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Home > All articles > PRONG > Prong, Ministry (Tommy Victor) - interview (2007)
Prong, Ministry (Tommy Victor) - interview (2007)
2007-11-09 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz and dugoutTX | e-mail interview
NINa: How was it to come from a doorman for CBGB's to the international fame rockstar position? Did you ever plan to be a rockstar or did it happen kind of unexpected?

Tommy Victor: Am I a rockstar? That's funny because I live under a tight budget and don't feel like I have that lifestyle. I also ran sound at CBs, and I guess that helped Prong get signed. I always felt it important to be involved in the scene. I'm not like that these days, too much online stuff, too many restrictions at clubs.

NINa: Who did you let into the club, and who had to stay away? what were your ways of selection? clothes, make up, special sparkle in the eye?

Nothing like that. CBs let everyone in. We just made decisions on whom to charge.

dugoutTX: Recently, Mike Riggs of Skum of the Earth mentioned that you were one of the pioneers of the Industrial Metal power groove in his eyes. He was impressed at how your music was used early on in the local stripclubs. Who were most influential to you as you developed your sound?

Killing Joke most prominently. The industrial metal thing was more of a stage for Prong. I'm always changing. There's a big difference between Primitive Origins and Cleansing.

NINa: Is Prong unique sound caused by the fact you've been using Marshall 1960 for your guitar?

I use a Marshall Valvestate and a Crate. I dunno, I think its because I'm really not trained musically in ways that a lot of other git players are or have been.

dugoutTX: The new recording finds you back on top of your game with the hooky heavy riffs we've all grown to crave over the years. In fact, this may be your heaviest straight metal album ever. I even hear a few hints of old Metallica in the mayhem - have you been waiting to unleash this on us for a while or is this a new found freedom working with the 13th Planet camp?
No not really. I just have focused more on playing guitar and execution ability, and with Aaron Rossi on drums we were able to meet those goals more on Power Of the Damager. The old thrash approach is just a part of the sound now. There's a lot of old NY hardcore on the record as well as Killing Joke punk stuff as well.

NINa: Why have there been so many changes in Prong's line-up through all those years? Didn't the guys fit your vision about the band?

I got into this bad attitude of taking the easy way out. Sort of like "OK you can somewhat play the songs so I guess that's okay." And then get resentful of others and myself. Scheduling difficulties have also been a part of the problem. Guys have quit like Troy Gregory, who we really didn't want to leave. Teddy Parsons was amazing, but we starting having some personal / business disagreements. I did so much of the work and it got to the point where I felt I was getting no positive reinforcement. I just got criticized and bitched at and that's one of the reasons, along with the unfair equal money split, that I didn't want to do Prong for quite awhile.

dugoutTX: Over the years, I have snatched up most of your singles. I enjoyed your input long ago in the Argyle Park project as well. We just interviewed Klayton of Celldweller who you did a bunch of work with for a while there. Have the two of you crossed paths lately? Are there plans to let remixers dig in to these tracks in the future or do you intend to keep it pure metal this go around?

There are plans for a remix record. I haven't been in contact with Klayton for awhile unfortunately. He's one of the most talented guys out there.

NINa: You came from Danzing to Ministry really quick, then you got the deal with 13th Planet but you were signed to a Spanish label - Locomotive Music previously. Why did you quit with them?
I can't really get into that situation.

dugoutTX: Any solid tour plans we can look forward to?

Well Prong is on tour now! It's going well. It's an amazing line-up. The same as the new record Monte Pittman on bass and Aaron Rossi on drums. I'm pretty lucky to have these guys in Prong. Check out our myspace for the dates. (www.myspace.com/prong)

NINa: What did you do to make the MTV interested in promoting your first ever Prong song on their Headbangers promo?

I think it had something to do with Pushead.

dugoutTX: Is there any "new blood" out there that you'd want to make sure we check out?

I'm clueless on that front. There's a lot of stuff that I hear and like, there's just TOO much out there. It's too easy to make records these days.

dugoutTX: It must be tough to be a Jets fan this year. Believe me, I feel your pain, Houston finally put the hatchet to our ball & chain - David Carr - so I can finally be a proud Texans fan. Do you think Chad Pennington will ever remove his head from his ass and let New York win a game or two?

Chad's out. He was a great leader, but his arm is shot. We all now in Jetnation have a lot of faith in Kellen Clemens now. I haven't been too impressed with Schaub to be honest. Without Andre Johnson he was lost. This Rosenfels is pretty good though.

NINa: Have you ever came across any obsessive fans trying to harass you, sending you threats, or any girls in love with you trying to make you married to them on purpose?
Of course. I've had hellacious relationships obviously. Just read my lyrics.

Prong at Myspace | official website

Pictures come from Prong's archive, all copyrights reserved by © Alan Amato (1,2), Steffan Chirazi (3).
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