Tommy Victor will reflect on more than 30 years of PRONG releases through a YouTube series called “Tommy Plays Prong, Retrospects Of Music And Life”. In the series, Victor will highlight various tracks from the 12-album PRONG catalog and do guitar playthroughs. Victor will also discuss growing up in Flushing, Queens, New York, living on the Lower East Side of New York City in the violent eighties, working at CBGB as a sound engineer from 1986 to 1990, and touring with PANTERA, WHITE ZOMBIE, BAD BRAINS and SEPULTURA.
“PRONG was definitely a Lower East Side band,” says Victor. “We weren’t a bunch of kids in the suburbs playing in garages. We were part of that whole art scene, the same scene as street artists like Keith Haring and Basquiat. It was a completely different world back then. A lot of people were willing to live Spartan lifestyles in shitty conditions in this fantasy art world.”
On doing sound at CBGB from 1986 to 1990:
“Hilly (owner CBGB) just threw me in there. I had no idea what I was doing. He trusted me because I was ‘in a band’ and had me give thumbs up or down on the band playing the hardcore matinees.”
Having been clean from drugs and alcohol for many years, a sober Tommy reflects on the glorification of the early “druggie-chic” days.
“In those days, it was cool to be a junkie. A lot of early punk times revolved around that. That type of rebellion against society, the ultimate rebellion is trying to kill yourself with drugs. That era, where a dark hedonism was a priority in people’s lives doesn’t really exist anymore, which I think is good.”
On longevity, and finding one’s path:
“Inevitably, if you survive, you come to the realization that all that stuff was a fad, really, and there’s more to life than those old statements that you thought were so important earlier on. There’s important aspects of it, but there has to be balance in your life, you have to move on, you keep walking in life, you don’t just stay there.”
The first two trailers for the “Tommy Plays Prong” series can be seen below.