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Prong performing live at Wacken Open Air 2017
|Origin||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Prong is an American heavy metal band formed in 1986 by bassist Mike Kirkland and guitarist Tommy Victor, the band's sole constant member. To date, they have released twelve studio albums (including an album of song covers), one live album, four EPs, one DVD and one remix album. Prong had two independent releases — Primitive Origins (1987) and Force Fed (1989) — which attracted the attention of Epic Records, who signed the band in 1989. Their first two albums on Epic — Beg to Differ (1990) and Prove You Wrong (1991) — were released to critical acclaim and garnered attention on MTV's Headbangers Ball. The band's 1994 album Cleansing was also very successful, and included one of their well-known songs "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". After releasing one more album (Rude Awakening in 1996), Prong disbanded in 1997, but reformed in 2002 and has continued to tour and record since then.
The band was founded by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor (then a sound engineer for the club CBGB) and bassist Mike Kirkland (doorman at CBGB's). Ex-Swans drummer Ted Parsons joined a few months later. Prong released an EP Primitive Origins and an album Force Fed that were noted for their brutal hardcore punk sound. The recordings were released on Southern Records in the U.K. and Europe in the late 1980s. Although Force Fed was recorded and completed in 1987, due to label problems, the album was not released until early 1989, coinciding with the band's first European tour.
In the following year, Kirkland left the band and was replaced by bassist Troy Gregory. Prong issued their fourth release, Prove You Wrong, which saw the band experiment with programming and electronic samples while still retaining an aggressive yet melodic sensibility.
By 1994, Troy Gregory was out of the band and was replaced by Paul Raven and John Bechdel, both from Killing Joke and Murder, Inc. The new line up released Cleansing (Prong's 5th major release). With a slight industrial metal influence, Cleansing contained songs that are still considered Prong classics ("Broken Peace" and "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck") and is Prong's most successful release to date. The videos for these two songs became staples of MTV's legendary Headbangers Ball. The band toured America with Sepultura and Pantera as an opener for their respective Chaos A.D. and Far Beyond Driven tours. They also undertook a headlining European tour with Life of Agony and The Obsessed as their support.
Prong's sixth album Rude Awakening was released in 1996. It entered the charts at No. 74 and sold 10,000 units in America in one week. Epic Records decided Prong were not selling enough records and released them from their contract three weeks later. Shortly thereafter, Prong's line-up disbanded prior to a tour supporting Type O Negative; Victor later joined Danzig as Glenn's guitar player, Ted Parsons left to join Godflesh. Parsons also played with Jesu and Toured with Raven in Killing joke.
In 2002, Victor re-formed Prong with bassist Brian Perry (Dirty Looks, Jake E. Lee), drummer Dan Laudo and guitarist Monte Pittman (Madonna). In 2002, after a 42-show American tour that was recorded for a live CD (100% Live, Locomotive Music) Prong entered the studio and recorded a new CD titled Scorpio Rising which was received with mixed responses.
Prong released a live 2-disc DVD in 2005 entitled The Vault which features performances from the Hulstsfred and With Full Force festivals and a full show in Amsterdam. This disc has Brian Perry and Mike Longworth on bass as Longworth replaced Perry after his departure in 2003. Dan Laudo left the band in 2005 and the band enlisted Aaron Rossi, who used to be in the bands Strife (Victory Records), Shelter (Century Media Records), John 5 (Shrapnel Records), and Ankla (Bieler Bros. Records)
Victor and Raven joined Ministry in 2005 to write and tour in support of their 2006 album Rio Grande Blood. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for the song "Senior Peligro" in the "Best Metal Performance" category. The two also appear on Ministry's follow up album The Last Sucker (2007), although in a more limited capacity.
In 2007, Prong signed to Al Jourgensen's 13th Planet Records, who released Power of the Damager on October 2, 2007. The band embarked on the "Slicing Across America" and "Slicing Across Europe" tours supporting the album in 2007 and early 2008. Joining Tommy Victor for the tour were Monte Pittman and drummer Aaron Rossi; Paul Raven had died of an apparent heart attack in his sleep on October 20, 2007 at the age of 46.
Alexei Rodriguez and Tony Campos from Static-X were on the lineup with Tommy supporting Soulfly on the "Blood Fire War Hate" tour in the fall of 2009. They were replaced by Jason Christopher (bass) in 2011 and Art Cruz (drums) in 2012.
The band supported Fear Factory on their tour which ended on June 6, 2010. Prong released a new album, Carved Into Stone, on April 23, 2012, with Long Branch Records/SPV. It was produced by Steve Evetts. The band toured as a headliner and with acts such as Crowbar in the US and in May 2012 performed Beg to Differ in its entirety during a two-week tour in Europe.
In the summer of 2013, the band performed an extensive European festival and headline run and also recorded a self-released "Official Bootleg" entitled "Unleashed In The West - Live in Berlin" via Bandcamp.com.
After spending November and December 2013 in the studio, Prong released their ninth album Ruining Lives on Steamhammer/SPV in April 2014 and has been relentlessly touring in its support. Blabbermouth.net calls the album "Tommy Victor's personal liberation." The album was produced by Tommy Victor and mixed by Steve Evetts.
The band started a second wave of touring behind Ruining Lives in July 2014, with European festivals and headline shows. They also toured in North America, both as headliners and as support to Overkill, followed by a tour in Europe as main support to Overkill in October and November. In 2015 the band released the cover album Songs from the Black Hole, followed a year later by their eleventh studio album X (No Absolutes). Another album, Zero Days, was released in 2017. Prong is currently working on a new album, which is due for release in 2019.
In 2017 at the beginning of August they also played a concert in Polish Woodstock Festival.
Prong has been described as industrial metal, thrash metal, crossover thrash, and groove metal. The band is known for combining elements of thrash metal, groove metal, and industrial. Emerging from the New York hardcore scene, Prong, along with bands such as Pantera, Sepultura and Machine Head, is one of the bands of the groove metal movement of the 1990s. Prong cites Killing Joke and Chrome as influences.
Starting out in the New York City hard-core scene, Prong was a basic thrash metal band with hard-core overtones.
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