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PRONG singer interviewed by Metal Army, June 2012

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Metal Army recently conducted an interview with PRONG singer and guitarist Tommy Victor.


You have been critical of your own output at times. How does this new album stack up to the history of Prong?

I think it’s one of the best ones, I mean, it doesn’t have the cutting-edge impact that “Cleansing” did where we were going in a new direction for heavy music in general. It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but I think it’s up there in the quality of songs are up there with the best we’ve ever done. That was important for me. I wouldn’t know where to start to try to break any ground anymore, it seems like everything’s been done. So with that in mind, it was a matter of just getting the best songs we could possibly put together in reflection of the previous Prong records, without going off in a complete different direction like we did with “Scorpio Rising”, for instance. Where I think it failed, it wasn’t the right time. We didn’t work at it as hard. I just had a batch of songs I was just fooling around with. This wasn’t like that. This was much more intense. We put the work in and let the chips fall where they may. I feel this is one of the most hard-working efforts I’ve ever done as far as Prong goes. As far as anything, really.

Between your work in Danzig and Ministry, would you say one or either have a reverse influence back to your work in Prong?

Not at all! Prong is a completely different entity, it’s its own mindset. I don’t really listen to a hell of a lot of stuff. It all comes from the heart, really. I’m not out there scouring the charts or delving into countless hardcore metal records to find influences, I don’t have he energy to do that. I’m not being a snob, I just don’t have the time and energy to do that. I don’t want to do that or bring in any other project I’m involved in. I worked on the last two Danzig records and Glenn has his own way of arranging stuff. Then with Al, I mentioned with his process, is highly computer-oriented and I didn’t wanna do that either.

Looking back, did you know at the time that “Beg to Differ”and “Prove You Wrong” were going to influence so many other bands?

For years I didn’t really see that. People have been saying that for a long time; it’s mainly people in the press. We’ve toured with younger bands. I don’t wanna name names, but the attitude we got was, “Who the fuck are you, guys?” I mean completely unfamiliar with Prong and didn’t like us. I almost feel like I’ve gotten more of that attitude out there then any congratulations. But on a personal side, I had to re-investigate the early Prong records recently and I listened to “Beg to Differ”. I haven’t heard it in years! I was like, “Oh my god!” How did this thing come about? It’s bizarre to me. I don’t know how that really came together like that. It’s like that song “Carved into Stone”. It was something outside myself made that happen. I have not a clue! I wasn’t even really playing guitar that long when Prong did that record. It’s bizarre to me the things that go down. It wasn’t even calculated. On a personal level, I’m happy with the discography, but it’s not like I go down the street and people are, “Oh,Tommy!” I don’t hear it that much. It’s mainly press people, but other bands, they either don’t recognize it or they don’t know. If anything about the past, like when I was forced to re-investigate “Beg to Differ”, I just kinda of zap it into the void. Like anything in the past, I think everyone needs to do that, it’s like a personal psychotherapy in a way. It’s all good. I don’t have any bitterness towards anything. Maybe at one time I did. It’s been so worn out, I just have a different attitude about that stuff.

The rest of the interview can be read here.

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