For those of you that missed it, I’m back at Metal Army America doing reviews, and interviews for them. Here is a link to the first one that I’ve put together, which covers Angelus Apatrida’s new album The Call.
During the latest episode of the Mars Attacks Podcast we have the extra special pleasure of interviewing Kirk Windstein of Crowbar, Down, and Kingdom of Sorrow. During the episode we discuss (among other things) Crowbar’s latest album Sever The Wicked Hand with Kirk, if he or the other members of Down have ever felt pressure to follow up the band’s classic debut Nola, as well as what he has taught or learned over the years while working with two of metal’s premier frontmen in Phil Anselmo, and Jamey Jasta.
Mix of new and classic cuts by Crowbar are played throughout the show.
The podcast can be streamed or downloaded from here:
This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Prong’s Cleansing. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 38 features an interview with Prong guitarist/lead singer Tommy Victor, along with comments from Gene Hoglan. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.
Click here to go to an index page that gives you details on everyone involved in the column.
This time around we have an interview with Ted Parsons drummer of Prong on Cleansing. As you can see from the interview he has been quite busy since his time in the band!
What was it like to write Cleansing?
It was a collaboration between Tommy , myself and sometimes Raven.. I would come up with a groove or Tommy would come up with a riff and we would jam in the studio and write tunes old school.
Tell us a little bit about the recording process.
It was the first time working with Terry date which was great. I´m sure Tommy can go in to more detail. We were all still living in NYC at the time. It was the first time I thought we finally had our sound and songs. We mixed at Electric Lady land which I thought was a big bore. I hate big fancy studios run by snobs.
Was there anything that the band was trying to accomplish with this album?
We wanted to make a great record of course, dry and in your face. I think we succeeded.
There is a big Killing Joke influence with this particular album, was this done intentionally?
Tommy and I have always been musically influenced by Killing Joke from the start. It just felt natural with Raven in the mix.
How did bringing Paul Raven and John Bechdel into the band affect the album?
Ravens bass sound was more what Tommy and I wanted. John brought in the added effects to spice up the tracks in the studio. We needed a key board player so we could do the samples live. I was playing most of the sounds using triggers and it freed me up to concentrate on drumming.
Does it surprise you that tracks off of this album are still played on metal radio, and at sporting events?
No not at all it still sounds fresh.
Does it bother you that more than a few bands have heavily “borrowed” from Prong, while not properly acknowledging the band’s influence?
No not really. Everyone rips off ideas and sounds from other people. It´s just how you present it.
In hindsight what impact do you think Cleansing made on your career and on metal?
It was definitely one of the best Prong albums in my opinion. Good songs, good drumming, great production. I never thought being in Prong as a career. Drumming is something that I needed to do and always will be doing.
Before Raven’s passing there was a rumor that this lineup might get back together again and tour, is there any truth to that?
Yes there was talk about it but nothing ever came of it. Raven was kicking around the idea to me a couple times. Tommy asked me a few years ago to come back to play with Prong after Raven died. They were opening for Soul Fly for a US tour and the drummer at the time, Aaron Rossi was off doing a Revolting Cocks tour. I was too busy with moving and other things. I can’t say if I would go back to play Prong music, but never say never.
What are you currently working on?
Building a new recording studio /rehearsal space. Jesu, Treponem Pal,Dark Drive Clinic (producer John Fryers project). Necessary, Teledubgnosis, Dub Neurotic and a host of other projects. I have done a lot of session work over the years. And been teaching drums in Oslo Norway where I live.
Where can people go to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
Facebook,and My space is a good start. Always looking for interesting bands and musicians to work with. Contact me through Facebook for some TP drumming!
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
- Hunter S. Thompson
Here are comments that have been contributed to us by others regarding this album. Remember to check out the index page if you’re not sure who someone is, or to check out their sites to find out more about what they do. Again, these comments are in the order we’ve received them.
Dan Lorenzo – In 1992 NON-FICTION were hoping to open for Prong in Europe. We were shot down by Tommy Victor because we “weren’t heavy enough.”. Almost 20 years later you still remember stuff like this. I don’t own or know this cd. I know Prong had a few amazing songs. I know Tommy also once said he was the first guy to tune down to C in 1994. By that time I had already recorded 3 cds tuned down to C. But Jimmy Page did it before me.
Jon Leon – Never got into prong but they had a unique sound.
Joel Gausten – The first four songs are strong enough to make up for the dragging parts in the album’s second half. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the drum sound on this one, although Ted Parsons is a stellar player and one of the nicest guys on the planet.
Metal Mike – When I heard this, I said this is new. It was Metal, but not only. It has a new way of playing and structuring guitar riffs. I listened to this album non stop for a while.
Erik Kluiber – Hung out with the drummer and did a zine interview with him back in the 90s. Very down to earth guy.
Scott Middleton – Definitely one of the most underrated bands ever. I loved how heavy and simple this band could be. Tommy Victor’s vocals and guitar riffs always had purpose and carried such sinister melody. Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck is a 90′s metal classic that still sounds far more evil than most extreme metal. Combining influences from metal, industrial and post hardcore, Cleansing is truly a record that stood apart from so many other at the time.
Jane Alisabeth Grey – As riff-laden and aggressive as Prong is, what is striking about their “Cleansing” album is
their ability to groove. Bands like Prong and Faith No More sidestepped
that whole “metal can only be brutal” ethos and pioneered the idea that Heavy Music can be aggressive as hell while being unabashed about the song
having a groove to it. I feel that Prong are the obvious Progenitors of
bands like Biohazard & Pantera, however, now that industrial metal has some history, you can clearly hear the influence(recognized or not) by bands like Nine Inch Nails. This album has multiple moving guitar parts that sync together like a clock or time piece that really originate the modern industrial music sound.
JL – The 90s saw a change towards new forms of metal, Prong were pioneers in this sense. For this album, the crushing sound that has characterized Terry Date’s productions helped form a solid base that is displayed on this album. It also manifests what would become popular in metal shortly thereafter.
David Gonzalez – I actually don’t know Prong, or any of their hit. But since the album appeared on the list, I went back and listened to Cleansing. Initially it sounds like a good thrash album (with a leaning towards what seems to be their hardcore past), but the album doesn’t totally convince me. The album is possibly the band’s biggest release, and the guitars on the album sound very powerful, but I’m not fully convinced. The drumming on the album sounds too monotonous on every track. Something similar happens with the singing as well (the same thing happens when I listen to Fu Manchu), the singing just sounds all alike, and just tires me after a while. Perhaps my evaluation of this album isn’t good, and I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad album; it’s just a matter of opinion. I just feel that it doesn’t stand out as much as other albums that came out around the same time.
Angel Rubin – I still remember the impact made by several albums released in that year, like Chaos A.D. by Sepultura, Far Beyond Driven by Pantera, and Cleansing by the New York band Prong. Oh how metal world changed during the early 90s. You could almost see it on the horizon, metal was going to get quite a bit heavier. Tommy Victor, Ted Parsons, Paul Raven and John Bechdel who helped incorporate keyboards on this album. They were able to create a project that was pure hardcore thrash, full of masterful riffs by Tommy Victor, one of the great riff masters of the 90s. Machine Head themselves took notice of Tommy’s riffs, and used them as a reference when laying down guitar tracks on so many of their albums.
The album is well ahead of its time with potent tracks like “Another Worldly Device” which makes you bounce from the first infectious beat that is laid down by Ted Parsons. His playing is consistent, and powerful throughout. Another bombastic track is “Whose Fist Is This Anyway?”, when listening to this track today you can tell where a band like Rammstein get a good bit of inspiration. “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” is one of the band’s most recognizable tracks. The song’s riffs are borderline thrash, and are mixed in with machine like drumming that moves full speed ahead. The track also features some double bass by Ted, and Tommy showing his teeth while mixing some rap like aspects into his frantic style of singing. The album moves forward with the pure thrash of Cut-Rate, the track surprises with a great solo during the middle of the song. On Broken Peace we start to see other influences creep in, this track contains a riff that contains a heavy reggae leanings before converting itself into a punishing heavy track with a killer chorus.
The album moves on with tracks like One Outnumbered, Out Of This Misery, and No Question which is a clear influence on Machine Head’s 90s albums. On Not Of This Earth the band seems to experiment a bit, trying to expand their musical horizons. To me this song has always reminded me of Alice In Chains. While Home Rule, and Sublime, hese are tracks that are more experimental, more personal, and different from the rest, with a hint of darkness. With Test they stylistically return to the first few songs off of the album, perhaps sounding a bit closer to Agnostic Front and Madball in the process, but adding that extra ingredient that separates Prong from the pack. The track also includes a quick but intense solo.
Summing things up, I think the band was a big influence on all of the bands mentioned above, along with a million other “metal-core” bands. Groups like Chimaira, Still Remains, Caliban, Throwdown, Slipknot, Hatebreed, and Pantera themselves. These bands owe Prong a debt of gratitude as most of them would not sound the same or would simply not existed if it was not for Prong.
The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:
Lazarus A.D. – Ultimate Sacrifice
Bonded By Blood – Genetic Encryption
Municipal Waste – Wolves Of Chernobyl
Overkill – Powersurge
Sacred Reich – One Nation
Wrathchild America – Surrounded By Idiots
Testament – Down For Life
Slayer – South Of Heaven
Megadeth – High Speed Dirt
Metallica – And Justice For All
Death Angel – Thrown To The Wolves
Ron Scalzo, AKA Q*Ball of Return To Earth, Bald Freak Music, and Q*Ball Fame is featured during the latest episode of Mars Attacks Podcast.
During the episode we discuss all of the bands mentioned above, his label Bald Freak Music, his relationship with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, his desire to score a movie soundtrack and more.
During the episode you’ll hear snippets of the following songs:
Return To Earth – Get Your Knife
Wayne – Let Us Kill Ourselves
Return To Earth – Automata
Return To Earth – The Altercation Of Man
Bumblefoot – Invisible
Return To Earth – Night Of Exploding Razors
Other items discussed:
Ron Scalzo, Ron Thal, Bumblefoot, Guns N Roses, Return To Earth, Q*Ball, Trent Reznor, Pretty Hate Machine, How To Destroy Angels, Inception, Nothing, Interscope, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Danny Elfman, Oingo Boingo, Ennio Morricone, Ministry, Meshuggah, Chris Pennie, Brett Aveni, Devin Townsen, Tom Araya, Slayer, Bono, Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode, Steve Vai, Ki, Ziltoid, Jason Flom, Kid Rock, Back Street Boys, Creed, Three Doors Down, Nickleback, Kevin Richardson, Beastie Boys, Andy Carp, Caddy Shack, Sigur Ros, Peter Gabriel, Coheed & Cambria, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Billy Preston, Abby Road, Rubber Soul
The latest episode of Mars Attacks Podcast features interviews with Hades guitar tandem Dan Lorenzo, and Scott LaPage. The first half of the episode contains an interview with Scott in which he touches on his new band The Freeze Tag Assassins, his blues playing and the Hades reunion (among other things). During the Dan Lorenzo segment, he discusses not only the Hades show, but being featured in Moshed Potatoes, the soon to be released Hades and Non-Fiction split DVD, the possibility of their being new music from either band, and the current status of The Cursed which features Blitz from Overkill, and Scream Metal the cover band he shares with Alan Tecchio (also of Hades and Non-Fiction) and Mark Strigl, and John Ostronomy of Talking Metal fame.
Dan not being one to mix words has some interesting comments regarding the Big 4, and alludes to the fact that Hades was playing a certain Joe Jackson cover well in advance of another New York Tri-state area band.
This week on Fusion Sonica, Mars Attacks and The Incoherent Ramblings of Victor M. Ruiz we will count down what you the listeners have voted as the top albums of the year. Fusion Sonica will focus on Spanish language artists, Mars Attacks on hard rock and metal (and anything else that closely resembles it, eg. punk, hardcore, etc.) and The Incoherent Ramblings of Victor M. Ruiz will focus on everything else (indie, pop, hip-hop, etc.).
Keeping that in mind, here are the albums that were most voted in the live albums/greatest hits category:
1 Opeth – En El Royal Albert Hall
2 Varoius – Big 4
3 Dio – Live At Donnington 83 & 87
4 Megadeth – Rust In Peace…Live!
5 Lamb Of God – Hourglass
6 Down – Diary Of A Mad Band
7 Amorphis – Forging The Land Of The Thousand Lakes
8 Neurosis – Live At Roadburn 2007
09 Triumph – Greatest Hits Remixed
10 Heaven & Hell – Neon Knights
11 Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits
12 Shinedown – iTunes Sessions
13 Immortal – The Seventh Date Of Blashyrkh
14 Various – Whome The Moon A Nightsong Sings
15 Shadows Fall – Madness In Manila
16 Anneke Van Giersberger & Agua De Annique – Live In Europe
17 Papa Roach – Time For Annihilation
18 Faith No More – Midlife Crisis: The Very Best Of Faith No More
19 AC/DC – Iron Man 2
20 King’s X – Live In London
To check out Spanish artists numbers 39 through 28 go here
To check out numbers 120 through 69 of the indie/pop/hip hop, etc. albums go here
During this episode we have interview with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, and James Luna, lead singer of Holy Grail, and former lead singer of White Wizzard. Holy Grail have just released a great new album called Crisis In Utopia. During Luna’s portion of the interview we discuss the making of said album, his influences, playing Waken, and his time in White Wizzard, where he goes into detail to discuss the issues he and former member of the band (James LaRue, and Tyler Meahl both in Holy Grail) had with Jon Leon. Now before anyone jumps to conclusions I did try and contact Jon to get his side of things so that people can determine for themselves what really happened. One of the things that I love about doing interviews for my podcast is that listeners can directly from an artist. It isn’t like playing telephone where things are sensationalized just to put another notch in someone’s proverbial gun. Had I of been able to interview Jon people would have been able to (again) choose for themselves whether what all of these former members are saying is true, or not. Maybe Jon has a good reason that isn’t coming across? Or maybe things are cut and dry, exactly like all of the former members are saying, and is why the label, and Jon himself has decided to not come on the show.
Ripper’s interview was conducted late last year, it is one of a handful of interviews that were conducted for MarkStrigleRadio.com and has yet to be released as a podcast. During this episode we discuss Hail!, his solo album Play My Game, Yngwie Malmsteen, Beyond Fear, Charred Walls Of The Damned, and the abrupt end to his tenure in Iced Earth. Tim is very forth coming, and honest when talking about John Schaffer, and what was promised to him when joining IE, and how it differs to how Judas Priest and Yngwie Malmsteen approached him.
I recommend both interviews to anyone that has been following the dysfunctional history of Iced Earth or White Wizzard, or are fans of either one of these two great lead singers.
During the episode you’ll hear the following tracks:
Holy Grail – Nocturne in D Minor
White Wizzard Shooting Star
Holy Grail – My Last Attack
Holy Grail – Requiem
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – Death Race
Beyond Fear – Save Me
Judas Priest – Blood Suckers
Overall we touch on the following topics:
Hail!, David Ellefson, NAMM, Samson Wireless, Andreas Kisser, Jimmy Degrasso, Mike Portnoy, Paul Bostaph, Ray Mayorga, Soulfly, Stone Sour, Spinal Tap, Sepultura, Alice Cooper, Testament, Simon Wright, Motorhead, Pantera, Judas Priest, Accept, Wendy Dio, Bob Kulick, Chris Caffery, John Comprix, Steve Stevens, Jeff Loomis, Michael Wilton, George Lynch, John 5, Scott Ian, Vinnie Paul, Rudy Sarzo, Billy Sheehan, Bobby Jarzombek, Road Runner Records, Road Runner United, Jeff Waters, Cory Taylor, The Grammys, Beyond Fear, SPV Records, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Schaffer, Matt Barlow, Judas Priest, Ian Hill, K.K. Downing, Rob Halford, Charred Walls Of The Damned, Richard Christy, Play My Game, Heaven & Hell, Hannah Montana, Pink,Amon Amarth, Exodus, Mahevilant Creation, Deep Purple, Klaus Meine, Scorpions, Manowar, Merciful Fate, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Slayer, Witchfinder General, Racer X, Testament, Lamb Of God, Jeff Loomis, Nevermore, Danny Lohner, Nine Inch Nails, Metal Blade Records, Angkor Wat, Waken Festival, Matt Hyde, Steve Evetts, Nuclear Blast, Side One Dummy, Prosthetic Records, Exodus, Kiss, Erik Kluibert, Jon Leon, Sleaze Roxx, Metal Sucks, Metal Sludge
During this episode we bring you two interviews, one with Chris Howorth from In This Moment, and another with Patrick Kennison from Heaven Below. During Chris’ portion we discuss the making of In This Moment’s latest album Star Crossed Wasteland, what it has been like to tour with the likes of Ozzy, Dave Mustaine, being part of Talking Metal on Fuse, and his feelings towards Maria Brink’s involvement with such things as the Hottest Chicks In Metal, and what affect, if any, it has on the band. During Patrick’s interview portion we discuss his former band Union Underground, what it was like to put Heaven Below together, working with Ben Moody, and some misconceptions people may have about artists whose songs are frequently used on TV.
During the episode you’ll hear the following songs in this order:
Heaven Below – Heartbreaker
Union Underground – Across The Nation
Heaven Below – When Daylight Dies
In This Moment – The Gun Show
In This Moment – Just Drive
In This Moment – The Great Divide
Topics discussed include:
Warped Tour, Mayhem Fest, Blondie, Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Chimera, Stone Sour, Union Underground, Heaven Below, Dave Mustaine, Megadeth, Schecter Hellraiser, EMG Pick Up, Krank Amps, Dunlop Pedals, In This Moment, The Dream, Star Crossed Wasteland, Chris Howorth, Kyle Kontiel, Jesse Landry, Trent Reznor, Hottest Chicks In Metal, Maria Brink, Talking Metal On Fuse, Blake Bunzel, Ernie Ball, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Lacuna Coil, Blondie, Disturbed, Lincoln Park, Drowning Pool, Static-X, Ozzy Osbourne, Countdown To Devil, Reworking The Devil, White Stripes, Cher, Peavy, B.C. Rich, Coal Chamber, Korn, Marshall, VHT Pitbull, TC Electronics G-Force, Lexicon MPX2, Ozzfest, Marilyn Manson, WWE, Ben Moody, Motorhead, Bob Dylan, Chris Isaak
During this episode we speak to Blitz from Overkill and Jose from Bonded By Blood. The original intent was to release this episode sometime back in July, but with all of the circumstances revolving around my life it made things difficult to do so. For those of you that don’t know my wife had been pregnant, and was bed ridden for most of two months. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage a little after this interview was conducted, and life was pretty much put on hold. A little after this happened my company had to make some difficult decision to help the company stay a float, and anyone that had unemployment benefits was let go. And you guessed it I was given the pick slip at the time. With all of this said, things could be worse and as my brother always says, no matter how bad things are, there is always someone that’s worse off than you are. Luckily, things are looking good for the future, so I can’t really complain.
In any event, the interview with Blitz was done back in January before Ironbound, Overkill’s latest album came out. Among the items discussed during this interview are Ironbound, and subsequent tour, the early days of Megaforce Records, the “Big Four”, his 30 year musical partnership with DD Verni, Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, the NY Steel Benefit Show, the project he did with Dan Lorenzo called The Cursed, Hail! and his involvement in Turtlehead!
During Jose’s segment we discuss how the band was started, comparisons to other bands, some of the festivals they were about to play when the interview was conducted, and the recording of their latest album Exiled To Earth
Items discussed during both interviews include:
Korn, Iron Maiden, Angelwitch, Raulph Patland, Cannibal Corpse, Twisted Sister, Brutal Assault Festival, Bloodstock Open Air, Suffocation, Thrash Assault Forum, Exodus, Exiled To Earth, Feed The Beast, Alex Lee, Jerry Garcia, Overkill, Forbidden, Big 4, Suffocation, Bobby Blitz, Overkill, Ironbound, DD Verni, Immortalis, Dave Linsk, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Feel The Fire, Killers, Punk Rock, Warbringer, Hardcore, Pop, Green And Black Army, Exodus, NY Steel, In Union We Stand, 9/11, Sid Falk, Sebastian Marino, Merritt Gant, Rob Cannavino, Bobby Gustafson, Tim Mallare, Rat Skates, Joe Comeau, Megaforce, Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Alex Parialas, Terry Date, Chris Tsangarides, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Anvil, Colin Richardson, Pete Townsend, Peter Tagtgren, Death Angel, Megadeth, Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, Randy Blythe, Lamb Of God, Gigantour, Dave Mustaine, Willie Adler, Chris Adler, Jamey Jasta, Dan Lorenzo, Hades, Non-Fiction, The Cursed, Black Sabbath, Turtlehead, John Ostronomy, Fuse, Motorhead, Mike Portnoy, Frank Bello, Hail!, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Andreas Kisser, Dave Ellefson
The following tracks are featured during the episode:
Bonded By Blood (off of Exiled To Earth) – 600 A.B. (After The Bomb), Genetic Encryption and Prototype – Death Machine
Overkill (off of Ironbound) – The Green and Black, Bring Me The Night, Give A Little