Alice In Chains – We Die Young
Pantera – I’ll Cast A Shadow
Ozzy Osbourne – Diary Of A Madman
Black Sabbath – Devil & Daughter,
Dio – Hunter Of The Heart,
Kiss – Under The Gun,
Slipknot – Butcher’s Hook,
Doro with Peter Steele – Decent,
Avenged Sevenfold – Bat Country,
Drowning Pool – Sinner,
Metallica – Escape,
Rush – Finding My Way,
Warrior Soul – Rocket 88,
Alice In Chains – We Die Young
Lamb Of God – Walk With Me In Hell
Trivium – Entrance Of The Conflagration
Tool – Parabola
System Of A Down – Sad Statue
Arch Enemy – Savage Messiah
Lynch/Pilson – The Evil That You Are
Machine Head – Crashing Around You
Korn – Trash
Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
Sevendust – Crucified
Mudvayne – Mercy, Severity
Slipknot – Before I Forget
In Flames – Cloud Connected
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:
These are the tracks we played during episode 53 of the radio show
Metallica – The Judas Kiss
Lamb Of God – Redneck
Testament – More Than Meets The Eyes
Slipknot – Duality
Killswitch Engage – The End Of Heartache
Trivium – Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
Strapping Young Lad – Relentless
Fear Factory – Self Bias Resistor
Meshuggah – Bleed
In Flames – Pinball Map
Machine Head – Imperium
Here’s a link to an album review I did for for Metal Army America. The group is called Feel The Pain, and the album is self titled. You can read the review here.
During episode 11 we interview Frank Salvaggio from Anew Revolution and Robbie Crane from Ratt. Both are very stand up guys, very easy to talk to, and furthers my belief of having just a normal conversation with artists as opposed to doing a “Kent Brockman” type interview (sorry I say Trent during the episode).
In any event, we touch on the following items during the interviews, from Frank’s side his past in Slaves On Dope, putting Anew Revolution together, song writing, gear, etc. With Robbie we talk about Juan Croucier, Vince Neil, being in the band for roughly 15 years, Infestation, the drama surrounding the band, etc.
During the episode you will hear parts of the following songs:
Anew Revolution’s “Head Against The Wall” & “Ashes From Stone” both come off of the bands recently released iMerica
Ratt’s “Eat Me Up Alive”, “Best Of Me” & “A Little Too Much” all off of their latest release Infestation
Other items discussed:
Anew Revolution, Slaves On Dope, Unloco, E1 Music, Bill Meis, Frank Salvaggio, Joey Duenas, Ozzfest, Taproot, Sugar Ray, 311, Lemonade & Brownies, Snot, Drowning Pool, Nonpoint, Limp Bizkit, Shinedown, Sevendust, Gojira, Marilyn Manson, Hatebreed, Journey, Killswitch Engage, Projekt Revolution, Kittie, Insane Clown Possie, Coolio, Tara McLeod, Ivy Vujic, Randall Amps, Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, ESP Guitars, Metallica, EMG Pickups, Ratt, Vince Neil, John Corabi, Motley Crue, Carved In Stone, Dust Brothers, Brent Woods, Kid Rock, Beastie Boys, Young MC, Tone Loc, Funky Cold Medina, Exposed, Steve Stevens, Paul’s Boutique, Phil Sousan, Out Of The Cellar, Vertex, Stephan Piercy, Al Pitrelli, Juan Croucier, Carlos Cavazo, Quiet Riot, Metal Health, Condition Critical, Robyn Crosby, Bobby Blotzer, Warren DiMartini, Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Roadrunner, Loud And Proud, Infestation, Fender Precision Bass, Rotosound Strings, Marshall Amps, Ampeg Amps, Hiwatt Amps, Steve Harris, John Entwistle, Metal Army America, Talking Metal, Mark Strigl Radio, Background Noise, Van Halen, Dan Lorenzo, Hades, Non-Fiction, The Cursed, Misery, Chad Gray, Mudvayne, Cory Taylor, Slipknot
Here is the playlist for episode 33:
Slipknot – Snuff
Slipknot – Vermillion
Type O Negative – September Sun
Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
Heaven & Hell – Breaking Into Heaven
Metallica – No Remorse
Van Halen – Get Up
Scorpions – Love On The Run
Dokken The Prisoner
Kingdom Come – Get It On
Gary Moore with Ozzy Osbourne – Led Clones
During this episode we say thank you and celebrate the music and lives of Paul Gray, Ronnie James Dio, Pete Steele, and Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, in the event that you have been living under a rock, all four of these men have recently passed away. We also celebrate the fact that Metallica’s Kill Em All wrapped up its recording today 27 years ago in 1983, as well as the US Version of the Monsters Of Rock Festival which featured the aforementioned Metallica, Kingdom Come, Dokken, Scorpions, and the Sammy Hagar lead Van Halen. The festival tour kicked off in Alpine Valley Wisconsin 22 years ago today, back in 1988.
If you tune in you will hear the following bands:
Slipknot, Type Of Negative, Avenged Sevenfold, Heaven & Hell, Metallica, Kingdom Come, Dokken, Scorpions, Van Halen and Gary Moore.
Tonight 8PM EST / 5PM PST only on MarkStriglRadio.com
During this episode we interview Zach Broderick from Nonpoint. We touch upon being the new guy in the band, how he got the gig, what its been like to work with Chad Gray and Gregg Tibbett from Mudvayne on Mircacle, touring with Nonpoint, etc.
During the episode I also mention the recent deaths within the hardrock/metal community. My thoughts go out to Paul Gray from Slipknot, and everyone else that I mention, Rev from A7X, Ronnie James Dio, and Pete Steele. I hope they’re all in a better place, and thank them all for their music.
Other items discussed during the episode are the following:
Zach Broederick, Nonpoint, Miracle, Dirge Within, Soil, Shaun Glass, Dan Donegan, Disturbed, The New Game, Chad Gray, Greg Tribbett, Paranoid, Black Sabbath, EVH Amps, Peavey, Jackson Guitars, EMG X Pickups, Dunlop Pedals, Sam Ash, Mick Mars, Motley Crue, God Forbid, Doc Coyle, Ernie Ball Strings, Download Festival, Rock On The Range, Eddie Trunk, Talking Metal, Ripper Owens, 60 Cycle Media, Ronnie James Dio, Wendy Dio, Gloria Butler, Geezer Butler, Dimebag Darrell, Pantera, The Rev, Avenged Sevenfold, Pete Steele, Joey Z, Life Of Agony, Paul Gray, Slipknot, Blabbermouth.net
During this episode you’ll hear two interviews, one with Steven Bradley from Iwrestledabearonce (IWABO) and another with Rasmus Booberg from New Keepers Of The Water Towers (NKOTW). Interesting how both bands go by their initials. In any event, I spoke to Rasmus while he was in Stockholm, soaking up the sun. We discussed their album Chronicles which came out on Meteorcity Records. We also discussed their soon to be released EP The Caledonia Hunt, his gear, being invited to play the Roskilde Festival and the possibility of having another full length out later this year.
Steven talks to me about everything from gear, to why he, Krysta and John have lasted in the band, Hurricane Katrina, the possibility of touring with the Bacon Brothers, and what are some of the more common questions thrown at the band.
Items touched upon during the interview are as follows:
New Keepers Of The Water Towers, Rasmus Booberg, Chronicles of the Massive Boar, Victor Berg, The Knowledgeable Kangaroo, Chronicles of the Iceman, Flight Of The Reptilians, The Three Headed Cow, The Caledonian Hunt, The Sword, Grooves Tube Amplifier, Marshall Amplifier, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Guitars, Meteorcity Records, Roskilde Festival, Iwrestledabearonce, Steven Bradley, Gary Busey, Kevin Bacon, The Bacon Brothers, Krysta Cameron, Metal Just Got Gay, Metal Sucks, Lady Gaga, Crabcore, Deathcore, Nintendocore, Horse The Band, Anthrax, Back Street Boys, Terrible, Usher, R. Kelly, All Shall Perish, John Ganey, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Mike Patton, Bjork, Dillinger Escape Plan, Refused, The Shape of Punk To Come, LTD, ESP, GHS Strings, Rocktron, Madison Amps, Engl Amps, Gretch Drums, Zildijan Cymbals, EMG, EMG 81X, EMG 60X, Seymour Duncan Black Outs, Axis Pedals, Marshall Amplifiers, Ampeg, Warped Tour, Propellerhead, Reason Refills, Bury Your Dead, Hurricane Katrina, The Chariot, The Eyes Of The Traitor, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Faith No More, Toumai, Rise Of The Lizard King, Pursuit of Yeti, You Ain’t No Family, Dan Beland, Melanie Beland, Paco Fernandez, Metal Army America, Talking Metal Wire, Stevis, Wolf, Eli Haftman, Mikey Mongomery, John Ganey, Mike Martin, Century Media, Blabbermouth.net