Felicity Hall of GetYourRockOut conducted an interview with PRONG guitarist/vocalist Tommy Victor at this year's edition of the Bloodstock Open Air festival, which was held August 7-10 at Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, West Midlands, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
PRONG's latest album, "Ruining Lives", was released through Steamhammer/SPV in Scandinavia on April 23, in Germany on April 25, in the rest of Europe on April 28 and in the U.S./Canada on May 13. It was issued as a limited digipak version including one bonus track and poster, as a double gatefold colored vinyl version including one bonus track and the CD in cardboard sleeve, as a standard version and download.
"Ruining Lives" is the follow-up to the acclaimed 2012 release "Carved Into Stone" and continues to show the band on an upward trajectory, proving that despite having a long, illustrious career PRONG can still make records that matter and re-invent themselves without negating their roots.
Asked if there was anything different PRONG wanted to accomplish with "Ruining Lives", Victor told AXS.com: "The trend for PRONG has been to focus on actual songs. There wasn't anything different with that. I tried to improve upon what was going on with the previous release, 'Carved Into Stone'. With the help of [producer] Steve Evetts, we continued to emphasize vocals and hooks. There are a few newer-style songs however. 'Come To Realize' is a track that is quite different than anything PRONG has done before. It has a more 'math metal' approach. Certain things are distinctively 'PRONG,' and those elements are preserved."
Regarding whether PRONG tries to be "different," per se, from other bands while writing new music, Victor said: "For the most part, I haven't been concerned with breaking any new ground in recent years. PRONG is what it is and we just try to have quality songs with meaningful lyrics. Guitar playing and songwriting really reflect whoever is doing it.
"On this release, there was a good amount of honesty in the process. Chris Collier helped me with all the songs, so I had someone to collaborate with, again. That's important for me these days. I need someone to keep me in line. Also, I believe I'm decent at developing others' ideas. I think that just comes with experience.
"I've said it before: PRONG has supplied a lot of 'on the job training' for me."
Victor also spoke about the fact that PRONG's sound has been described in many different ways, blending sub-genres, causing debates among "critics."
"To be honest, I believe it's been to PRONG's commercial detriment that we have had that classification issue," he said. "Sometimes I wish we had that solid brandishing, like a HATEBREED or a MEGADETH or a NINE INCH NAILS, whatever. It would make things a lot easier for tours, and sales, I believe. Again it is what it is. I guess I'm way too rebellious. When I start getting accepted or noticed by a clique or clan or genre, I start feeling uncomfortable. I start saying to myself, 'Is this it?...I'm just a hardcore guy or a metalhead? I can't be an 'art rocker,' that's just not tough enough!' I'm never satisfied. It's something I'm working on. Now I just have to try to accept it's just PRONG, like it or leave it."