IN WHICH WE REMEMBERED A FALLEN HERO
I’m not gonna do a regular worst week this week, because I wanna ramble for a minute. I’m sure no one will be too disappointed.
I really can’t believe it’s been a year since Peter Steele died… I also can’t believe he’s really dead. If you haven’t already read Anso’s two-part rememberance of the man, featuring interviews with bandmates, family members, and friends, you absolutely must do so — it’s amazing. Here’s part one, and here’s part two.
But I’d like to take a moment and pay tribute to the guy in a way that I know might seem weird — by discussing the song “Enemy of the State” from the Roadrunner United album. Steele didn’t write the music — Joey Jordison and engineer/mixer/producer Matt Sepanic did — but the keyboards and samples are by his Type O Negative bandmate, Josh Silver, and Steele did write the vocal melody and lyrics, and those contributions from Steele make the song really special.
See, the entire track is sung in a made-up language. And it sounds pretty authentic — I didn’t know it was made up until I read an interview with Jordison. I honestly thought, “Oh, Peter Steele is fluent in some cool Eastern European language. Awesome.”
Singing words that don’t actually mean anything might seem crazy, but I get the distinct impression that they meant something to him. I mean, check out his vocal delivery, the way that he laughs after certain moments — he was most certainly telling a story. He conveyed that narrative purely through sound and the tone of his fantastic voice — maybe he was making a commentary on how lyrics don’t matter, maybe he was just trying an experiment, or maybe he was just fucking around. I just find the fact that he even thought to approach the song this way so brilliantly weird. Even if it’s not necessarily the definitive Peter Steele song, the way he made it is definitively Peter Steele.
Vince and I will be away most of next week, but we leave you in the competent hands of Anso DF and Corey Mitchell. Try to take it easy on those dudes and not miss us too much.