Prong’s Tommy Victor Talks New Record, Major Label Bullsh*t, Chris Cornell and Unusual Fan Requests

Prong’s Tommy Victor Talks New Record, Major Label Bullsh*t, Chris Cornell and Unusual Fan Requests

Prong Jason Miller

The first time I heard Prong was back in 1990 on Headbanger’s Ball.The song was called “Beg to Differ,” and it was pretty much the coolest thing I had heard since discovering thrash metal.

But this was different; it was a new type of thrash. It was hardcore, but also very melodic. I was hooked and instantly became a fan that would hang on every release that followed. Prong would continue to evolve by experimenting with industrial sounds before finding success through MTV and relentless touring, only to be eventually caught up in major label bullshit and drowned out by the unstoppable grunge moment.

Prong founding member Tommy Victor would carry the metal torch forward and continues to deliver new Prong music for over a decade. The power trio is on tour now in advance of the release of the band’s 13th studio album Zero Days, in stores on July 28th. I joined Tommy on his bus in the States to ask him about the new record and a few other burning questions I’ve had as a long time fan.

On why Danzig seemingly hates photographers:

“I think he’s old school and he just doesn’t believe in it, and he doesn’t like smartphones and he doesn’t have one. So I mean, he kind of—anything that could be digitally uploaded you know he is opposed to.”

On the most unusual place he’s heard his music over the years:

“First thing that comes to mind is strip clubs, but also between periods at Philadelphia Flyers games and professional wrestling matches. Another weird one was the time I was in Boston and out of the blue I was in a hotel, and I just put on AM sports radio. It was a Red Sox post game show, and they played the whole intro to “Beg to Differ” on it. I was like—like this is a dream, it’s just unbelievable.”

On the most unusual request he’s had from a fan over the years:

“Well, I get weird ones like, now because of Facebook…I mean, people can get a hold of me very easily. Usually, it’s something like, ‘Hey man we played with you guys in ’98. You remember my band blah, blah, blah. I see you guys are playing next week. Could you put the whole band—plus our girlfriends and maybe a couple of our kids—on the guest list?’”

On how buying a disco ball saved his life:

“I don’t know how we got this show, but this pseudo-connected dude opened up a room in the back of his pizzeria. He had these disco lights and a giant disco ball that he was really happy about. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to have bands back here, and you know this is going to be good.’

So it was a couple of hardcore bands and Prong, and I remember the guy saying to us, ‘I don’t care what you guys do here, just make sure that nothing happens to the disco ball or I’m going to beat the hell out of you.’ This guy and his crew were sitting at a table telling us this and it was something totally out of The Sopranos. When the show started, we played literally 30 seconds before a kid gets on the back of somebody else like a chicken fight. One of the guys punches the disco ball and it goes flying across the room. These guys come out almost with guns blazing, and I had to buy a new disco ball. I had to shell out $250 bucks to this guy.”

On how many disco balls he’s purchased in his life:

“That was the only one. I mean, I saved my life by doing so. Those guys were ready to kill us.”

On the one musician he would want to record with or play with that he hasn’t:

“Jaz Coleman would be a pretty significant one—and if Jim Morrison was alive. As far as guitar players, I don’t mesh well with other guitar players because I don’t—I don’t have the divinity for that. That’s why with Alan and with Glen—because I’m a singer myself—it’s complementary. If I was just singing and playing with another guitar player, that’s tough to say. Maybe Helios Creed. Vernon Reid would be a killer to do something with. I like the groove guys.”

On the news regarding Chris Cornell’s death:

“Everyone is getting into their 50s and being honest with you, I didn’t have any feelings about it. I knew Chris, but then I knew a lot of these guys when they first started out. Maybe I’m going to sound a little bit bitter right now, but it’s like I knew a lot of these guys when they started out when we were all struggling or whatever. These guys got more popular, and you disconnect with them and they’re not approachable anymore.

We started out getting together—a bunch of guys having fun and writing songs and stuff—then it becomes looking at the charts and comparing yourself to other bands. This guy is more popular than this guy and we didn’t sell that many tickets blah, blah, blah…this kind of stuff. It grinds on your soul. Guys that you were hanging out with, drinking beers with, or on tour with, later on become these guys that are on GQ magazine and you lose the connection with them.

So, I have strong feelings about fame and ego gratification, and I think when you get in that realm, it’s a dark place. It’s something that you got to keep in check a lot. I’ve been surpassed by so many bands and so many people, and Prong is always struggling. You know…maybe that’s a blessing.”

On Type O’ Negative’s Peter Steele:

“We did a lot of shows together. I know Pete, I knew him—but he came unapproachable, or you know inevitably it was like, who is this guy? You know, like I wasn’t popular enough to hang out with them. You know, I can go on and on with the list…I mean you know, Glenn is an authentic guy. I mean we’ve been friends for fucking ever, and he doesn’t pull that shit on me.”

On his favorite Prong riff of all time:

“I might be a real snob or real eager just to go back. So, right now, I mean all of them are—if they make it on a record they’re good. I mean because of that, you know usually I have hundreds of them, and they’re whittled down to a couple. The new record that’s coming out—it’s called Zero Days—it’s chock-full of unbelievably heavy riffs. There is a riff on the song “However It May End” in the middle section, and that’s by far my favorite Prong riff of all time right now. There are two in that song that are just colossal.”

On a hypothetical Prong tribute record where he would pick the bands:

“It would be my favorite bands, like Godflesh and Killing Joke, and as far as metal bands—Darkest Hour, Gojira, and Mastodon…maybe Life of Agony, to name a few. I would keep away from thrash bands…you know maybe Sick Of It All. Then weird bands like Interpol who I like a lot—maybe they could interpret a Prong song.”

On making music videos:

“I didn’t like how much they cost and how much money we spent on them. I wish I had all the money we spent—like a 100% recoupable. By the time Prong made videos for an album we lost all our profits.

It was the stupidest thing in the world, the way the labels treat the bands. Unless you were a hair band and you were selling five million records, it was sort of a disappointment for them. You know it was like, ‘Oh, Warrant’s new record only sold three million records, they’re done.’ We were lucky that we got to 400,000, but they still had the same people doing videos—it was like what the hell man—we’re wasting money. They were too expensive.”

On Prong’s breakthrough record Cleansing:

“They wouldn’t spend any money on us. The label was like, ‘Maybe these guys Prong…maybe they’re going to be popular—we don’t know. We’re not ready to drop them yet.’ So, they didn’t know what the next thing was going to be, and they were still holding on to us.

I remember just trying to get the guy on the phone from the metal department to ask him directly what was going on over there. I was like, are you guys doing anything for Prong? Just let me know. We’re playing gigs out there on the road, and there was just nothing.

I remember the guy—not naming names—saying, ‘You’ve got to understand man, you know, we got priorities here. Essentially we know what’s going to sell and we’re putting all efforts right now working the new Arcade record.’ They spent $5 million on marketing that record—and it didn’t do anything.

So then when Cleansing came out they were going, ‘Hey, maybe these Prong guys have a chance here,’ and then when grunge showed up, Rude Awakening was forgotten about because Pearl Jam and that whole grunge genre just took over.”


On Prong’s new record:

“It’s a total collision of two things. I mean, a little bit of thrash—but I think after touring consistently with Prong for four years and playing the old ones, I saw that we’re hardwired into these hardcore metal riffs with a little bit of that industrial edge—and then you know, with thrash elements as well. I’ve always been a fusion guy. I mean, my musical tastes vary, but we collide with these things pretty well. It’s the consummate Prong record.”

Published at Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:27:11 +0000




New York City post-hardcore band Quicksand are pleased to announce the upcoming release of Interiors, their first album in 22 years. Interiors features the band’s original (and only) lineup of drummer Alan Cage, frontman/guitarist Walter Schreifels, bassist Sergio Vega, and guitarist Tom Capone. The album will be released on November 10 on Epitaph.

Quicksand have also shared a new video for the first song shared off the album titled “Illuminant,” the lead single and opening track from Interiors.

With its heavy but melodic guitar lines, intense rhythms, and emotionally charged lyrics, “Illuminant” shows the scope of Quicksand’s influence on post-hardcore and indie-rock bands over the last two decades.

Recorded at Studio 4 Recording in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Interiors was produced and engineered by Will Yip (The Menzingers, Title Fight, Pianos Become the Teeth). While the album finds Quicksand embracing the cathartic, guitar-driven dynamic of their earlier work, Interiors also takes on a wider spectrum of sound.

“It was all just about being ourselves and who we were as well as who we are,” says Schreifels of the making of Interiors. “We did it for us completely.”

Pre-orders for Interiors are at:


1. Illuminant

2. Under The Screw

3. Warm And Low

4. >

5. Cosmonauts

6. Interiors

7. Hyperion

8. Fire This Time

9. Feels Like A Weight Has Been Lifted

10. >>

11. Sick Mind

12. Normal Love

Formed in 1990, Quicksand made their full-length debut with Slip—a 1993 release recently praised by The A.V. Club as “a nearly flawless record that combines the irony and heaviness of Helmet with Fugazi’s penchant to dismantle sound in the most energetic ways.” Arriving in 1995, their sophomore album Manic Compression appeared at #1 on the Top Five Best Post-Hardcore Records list from LA Weekly (who noted that “if there were any justice in the world, Quicksand would have been the biggest underground band of the ’90s”).

“We were very influenced by Fugazi and Jane’s Addiction” says Schreifels of the band’s beginnings. “But we were doing it in a certain context with an energy that was just special and unique and kind of shined through.”

Throughout the early ’90s, Quicksand toured with bands like Helmet, Fugazi, Rage Against the Machine, and Anthrax. After disbanding in late 1995, they reunited for a one-night performance in June 2012. They’ve since appeared at festivals like FYF Fest and Pukkelpop, and in 2013 embarked on their first North American tour in 15 years.

Additionally, Quicksand will tour North American this fall; tickets on sale now.


Sept 05 Seattle, WA – Neumos

Sept 06 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre

Sept 08 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall

Sept 09 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram

Sept 10 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory

Sept 11 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up

Sept 12 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

Sept 14 Dallas, TX – Trees Dallas

Sept 15 Austin, TX – Mohawk

Sept 16 Houston, TX – Walters Downtown

Sept 17 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks

Sept 19 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade

Sept 20 Nashville, TN – Exit In

Sept 21 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

Sept 22 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer

Sept 23 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club

Sept 24 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom

Sept 25 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace

Sept 26 Detroit, MA – El Club

Sept 27 New York, NY – Irving Plaza

Sept 28 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre

Sept 29 Washington, DC – Black Cat

Sept 30 New York, NY – Irving Plaza

Oct 01 New York, NY – Warsaw

Published at Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:46:55 +0000

Interview: METZ Frontman Alex Edkins On New LP, Steve Albini, And More

Interview: METZ Frontman Alex Edkins On New LP, Steve Albini, And More

metz interview alex edkins

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Today on the Culture Creature podcast: hear an interview with METZ frontman Alex Edkins. You’ll also hear the new METZ song ‘Cellophane.’ Listen to the episode above or in your podcast provider of choice.

METZ are a Toronto noise rock trio who are preparing to release a new LP, Strange Peace, on Sub Pop (the album is due September 22nd and currently available for preorder). In today’s interview, METZ guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins discusses the experience of working with Strange Peace recording engineer Steve Albini, the intensity of seeing Converge live, Toronto, and much more.

Published at Thu, 24 Aug 2017 10:31:41 +0000

Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City – Live 2009 (Full Concert) (HD)

Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City – Live 2009 (Full Concert) (HD)

Pauls opening show of Citi Field, released as “Good Evening New York City” in 2009.
1. “Drive My Car” 1:10
2. “Jet” 3:50
3. “Only Mama Knows” 9:30
4. “Flaming Pie” 13:15
5. “Got to Get You into My Life” 16:50
6. “Let Me Roll It” 20:30
7. “Highway” 27:53
8. “The Long and Winding Road” 32:10
9. “My Love” 36:00
10. “Blackbird” 41:30
11. “Here Today” 46:10
12. “Dance Tonight” 49:25
13. “Calico Skies” 52:35
14. “Mrs Vandebilt” 55:30
15. “Eleanor Rigby” 1:00:30
16. “Sing the Changes” 1:03:25
17. “Band on the Run” 1:07:45
18. “Back in the USSR” 1:13:25
19. “I’m Down” 1:17:10
20. “Something” 1:20:40
21. “I’ve Got a Feeling” 1:25:24
22. “Paperback Writer” 1:31:48
23. “A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance” 1:35:30
24. “Let It Be” 1:41:33
25. “Live and Let Die” 1:45:55
26. “Hey Jude” 1:49:50
27. “Day Tripper” 1:58:50
28. “Lady Madonna” 2:02:46
29. “I Saw Her Standing There” (with Billy Joel) 2:06:37
30. “Yesterday” 2:11:56
31. “Helter Skelter” 2:14:45
32. “Get Back” 2:19:00
33. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)/The End” 2:24:57

The Band:
Paul McCartney – Bass, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocal
Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens – Keyboards
Rusty Anderson – Guitar
Brian Ray – Guitar, Bass
Abe Laborier Jr. – Drums

17 Epic Photos of Faster Pussycat on the Monsters of Rock Cruise

17 Epic Photos of Faster Pussycat on the Monsters of Rock Cruise

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

As I prepare to embark on my 5th Monsters of Rock Cruise, I’ve been archiving thousands of photos from the previous years. The first time I went was back in 2012 and to be honest, I wasn’t a very good photographer as I was still learning the fundamentals of what is one of the most challenging disciplines of photography; live music. After a tremendous amount of studying, understanding how to control every aspect of the camera shooting hundreds of bands since then, I’ve refined not only my skills but also my style. One of my favorite bands to shoot both on and off the stage is Faster Pussycat. These guys epitomize the unpredictable nature of rock n roll and continue to evolve and cut through the bullshit clichè that was hair metal. They are

One of my favorite bands to shoot both on and off the stage is Faster Pussycat. These guys epitomize the unpredictable nature of rock n roll and continue to evolve. They cut through the bullshit clichè that was hair metal and they put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. With that being said, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite photos, from one of my favorite bands over four years on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. (Sadly I missed 2013). 

Here are 15 shots that I think tell the story of not only the evolution of my photography skills but also showcase one band that has become a staple on the cruise every year. In addition, I’ve included a gallery from the photo experience with the band on the 2016 cruise. If you get your photo with one band on the boat this year, make it this one.

2016 – Shredders from the Deep



Photographed by Jason Miller_-17

Photographed by Jason Miller_-18


2015 – Poseidon’s Revenge

Photographed by Jason Miller-1-18

Photographed by Jason Miller-1-2Photographed by Jason Miller-1-3

2014 – Escape From Monster Island

Faster Pussycat Monsters of Rock (4 of 6)

Photographed by Jason Miller_-8Photographed by Jason Miller_-7Photographed by Jason Miller_-6Photographed by Jason Miller_-5

2012 – Monsters of Rock 

Faster Pussycat-1


Photographed by Jason Miller_-2Photographed by Jason Miller_

Not only are these guys one of the best live shows on the cruise, they are also incredibly cool to hang out with. They’ve become notorious for recreating the legendary Cat Club on board as well as playing an EPIC late night show on the main stage where anything can happen. I can only hope that both of these events happen again this year.

Published at Sat, 28 Jan 2017 13:18:04 +0000

Julien Baker Announces New Album, Shares New Song ‘Appointments’ (Listen)

Julien Baker Announces New Album, Shares New Song ‘Appointments’ (Listen)

julien baker appointments

Photo by Nolan Knight

Memphis singer-songwriter Julien Baker has announced her sophomore album, Turn Out The Lights. The 11-track album will be released on October 27 via Matador Records (it’s Ms. Baker’s first release for the label). Her new song ‘Appointments’ is streaming below; it’s full of the stirring beauty that’s characteristic of Ms. Baker’s work. Turn Out The Lights was produced by Julien Baker and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Arcade Fire, Florence & the Machine).

Listen to ‘Appointments’ here:

Published at Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:10:43 +0000

D.C. Shoegazers Big Hush Blend Big-Fuzz Guitars With Daydream Melodies

D.C. Shoegazers Big Hush Blend Big-Fuzz Guitars With Daydream Melodies

big hush band

A lot of new music comes through the Culture Creature inbox – and sometimes, something special stands out. Today, D.C. shoegaze band Big Hush have released an impressive debut, Spirit/Wholes. The band’s sound is an infectious blend of big-fuzz guitars and daydream melodies that’s sure to please fans of Pixies and My Bloody Valentine.

Spirit/Wholes drops today via Robotic Empire. This ten-track LP was originally conceived as two albums; the songs reveal the band’s growth over several years. In a press release, Big Hush said, “Each new song is a reaction to the song written before it, and the space that song inhibits, each void created by one song is filled by the next, and so reveals a new void. It’s funny how a lot of things in life tend to embody a reactionary nature, capitalism is dictated by market reactions, relationships evolve dictated on reactions to each other, the weather reacts to changes in currents and temperature.”

Big Hush is Genevieve Ludwig, Owen Wuerker, Chris Taylor, and Emma Baker. Stream Spirit/Wholes below:

Published at Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:45:19 +0000

15 Epic Moments from the Monsters of Rock Cruise 2017

15 Epic Moments from the Monsters of Rock Cruise 2017


Faster Pussycat perform the late show on the Pool Stage

Another year, another EPIC Monsters of Rock Cruise. This year was a bit different for me because instead of running around like a crazy person trying to shoot each and every band, I was very selective. I only shot the bands that I absolutely wanted to and I spent the rest of my time hanging with friends. As a photographer on the Monsters of Rock it’s incredibly competitive. The amazing Monsters of Rock house photogs Mike Sovoia,Igor Vidyashev, Neil Lim Sang, and Jovan and Janina Nenadic do an awesome job covering the gigs from every angle imaginable and have all access so how do I compete? I don’t. I just try to add my own unique angle and go for 5-10 epic shots from each show that I see in order to capture that moment and tell a story. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. Regardless, I got the shots that I was looking for and I even got to hang for a few minutes with my all time favorite photographer Mark Weiss. With that being said, here is my annual recap of 15 EPIC moments on the 2017 Monsters of Rock Cruise.

1. Bulletboys– Who in the hell could have guessed that Marq Torien and company would come out guns a blazing and absolutely destroy the Pool Stage. They were the last minute replacement for TNT who canceled for one reason or another, and oh my God did they deliver. Marq’s voice is absolutely stellar and he had more energy than a mentos dropped into a 2-liter of Coca-cola. Last time I saw these guys they were opening for Cinderella on the Long Cold Winter tour (my second concert ever). Hats off to the Bulletboys for taking the ship over and turning a loss into a major gain for the fans.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

2. Saigon Kick – Arguably the tightest and best-sounding band on the boat, Saigon Kick absolutely crushed it this year. Matt Kramer and Jason Beiler make it look effortless as they nail their signature two-part harmonies while Stephen Gibb, bassist Chris McLernon (from the brilliant and terribly underrated Water and Devil in the Details records) and session drummer God Jonathan Mover lock in a monster groove. So how about some new music next?

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

3. D-A-D – I’ve loved this band for nearly two decades and they continue to win over fans old and new alike. One of the most entertaining shows as frontman Jesper Binzer is part rock God part comedian and the eccentric 2-string bass player is as unpredictable as the setlist.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-4

4. Beasto Blanco – Holy shit these guys almost sank the boat with their rip-your head off – melt your face wall of sound. Featuring Chuck Garrick (Alice Cooper bassist) and Calico Cooper (Cooper’s daughter), this is the band to watch in 2017.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-11

5. Faster Pussycat – Always a highlight every single time and this year was no exception. Eddie Trunk reprises his role as the real-time Jack Daniels distributor as he circles the stage pouring the bottle directly into various band members as they play live. Faster sounds fantastic and their host of friends is second to none; everybody wants some…..

Photographed by Jason Miller_

6. Queensryche – These guys have transcended to an entirely new level. Just incredible. Todd LaTorre makes it look easy and the entire QR show continues to evolve into something bigger and better each time I see them.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

7. Kix – As hi energy and EPIC as ever. Rumor has it that there was one fist pumping guy in the crowd who ignited the entire audience on a blistering hot day. Check out the brilliant new Kix documentary by the way.


8. Night Ranger – Somehow I totally missed the first 30 years of Night Ranger’s career as I seemingly dismised them as not rock n roll enough during my teenage angst years celebrating Slayer. Boy was I wrong. These guys absolutely blew my mind live putting on a show for a ages and on top of that they might be the coolest dudes on the boat. I’m currrently catching up and celebrating their entire catalog.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-5

9. Winger – These guys get a tremendous amount of shit all because some silly MTV cartoon told us it was funny to make fun of them. Well, how long did that show last versus how long Winger have kept rocking and rolling along? Kip Winger and company killed it on stage and every time I hear the song “Down Incognito” it reminds me that that last record never really got a chance, and it’s a hell of a record.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

10. Lynch Mob – George Lynch was on fire. And they even played a Dokken classic! (Into the Fire) Enough said.

Photographed by Jason Miller_

11. Y&T – Dave Meneketti and company showed up to dominate the Pool Stage with yet another incredible performance.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

12. Tom Keifer – The Cinderella frontman always puts on one hell of a show whether he’s with his original bandmates or the hybrid #Keiferband. I’m not sure there’s a guy on the planet that puts so much heart and soul into every single performance. On top of that, he’s one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet.

Photographed by Jason Miller_

13. Soto singing Boys II Men End of the Road with Brian Ott. – After hours the cruise really gets kicking with host Izzy Presley and the all night Karoeke jam. You really never know who’s going to show up. This time it was Jeff Scott Soto bringing the house down with a stellar version of Purple Rain. But just before that Soto showed his softer side belting the Motown Philly 90’s hit (check out the lyrics on the monitor) being joined by DJ Brian Ott who easily held his own along side the metal God. (Who in the f*ck knew Brian could sing like that??)

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

14. Slaughter – Like it was 1990 all over again. Stick it To Ya is an absolute masterpiece and I think they should have just played that record in its entirety.

Photographed by Jason Miller_

15. Vince Neil – Backed by Slaughter, Vince was good, but I think he only played 6 songs. I put him at 15 because it was semi-Epic, and could have been a lot better.

Photographed by Jason Miller_-4

Bonus EPIC Moment: The Photo Experiences – Hanging out and shooting the fans with the bands is such a feel good experience. Tha fans love it and the band’s are incredibly humble and appreciative. Throw in a few fun anecdotes and eccentric fans along the way and you have the makings for a true “experience”.  Here’s a once in a lifetime shot of D-A-D, Queensryche, and Night Ranger.


Were you on the Monsters of Rock 2017 Cruise? What were your favorite moments? Please join the conversation in the comment section below.

Published at Wed, 15 Feb 2017 01:26:50 +0000