In Association with
Musicians | Biography | Discography | Links
UNITED STATES, New York, New York City

Date Formed Jun/1986

Categories: Groove Metal, Hardcore, Metal


With their arrival, New York's PRONG prompted much well deserved praise due to their avant-garde Hardcore approach. The group was founded by guitarist Tommy Victor, sound engineer for the legendary New York CBGB's club, ex-DAMAGE bassist Mike Kirkland and former SWANS drummer Ted Parsons. PRONG's inaugural album effort, 'Primitive Origins', emerged in August 1987 through Mr. Bear Records.

Spigot Records put out second outing 'Force Fed' in January 1988. The group's impact had prompted the attention of major label CBS Records, who signed the band to their Epic subsidiary for the Mark Dodson and Bob Feineigle produced March 1990 'Beg To Differ' album. This collection closed out with a live version of CHROME's 'Third From The Sun', recorded at CBGB's in New York in 1989.

The September 1991 'Prove You Wrong' album, which featured a cover rendition of THE STRANGLERS 'Get A Grip (On Yourself)', was again produced by Mark Dodson although apparently not to the band's liking. PRONG's membership had altered to include FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's Troy Gregory on bass. Gregory would later decamp to found Psychedelic Rockers THE WITCHES.

The album of remixes 'Whose Fist Is It Anyway' saw PRONG being joined by KILLING JOKE and MURDER INC. bassist Paul Raven, KILLING JOKE's keyboard player John Bechdel and FOETUS man Jim Thirlwell. PRONG gained the valuable opening position for PANTERA's 'Far Beyond Driven' American tour. The band even having time to form a makeshift pseudo-death metal spoof band with PANTERA vocalist Phil Anselmo under the title of YETI.

The fifth PRONG album 'Cleansing', produced by Terry Date, arrived in January 1994 and peaked at no. 126 on the national US Billboard charts. A US tour, utilising DROWN's Joseph Bishara on keyboards, featured opening acts CLUTCH and DROWN. The album track 'Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck' garnered the band unexpected mainstream exposure with an inclusion of an accompanying video on the MTV cartoon series 'Beavis And Butthead'. This song was subsequently covered by DRY KILL LOGIC, on their 'Rot' EP, and by DEMON HUNTER on the album 'The Triptych'. Extreme Championship wrestler Justin Credible also used the song for his entrance music.

'Rude Awakening', again produced by Terry Date, hit stores in May 1996, peaking at no. 107 on the US charts. Charlie Clouser was by now manning the drums.

The band drafted former CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, SUFFER and DROWN bassist Rob Nicholson. However, PRONG folded when Victor joined DANZIG in 1996. Parsons teamed up with GODFLESH. Nicholson also teamed up with DANZIG in 1997 then journeyed onto WHITE ZOMBIE under the new guise of 'Blasko'. For live work PRONG pulled in STEEL PROPHET bassist Vince De Juan Dennis who returned to his parent act upon completion of touring.

PRONG erstwhile members would announce a whole slew of activities during late 2001. Tommy Victor assembled a band project in alliance with drummer Dan Laudo plus HALFORD and DIESEL MACHINE guitarist Pat Lachman. The rhythm section of Paul Raven and Ted Parsons spread their net wide touring as members of GODFLESH, recording with Parsons former SWANS colleagues Norman Westberg and Algis Kizys as well as forming part of the re-constituted KILLING JOKE.

Not content with all this activity the bass player would also found a Los Angeles based side endeavour SOCIETY ONE in union with ex-WHITE ZOMBIE drummer Ivan DePrume. Parsons too had other cards up his sleeves, working with ex-MASTERS OF REALITY guitarist Brendan McNichol in Ambient duo DRONE and also with the New York act TELEDUBGNOSIS.

PRONG reformed in early 2002 for a short burst of American touring citing a line-up of Victor, DIESEL MACHINE guitarist Rich Gonzales, bass player Brian Perry and drummer Dan Laudo. However, Gonzales's conflicting schedules saw PRONG heading out onto the road as a trio before the swift induction of replacement Monte Pittman, an erstwhile live guitarist for MADONNA's 'Drowned World' tour. PRONG then cut a four track demo, making the track 'Initiation', written by HALFORD and DIESEL MACHINE guitarist Pat Lachman, available for internet download.

Meantime, ex-drummer Ted Parsons, whilst announcing news of his own new ventures, would be vociferous in his condemnation of the revised version of PRONG. The ex-drummer revealed he was collaborating with former GODFLESH man Justin Broadrick in a venture entitled JESU and participating in new KILLING JOKE recordings. Further endeavours transpired as two projected albums credited to TELEDUBGNOSIS, one of remixes and the other of new material. Live dates for TELEDUBGNOSIS would see Parsons joined by Scotty Hard on guitar and Tony Maimone on bass.

The rejuvenated PRONG would guest for DANZIG on their summer American dates, supplanting Swedish Black Metal band MARDUK, denied access due to immigration problems. However, reports that PRONG themselves had been ejected from the tour before the Cincinnati, Ohio date, replaced by CHIMARIA, proved unfounded as the band later resumed their position.

During August PRONG signed to the Spanish Locomotive Music label. Their touring schedule for August would take in a one off UK show at London's Camden Underworld and a showing at Belgium's Pukkelpop Festival upfront of launching a three week American headline tour commencing October 16th. PRONG would then return to European shores for a month's worth of gigs beginning on 12th November.

In March 2003 it was announced that Tommy Victor had rejoined DANZIG. Meantime, ex-PRONG man Rob Nicholson was back in the news in December of 2003, joining OZZY OSBOURNE's band that December. PRONG set out on a short series of US dates in March 2004. With guitarist Monte Pittman unable to commit to these shows bassist Mike Longworth switched to guitar to cover. Bass duties for these gigs would be handled by METHODS OF MAYHEM and TOMMY LEE man Marty O'Brien. PRONG's US live schedule, seeing Pittman at first re-installed, then extended through April into June with support acts DOG FASHION DISCO, BEYOND THE EMBRACE and ALL THAT REMAINS. However, the band drafted yet another new guitar player, Aaron Slip of TAD, RIVERRED and RORSCHACH TEST, in time for their 1st May gig at Hells Kitchen in Tacoma Washington. Shows in late June would be supported by West Virginians BYZANTINE.

In June of 2005 longstanding drummer Dan Laudo exited to prioritise his BIG ON MARS project. PRONG drafted Aaron Rossi as replacement. May 2006 found PRONG veterans Tommy Victor and Paul Raven enrolled into the new look MINISTRY live band for their US 'MasterBaTour' dates.

Mike Longworth left PRONG in December 2006 in order to forge LOVERS REVOLT in union with ex-NOTHINGFACE singer Bill Gaal.

PRONG returned in October 2007 with 'Power Of The Damager', recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas with MINISTRY's Al Jourgensen acting as producer, issued by 13th Planet Records. Japanese versions hosted an extra track 'Idealistic Types'. Recording roster for these tracks comprised Tommy Victor, bassist Monte Pittman with Aaron Rossi on drums.

A remix version of the 'Power Of The Damager' set saw release in May 2009 billed 'Power Of The Damn MiXXXer'.

Garry Sharpe-Young

Copyright Musicdetector Websites 2009