Prong (band)

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Prong 16.01.2008 Orpheum Graz-4.jpg
Tommy Victor, Monte Pittman and Aaron Rossi, performing live with Prong in Graz, Austria, on January 16, 2008
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, US
Genres Thrash metal, groove metal, industrial metal, hardcore punk, alternative metal, crossover thrash
Years active 1986–1997, 2002–present
Labels Epic, Locomotive, 13th Planet
Associated acts Swans, Abstinence, Danzig, The Dirtbombs, Fear Factory, Godflesh, Jesu, Killing Joke, Ministry, Murder, Inc., Wasted Youth, Damage, Mest, SEISMATIK
Members Tommy Victor
Jason Christopher
Art Cruz
Past members Ted Parsons
Paul Raven
John Bechdel
Sterling Flournoy
Troy Gregory
Dan Laudo
Brian Perry
Mike Kirkland
Monte Pittman
Aaron Rossi
Mike Longworth
Tony Campos
Alexei Rodriguez
Matt Celmer

Prong is an American metal band formed in 1986. Prong had two independent releases, Primitive Origins and Force Fed. The albums attracted the attention of Epic Records, who signed the trio in 1989. The group disbanded in 1997 after the Rude Awakening tour, but re-formed in 2002. To date, they have released eight studio albums, one live album, four EPs, one DVD and one remix album. A pioneer of the urban metal scene, Prong is fronted by Tommy Victor. Korn's Jonathan Davis, Demon Hunter's Ryan Clark, and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor all cite Prong as an influence to their musical style.[citation needed] [1][2]


Early career (1986–1988)[edit]

Founded by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor who was a sound man for the famous 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. The recordings were released on Southern Records in the U.K. and Europe in the late 1980s.

Major label signing and mainstream success (1989–1995)[edit]

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.

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

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 Chaos A.D. and Far Beyond Driven tours. And a headlining European tour with Life of Agony and The Obsessed as their support.

Demise (1996–2000)[edit]

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 3 weeks later. Shortly thereafter, Prong's line-up disbanded prior to a tour supporting Type O Negative, as Victor later joined Danzig as Glenn's guitar player, Raven and Parsons left to join Godflesh.

Interim (2000–2006)[edit]

In 2000, Victor re-formed Prong with bassist Brian Perry (Jake E. Lee) (Flood), 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 album Rio Grande Blood (2006). 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)[edit]

On June 4, 2007, Prong posted a MySpace bulletin stating that they were recording in El Paso, Texas. The band left Locomotive Music, and were signed to Al Jourgensen's 13th Planet Records, who released their latest album Power of the Damager on October 2, 2007.

The band embarked on the "Slicing Across America" and "Slicing Across Europe" tours supporting Power of the Damager in 2007 and early 2008. Joining Tommy Victor in the current live membership of the band is Monte Pittman and drummer Aaron Rossi.

Paul Raven died of an apparent heart attack in his sleep on October 20, 2007 at the age of 46. He was recording with French recording artists Treponem Pal on their new album with Ted Parsons at the time of his death.

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

In February 2008, Headbanger's Ball premiered the video "Power Of The Damager".

Alexei Rodriguez and Tony Campos from Static-X are currently on the lineup with Tommy supporting Soulfly on the "Blood Fire War Hate" tour in the fall of 2009.

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.

On April 20, 2012 Prong released the album "Carved Into Stone" on Long Branch Records/SPV. It was produced by Steve Evetts. The record received rave reviews and 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.[4][5]

"Carved Into Stone" topped Machine Head's Phil Demmel's "2012 Top 10 List".[6]

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[7]

After spending November and December 2013 in the studio, Prong released their new album "Ruining Lives" on Steamhammer/SPV in April 2014 and has been relentlessly touring in its support. calls the album "Tommy Victor's personal liberation" [8] The album was produced by Tommy Victor and mixed by Steve Evetts.

As to how the title "Ruining Lives" came to fruition, Victor spoke to and told them: "I’m not ruining any lives (laughs). It’s the families that control all of the Western society are the ones that are ruining everyone’s lives. The general concept of the record is a positive one, but within the context of a society that’s putting heavy odds against us as spiritual beings or what have you. The title reflects the oppressors and it doesn’t mean that we’re ruining any lives. I think we’re enslaved to our phones, enslaved to paying optimum prices for gasoline. There’s less time and focus on where we are and how we can grow personally. We’re too corrupted by answering emails and in constant barrage of commercialism and advertising all the time." [9]

The band is getting ready to start a second wave of touring behind "Ruining Lives" in July 2014, with European festivals and headline shows, a North American tour that sees the band headline and play as main support to Overkill in select markets and a European tour as main support to Overkill in October and November.[10]

Nightmare Music just announced PRONG's first ever Australian and New Zealand shows in the band's career for this November.[11]