Classic Albums – Prong – Cleansing

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Prong’s Cleansing. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 38 features an interview with Prong guitarist/lead singer Tommy Victor, along with comments from Gene Hoglan. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Click here to go to an index page that gives you details on everyone involved in the column.

This time around we have an interview with Ted Parsons drummer of Prong on Cleansing. As you can see from the interview he has been quite busy since his time in the band!


What was it like to write Cleansing?

It was a collaboration between Tommy , myself and sometimes Raven.. I would come up with a groove or Tommy would come up with a riff and we would jam in the studio and write tunes old school.


Tell us a little bit about the recording process.

It was the first time working with Terry date which was great. I´m sure Tommy can go in to more detail. We were all still living in NYC at the time. It was the first time I thought we finally had our sound and songs. We mixed at Electric Lady land which I thought was a big bore. I hate big fancy studios run by snobs.


Was there anything that the band was trying to accomplish with this album?

We wanted to make a great record of course, dry and in your face. I think we succeeded.


There is a big Killing Joke influence with this particular album, was this done intentionally?

Tommy and I have always been musically influenced by Killing Joke from the start. It just felt natural with Raven in the mix.


How did bringing Paul Raven and John Bechdel into the band affect the album?

Ravens bass sound was more what Tommy and I wanted. John brought in the added effects to spice up the tracks in the studio. We needed a key board player so we could do the samples live. I was playing most of the sounds using triggers and it freed me up to concentrate on drumming.


Does it surprise you that tracks off of this album are still played on metal radio, and at sporting events?

No not at all it still sounds fresh.


Does it bother you that more than a few bands have heavily “borrowed” from Prong, while not properly acknowledging the band’s influence?

No not really. Everyone rips off ideas and sounds from other people. It´s just how you present it.


In hindsight what impact do you think Cleansing made on your career and on metal?

It was definitely one of the best Prong albums in my opinion. Good songs, good drumming, great production. I never thought being in Prong as a career. Drumming is something that I needed to do and always will be doing.


Before Raven’s passing there was a rumor that this lineup might get back together again and tour, is there any truth to that?

Yes there was talk about it but nothing ever came of it. Raven was kicking around the idea to me a couple times. Tommy asked me a few years ago to come back to play with Prong after Raven died. They were opening for Soul Fly for a US tour and the drummer at the time, Aaron Rossi was off doing a Revolting Cocks tour. I was too busy with moving and other things. I can’t say if I would go back to play Prong music, but never say never.


What are you currently working on?

Building a new recording studio /rehearsal space. Jesu, Treponem Pal,Dark Drive Clinic (producer John Fryers project). Necessary, Teledubgnosis, Dub Neurotic and a host of other projects. I have done a lot of session work over the years. And been teaching drums in Oslo Norway where I live.


Where can people go to keep up to date with what you’re doing?

Facebook,and My space is a good start. Always looking for interesting bands and musicians to work with. Contact me through Facebook for some TP drumming!

Ted Parson MySpace
Ted Parson Facebook
Necessary MySpace
Jesu MySpace
Teleduenosis Official Web Site
Gretsh Drums
Remo Heads
Zildjian Artist Page
Artist Page

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
- Hunter S. Thompson

Here are comments that have been contributed to us by others regarding this album. Remember to check out the index page if you’re not sure who someone is, or to check out their sites to find out more about what they do. Again, these comments are in the order we’ve received them.


Dan Lorenzo – In 1992 NON-FICTION were hoping to open for Prong in Europe. We were shot down by Tommy Victor because we “weren’t heavy enough.”. Almost 20 years later you still remember stuff like this. I don’t own or know this cd. I know Prong had a few amazing songs. I know Tommy also once said he was the first guy to tune down to C in 1994. By that time I had already recorded 3 cds tuned down to C. But Jimmy Page did it before me.


Jon Leon
– Never got into prong but they had a unique sound.


Joel Gausten – The first four songs are strong enough to make up for the dragging parts in the album’s second half. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the drum sound on this one, although Ted Parsons is a stellar player and one of the nicest guys on the planet.

Metal Mike – When I heard this, I said this is new. It was Metal, but not only. It has a new way of playing and structuring guitar riffs. I listened to this album non stop for a while.


Erik Kluiber – Hung out with the drummer and did a zine interview with him back in the 90s. Very down to earth guy.


Scott Middleton – Definitely one of the most underrated bands ever. I loved how heavy and simple this band could be. Tommy Victor’s vocals and guitar riffs always had purpose and carried such sinister melody. Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck is a 90′s metal classic that still sounds far more evil than most extreme metal. Combining influences from metal, industrial and post hardcore, Cleansing is truly a record that stood apart from so many other at the time.


Jane Alisabeth Grey – As riff-laden and aggressive as Prong is, what is striking about their “Cleansing” album is
their ability to groove. Bands like Prong and Faith No More sidestepped
that whole “metal can only be brutal” ethos and pioneered the idea that Heavy Music can be aggressive as hell while being unabashed about the song
having a groove to it. I feel that Prong are the obvious Progenitors of
bands like Biohazard & Pantera, however, now that industrial metal has some history, you can clearly hear the influence(recognized or not) by bands like Nine Inch Nails. This album has multiple moving guitar parts that sync together like a clock or time piece that really originate the modern industrial music sound.


JL – The 90s saw a change towards new forms of metal, Prong were pioneers in this sense. For this album, the crushing sound that has characterized Terry Date’s productions helped form a solid base that is displayed on this album. It also manifests what would become popular in metal shortly thereafter.


David Gonzalez – I actually don’t know Prong, or any of their hit. But since the album appeared on the list, I went back and listened to Cleansing. Initially it sounds like a good thrash album (with a leaning towards what seems to be their hardcore past), but the album doesn’t totally convince me. The album is possibly the band’s biggest release, and the guitars on the album sound very powerful, but I’m not fully convinced. The drumming on the album sounds too monotonous on every track. Something similar happens with the singing as well (the same thing happens when I listen to Fu Manchu), the singing just sounds all alike, and just tires me after a while. Perhaps my evaluation of this album isn’t good, and I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad album; it’s just a matter of opinion. I just feel that it doesn’t stand out as much as other albums that came out around the same time.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:


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Mars Attacks Podcast 29 – Dan Lorenzo & Scott LePage From Hades

The latest episode of Mars Attacks Podcast features interviews with Hades guitar tandem Dan Lorenzo, and Scott LaPage. The first half of the episode contains an interview with Scott in which he touches on his new band The Freeze Tag Assassins, his blues playing and the Hades reunion (among other things). During the Dan Lorenzo segment, he discusses not only the Hades show, but being featured in Moshed Potatoes, the soon to be released Hades and Non-Fiction split DVD, the possibility of their being new music from either band, and the current status of The Cursed which features Blitz from Overkill, and Scream Metal the cover band he shares with Alan Tecchio (also of Hades and Non-Fiction) and Mark Strigl, and John Ostronomy of Talking Metal fame.

Dan not being one to mix words has some interesting comments regarding the Big 4, and alludes to the fact that Hades was playing a certain Joe Jackson cover well in advance of another New York Tri-state area band.


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Mars Attacks Podcast – Episode 6 – Joey Z, Dan Lornezo, Tribute to Pete Steele

This episode is a special joint release between Mars Attacks and Talking Metal. I touch upon this during the episode mentioning that it was put together as a tribute to Pete Steele. We deliberated at great length regarding this as it wasn’t the original intention. If you listen to Episode 306 of Talking Metal you will find part of the Mars Attacks live show I did with John and Mark last month while in the states. That episode contains an interview we conducted with Anthony Esposito from Ace Frehley, Lynch Mob fame. The next episode of Talking Metal, and Mars Attacks for that matter, was supposed to contain the first half of the live show. During this segment Mark and I interview Joey Z from Life of Agony, Stereomud, and Carnivore.

Joey was nice enough to come down to the studio, and sit in with us. He came in early, and sat on the couch while Mark, John and I did our opening monologue if you will. During the podcast you’ll hear me reference a few songs, one by Warrior Soul, and another by Slash. We spoke to Joey off mic while these songs where playing, immediately he started talking about Pete Steele. He mentioned what an honor it was to be asked to play with Carnivore, and he also spoke about how funny, and quick witted Pete was. He said Pete could come up with things right on the spot, and could roll with the punches during any given situation. I mentioned this during the Dan Lorenzo segment. He also started talking about what good man Pete was, which seems to be a common theme with all of the comments that are being posted on the web. Unfortunately this was off mic, and we had so many things to talk about (we spoke almost twice as long as we originally intended), we never really got into Pete or Carnivore on mic, except for a quick mention by Joey. Due to this, I have included part of his previous interview where he talks exclusively about Carnivore.

Joey is a great guy, who will always have an open door on any of my shows. I a big fan of his music, and have come to learn what a genuine, and nice person he truly is. He was the first person I turned to when I heard the rumor of Pete’s passing. He spoke so genuinely about Pete; it was hard not to think of him when I started reading the posts on the web. During the episode I read an excerpt of the response he sent me.

The reason I included Dan was because I read his comments on Blabbermouth.net. I reached out to a bunch of different people from the NY/NJ music scene to see if anyone might be interested in providing me with a statement regarding Pete. People treat death in different manners, I know for a lot of people this has to be a difficult situation. As a result, it would be foolish for me to be upset over people not wanting to partake. Maybe the situation is difficult for them, other are on tour, and couldn’t come on with such short notice, etc. In any event, Dan immediately came forward to share stories, and help celebrate the memory of Pete.

There are no ulterior motives here, like so many others out there we just want to celebrate the life of Pete Steele. By putting this episode together, I feel that we are doing our part to pay homage to the man, and his music. I’m sure some will say that we’re doing this to ride the publicity surrounding his untimely death, but it can’t be farther from the truth. Mark and I spoke at great lengths yesterday deliberating over whether we should release this episode now, or wait a few months. I personally think that we’re doing the right thing by releasing the interview in the format we have chosen. As a fan, I don’t want someone’s memory or music to ever die. I truly believe that both Joey and Dan have helped us to do this by sharing their thoughts, and experience with Pete.

Over the course of the next few weeks/months we’ll start to hear about Pete, hopefully all good things, but I’m sure some bad will come out as well. All I can say is remember him for what he meant to you, and don’t let others sway your judgment.

I’ll close this in the same fashion that I closed the podcast, long live the memory and music of Pete Steele.