Music World Loses Goth Legend Peter Steele
On Thursday the 15th of April, the Gothic metal music industry were shocked with the sad news of Peter Steele’s passing late Wednesday night. The cause of death has still not been confirmed, but all signs point to a possible heart failure. The 48 year old composer, lead singer and bassist of popular Gothic Rock/Metal band, Type O Negative, left behind a musical legacy that any musician would be proud of. Type O Negative found their place in the music industry in the heavy metal, rock and Gothic metal genres throughout the 90’s and became widely popular around the world. His contributions to the band and Gothic metal will never be forgotten and will live on through his music.
Peter Steele was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 4 January 1962, as Petrus T. Ratajczyk. His personal life was not greatly exploited in the media, which generated a lot of mystery around this talented musician. What is known is that the singer struggled with clinical depression for many years, and even though he found himself in many dark moments, he enjoyed making people laugh. Joking about his illness and making light of difficult situations helped Steele to cope, and most people saw him as a funny, friendly and likable person. Many of his fans were a little upset about his unusual sense of humor when it led to Steele posting a tombstone on the band’s website with “[P]eter Steele – 1962 – 2005 …. Free At Last” on it. Fans feared the worst, but rumors of Peter Steele’s death were quickly laid to rest with the release of Symphony for the Devil in 2006. Steele also struggled with substance abuse, but seemed to have found his way back to religion as he explained in a 2007 interview, saying: “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.”
Peter Steele will always be remembered by fans and those close to him as a wonderful person and an outstanding musician. The funeral services will be private, and memorial services will be announced at a future date on the Type O Negative website. We here at Musicians.com would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Peter in this difficult time.