PRONG Recruit MADONNA Guitarist, Prepare To Record Live Album

April 7, 2002

The latest incarnation of PRONG have recruited former MADONNA touring guitarist Monte Pittman to fill in for DIESEL MACHINE's Rich Gonzales during the group's current US tour after Gonzales was forced to pull out of the trek due to unspecified scheduling conflicts.

Pittman is no stranger to the PRONG camp, having extensively collaborated with the group before accepting the coveted slot with MADONNA in addition to being a longtime friend of PRONG singer/guitarist Tommy Victor.

Monte was in the band for the last two years, and then he got the gig with MADONNA," Victor says. Now he said that he could come back and we just nabbed him, because he's amazing. It was a game of seconds, and we're glad to have him back in the project.

With the exception of Victor the onetime CBGBs soundman who founded the band in 1986 PRONG's line-up has been quite fluid over the course of its six-album career. But Victor believes that PRONG is more an ideal than the sum of its parts.

This sounds ridiculous, but it's almost like a PRINCE concept, where the logo is his moniker and identity, he says. PRONG is something that comes from somewhere else, and it filters through me for some reason. I just feel that whoever wants to do it at whatever particular time, they can do it.

PRONGwhose current line-up is completed by drummer Dan Laudo, and bassist Brian Perry (ex-JAKE E. LEE, LIZZY BORDEN, DIRTY LOOKS)disbanded in 1997 after issuing four groundbreaking albums on Epic Records. Victor then collaborated with the likes of Glenn Danzig and Rob Zombie before deciding to reform the band that paved the way for the successes of artists such as STATIC-X, DISTURBED and HELMET.

The group recently completed a four-song demo including a song ("Initiation") co-written by HALFORD/DIESEL MACHINE guitarist Pat Lachman and expects to sign a new record deal in the coming weeks. PRONG will also record a live album during its six-week tour, which wraps up in Victor's current hometown, Los Angeles, on May 18th.

Former members of PRONG didn't show any interest in continuing it, Victor says, so I just found some new guys I felt comfortable with. We really wanted Pat, who's under contract with HALFORD, to come out initially, but it worked out that Monte had a window of opportunity to do this. Everything somehow falls into place in the end.

It's a whole new beast in a way," Victor says of PRONG's 2002 incarnation. I think, for the first time, we've got four excellent players, and there's not a lot of tension. These guys are really, really good. We're all friends, and it's working out great. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

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