Prong will be releasing their new album, “Carved Into Stone”, on April 24th via Long Branch Records/SPV. The press release says the record “stretches into the band’s earliest and dirtiest foundations on which the band was founded on New York’s Lower East Side to the present as a staple of today’s post-metal and rock scenes.” Earlier this week I got the chance to speak with front man Tommy Victor on the new album, the recording process, touring, the metal scene, and much more!
Read my new interview with Tommy below and be sure to go out and pick up the new CD in April!
The new Prong album, “Carved Into Stone”, is coming out on April 24th. After all the hard work you put into the record, how excited are you to finally get it into people’s hands?
I’m super excited man! I’m just glad that it came out the way it did! Hopefully it gets great exposure and people hear it and like it. I really think all Prong fans will enjoy this record.
The press release says that the album is quintessentially Prong. What does that mean in your mind?
I think it reflects all of the previous Prong releases in the right way. It’s not that it’s a retro record, but it reflects some of the early hardcore/thrash moments, how it’s recorded, everything played, no electronics, no samples, almost done like “Beg To Differ” was done. We basically got together and just rocked it out. What we played is what you hear and that’s what Prong is all about.
This is the first release since you teamed up with Long Branch/SPV. How’s that relationship treated you so far?
It’s been great so far man. Jon Freeman, the publicist, has been very proactive with getting our name out there, and getting press opportunites our way to promote the new material. It’s great to be a part of a label again where we feel totally supported by them. I am very happy about the relationship.
Steve Evetts produced the new record and you previously said that you’ve never worked this hard in the studio before. You’ve put out a number of albums in your career, so why was this time different?
Well I produced the last few albums and I didn’t want that this time. Steve was so active in getting certain arrangements together, the vocal patterns, guitar solos, the sounds, the mixes, everything man. He was completely active in all aspects of the record and I really needed that. He was very demanding, yet open to our suggestions, and that’s why he was the perfect choice to produce the album. He pushed me as far as I could go, vocally and musically, but the end result is exactly what I wanted. So yea, it was a definitely a hard process, but he got the best out of the band and I for sure.
Was it hard for you to kind of step back and let someone take over the production since you’ve been doing it for so long?
It wasn’t as hard as you would think. I made the decision early that I didn’t want it all on my shoulders, so to have someone else do it was great. I wanted someone who has done it for years and knows what he’s doing and Steve was the perfect choice. I put a lot of faith in him and it worked out for sure. Of course there are times where you are like what’s going on, what’s he doing, shit like that, but he knew exactly what he was doing the whole time. When you record, you only hear bits and pieces at a time, and I would want to hear the whole thing, and then I had to stop and realize he has it under control. You sort of lose touch some times in the studio when you are working so hard, so I had to catch myself a few times and take a breathe and realize it wasn’t all on me this time ya know. We just had to put all of our faith in him in the end and it worked out great in our minds.
Obviously you are a fan of every song on the record, or else you wouldn’t put them on the album, but is there one certain song that you are really excited for fans to hear?
Personally, there is a song called “Subtract” on there that I really like. It’s not totally metal, but it has some certain elements in there that I’m really proud of, especially the vocals. Actually, I’m pretty happy with the vocals on this whole record. Steve really did a great job with me on the vocal process on this album. In previous attempts I would just scream to scream, or push the vocals harder than they should have been, and sometimes that’s not necessary ya know. The impact of the lyric coming across, or the attitude you have when you approach the words, I mean there’s a lot going on with vocals that a lot of people don’t understand. Every word, the clarity of each word, it digs deep at you, and Steve really helped bring that out of me, so I’m really happy with how the vocals came out on the record.
Prong will be heading out in April for a short tour with Crowbar and the rest of the nation wants to know when you will be announcing a full U.S. tour?
I’m not sure yet man. I’m thinking that will hopefully happen in late August or September. We are trying to dial that in right now. We need the right opportunity, the right finances, all that in order ya know. It’s going to happen for sure though. We are doing the Crowbar tour before the album even comes out just to get people excited and aware of the new material, but I would say we will definitely be hitting the rest of the States this year.
That’ll make Prong fans happy for sure! Now I wanted to ask you about the scene today. Obviously, people talk bad about it, with illegal downloading and everything, but I believe there are several positives to the scene as well. What do you think? What are some positive things about the heavy music scene today?
That’s a really great question man. I think that the opportunities out there are really huge right now. Obviously, the scene hasn’t died so that’s a good thing, but the scene is stronger than people think. I do believe the vehicles, like the internet, YouTube, etc, are really helpful to upcoming artists. We didn’t have that when I was coming up in the scene ya know (laughs). I had to sit there with a record and scratch things up just to figure things out sometimes. Hell, we didn’t even have tabs back then! There are just so many resources right for musicians to progress their sound and I think that’s a huge positive. I also see the “party lifestyle” movement slowly going away with some younger bands as well. A lot of them take it really seriously and I really respect that a lot. I could never do that when I was younger myself(laughs). I do see that people talk about all the negative things about the scene lately, but there is a lot more positive things going on than people think.
This past week we had Super Tuesday in the States, and obviously you are not running, but if Tommy Victor was elected President, what would be the first thing that you would change about the country?
I’m a big health care guy. I wouldn’t have this forced thing, but I believe hospitals and care should be free ya know. I think that if you are sick or need an operation, that you can walk into a place and get it done like the rest of the world. I had this one experience where I screwed up my finger on tour in Germany and I got it taken care of at a beautiful clinic in like an hour and it was totally free. It was a beautiful thing and the way I think it should be for everyone. If I was here, I probably wouldn’t have been accepted or got it fixed that easily. So I’d definitely do something about that!
Very cool man, well I’ll leave this last part open to you. Do you have anything else you would like to say to the Prong fans out there?
Yea definitely check us out on that Crowbar tour and keep checking our Facebook for any new tour dates that will be coming up soon. We are also shooting a video for a song called “Revenge Best Served Cold” here shortly so be on the lookout for that as well. Most importantly, thank you for the support and be sure to pick up “Carved Into Stone” when it hits stores in April!