SILVERTOMB TYPE O NEGATIVE, AGNOSTIC FRONT FORMER MEMBERS UNITE!
A CHAT WITH JOHNNY KELLY BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Former TYPE O NEGATIVE, AGNOSTIC FRONT Members Join Forces In SILVERTOMB. The guys Kenny Hickey (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID) - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG, SEVENTH VOID)- Drums, Joseph James (AGNOSTIC FRONT) – Guitar, Hank Hell (SEVENTH VOID) – Bass and Aaron Joos (EMPYREON) - Keyboards, Guitar just recently made their debut live show appearances at the Ride For Dime benefit which is the world-renowned charity event series created by late PANTERA guitarist Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's closest family and friends to keep his legacy alive.
The band is working on new music with hopes of a 2018 release. I had a chance to catch up with Johnny Kelly to ask him about the band and the progression from Seventh Void, how Dimebag influenced him, how it is working with Kenny Hickey again and how he has processed the death of Peter Steele.
.IS SILVERTOMB GOING TO BE A FULL FLEDGE MAIN BAND FOR YOU NOW? Kenny and I will always be attached to each other. We’ve been friends playing in bands together since we were teenagers. SILVERTOMB is an extension of that. We’ll have to see what the future brings for the band. I’m very proud of the music that we made. Each song takes an emotional part out of me and I would love for people to get off on it the way I do.
WHEN WILL WE SEE A RECORD OUT WITH YOU GUYS AND ANY HINTS OF SONGS OR ALBUM NAMES YOU CAN LET US IN ON? We’re looking for the right home for the band. Right now, that’s the priority. It’s already September. I don’t see anything being released this year. I would like to see a release before the summer of next year. We’ve posted some snippets on our social media pages for people check out and see what we’ve been up to for now.
WILL YOU BE DOING A FULL FLEDGE TOUR TO GET THE BAND OUT THERE IN THE PUBLIC EYE? I would love to get the band on the road. In this day and age, doing that is a lot harder than it used to be. It’s not as simple as putting everything in a van and wandering the country aimlessly. The touring aspect is an important part of which label we work with.
THE BAND LOOKS LIKE AN EXTENSION OF SEVENTH VOID SINCE YOU HAVE MAINLY THE SAME BAND MEMBERS SO WHY THE NAME CHANGE? We now have 2 new guys in the band. With Aaron and Joe added to the mix, the music has changed a bit. So why not start fresh?
WITH KEYBOARDS ADDED TO THE MIX IS THIS BRINGING YOU BACK TO THE TYPE O NEGATIVE DAYS WITH A MODERN TWIST? AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE AARON JOSS FOR THE JOB? When we started Seventh Void, the goal was to do something different than what we were doing in Type O Negative. Type O has been inactive for a long time now and there are elements of that music that I miss. So, some of that has made its way into SILVERTOMB’s music.
WORKING WITH KENNY AGAIN HOW IS IT AND HOW HAVE BOTH OF YOU GROWN AND DEVELOPED THROUGH THE YEARS AFTER TYPE O? WHAT DOES HE BRING INTO THE BAND THAT HAS MADE YOU GUYS GROW AS MUSICIANS? Kenny and I practically learned how to play music together. We learned a lot of rights and wrongs along the way. I think we’ve come to terms with who we are as players and try to focus on our strong points while trying to improve on the weaknesses. At the end of the day though, we just want to make music that we think is cool and can be proud of.
YOU ALSO HAVE IN THE BAND THE LEGEND OF JOSEPH JAMES HOW IS IT WORKING WITH HIM AND WHAT INFLUENCE DOES HE BRING INTO THE AND ON A PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LEVEL FOR YOU GUYS? Joe is great. He’s a great guitar player and his work ethic is tops. I think his chops brought a new level of excitement to what’s been going on.
YOU PLAYED THE RIDE FOR DIME BENEFIT WHICH YOU DEBUTED THE BAND; HOW WAS THE NIGHT AND HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR SET WENT? The show went well. The band seemed to be received well. It was nice to finally get the first show out of the way. I’ve participated in a couple of Dime events throughout the years.
WHAT DID DIME MEAN TO YOU IN A PERSONAL LEVEL AND AS A MAJOR INFLUENCE IN THE MUSIC COMMUNITY? Touring with Pantera was an experience that I always cherish. Dime was such a larger than life person. He always went out of his way to make you feel special. He didn’t have to do that. It was just his nature. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we were the best of friends. But we were friends for years and Dime made you feel like you were the best of friends. Because I knew him, his personality, to me, had a bigger impression that his guitar playing. But then I would watch him perform or listen to their records and get reminded very quickly at how much of an amazing guitar player he really was. I believe that he was one of Rock & Roll’s greatest guitarists.
WORKING WITH BANDS LIKE DANZIG AND OTHERS THROUGH THE YEARS HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR DRUMMING AS PROGRESSED AND DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THROWING IN THE TOWEL ANYTIME THROUGH THE YEARS AFTER TYPE O NEGATIVE ENDED? I thought about throwing in the towel all the time in Type O as well as now! I never expected to be doing this for as long as I have. But I’ve always enjoyed playing with other people doing different things. I think I’m always learning something from the different situations playing with different people.
I HEARD YOU MOVED TO TEXAS HOW HAS THAT CHANGED BEEN FOR YOU LEAVING THE CITY LIFE OF NY AND HAS IT INSPIRED CREATIVITY INTO YOUR MUSIC SINCE YOU MOVED? I recently moved to Frisco, TX. I am still getting settled in. I have spent quite a bit of time away from home since I moved there. I’m not sure how me living there is going to affect my music. I know that it means I’ll be spending more time in airports. All the bands that I work with are in different states!
LASTLY, I WAS A HUGE TYPE O NEGATIVE FAN I THINK I MADE IT TO ALL YOUR MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND SHOWS AND TALKED TO YOU ALL PREVIOUSLY IN YEARS BACK. THE PASSING OF PETER WAS SAD AND SHOCKING TO ME. I MISS HIM DEARLY. IT’S BEEN YEARS NOW BUT DO YOU MISS HIM AND HOW HAVE YOU POWERED THROUGH LOSING HIM AS A FRIEND AND A BAND MATE? Of course, I still miss Peter. I miss him as a friend and as a bandmate. Life is very different for me now that he isn’t here. Even though it’s been years since he passed away, I find myself still telling stories about him all the time. So, in a way, he’s still very much alive.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LOVE TO SHARE WITH YOUR FANS THAT YOU HAVEN’T SHARED BEFORE? Hard to say… I’ve told a million stories in my time… Thanks for the support.