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, United States
Years active 1986–1997, 2002–present
Associated acts
Past members

Prong is an American heavy 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 reformed in 2002. To date, they have released eleven 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, the band's sole constant member. 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.[5][6]


Early days (1986–1989)[edit]

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[7] 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.

Major label signing and underground 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, 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. They also undertook a headlining European tour with Life of Agony and The Obsessed as their support.

Demise (1996–2002)[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; 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.

Interim (2002–2006)[edit]

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 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]

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[8][9][10] 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.[11][12]

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[13]

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. calls the album "Tommy Victor's personal liberation" [14] 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.[15] [16] 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).


Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

Former live members[edit]

  • Vince Dennis – bass guitar (1996)
  • Matthew Brunson – bass (2012)
  • Dave Pybus – bass (2012)
  • Joseph Bishara – keyboards (1994)



Main article: Prong discography


  1. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Prong". Allmusic. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ Rancic, Michael (May 9, 2014). "Prong - Ruining Lives". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ Jeffries, David. "Prong - Songs from the Black Hole". Allmusic. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ Prat, Greg (April 24, 2012). "Prong - Carved into Stone". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Industrial Nuance of Prong". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  6. ^ " Korn: The Untouchables". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  7. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives - Prong - Primitive Origins". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  8. ^ "OVERKILL And PRONG Live in Cleveland, OH With Photos!" By Geoff Ketler, KNAC September 26, 2014
  9. ^ "Prong – Songs From The Black Hole". Music Mixdowns, 2015-05-02.
  10. ^ "PRONG Live In Dublin, Ireland" By Larry Petro, News Monkey,Friday, August 8, 2014 via KNAC
  11. ^ "Prong: 'Carved Into Stone' Track Listing, Cover Art Unveiled". 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  12. ^ "Crowbar And Prong Announce US Tour Dates Together". Metal Insider. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  13. ^ "PRONG: 'Unleashed In The West: Live In Berlin' Official Bootleg Released". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  14. ^ "CD Reviews - Ruining Lives". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  15. ^ "Overkill To Tour Europe With Prong, Enforcer, Darkology". 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  16. ^ "Ruining lives: It’s the name of Prong’s latest effort". ABQ Journal, by Rozanna M. Martinez September 12, 2014

External links[edit]