Prong carves a niche with new album, plays Machine Shop in Flint Aug. 16

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FLINT, MI — Prong singer/guitarist Tommy Victor is one tired man.

It seems that the recording process for Prong’s eighth studio album, “Carved Into Stone,” has rolled into constant touring. But he’s not one to complain

“It’s topsy turvy,” Victor said about the tour. “We’re running all over the place. We started out with some shows with Clutch and then we jumped on with COC [Corrosion of Conformity] for four shows. We started with Static-X last night. We’re just trying to make it work.”

“It” is the promotional machine for “Carved Into Stone,” its first collection since 2007’s “Power of the Damager.” In its first week of release, “Carved Into Stone” landed spots on three of Billboard’s charts. The album placed at No. 13 on the Heatseekers Chart, No. 44 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart and No. 56 on the Independent Albums Chart.

Ask Victor if the recording process for “Carved in Stone” was “fun” and he’s quick to laugh.

“I’m not used to working that hard,” Victor said. “I had to commute down there, too. I live in L.A. and I had to drive down to Orange County every day. There’s no partying going on. It was me going down there, working and then having to leave at night, go back and start all over in the morning. It was a grueling process.”

The album was produced by Steve Evetts, with musical help from Victor’s bandmates, bassist Tony Campos of Static-X and drummer Alexei Rodriguez.

“Steve has this method and I had to really trust him,” Victor said of the knob-turner. “We didn’t look over things at all. I’d say, ‘What is this sounding like?’ and he would say, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ That was a little troubling at times, too. I wouldn’t say the whole thing was fun at all. It was a lot of hard work.

“There were frustrating moments in the studio where I couldn’t perform as best I could. I got it done. Maybe other people would have taken that as fun. I’m old I’ve done a lot of records. We’ve done a lot of cheat records, especially with other groups that I work with where you let the computer do a lot of the work. You do a part, copy it, paste it and that’s it. You maybe do a double here and there. It wasn’t like that with Steve. He didn’t want to do any of that.”

Victor added that Evetts made the band play the whole song and then double the instruments precisely. He would spend eight hours on guitar and then another five on the vocals.

“That’s what Prong is,” Victor said. “I pretty much have to do everything. Alexei came in and did the basic drum tracks. [Evetts] worked hard with Alexei in pre-production and with the drum tracks and getting all the parts dialed in.

“Then Alexei would leave after a week. Tony came in for a couple days and put the bass in. The rest of the time it was me.”

Overall, Victor is happy with “Carved Into Stone,” which was three years in the making.

“I’m very happy with the results,” he said. “I’m glad we got Steve to work on it with us. He did a fantastic job and we got the best songs possible. That was the goal — getting quality songs and quality lyrics. Every song is good on the record. There’s no filler. There are a lot of hooks on it. The songs are concise and well arranged. Something we didn’t really do in the past. This record was diagnosed more.”

That’s because Victor likes to make each record differently. After 1996’s “Rude Awakening,” Victor didn’t make records for a “long period.”

“I thought it was a disjointed record,” he said. “Then the last record [2007’s ‘Power of the Damager’], before ‘Carved Into Stone,’ I produced it and it was hard to discipline myself. There’s so much you can do. I needed somebody that was going to direct me in the right direction vocally and have new ideas, help with the arrangements and have a modern guitar sound.”

Prong will show off that sound at The Machine Shop in Flint on Thursday, Aug. 16. Victor said fans can expect “a nostalgic trip through Prong,” best known for its song “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck.”

“We do a lot of old stuff,” he said. “A lot off [1994’s] ‘Cleansing.’ We cover all the records, except for maybe ‘Scorpio Rising.’ Then we do a couple of new ones. The headlining set, the fans have been really satisfied with the setlist. I’ve got nothing but compliments about it.”

Prong with Ballz Deluxe, Deadringer and Shogun
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16
The Machine Shop, 3539 S. Dort Highway, Flint
$10 in advance for the 18 and older show
(810) 715-2650 or

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