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:

Download MP3

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Mars Attacks Podcast – Episode 7 – Steven Bradley from IWABO & Rasmus Booberg NKOTW

During this episode you’ll hear two interviews, one with Steven Bradley from Iwrestledabearonce (IWABO) and another with Rasmus Booberg from New Keepers Of The Water Towers (NKOTW). Interesting how both bands go by their initials. In any event, I spoke to Rasmus while he was in Stockholm, soaking up the sun. We discussed their album Chronicles which came out on Meteorcity Records. We also discussed their soon to be released EP The Caledonia Hunt, his gear, being invited to play the Roskilde Festival and the possibility of having another full length out later this year.

Steven talks to me about everything from gear, to why he, Krysta and John have lasted in the band, Hurricane Katrina, the possibility of touring with the Bacon Brothers, and what are some of the more common questions thrown at the band.

Items touched upon during the interview are as follows:

New Keepers Of The Water Towers, Rasmus Booberg, Chronicles of the Massive Boar, Victor Berg, The Knowledgeable Kangaroo, Chronicles of the Iceman, Flight Of The Reptilians, The Three Headed Cow, The Caledonian Hunt, The Sword, Grooves Tube Amplifier, Marshall Amplifier, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Guitars, Meteorcity Records, Roskilde Festival, Iwrestledabearonce, Steven Bradley, Gary Busey, Kevin Bacon, The Bacon Brothers, Krysta Cameron, Metal Just Got Gay, Metal Sucks, Lady Gaga, Crabcore, Deathcore, Nintendocore, Horse The Band, Anthrax, Back Street Boys, Terrible, Usher, R. Kelly, All Shall Perish, John Ganey, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Mike Patton, Bjork, Dillinger Escape Plan, Refused, The Shape of Punk To Come, LTD, ESP, GHS Strings, Rocktron, Madison Amps, Engl Amps, Gretch Drums, Zildijan Cymbals, EMG, EMG 81X, EMG 60X, Seymour Duncan Black Outs, Axis Pedals, Marshall Amplifiers, Ampeg, Warped Tour, Propellerhead, Reason Refills, Bury Your Dead, Hurricane Katrina, The Chariot, The Eyes Of The Traitor, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Faith No More, Toumai, Rise Of The Lizard King, Pursuit of Yeti, You Ain’t No Family, Dan Beland, Melanie Beland, Paco Fernandez, Metal Army America, Talking Metal Wire, Stevis, Wolf, Eli Haftman, Mikey Mongomery, John Ganey, Mike Martin, Century Media,