PRONG

Interview By: Mike Heck


PRONG are probably one of the best examples of modern metal recording today. PRONG combines hard-core punk, thrash metal with a dash of industrial production and New York attitude to form a powerful sound with challenging lyrics. This "true" power trio is comprised of: Tommy Victor - guitar/vocals, new member Troy Gregory - bass/vocals, and Ted Parsons on drums. Their releases include "PRIMITIVE ORIGINS," "FORCE FED," and with Epic records "BEG TO DIFFER." Their two newest releases include "PROVE YOU WRONG" and the remix release "WHOSE FIST IS THIS ANYWAY." Some nice words of respect from a "few people," prove PRONG are not wrong: "Forget what they tell you is alternative metal or any of that bullshit. Listen to PRONG and break the fucking boundaries." - Nitzer Ebb. "PRONG - As dope as it gets." - Ice-T. "PRONG...the sound of the 90's taking over where KILLING JOKE left off." - Paul Raven.

After talking with Tommy Victor you realize that he's a very pissed-off individual and that certainly comes across in his songs as well. Tommy actually is a nice guy with some definite views on censorship, as you will see:

ROC: How does PRONG differ from other bands?

TOMMY: Well most metal bands are singing about ridiculous themes, I mean you have your whole 'death metal' culture that gets all their lyrics from Clive Barker. I'm definitely not into that. Then there's a whole other thing going on, the pseudo-Southern rock thing, we came from a hard-core background, we target certain issues that a lot of bands just don't, it's (the songs) more truthful, and it's violent without being 'hokey.' We don't go into the blatantism of your average N.Y. hard-core band either, we try to be a little bit more intelligent about things. There's a whole crop of bands that sound, Sub-Pop. PRONG does not do anything like that, we've combined the sounds that combine early KILLING JOKE with N.Y. hard-core and thrash metal and it's something unique in its own thing, it's very groove oriented too, I think that's a N.Y. thing, there's a certain rhythm going on.

ROC: A lot of hard-core Rap delivers a positive message. Do you think that would help society?

TOMMY: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean if there's a positive message there it's cool. I mean I have nothing against it really. The themes in Rap music, I just think there should be an outlet for retaliation and white liberal American can not deal with that. It's like bands like TYPE O NEGATIVE, CARNIVORE have said some cool things and they're just blasted to the extreme, they have the same right to say things just as anybody else does.

ROC: TYPE O NEGATIVE did a tour in Europe awhile back where some people were throwing bottles at their shows.

TOMMY: Yeah, I know, well Europe is a joke anyhow, their opinions are lame, who cares.

ROC: What was it like when you went there?

TOMMY: Well it doesn't matter because over there people are more unified in general because they're all part of some kind of similar racial background and I think there's a little more leniency over there, but there's also a lot more boredom over there too, so it doesn't really apply.

ROC: Has PRONG ever been censored in any way?

TOMMY: Not really, just some religious groups here and there.

ROC: Any particular groups?

TOMMY: In Missouri we had some problems, they just didn't want that type of pseudo-violent music, they didn't want that kind of group playing in their town. They thought it would be a bad influence on the kids.

ROC: So did you end up playing the show?

TOMMY: Oh yeah!

ROC: What did they do in protest?

TOMMY: Just picketed the place. You know we have a song called 'LOST & FOUND' and it's not necessarily about evangelical groups but, it's about voices of false idolatry in general, where somebody finds a quick answer and decides that's the way for a group of people to live or believe, whether it be the American dream or the Nazis or Communism or anything. You can apply anything to that, and they sort of targeted that as an anti-Christian song.

ROC: Do you have complete artistic control with your current label, Epic?

TOMMY: Oh yeah, absolutely. They don't screw with us at all. They want ideas and they're really great that way, they're real cool. In fact it's the 'indie' labels who were the assholes. We had one record on In-Effect (FORCE-FED) and on the lyric sheet they deleted all the curse words, but with Epic we have the curse words and they didn't even put 'explicit lyrics' stickers on the jacket. There's fuck and shit listed on that lyric sheet and they didn't cut it out, but the 'indie' labels did it...so fuck the indies, ya know.

ROC: What's your feelings about warning stickers?

TOMMY: I definitely don't think there should be any stickers on albums. It's a waste of money. There's plenty of other things the government could be doing...than worrying about some of these 'little witch hunts.' No, what you guys are doing is cool. I'm definitely going to look over THE ROC, I'd like to be more aware of what's going on.

ROC: Thanks Tommy, talk to you again soon.

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