(From This Is Wiltshire, UK Newsquest Regional Press, 25 January 2001.)


Prong Prepares to Pick Prevailing Preconceptions





April 25, 1996--Brace yourself for Reveille from the avatars of aggressive post-modern rock: Prong is preparing for the May 14 release of their new album Rude Awakening on Epic Records. The record provides a stinging follow up to the group's 1993 breakthrough album Cleansing, which sold over 250,000 copies and tripled Prong's fan-base. Co-produced by Terry Date (White Zombie, Pantera) and Prong singer/guitarist Tommy Victor, Rude Awakening shows the group elevating the brutal approach of Cleansing to a higher, heretofore unimagined level of ferocity -- while exploring new sonic horizons in the process. With Rude Awakening, Prong is receiving enthusiastic support from their colleagues: White Zombie leader Rob Zombie is directing the video for the album's title-track debut single; also, the Orb, Nine Inch Nails and Young Gods are weighing in with several remixes. Describing Rob Zombie's vision for the "Rude Awakening" video (filmed in Los Angeles in mid-April), Prong's Victor laughs "it's a post-apocalyptic sleaze theme; pretty dark and intense. It's not like a White Zombie video. This is definitely going to be a Prong video." Victor has known Zombie for years and he welcomed his participation in the video. "I trust him," says Victor. "Rob's really pumped about it. He's sort of a genius in some ways -- I know that sounds corny as f--k, like calling somebody a 'visionary' or something -- but he's really doing us a favor." Remixed versions of Rude Awakening tracks will propel Prong's first foray into clubs, providing a new avenue of exposure for the band. Their friends are lending a hand -- beginning with a special remix of "Rude Awakening" by The Orb, which will be available on 12" shortly after the album's release. Look for future remixes by the Young Gods and Nine Inch Nails' leader Trent Reznor. Regarding The Orb's "Rude Awakening" remix, Victor says "it's brilliant. It has a heavy tribal vibe and an element of it tips its hat to Killing Joke." The Killing Joke connection is no accident: bassist Paul Raven played with Killing Joke and Pigface before joining Prong three years ago and has known The Orb's Alex Patterson (who used to work for Killing Joke) for years. Prong drummer Ted Parsons possesses an interesting background of his own: although he has worked with Victor on and off for a decade, as a member of The Swans Parsons played on several of their albums and has toured extensively with Foetus. Prong has also formed a lasting relationship with Nine Inch Nails. NIN keyboardist/drummer Charlie Clouser contributed loops and ideas to the entire Rude Awakening album and, as mentioned earlier, Trent Reznor will be remixing various Prong tracks in the coming months. Moreover, Victor is participating in the embryonic NIN offshoot project Tapeworm with Reznor, Clouser and Danny Lohner. In the meantime, Victor is concentrating his attention on Prong's upcoming album and with typical deadpan humor, he admits that Rude Awakening represents a new challenge for the band; "There's something about doing your average rock 'n' roll band record that was sort of distasteful to me. I wanted to go for something a little more fresh and cut against the grain a bit with our guitar sounds and vocal approach. You keep working on a song until you start thinking 'Hey, this isn't that bad.' That's about as enthusiastic as I get. We just concentrate on the grooves with some crazy guitar-playing and some kind of hook. Sort of a three-tined approach," he adds -- cleverly avoiding using the "P" word. Prong is currently rehearsing for an upcoming tour. The group will headline at clubs throughout North America, beginning with a few special preview shows in Los Angeles -- more details are coming soon. Rude Awakening will be available in stores May 14th.