The group had been planning to record a new disc this summer, but a one-shot appearance on the Jagermeister Music Tour in New Jersey landed them a co-headline slot on the entire seven-week tour.
Hickey said Type O Negative had been planning to go into the studio as prepared as ever to make a new recording. "Nothing's written. It's the same as we always do. We just take a week off and go for it," he said.
The Jagermeister Music Tour with Type O Negative and Hatebreed will be at Headliners, 4500 North Detroit Ave., Monday night, with 3 Inches of Blood opening. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $23 in advance from all Ticketmaster outlets. Information: 419-693-5300 or online at www.headlinerstoledo.com.
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