Josh Rundquist of That Drummer Guy recently conducted an interview with frontman Tommy Victor of veteran New York metallers PRONG. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the "catchy" nature of the band's forthcoming "Age Of Defiance" EP:
Tommy: "I wish I had more of that in us. I would like to have not just one big hit but 30 big hits, but anyhow, I'm happy with 'Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck' became so popular and still getting good plays on that on Spotify. 'Age Of Defiance' came out good. It was good to focus on a couple of songs rather than having the major task of a full-length album. The quality control was upped, the dose was upped on this because 'Age Of Defiance', that song was taken from a group of songs that I demoed earlier this year. All of those were supposed to be for another album, maybe. I think the rest of the songs ended up in a trash heap and that's the one I picked for this. If I was just some other artist, I probably would have recorded all those songs, made it an album, then had one or two good songs on it. But I don't do things that way. I'm being facetious. 'The End Of Sanity' was written for this; it's a newer song. I had the riff in a pile of riffs in my phone but I took that riff and I made a new song for the EP when we decided we were going to do an EP on it. I like this thing. People's attention level is so low these days so it's good every once and a while to put out an EP rather than a full-length record because we put out so many full-length records in the last five years."
On deciding to do an EP versus a new full-length:
Tommy: "This is the best route to go. People have been saying, even my booking agent in Europe, 'Is there a new record next year?' I'm like 'I don't know. I've gotta talk to the label.' And then they were, like, 'Just do an EP.' I said 'Oh, thank god.' He was saying, 'You should be really inspired.' I was inspired earlier in the year and I wrote all the songs. I don't think all of them were that good. Some of them were not really good for PRONG. I don't know… The only one was that was exceptional was 'Age Of Defiance'. The rest of them are gonna go in the trash heap; then you go to write a whole other batch. Look, to be honest with you, sometimes you're forced into every record — not to say we had fillers on any of the PRONG records. No one can accuse PRONG of having fillers on any of our records, but there's some songs that you're almost forced a little bit more to make work than some of the other ones. That's not the case here. This is good. This is a good thing."
On his excess supply of riffs that don't make it on to PRONG albums:
Tommy: "It would be good to release them as demos. [Laughs] I don't even wanna record them. Maybe have like bootlegs that just have the crappy demos on it, which there are so many. I have hard drives of stuff. It would be a triple album or something. Yeah, a lot of stuff gets thrown out. You write for the garbage can; that's really the idea. But I sort of changed that idea, 'cause Trent Reznor [NINE INCH NAILS], he always says that 'I don't write for the garbage can. Everything that I write comes out on a record.' He's talented enough to make that work. But I can't do that."
On choosing the best riffs to go on a PRONG album:
Tommy: "It has a lot to do with how demos are made, et cetera. I was thinking about the '60s and the '70s, like with [BLACK] SABBATH. They didn't have time or the ability to judge their own stuff. They went in and recorded an album and that's what they did. They rehearsed the songs, then they went back on tour again. DEEP PURPLE, all these old bands — some bands, there was a lot of filler on them. SABBATH was great that way. An album like 'Vol. 4', it's just every riff is good on that record. 'Sabotage', maybe not; there's some filler on that. Then there's groups like DEEP PURPLE; there's so much filler on them. Then they would jam. It's not the '60s anymore. You listen to THE JEFF BECK GROUP and [LED] ZEPPELIN and they would have jams on the records. You would have a record that had seven songs on it. It's amazing. We can't away with that stuff anymore. It's a different era."
"Age Of Defiance" is due on November 29 via SPV/Steamhammer. The five-track effort, which was produced by Chris Collier, will include 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".