Snapping Necks With Prong's Mike Longworth
Band Photo: Prong (?)
Prong has always been one of the more compelling hardcore metal acts since being formed in 1986 by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor. This is a band that has always delivered some of the meanest, pit-swirling songs around. And from a critical standpoint, Prong has amazingly kept its head way above water over the years, even throughout the stadium-filling eras of Guns N Roses and Metallica. Prong has always been refreshing in its experimentation by mixing elements of progressive thrash with electronica. This metal act will go down in Rock history as being one of the grittier, flat out well respected heavy music outifts ever. Even when you think you've heard the last from them, Prong's music somehow always manages to work its way back. I am so thrilled to have this chance to get some questions in with Prong's new bass player, Mike Longworth.
Rocket: Are you originally from Los Angeles?
Mike: No, I'm originally from Massachusetts. I relocated to Los Angeles in 2001 to be closer to the music industry
Rocket: When did you join Prong's lineup?
Mike: I believe it was May of 2003
Rocket: At what point exactly did you first start playing the electric bass?
Mike: I've played guitar for many years and have always messed around on bass but never played it in any bands. So I officially didn't play bass prior to Prong.
Rocket: What three bass players from the metal music genre have been the most influential to your playing?
Mike: I'd have to say Jason Newsted, Rex Brown, and Justin Chancellor.
Rocket: Who are your top three metal bands of all-time?
Mike: Metallica, Pantera, and Green Day (haha) Just kidding!!! I would have to put Prong in my top 3. Always been a fan. Actually Meshuggah may tie that 3rd position... those guys are SICK!!!
Rocket: Green Day...haha. Classic. Yeah, Meshuggah can bring it, no doubts. What kind of
basses are you playing on stage and in the studio?
Mike: I play Warwick basses and amps exclusively. Nothing but the best!!!
Rocket: What kind of bass rig are you playing out with?
Mike: I have a Warwick Quad VI head and I use a Profet 3 for backup. I also use 2 Warwick 4x10 Cabs. You can visit my artist page at www.warwickbass.com/news/72.htm
Rocket: Is Prong with a record label at this moment?
Mike: At the moment, no. We are on a short hiatus while Tommy is with Ministry and I will be touring with Speed Kill Hate for The Metal Crusade tour with Vader and Destruction. By the end of the year we should have something solid as far as a new deal for Prong. We've had a bunch of offers but too early to go with anything. Trying to be selective and get the best deal we can possibly get with high priority. Isn't everyone trying to get that deal?? haha
Rocket: Oh hell yeah. Problem is none of them have Tommy Victor in their band. Ha! So let me ask you, how did Dimebag Darrell's murder in late 2004 affect you personally?
Mike: I still feel him in my blood. He'll always be a part of who I am musically. It was a terrible loss for me. I have soooo many great memories of Pantera shows and hanging with him after the show way back in the early days. He's definitely missed.
Rocket: On an up note, what's the funniest thing that's happened to you while performing live on stage?
Mike: Just recently, we played Harpos in Detroit and anyone who has been there knows how high that stage is. It's much taller than any human being. A guy in the front kept asking me to throw him a pick, so finally I did and it landed IN HIS BEER!!!! I was pretty impressed with myself but he had no idea that it landed in there and kept asking me for a pick. I didn't want him to swallow the pick and choke, so I was trying to signal him to look in his beer. I must have looked pretty silly in front of about 500 people waving my arms around at this guy and pointing to him but it took him about 5 minutes to look into the beer and see the pick. PHEW!!!
Rocket: What's it been like to work with Tommy Victor? This guy is a metal legend. His story is so fascinating how he founded Prong in 1986 while working as a sound guy at New York's famed CBGB's.
Mike: It's been amazing!! I've said this before... the guy can take nothing and make something out of it. He has an incredible ear and it's quite an honor for me to be able to work with someone like that.
Rocket: Tommy is quoted from this excerpt off the Prong MySpace page as saying this about the new Prong material: "These songs are more like a sequel to Rude Awakening that was about the craziness of the world, and this is more about how Im dealing with it" I think that's so poetic that he thinks like this. It's so refreshing to hear that such a dramatic arc has happened for him with Prong's music. I have always loved and admired his work over the years. Do you have a favorite Prong song you get to perform now as an actual member?
Mike: I love to play "Who's Fist Is This Anyway?" and "Rude Awakening" They are great bass songs.
Rocket: Do you answer your fan mail on MySpace?
Mike: Yes, I do. I've been running the Prong Myspace page as well as my own personal page. I try to answer as much as I can on the Prong page but sometimes I fall behind and it's really hard to get to them all. Comments are much easier.
Rocket: So you say there are no immediate shows coming up for Prong, right?
Mike: We have nothing booked until Tommy and I have finished our other touring commitments. I'd like to say by the Fall we will be in the studio working on the next record, and hopefully a full year of touring in 2007. Whether or not Ministry will keep going after the summer remains to be seen. We'll see if we can make this happen.
Rocket: Right on. Well, I am glad you took the time out to let us devoted Prong fans know what's up. I wish you guy's nothing but the best. Go ahead and give a shoutout to your biggest supporters.
Mike: Thanks to The Metal Den!!! You guys rule!! And of course thanks to all our fans. I've never met a more dedicated group of people than Prong fans. Thanks for treating me like family. See you all soon!!!
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