PRONG HELLFEST 2017
REPORTER: “HOW WAS THE TOUR IN THE US WITH TESTAMENT AND SEPULTURA”
ART: A lot of fans had no idea that prong has been back for almost 10 years, but it was good to tour with Sepultura and testament because it brought a lot of old fans back out of the wood works and made fans realise that prong has been playing. So it’s amazing and good for us as we have bands supporting Prong.
TOMMY: yeah, I have been saying that for a while that there is a whole populas in America that are not connected to the internet and don’t pay attention to media, and when a band like testament plays they will come out of the woodwork and check it out, and prong was on it and they helped us out. It was cool, it was really great.
REPORTER: WHAT’S YOUR FEELING ABOUT MANCHESTER ATTEMPT?
TOMMY: I think it’s stupid obviously, it’s unfortunate, I don’t think we should be affected by it though, I think we should stay positive and not let it worry us, I would say because that’s what they want and it’s much better to stay positive and live your life to the full, so that’s what we are doing. But it’s obviously a shame.
REPORTER: Anyway I think that people are still going to concerts and festivals so fuck them
PRONG: Yeah fuck them
REPORTER: SO HOW DO YOU FEEL AT HELLFEST A FRENCH FESTIVAL?
TOMMY: It’s defiantly one of the best festivals that we have played, it’s unbelievably well organised and the people are very nice and I always love France anyhow. We have played here a lot over the past 20 years, I think the French people are abosetly wonderful and the fans have always been fantastic and very warm. This festival is amazing.
The gear on stage too, the quality of the equipment, the sound system is very, very, very, very good. We really appreciate being here, hopefully we will come back and hopefully Hellfest has us back.
TWINMUSIX: YOUR BAND HAS HELPED DISCOVER THE SOUND OF URBAN METAL, HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL TO BE QUOTED AS AN INFLUENCE ON SUCH BANDS AS ‘NINE INCH NAILS’ AND ‘KORN’?
ART: I’m going to let him answer that, but as a fan of those bands growing up and a fan of prong growing up, I don’t think prong has gotten the credit that they should of gotten years ago. I think that’s amazing personally and I agree with that and he is the most under rated guitar player and song writer of all time as far as industrial and groove metal in general so I think that’s a good answer and I think you should answer that more.
TOMMY: Thank you Art that’s a very nice compliment. To be quite honest with you It doesn’t really affect me what’s written or the applause I get. I keep trying to put out good records as much as I can, I live in the moment. Today, I mean anything that’s happened in the past it was there, I keep it away I put it on the shelf a little bit, I don’t let if affect me too much.
REPORTER: HAVE YOU RECORDED EVERY SINGLE YOURSELF OR WITH CHRIS, SO HOW WAS THE RECORDING AND EXTRA?
TOMMY: It was pretty brutal, there was a lot of work. I would go to sleep at 3 o’clock in the morning and wake up around 10 and start working again. So doing the lyrics and the vocal melodies in a little room in the back of this house I rent a room in. I just sort of lived in there and had to go in and we just jammed out stuff and just kept working on it.
You know it was between tours too, and I had some ideas on the road and then I had outside writers too. Mike sitting to my right contributed, everybody contributed. A friend of mine from Fred Ziomek who use to be in the darkest hour contributed.
Because you know I was just going around and finding the songs and finding the riffs and it just became an obsessive crazy couple of months.
But again it was between tours, particularly between that last European tour and then the next day I just got writing on my computer, and then we went on a tour again. It just never stops, it’s a good experience, it’s just pretty brutal.
REPORTER: HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS AS A BAND?
ART: I have been in the band 5 years so I feel great, he’s been in the band like 30 because he kind of started it before I was born, but he looks great doesn’t he, for 30 plus years of doing prong.
TOMMY: well we took a hiatus for a while; it was constantly prong because I had six ridiculously destructive years playing with Al Gordonson and I have been in and out of Danzig for 20 years, he fires me every once in a while, and I just keep going back and forth. Then I played with ministry for a while. And playing with Jordison and waiting for royalty checks I never got.
I was just like I’m going to start doing prong again full time, that’s why we have put out five records in the past five years. I was just tired of working and not getting rewards, I mean it’s not about the money, it’s just about respect.
So it hasn’t been a full thirty years. After a rude awaking I got a little disappointed with the music business. I just did nothing for a few years and was just a bum. I think that’s hurt the band in a lot of ways, now I’m trying to make a menses for that.
TWINMUSIX: TOMMY, IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME TO WHEN YOU WERE A SOUND ENGINEER FOR CBGB WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR FUTURE SELF?
TOMMY: I think that was a boot camp like if you go to the military, the music business is kind of like being in the army anyhow you have to develop disciplines and then whatever you craft or whatever you are doing guitar playing, singing that was a great boot camp for me and if I didn’t work there and work at CGBG and mix hard-core, punk and industrial bands I would not have any education. There is no formal education of the music business, you just have to get in there and do it. I don’t think I did anything wrong, it was all perfect.
REPORTER: WHATS YOUR OPINION ABOUT POLITICS V.S. DONALD TRUMP?
TOMMY: There are two sides of it, when writing the records and lyrics I was focusing on the news a lot and focusing on everything. It’s almost comical where you read one thing about a certain subject and it’s just the total opposite on another side. So I just don’t know who to believe half the time. So that’s really what that meant, I’m sure there is some truth, I’m sure there is some journalists that tell the truth, I just don’t know who the hell they are.
REPORTER: YOU BEGAN AS A HARD-CORE BAND AND YOU WERE ONE OF THE FIRST ONES TO MAKE THE CROSSOVER WITH METAL, NOW THAT YOU LOOK BACK HOW DO YOU SEE PRONG WHEN YOU MIXED BACK WITH HARDCORE?
TOMMY: well we just did what we wanted, we listened to records and we were like well we like this. I was a big fan of killing joke and sisters of mercy and a lot of post punk shit back then and then ted the original drummer was like check out kreator, and I was like wow I have never heard this before and I was into a lot of hardcore stuff and we just threw it together and had fun with it. Then we got sick of it really fast and then we threw some other elements in there like bad brains was a band we really liked them a lot, we just put it into this melting pot. That’s still what goes on while making records.
Art has turned me onto a bunch of stuff that I properly wouldn’t of heard before and I took some of it and threw it into the new record. A lot of artists will tell you it’s all from them except I think it’s all in the universe for the taking really.
REPORTER: YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF DRUMMERS IN THE BAND, BUT IT SEEMS THIS GUY IS PRETTY GOOD, PRETTY FAST AND ENERGETIC DOES HE SUIT PRONG?
PRONG: Absolutely, he could play anything, so that opens up a whole aspect with prong, I mean if you are limited by a guy in the band your music can only go so far, so we don’t worry about it. Art can handle anything he is great.
We have had that problem in the past, with Ted the original drummer, I was trying to get him back and he is still a good friend of mine and he was like you know what I can’t do this anymore, you know the way you are going and the way you are moving ahead I just can’t keep up with it, so he was honest about that it’s a big deal totally.
ART: Thank you
REPORTER: HAVE YOU LISTENED TO ANY NEW RECORDS?
ART: the latest Nails record is really heavy and good
The latest despised icon record is good too
TWINMUSIX: ARE YOU COMING TO AUSTRALIA ANYTIME SOON?
TOMMY: I was there 2 years ago in November; it was really good except it was kind of sketchy with the guy that brought us over there unfortunately.
Hopefully if you know any nice promoters that want to bring us over there, but we have only been there once in the past 30 years.
It depends what label you are on over there, our records are only coming there as imports so we have that problem now. Like even in Canada our records are available on imports. It seems that the major independent record labels seem to have a monopoly on things, I may be completely wrong.
It’s a bit difficult for prong being on this completely supportive smaller label and sometimes hitting these other places is a bit difficult. I love Australia at the end of the day hopefully we come back.
REPORTER: YOU TOURING IN ENGLAND AND GERMANY, WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER PLANS FOR EUROPE AND USA?
PRONG: I have been trying to find that out, I have been getting fake news and I get confused.
ART: I know we are going to Mexico which is where I’m from. So that will be fun, that’s with anthrax and some metal mile festival. Except I’m not sure either.
TO READ PRONG'S ARTICLE CLICK HERE: