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Peter Steele

Background information
Birth name Petrus T. Ratajczyk
Also known as Peter Steele; Pete Steele; Lord Petrus Steele
Born January 4, 1962 (1962-01-04) (age 48)
Brooklyn, New York
Genres Rock, gothic metal, heavy metal
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1979–present
Labels Roadrunner Records, SPV America
Associated acts Type O Negative, Carnivore, Seventh Void, Fallout

Peter Steele (born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.)[1] is the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the Gothic metal band Type O Negative. At 6' 7" (201 cm) Peter's low, bass heavy voice is one of the most recognizable features in Type O Negative's music. Before joining Type O Negative, he played for the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.


Peter was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is of Polish, Icelandic, English, and Russian heritage.[2] Steele is equally known for his dark, deadpan humor, being remarkably self-deprecating for a musician and clinical depression; he has occasionally received psychiatric treatment for the latter. There were unconfirmed rumors at one point of Steele's death after the band website posted an image of a tombstone bearing his name and the dates 1962-2005.[3] According to an article dated May 14, 2005, Steele was not dead; the gag was related to their fresh signing with SPV Records. The website discontinued the tombstone picture in October 2005. However, Steele had indeed disappeared for an extended time with no explanation from the band or management. Rumors of his death, terminal illness, and other speculations increased until the mystery was dispelled on the 2006 DVD Symphony for the Devil. Included in this DVD is an interview in which Steele briefly mentions his incarceration in Riker's Island and "the psych ward at Kings County Hospital", both stints apparently caused by his heavy substance abuse, for which he also served time on probation. Additionally, Steele was admittedly very bitter towards his sisters for what he perceived to be a betrayal of sorts that led to his jail time. This situation was incorporated into "Tripping A Blind Man" on Type O Negative's 2007 album, Dead Again.

Steele notoriously appeared as a nude centerfold of Playgirl in 1995 [4]. After finding out via bandmate Kenny Hickey's contacts that only 23% of the magazine subscribers were female, Steele somewhat regretted the decision and later made light of it on Life Is Killing Me with the song "I Like Goils". In a 2007 interview, Steele reflected on the posing as merely a naïve publicity stunt.[5] Steele was Playgirl's first model to appear with an erection. Until that issue, all nude male models in PlayGirl were in a flaccid state.

Steele has also revealed in recent interviews that Type O Negative's split from Roadrunner Records, aside from a poor offer, had to do with an allegedly unauthorized release of a Best Of compilation.[6] Additionally, he later revealed on MTV's Headbangers Ball that the new alliance with SPV Records is probably his favorite thing about Dead Again from a production standpoint.[7]

Steele performing in Berlin with Type O Negative.

In April 2007, Steele revealed that he began identifying himself as Roman Catholic in recent years, after decades of self-professed atheism. In an interview with Decibel magazine, Steele explains “There are no atheists in foxholes, they say, and I was a foxhole atheist for a long time. But after going through a midlife crisis and having many things change very quickly, it made me realize my mortality. And when you start to think about death, you start to think about what’s after it. And then you start hoping there is a God. For me, it’s a frightening thought to go nowhere. I also can’t believe that people like Stalin and Hitler are gonna go to the same place as Mother Teresa.”[5]

Steele has made references to Jesus Christ looking like him, in the song Christian Woman hes quoted as saying "Jesus Christ looks like me". Peter's signature move, showcased and made famous while a guest on a taping of Jerry Springer, is a gesture in which he makes the sign of the cross followed by a gesture of the hand under the chin as to suggest a "flipping off" motion


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Peter Steele (born January 4th, 1962), is the lead singer of and a bassist for the doom/gothic metal band Type O Negative. His birth name is Peter Ratajczyk.


  • This entire opus is respectfully dedicated to all those who have loved unconditionally only to have their hearts unanaesthetically ripped out: Base not your joy on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No hope = No fear.
    • Source: Bloody Kisses booklet
  • Some people say I'm a pussy. I say, you are what you eat.
    • Source: During a live performance
  • I left the stage because I thought I had to shit, but then I lost the feeling.
    • Source: Symphony For The Devil DVD
  • Hello, children of the Nazis!
    • Source: Beginning of a live performance in Germany (with Carnivore)


  • As far as humor goes, I've always been a very insecure person and I've always wanted to be liked.
  • Finding fresh song topics can sometimes be quite difficult.
  • I also like to eat very much, so I like all different types of foods.
  • I don't know what to say to that, but I have to agree with Johnny that, yeah, we do touch upon things that most men would rather not admit: That we feel pain, we cry, get sad and sometimes don't deal well with disappointment.
  • I don't really like to play live. I don't like to be on stage. I feel very self-conscious.
  • I drink for the effect, because it loosens up the tongue a little bit.
  • I feel that I've grown up a little bit and I'm actually ready to settle down.
  • I find that different types of music are good for certain activities.
  • I guess I've learned that there's really no such thing as a bad label, there is only a bad contract.
  • I like to put on hardcore when I have to clean my apartment, which I hate to do, but it's motivational. I like old heavy metal when I'm outside working on my car. Music has definite functions for me.
  • I stay way from that area, and there's only so many songs you can write about love, sex and death.
  • I think aerobics are great, of course, but it just bores me out of my mind.
  • I think anyone who has an opinion, and voices it, will offend someone.
  • I think for the most part it really doesn't matter how good an album is; I think it really comes down to musical climate.
  • I think I've changed a lot as a person.
  • I used to try to run five miles every other day, which I worked up to and I was doing it, but I was subjected to my own thoughts for forty minutes without any sensory input, and I couldn't stand what I thought.
  • I want to stay away from politics, or else I'll probably end up putting my size fifteen foot into my mouth.
  • I'm a big fan of the effects of alcohol.
  • I've always been very image prone, along the lines of bands like Black Sabbath and even Devo.
  • I've been told by people that it's okay to cry but, you know what, it's been used against me.
  • I've been wearing black pants and green shirts now for like thirteen years. It works.
  • If I wasn't bound to Brooklyn, due to my own personal reasons like taking care of my mother and the fact that this is where the band is based, I would probably move to Iceland.
  • If they weren't laughing with me, okay; if they want to laugh at me it's better than nothing.
  • If we're going to be dumped into, say, goth metal or something like that, I really don't mind being called that.
  • Instead of slashing my wrists, I just write a bunch of really crummy songs.
  • It became more and more difficult after drinking beer, or while drinking beer on stage, to execute vocals in between burps.
  • It seems to be that southern Europeans are just more intimate socially, whereas I like a lot of personal space - like, a mile from the nearest person is fine for me.
  • It's bad poetry executed by people that can't sing. That's my definition of Rap.
  • Most bands don't even last fourteen months let alone fourteen years.
  • Nordic people are very stand-offish, but to go to Greece, Italy, Spain or Israel, men are all over men and stuff.
  • One of the things I've always personally tried to stress with this band was to have some kind of visual aspect and to be consistent with it - like, not to change.
  • So I don't cry anymore, I just beat people up. It's a lot more fun.
  • So, I simply switched over to wine because it was not carbonated.
  • Sometimes, I write '60s or '80s style pop songs.
  • Technically, at this point we're no longer with the label; we've fulfilled our contract.
  • There's a lot of things that go on when you're on tour that cannot be controlled. I'm not even talking about myself, but of course there's sexual activity and drugs, fighting and language; it is certainly not a place to raise a family.
  • We did a lot of in-store signings around that time, and occasionally guys came up with that issue of Playgirl and wanted me to sign the centerfold.
  • We've been fortunate that we could choose, from all the songs I'd written, those that the band considered to be the best.
  • Well, darkness with humor... I'm not an extremely suicidal or sad person.
  • Yes, there are times when I get extremely depressed and how I sublimate those feelings is through music.
  • People think, "Oh, Pete's sexist because he takes advantage of women." No, we take advantage of each other.
  • I want to be the only fucking man in this world. I want an army of my sons and then find a planet to attack.

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