TOMMY VICTOR Says PRONG's MTV-Era Videos 'Cost An Unbelievable Amount Of Money' To Produce
January 3, 2020
Keefy of Ghost Cult magazine conducted an interview with frontman Tommy Victor of veteran metallers PRONG prior to the band's October 6 concert at Brooklyn Bazaar in Brooklyn, New York. You can watch the entire chat below (video by Omar Cordy of OJC Photography). A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the benefits of releasing an EP versus a standard full-length album:
Tommy: "We got lucky with Steamhammer Records. They've been very supportive. Anything we do, they're, like, 'Right on' and he's very excited about it, [SPV/Steamhammer A&R manager] Olly Hahn. If it wasn't for him, we'd really be in a lot of trouble. I really have to hand it to him. He's been very creative with the making of the records. Their art department, the guy from the actual label, is the one who is helping out with the actual art, which is such a big part of the whole thing nowadays. The t-shirts, the whole thing, the whole look of the experience outweighs the actual product or something because people don't buy CDs anymore. What are you going to do with them? The artwork has to provide for shirts and other things.
"As far as the music business, I like this EP thing. I think I really spent a lot of time on getting these songs dialed in right. When you have, 'Oh my god. We have 13 songs. We got to put this together.' The mixes are shorter. With this one, we spent a lot of time on the mixes. I think you're going to find, I guarantee people will say, 'Holy crap! This sounds really good!' It's up another level because it's only two songs, two new ones."
On the video for PRONG's breakout 1994 single "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck":
Tommy: "We were sort of gluttons for punishment in a way because our lawyer at that time said, 'You guys think you're hot crap right now being on a major label.' He goes, 'You guys don't know what you're in for.' We're always, like, 'Wow, this is cool.' All those things cost money. Then we were one of the last bands where [the label] is not going to buy us out of our contract; they're going to try to make us recoup anything before they pay us anything. I'm still paying those expensive videos to this day. We will never recoup; it cost so much to do those. We were happy about it back then. It was, like, 'Wow, we're on MTV. This is amazing!' I never took full advantage of it. I don't know… To me, to go around and say, 'Hey, look at me! I'm on MTV' to a bunch of chicks was never my style. I was married, but it was cool. At least my mother had something to be proud of at that point. We're still paying the consequences. All those expensive videos that were on MTV have cumulatively cost an unbelievable amount of money."
On the video for 1996's "Rude Awakening":
Tommy: "That was a Rob Zombie video. He jacked up the price. They wanted Rob Zombie. It's like 'Anything Rob Zombie.' It was his first video. That was really weird. I remember I was living in Silver Lake [California]. I call him up and I was, like, so out of it. They set this date that we were going to do the video. Then I woke up, 'I haven't heard from anybody about this thing.' I call him up, 'Aren't we supposed to be doing a video today?' He goes, 'That's right. Come on down. Everything's hooked up. No one told you?' 'Damn, man. I didn't even know.' That was before the Internet or anything. No one even told me about it. I just went down to this thing. I go 'What about clothing?' He goes, 'I got clothes for you to wear.' Then we dressed up and looked like a bunch of idiots in that video. It's a good video, but I don't think it represented the band at all."
PRONG's "Age Of Defiance" EP was released November 29 via SPV/Steamhammer. The five-track effort, which was produced by Chris Collier, includes two new studio songs, the title cut and "The End Of Sanity", along with live recordings of three tracks: "Rude Awakening", "Cut-Rate" and "Another Worldly Device".
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