Prong (band)

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Prong
Prong - Wacken Open Air 2017 05.jpg
Prong performing live at Wacken Open Air 2017
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres
Years active
  • 1986–1997
  • 2002–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.prongmusic.com
Members
Past members

Prong is an American heavy metal band formed in 1986 by bassist Mike Kirkland and guitarist Tommy Victor, the band's sole constant member. To date, they have released twelve studio albums (including an album of song covers), one live album, four EPs, one DVD and one remix album. Prong had two independent releases — Primitive Origins (1987) and Force Fed (1989) — which attracted the attention of Epic Records, who signed the band in 1989. Their first two albums on Epic — Beg to Differ (1990) and Prove You Wrong (1991) — were released to critical acclaim and garnered attention on MTV's Headbangers Ball . [1] The band's 1994 album Cleansing was also very successful, [2] and included one of their well-known songs "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". After releasing one more album ( Rude Awakening in 1996), Prong disbanded in 1997, but reformed in 2002 and has continued to tour and record since then.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Tommy Victor musician

Tommy Victor is the lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Prong that he founded in New York City in 1986 as well as the guitarist for the doom metal band Danzig. In the late 1980s Victor worked as a sound engineer at the trendy venue, CBGB in New York City. After the release of Rude Awakening in 1996, Prong disbanded and Victor moved to Los Angeles but continued to release new Prong records. He took a break from Prong during which Victor worked alongside rock musicians including Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Glenn Danzig. Since 2012's Carved Into Stone, Prong have been very active again, releasing albums and touring relentlessly. 2013 saw the band release their Official Bootleg -- Unleashed In The West album which featured re-recordings of 17 classic Prong tracks. The next studio album, Ruining Lives was released in 2014, and 2015 saw the band release their first ever covers album entitled Songs from the Black Hole. Victor is also currently working with Glenn Danzig on his upcoming Danzig album. He is also part of the hard rock, heavy metal, hardcore punk and punk rock supergroup Teenage Time Killers.

Songs from the Black Hole is a cover album from American metal band Prong. It was released on March 31, 2015. According to frontman Tommy Victor, the goal of the cover album was to explore musical roots of the band and "the vast landscape that makes up the band’s sound". The cover artwork was created by Mike Lopez. Victor stated, it should visualize "the theme of urban decay, desolation, insecurity and ultimate change". The basic tracks were recorded with Peter Funke in Trixx Studios in Berlin, Germany. The album was mixed and mastered by Chris Collier at Mission:Black Studios in Santa Clarita, California with additional guitars also recorded there. Vocals were recorded by Collier at Lynchbox Studios also in Santa Clarita. Jason Christopher added background vocals on "Give Me the Cure".

Contents

History

Early days (1986–1989)

The band was founded by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor (then a sound engineer for the club CBGB) and bassist Mike Kirkland (doorman at CBGB's). Ex-Swans drummer Ted Parsons joined a few months later. Prong released an EP [3] Primitive Origins and an album Force Fed that were noted for their brutal hardcore punk sound.[ citation needed ] The recordings were released on Southern Records in the U.K. and Europe in the late 1980s. Although Force Fed was recorded and completed in 1987, due to label problems, the album was not released until early 1989, coinciding with the band's first European tour.

CBGB former New York City music club

CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan's East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal's original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.

Swans (band) American band

Swans are an American experimental rock band formed in 1982 by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira. One of few acts to emerge from the New York City-based no wave scene and stay intact into the next decade, Swans have become recognized for an ever-changing sound, exploring genres such as noise rock, post-punk, industrial and post-rock. Initially, their music was known for its sonic brutality and misanthropic lyrics. Following the addition of singer, songwriter and keyboardist Jarboe, who first appeared on the 1986 single "Time Is Money (Bastard)" and debuted as a songwriter on the 1987 album Children of God, Swans began to incorporate more melody and intricacy into their music. Jarboe remained the band's only constant member except Gira and semi-constant guitarist Norman Westberg until their dissolution in 1997.

Ted Parsons is an American drummer most notable for his membership in bands such as Swans, Prong, Godflesh, Killing Joke and Jesu.

Major label signing and underground success (1989–1995)

Epic Records saw the band's potential and signed them in 1989. Prong's major label debut album, Beg to Differ, was released in 1990.

Epic Records American record label

Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, Shakin Stevens, Europe, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Shakira, Sly & the Family Stone, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, ABBA, Anastacia, Boston, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels.

<i>Beg to Differ</i> album

Beg to Differ is Prong's second album and first released under the CBS label. It can best be described as "thrash metal before groove metal". The album includes one live track recorded at CBGB's, New York City, in 1989. Brian "Pushead" Schroeder did the design and cover artwork for the album. Part of the song, "Lost and Found", was used for commercial breaks of MTV's Headbanger's Ball in the early 1990s.

In the following year, Kirkland left the band and was replaced by bassist Troy Gregory. Prong issued their fourth release, Prove You Wrong, which saw the band experiment with programming and electronic samples while still retaining an aggressive yet melodic sensibility.

Troy Gregory American musician

Troy Gregory is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, and solo artist. He is currently a solo artist as well as the lead vocalist and bassist for Super Birthday and bassist for The Dirtbombs. Former acts he has worked with include Crime & the City Solution, The Dirtbombs, Flotsam and Jetsam, Prong, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, Kim Fowley, Andre Williams, Killing Joke, Electric Six, Nathaniel Mayer, The Volebeats, Spiritualized, and others.

<i>Prove You Wrong</i> album by Prong

Prove You Wrong is the third album by the metal band Prong. It is their only album with Troy Gregory on bass guitar. The album includes a cover of "(Get A) Grip ", originally by The Stranglers.

By 1994, Troy Gregory was out of the band and was replaced by Paul Raven and John Bechdel, both from Killing Joke and Murder, Inc. The new line up released Cleansing (Prong's 5th major release). With a slight industrial metal influence, Cleansing contained songs that are still considered Prong classics ("Broken Peace" and "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck") and is Prong's most successful release to date. The videos for these two songs became staples of MTV's legendary Headbangers Ball. The band toured America with Sepultura and Pantera as an opener for their respective Chaos A.D. and Far Beyond Driven tours. They also undertook a headlining European tour with Life of Agony and The Obsessed as their support.

Paul Vincent Raven was a bassist best known for his work in the post-punk group Killing Joke. He later played in the industrial music bands Prong, Ministry, and Zilch.

John Bechdel American keyboardist

John Bechdel is an American keyboardist, and has been a part of bands such as Ministry, Fear Factory, Abstinence, Prong, Killing Joke, Murder, Inc. and Brian Brain. He has since worked with False Icons and Ascension of the Watchers.

Killing Joke English post-punk band

Killing Joke are an English rock band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England. The original line-up included Jaz Coleman, Paul Ferguson (drums), Geordie Walker (guitar) and Youth (bass).

Demise (1996–2002)

Prong's sixth album Rude Awakening was released in 1996. It entered the charts at No. 74 and sold 10,000 units in America in one week. Epic Records decided Prong were not selling enough records and released them from their contract three weeks later. Shortly thereafter, Prong's line-up disbanded prior to a tour supporting Type O Negative; Victor later joined Danzig as Glenn's guitar player, Ted Parsons left to join Godflesh. Parsons also played with Jesu and Toured with Raven in Killing joke.

<i>Rude Awakening</i> (Prong album) album by Prong

Rude Awakening is Prong's fifth album. Rude Awakening is an enhanced CD. It was also released as a special limited edition on 12" red vinyl. The album was reissued in 2008 as a digipak version, featuring four remixes of the "Rude Awakening" single and a new booklet.

Type O Negative American gothic metal band

Type O Negative was an American gothic metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1989, by Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver, and Sal Abruscato, who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname "the Drab Four". The band went Platinum with 1993's Bloody Kisses, and Gold with 1996's October Rust, and gained a fanbase through seven studio albums, two best-of compilations, and concert DVDs.

Danzig (band) American heavy metal band

Danzig is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1987 in Lodi, New Jersey. The band is the musical outlet for singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig, preceded by the horror punk bands the Misfits and Samhain. They play in a bluesy doom-driven heavy metal style influenced by the early sound of Black Sabbath.

Interim (2002–2006)

In 2002, Victor re-formed Prong with bassist Brian Perry (Dirty Looks, Jake E. Lee), drummer Dan Laudo and guitarist Monte Pittman (Madonna). In 2002, after a 42-show American tour that was recorded for a live CD ( 100% Live , Locomotive Music) Prong entered the studio and recorded a new CD titled Scorpio Rising which was received with mixed responses.

Victor played on and off again with Glenn Danzig from 1998–2005 in between time with Prong. His final goal of playing and writing on a Danzig record was met with Circle of Snakes in 2004.

Prong released a live 2-disc DVD in 2005 entitled The Vault which features performances from the Hulstsfred and With Full Force festivals and a full show in Amsterdam. This disc has Brian Perry and Mike Longworth on bass as Longworth replaced Perry after his departure in 2003. Dan Laudo left the band in 2005 and the band enlisted Aaron Rossi, who used to be in the bands Strife (Victory Records), Shelter (Century Media Records), John 5 (Shrapnel Records), and Ankla (Bieler Bros. Records)

Victor and Raven joined Ministry in 2005 to write and tour in support of their 2006 album Rio Grande Blood . They were nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for the song "Senior Peligro" in the "Best Metal Performance" category. The two also appear on Ministry's follow up album The Last Sucker (2007), although in a more limited capacity.

Reformation (2007–present)

In 2007, Prong signed to Al Jourgensen's 13th Planet Records, who released Power of the Damager on October 2, 2007. The band embarked on the "Slicing Across America" and "Slicing Across Europe" tours supporting the album in 2007 and early 2008. Joining Tommy Victor for the tour were Monte Pittman and drummer Aaron Rossi; Paul Raven had died of an apparent heart attack in his sleep on October 20, 2007 at the age of 46.

Aaron Rossi joined Ministry as their new drummer on the "C U LaTour" which started in March 2008.

Alexei Rodriguez and Tony Campos from Static-X were on the lineup with Tommy supporting Soulfly on the "Blood Fire War Hate" tour in the fall of 2009. They were replaced by Jason Christopher (bass) in 2011 [4] [5] [6] and Art Cruz (drums) in 2012.

The band supported Fear Factory on their tour which ended on June 6, 2010. Prong released a new album, Carved Into Stone, on April 23, 2012, with Long Branch Records/SPV. It was produced by Steve Evetts. The band toured as a headliner and with acts such as Crowbar in the US and in May 2012 performed Beg to Differ in its entirety during a two-week tour in Europe. [7] [8]

In the summer of 2013, the band performed an extensive European festival and headline run and also recorded a self-released "Official Bootleg" entitled "Unleashed In The West - Live in Berlin" via Bandcamp.com. [9]

After spending November and December 2013 in the studio, Prong released their ninth album Ruining Lives on Steamhammer/SPV in April 2014 and has been relentlessly touring in its support. Blabbermouth.net calls the album "Tommy Victor's personal liberation." [10] The album was produced by Tommy Victor and mixed by Steve Evetts.

The band started a second wave of touring behind Ruining Lives in July 2014, with European festivals and headline shows. They also toured in North America, both as headliners and as support to Overkill, followed by a tour in Europe as main support to Overkill in October and November. [11] [12] In 2015 the band released the cover album Songs from the Black Hole , followed a year later by their eleventh studio album X (No Absolutes). Another album, Zero Days, was released in 2017. [13] Prong is currently working on a new album, which is due for release in 2019. [14]

In 2017 at the beginning of August they also played a concert in Polish Woodstock Festival.

Musical style and influences

Prong has been described as industrial metal, [15] [16] thrash metal, [17] [18] crossover thrash, [19] and groove metal. [20] The band is known for combining elements of thrash metal, groove metal, and industrial. [21] Emerging from the New York hardcore scene, [17] Prong, along with bands such as Pantera, Sepultura and Machine Head, is one of the bands of the groove metal movement of the 1990s. [20] Prong cites Killing Joke and Chrome as influences. [22]

Prong has influenced many notable musicians such as Korn's Jonathan Davis, Demon Hunter's Ryan Clark, and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. [23] [24]

Members

Current members

Former members

Former live musicians

Timeline

Prong (band)

Discography

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References

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