Ex-Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey would love Axl Rose to sing at a Peter Steele tribute concert

Peter Steele and Axl Rose
(Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns, Paul Bergen/Redferns)

Following the star-studded Taylor Hawkins tribute concert last year, talk of similar honorary shows has escalated, with both bands and fans interested in paying their respects to other fallen musicians. While conversations surrounding a Eddie Van Halen tribute have been more substantial, such an event for the late Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele - who passed away in 2010 - has been more of a hypothetical idea.

The band's co-founder and former guitarist Kenny Hickey is adamant that the show just "wouldn't work", and is wary of it being seen as a "cash-grab". But despite his concerns, this hasn't stopped him from musing over which musicians he believes would be interested in taking part in the project, and who he would recruit for the most important role; singing in place of Steele.

In a new interview with Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio, Hickey discusses the likelihood of the concert taking place with Type O Negative's other surviving members alongside guest musicians, noting: "People have approached us to try and reform the band with a singer and go on the road. 'Cause everybody wants a money grab. We personally don't think Peter is replaceable by anybody, and it just wouldn't work."

Despite the potential complications, the guitarist declares how he'd still "love" to do a tribute. He continues, "I'm sure Johnny [Kelly, drums] would love to do it. I know Josh [Silver, keyboards] wouldn't do it, because Josh is picking up body parts in East New York [during his work as a paramedic]. He's not gonna stop that to start rehearsing. But yeah, we would do it with guest musicians and stuff. If somebody had the idea and got it together and got the logistics together, sure — I would be into it."

After host Penfold flags Hickey's previous comment about wanting Heart's Ann Wilson to sing at the hypothetical show, he replies: "Ann Wilson would be great, but she probably never heard of us", before adding who he believes to be a more plausible option: "Axl Rose [of Guns N' Roses]."

Obviously, the squeakily high timbre of the Guns N' Roses frontman is world's away from the husky and deep vocal of Steele's, but he still thinks it would be "very fucking cool" to hear him sing a song like Type O Negative's Love You To Death.

As previously explained in a 2022 interview with Loaded Radio, Hickey believes a "completely abstract" and different singer to Steele would be the best person for the job, in hope of preventing any comparison or it coming across like the late frontman is being replaced. 

"I'd want a girl to do it. I'd want a female vocalist — like Ann Wilson or something like that. [Laughs]" he said. "But even so, that's the first thing. When you think about doing some kind of tribute show, you're just gonna get all these people… Yes, Peter was very highly regarded by our peers and stuff like that, and you'll just get a bunch of dudes up there just trying to sound like Peter.

"And you can't do that. And it's, like, all right, so what's the most remote thing from Peter? You'd have to do something completely abstract. And I would say get a female vocalist. I think Peter would get a kick out of… He would get off on seeing a girl sing his songs, seeing a female sing them. And it would really stress the point of doing something as a tribute instead of trying to recreate something."

Listen to the interview below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.