The first interview with Josh Silver
Metal Matt: What were your music influences growing up? Josh Silver: Marijuana and valium. Metal: Does being in a band affect your listening to music? Are you as much as a fan now as you were before you were in a band? Josh: Well, I think I'm the same fan. I'm still liking the same things I liked when I was young. Beatles and Black Sabbath will always be in my CD player, regardless of my age. Metal: Judging by the number of covers you do, Black Sabbath must be a major influence of the band. Even during soundcheck I heard "Symptom of the Universe" and "Supernaut." How was touring with Ozzy, as he was part of the original Black Sabbath? Josh: I think it was quite an honor for us. Here's somebody we've looked up to musically for quite a long time. If you're going to be stuck listening to one band every night it may as well be Ozzy. It was absoultely excellent and I would do it again in a second. Metal: How does playing clubs like this compare to playing arenas like on the Ozzy tour? Josh: I think this is a more personal environment. It's a chance for the band to get a little closer to the people as opposed to being on a forty foot high stage and looking like ants to most people. I think it's harder to put across a show in an arena than it is in a club. We'll find out tonight. Metal: What's your favorite breakfast cereal? Josh: Marijuana. Metal: For breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Josh: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You got it. No, I hate cereal personally. I eat one meal a day. That's it. It keeps the weight off. I don't feel good if I'm bloated. I feel good being underweight and anorexic. Metal: What is life like on tour? Do you get any time to yourself when you come to a city, or is your schedule basically dictated for you? Josh: Sometimes you get time to yourself, but you're very limited on getting around. Financially you're very limited. You have to try to do as much as you can. That usually isn't very much. Metal: Do you enjoy playing music more than producing? Josh: No, I think I enjoy producing it much more. Metal: If Type O Negative, God forbid, would ever cease to be, would you look into producing records. I know you have produced Life of Agony, Pist-On, and your own CDs. Any thoughts of a career as a producer? Josh: Thoughts, but I have a feeling if things go badly with Type O Negative I may be so fed up with everything I may just leave music completely and become a farmer. Metal: Thoughts on farming? Josh: Marijuana. Metal: Grow your own, sell it? Have a big plantation? Josh: I hear it's quite profitable and completely entertaining. Metal: I've heard that marijuana is the number one cash crop in the United States. Josh: If it was legal, think of the deficit reduction we'd have. Metal: I take it you're very much in favor of legalization. Josh: Either legalize marijuana or go back to prohibition and can alcohol, too. One is no better or worse than the other.
RRR: What made you decide to go with the darker goth sound on October Rust? JS: "It was an unconscious decision. I think the material just called for a more trippy, psychedelic feeling, so we went with the psychedelic swamp. You hear material and automatically, you want to hear it done a certain way. When Peter (Steele) presents his material, we know how it should sound." RRR: Do you think the success of the song, "Black No. 1" took Type O to a level of commercialism that you didn't want? JS: "Didn't expect certainly. Didn't want? Yeah, it comes with a lot of hassles, but we are trying to make a living now, and we're putting all our time into it, and we are concerned if we're going to be eating in the next few months. RRR: So you accept the fact that you're considered mainstream now? JS: "I look at radio and videos as commercials for what is the true art, and that is the album. So if people really care about the band, they're going to go out and buy the album anyway. That's the one untouched thing that a band gets to put across. Sometimes bands don't get that untouched thing. Fortunately, we do. To me, that's the only true art. Everything else is just a glorified commercial." RRR: How did the tour with Ozzy go? JS: "Very well. There were a lot of people and it was really cool. I think Ozzy is someone that everyone in the band collectively has a lot of respect for, being that we were all Black Sabbath worshipers for all of our lives." RRR: You are all Beatles fans as well, right? JS: "Yes! If I had to pick one band to be stuck with on an island forever, it would be the Beatles. I think they have about a 99% influence-- in a roundabout way-- on any pop or rock artist writes today. I think it's inevitable that they completely influenced the face of music. Thirty albums, completely diverse material, each incredibly original . . . I can't say a bad thing about any of them." RRR: Type O Negative has had a lot of controversy. What do you think about the people who accuse you of being, say, pro-rape or otherthings? JS: "I really have no different an opinion about them than I would anyone else. I really don't have anything against the people who are narrow minded against Type O. They're just bored and need somebody to hate. We're like a service. They want to hate and we want to be hated. People love to blame their problems on others, so why not blame four assholes from Brooklyn for the problems of an entire continent. I'm sure we had a lot to do with it." RRR: Is Type O really as deep and dark as you lead people to believe or is there another side we haven't seen yet? JS: "Well, we never took ourselves seriously. I was hoping that would be apparent from the first few records. We don't think we're vampires or anything. We're just a bunch of schmucks from Brooklyn who love making music. If people can identify with what we're saying, that's great. If not, that's great too. There's going to be a million different opinions and we can't worry about them all. Is there a side that hasn't come outyet? I don't know. I think we've been pretty sarcastic and humorous from the very beginning, so I'd have to say no!" (Laughs.) RRR: What is your perception of the music industry today? JS: "Wow. That's a loaded question! Will you still talk to me after I answer this? (Laughs-- Twice in one minute!) I have what you would probably consider a negative outlook on humanity. I think there is very little integrity left in anything. Whether you're talking about the presidential election or our next album, there's a lack of integrity in the world, period. I certainly see it rearing it's head constantly in the music business. People just want to make money, that's all they give a shit about. That's sad, because that should not be integrated with art -- that's business. I don't see the two ever meeting happily." RRR: What is your definition of Type O Negative, the band? JS: "Well, I hate labels, but we call it "Goth-adelic." We invent our own labels in order to avoid others, but nevertheless, people will label us. They'll call us metal, they'll call us whatever. It doesn't really matter. We've grown accustomed to the labeling even though it's inaccurate. There isn't anything we wouldn't do, no matter how stupid or silly it might get." RRR: Are you basically happy with where Type O is right now? JS: "I'm satisfied. Happiness is something that has eluded me for years. So the word 'happy' is not really in my vocabulary. I like to refer to it as 'less miserable.' I mean, you pull into a gig in a bus and people automatically think you're rich. Come on. We're on Roadrunner Records. We work our asses off. We're far from rich. But, we work hard, we're proud of it. People think we're livin' it up, doin' drugs and having a good time. And we are... doing drugs. But not because we're living it up. It's because it's hard living on a bus for 18 months, and that's the best way to deal with it." RRR: How do you treat your fans? JS: "Depends on the fan. Some deserve all the respect in the world, some don't, whether they're a fan or not. Depends on how I'm treated. I don't hold anyone in higher regard just because they're a fan of Type O Negative. Lower regard if anything." RRR: What type of fans does Type O attract? JS: "Well, since they cut down on patients at the mental hospitals, I've noticed our album sales have went up. But, I think we have all types of fans. Whether a metal head or -- I hate to say this -- alternative fans, we attract an eclectic group." RRR: Any final words? JS: "I thank you for your patience, and my sincerest apologies."