Interview with Johnny Kelly of Silvertomb

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy

If there were bands I wished I had followed when they were still around, I would choose both Pantera and Type O Negative, to be on my short list. As far as I am concerned, Type O Negative was the king of the gothic metal scene. This band had a knack for creating songs that dealt with depression and death, and yet somehow made it sound so beautiful and heavy at the same time. Their founder, bassist/vocalist Peter Steele, unfortunately passed away from heart failure in 2010, effectively ending the band. One of the most memorable members in the band, was their second drummer, Johnny Kelly. He had this way of drumming, that would give even to the most moody song a rockin’ pulse. Well, he is back at it with a new supergroup, with members of Type O Negative and Seventh Void, calling themselves Silvertomb. It was huge honor of mine to chat with Kelly and get the down low about his newest project.

After giving Kelly a grand introduction, which he thought was cool, we talked about how the band was formed and where the name, Silvertomb, came from. While he did not name the band, the concept around it means a glamorous burial. There was an instance where our phones got cut off, just as we were getting started, but I was able to get him back, and immediately asked how they would define their music. Kelly describes their sound as straight-forward rock music, wanting to sound different from the stuff he did with Type O Negative. He says it has a more complex sound than Seventh Void. Recently, Silvertomb debuted at the Ride For Dime concert, at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey on August 26th. We had a conversation about the upcoming show at the time and how Dimebag’s widow, Rita Haney, asked them to participate. Kelly has had history with Type O Negative touring with Pantera, back in the day, so the show was special for the group.

Besides Silvertomb, he recently hooked up with Pantera bassist Rex Brown, as he is getting to hit the road in support of his solo debut, Smoke on This… Though he did not play on the album, Kelly has joined his touring group, and I believe that they are getting a schedule ready for some time in the fall. Before Silvertomb hits the road, Kelly talked about getting signed first and then getting the record out, so that is their main priority at this time. We started reminiscing about his Type O Negative days, and what his favorite time was, when he first joined. He went into great detail about working with Steele, and touring with the likes of Pantera and Mötley Crüe. We would go on to discuss many other topics.

For 30 minutes, Kelly gave us the scoop on Silvertomb, their goals, and his other various projects. It sucked that our phones got disconnected in the beginning, but we were able to salvage it and enjoy our time chatting. Their charity concert performance in NJ, has come and gone, but I am sure Silvertomb is hungry for more to come in the future. For now, Kelly is getting ready for Rex Brown’s solo tour. Should they make a stop in Orange, Calif., I will be there. To Johnny Kelly, I salute you. Horns up!!!

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