As Type O Negative gear up to reissue Dead Again on Nov. 25 to commemorate the album's 15th anniversary, more insider details are being revealed about the album and its artwork. And apparently, the joke's on us.
Specifically, a joke relating to the cover. The visual famously features a black-and-white image of polarizing figure Rasputin, a renegade 19th century Russian mystic who was loved by some and hated by others (mostly those in power), which led to multiple assassination attempts in his lifetime.
While that facet alone gives a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Dead Again theme, there's a bit more, well, girth to the choice of image for Type O's album, which also is notable as their final release with late frontman Peter Steele.
Rasputin also apparently shares something in common with Steele, and not just their Eastern European heritage. As Type O guitarist Kenny Hickey revealed in a new interview with the Behind the Vinyl podcast, the similarities also extend to each man's reported very special endowment, one of which was once on display in all its glory in Playgirl.
Hickey shared in the interview, "For a long time, I was the one most likely to die, and then it switched over to [Peter]. So we were always waiting for somebody to die. After a while, it starts feeding into this mythology of ‘Maybe he’s indestructible.’ That’s what gave birth to the cover of Dead Again, of Rasputin."
The guitarist added, "I used to call [Peter] ‘Rasputin.’ Because he’d get drunk and you [couldn’t] kill him. He had a foot-long penis and he was dancing on the table. That was Peter. So I just called him Rasputin. That’s how it ended up becoming the cover. And then that starts feeding into this mythology, and then suddenly, reality check, then you realize we’re all mortal and everyone can die, and everyone will. So it’s a shock.”
Of course, Steele sadly was the first member of the band to pass away, succumbing to health issues in 2010. Though Hickey's reality check on mortality came more than 2-and-a-half years ago when he decided to get sober. "I'm lucky to be here, too. And I'm grateful, grateful to be here. And I love being sober. I should have [done] this 20 years ago," he said in the interview.
The 15th anniversary Dead Again reissue is out Nov. 25 on Nuclear Blast with a few vinyl variants, as well as CDs, cassettes and digital formats, but good luck trying to look at it the same way ever again.