What do you get when you combine oppressive heat, a bunch of dudes in heavy metal bands totally wasted, and a crowd just hungry to have something pop off after sweatin' it out hard on some festival ground, dead broke and also very likely drunk? If you answered Pete Steele trying to lay Chino Moreno out, well, come on down, because you answered correctly.
In an episode of Change (In the House of Pods)—a podcast dedicated to the Deftones, told through the perspective of fans and other people associated with the band through the years—Darren Eggleston, a former radio promotions associate then working for Deftones' label, Maverick Records, recalls a time in 1996 when Type O Negative frontman, the late Peter Steele—angered by some of Moreno's antics earlier in the day—tried to punch the Deftones' singer in a hotel bar immediately afterward.
Here's the scene, according to Eggleston: "Deftones were second to last and Type O Negative was headlining…. There were a slew of bands, and the common denominator was: it’s 115 [degrees] and everybody’s fucked up. I mean everybody’s hammered. So it’s zombie-land by the time Deftones hit the stage…. It’s a war of attrition."
Eggleston continues, saying "Fans started to not feel super great from the combination of partying and heat, so after a few songs, [Moreno] invited fans up to the stage. Thousands of kids poured up the aisle, and they’re working their way to the stage. And then they started climbing on the stage, and one of the curtains, somebody lit it on fire. It was a riot.”
According to Eggleston, all the bands were staying in the same hotel, and allegedly this is where Steele confronted Moreno. Because of the fire, "Type O Negative never went on [and] they were pissed. The big fucking frontman [Steele] punched Chino in the bar, and it was a big melee.”
It's curious that we've never heard this tale before, considering the players involved. Surely, Eggleston has no incentive to fabricate this story, but until we hear from someone else who was there, we only have his version of the tale. I'll tell you this much, though: I know I wouldn't want to have Peter Steele out lookin' to deck me!