Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 03, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 3, 1994 - 3

For the love of road trips

Ted Parsons, Paul Raven, Tommy Victor and John Bechdel (kneeling) will tour with Course of Empire in April.
*'Prong' breaks metal boundaries

"In the eight years of Prong's
ekistence, the band has undergone
t 161lineup changes, constant stylistic
changes and a gradual refinement of
their distinctive approach. Their first
ur releases document their growth
oth musically and personally. With
their new record, "Cleansing," Prong
hopes to break the boundaries that
have so long confined them to the
ietal world.
The trio was spawned from the
New York club CBGBs - a hotbed
for new music. Tommy Victor, the
vocalist / guitarist for the band, was
the mixing man for the club when he
et Prong'soriginal bass player, Mike
tirkland, who was working the door.
Victor explained, "Mike found out
that I played. I was a bass player at
that time primarily and I dabbled with
guitar a little bit. We agreed upon
liking groups like Die Kreuzen, Joy
Division and Killing Joke. I said 'I
got the perfect drummer in Ted
Parsons from Swans' who I jammed
ith before as a bass player. All three
fus had the same interests. So, it
gilled fairly well."
The band released their first
recording, the mini-LP "Primitive
Origins," in late 1987 followed by
next year's mediocre release, "Force
IFed." The poor sound quality of their
first two releases was due to their
limited budgets and the nature of the
rtiusic. "The music is not like '70s
ick where we can go in like a Nir-
vanaor Pearl Jam and belt out a couple
of songs and do it in two weeks. There
are certain sonic experiments that we
like to do and it does take a while.
Unfortunately, some of the actual
spunds that we did get on those records
were obviously low budget."
Encouraged by Living Colour's
Vernon Reid, Epic Records signed
*rong. Even though Prong got to go
ipto a more expensive studio, the band
Was only allowed three weeks to
gcord and mix their major label debut,
"|Beg to Differ." When they started

touring to support the record, the pres-
sure became too great for Mike
Kirkland. "Mike was always trying to
keep up with us. We had to fire him.
We always felt like he was very
introverted on stage. You've got to be
on top of things when you're doing
this kind of thing."
With Kirkland out of the band and
an album's worth of new material,
Prong hired bassist Troy Gregory to
record 1991's "Prove You Wrong."
"We had some really good son'gs
and some good ideas. Unfortunately,
Mark Dodson was disgusted with
making hard rock records. He sort of
turned into a monster on that record
and we had very little time to do the
mixing (which) was a fiasco. He was
going in rearranging all the material.
I just think the engineering wasn't
executed as well as it could have
The band soon ousted Troy
Gregory after realizing that the fit
was less than perfect. "He owed
everybody money. He's .a bit of a
spoiled brat leach. On top of all that,
we were never really happy with his
playing. On 'Prove You Wrong,' we
felt the bass really collided with the
guitars too much. The combination of
us giving him shit about (his playing)
and his mental disorders and all kinds
of psychoses, it just didn't work out.
It was a mistake from the beginning."
After Helmet released
"Meantime," a lot of critics brought
up their similarities to Prong's "stop /
start" style. "I think they took some
elements from us. They used to sound
like Voivod. And then suddenly when
'Beg to Differ' came around ...
Pantera admits it. They'll say 'oh
yeah we listened to that record and
copped some shit off it.' Helmet say
'We never listen to rock, we only
listen to jazz.' I really don't respect
the attitude that they don't recognize

A band that wants to survive in the
'90s must keep their music current. "I
highly respect Nine Inch Nails. (Trent
Reznor) is a perfect example of a
contemporary artist who uses
everything available to make
contemporary modern music." Prong
is a band that has always strived to do
just that and this has brought them to
the forefront of the burgeoning
alternative metal genre.
With "Cleansing," Prong is trying
to rework the style they pioneered
and bring it to a new audience. They
have added Paul Raven formerly of
Killing Joke, one of their strongest
influences, and a fourth member, pro-
grammer / sampler John Bechdel.
Why add a fourth member when
there are only three prongs in their
logo? "The word permanence is never
in Prong's vocabulary. This heavy
metal /thrash trio, nobody was doing
it when we did it. Now I think it's just
gotten boring. (Bechdel) is freeing
me up to do things I want to do."
With accomplished musician Paul
Raven taking over as bassist, a spot
which the band was never able to
effectively fill, Tommy Victor has
never been happier. "Between Ted
and Raven, we have one of the
strongest rhythm sections anywhere."
The first single, "Snap Your
Fingers, Snap Your Neck," is an
excellent, punk tinged song. The
choppy opener "Another Wordly
Device," the upbeat industrial "Whose
Fist is This Anyway?" and the very
metal "Broken Peace" are among the
highlights of their new record. A good
record for people who have never
heard the band before, it portrays their
true style in a more direct way than
any other album.
Their video for "Snap Your
Fingers," after some reworking to suit
MTV's impeccably good taste, is soon
to be released. Look for them on tour
in April with Course of Empire.

Face it, Americans love
Whether driven by necessity or by
sheer mad obsession, this desire for
vehicles seems to transcend all races,
classes and creeds. If you melt for a
Mustang, cruise in a Chrysler, or even
just "sport a 'cort" (an Escort), you
will agree that cars give us the mobility
and independence that we crave: the
ability to leave
when you want,
arrive when you
get there and see
the whole world
in the process.
We adore it.-
driving is an
Am eric an
I n s t i t u t i 0 n 0
ranking up there
with baseball, S
apple pie and
pizza delivery.
Our pop culture"
is riddled with
praise for our 4-
w h e e I e d
me c han i z ed
friend. Our
advertise them,
our films and
books glorify
them and our
m u s e u m s
preserve and
sanctify them.
All of it a w
testimony to our
need for speed_
and freedom.
with all this
liberty comes a
price. Congested roads, construction,
parking problems, insurance, repairs
- the list goes on and on. But despite
those who see this beast as a cold and
polluting metal construct and prefer
their feet to a Ford any day, the fact of
the matter is that the majority of us
either must drive or even lust for the
feel of the 4-Wheeled Steel beneath
their heel. Nowhere does this passion
shine bolder than the road trip.
The open road tempts and beckons
us with its call, yet intimidates us with
its vastness. It daunts us, but still we
face it. Fighting traffic, braving
construction, enduring distances,
paying insurance and risking our
necks, we hit the freeways with a
sense of challenge and adetermination
on our lips to get there our way, by our
own rules and agendas.
There's something physical about
the act of driving to a distant location,
as opposed to taking a plane or a train,
that makes it something special.
Perhaps it is the sense of slow yet
steady progress, the witnessing of the
miles dropping away inch by
inexorable inch, that gives us a feeling

of accomplishment. But it is even
more than that. It is a sense of
transformation. Transformation
through transportation.
To board a plane and magically
appear in a distant land merely leaves
one disoriented, and a passenger
cannot control the movement of a
train or even a bus. Only the
automobile allows you to stop where
you want, take your time to look

'": yz


..r" \;
, .
+. .. MME' + w il g
1 .,

Michigan that still offers bi-plane
You would never find a real dive
on the outskirts of Stratford, Ontario
called Gator Jim's where you can get
some of the best damn Cajun food this
side of the Mason-Dixon Line. Do
remember to call ahead and give him
a few days prep time, it's well worth
Where else, besides a gas station
outside Lima,
Ohio, can you find
a dispenser in the
men's bathroom
that sells "The
LIMIT Screamer,"
advertised as "not
a prophylactic,
not a condom, not
a French-tickler,
NOT for the
timid. If she's a
moaner, this will
make her a
she's a screamer,
this will get you
All the fun you
can handle, and
only 50 cents.
Find a street
called Needmore
Road in Ohio, a
wonderful ly
subtle hint to the
local road
commission, in
the vicinity of a
town called
Discover that
there is, in fact, a
located outside
Lexington, Kentucky. Saunter
through a state park called Big Bone
Lick (also in Kentucky). Or take a
romantic drive along the ever-ambient
Stinking Creek, just north of
Knoxville, Tennessee.
Where else? How else?
Only by car, my friend!

around, then continue where you left
off. Sure, the view from a plane is
beautiful, but we don't experience
life from that bird's eye perspective.
We live itup close, life-size and down
to earth in all its vast and awe inspiring
greatness. In a car, you actually feel
the adjustment of mind, the
displacement of body, thatyou cannot
savor through any other vehicle. There
is just no substitute.
Besides, you discover things you
would never see otherwise...
For example:
Unless you drove I-75, you would
never know that there are at least 75
Waffle House Restaurants between
Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. That's an
average of one every 12 miles, but
without a car, you couldn't even stop
at one of them!
Or how could you discover that
the delectable dish called a pastie (a
meat and potato pie pocket), becomes
more and more delicious the further
north into Michigan you go. Just try
one up in Houghton.
How else would you ever find a
small airfield outside Almont,

London $395*
Paris $399*
Prague $558*
Rome $489*
[ares are roundtnp from Detroit and are based on
seat availability. Taxes and restinctions may apply.
Seats may be limited so book early
Coundi Trave
1220 S. University Avenue, Ste. 208
(above McDonalds)
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

I I * - .I,

I, U

Largest Lbrary of Information in U.S.
Order Catalog Today with Visa / MC or COD
Or, rush $2.00 to: Research Information
11322 Idaho Ave #206-A, Los Angeles, CA 90025

a 1


A Day-Long Academic Program Exploring Social, Cultural and Politcal Aspects of Israel

Sunday, March 6, 1994

9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Rakham School of Graduate Studies, The University of Michigan
Admission is free. For more information call Hillel: (313)769-0500


Over 1,000 Courses
Convenient times - A.M. and P.M.
Undergraduate and Graduate Level


v F-s+Tqllq"



low _,. _

Back to Top

© 2023 Regents of the University of Michigan