Tommy Victor didn't reap the megabucks that come with musical stardom, but the frontman and founder of influential heavy metal band Prong doesn't lose sleep over it.
Victor formed Prong with former member Mike Kirkland in 1986. As the band played on and the years passed, Prong would disband in 1997, only to reorganize in 2000 with a new set of bandmates that now include Tony Campos and Alexei Rodriguez.
Their tour takes them through the Tri-Cities on Sept. 2 at Ray's Golden Lion in Richland. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $14 in advance at Ray's or $18 at the door. The event is open to all ages.
"Prong is the band who pioneered a whole new sound of metal in the early '90s," said Jeff Williams, local promoter for the concert. "A whole bunch of super-famous bands used Prong's influence to rise to the top, becoming superstars.
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"Prong never quite reached that level of fame, but they are the reason it exists for many metal bands, even today. They refuse to quit, and their latest album is getting international airplay."
Victor doesn't dispute the lack of fame that's eluded Prong the past two decades.
"The business side of music is a real pain," Victor said in a recent telephone interview with the Herald. "Maybe if I had been interested (in marketing) the band differently, things would have been different. I don't worry about it much, either.
"There's always a constant need for making adjustments in this business," Victor continued. "When we split up in the '90s, the music scene was in a horrific state. Everything was going online, where music was being pirated right and left, and that greatly affected record sales."
He is passionate about Prong's music and keeps his focus on songwriting and coming up with variations in the band's style, which he admits offered a unique sound for its time.
"I'm always trying to do the music better," Victor said. "When I was younger, I kept trying to emulate different groups. But over time, I eventually found my own sound, and I like to change it all the time. Otherwise, it gets old and boring."
Victor grew up in New York City and moved to Los Angeles after Prong disbanded. Before bringing the band back together in 2000, he toured occasionally with such rockers as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson as well as providing guest vocals for the Soulfly album Omen.
"I miss the East Coast, but it's just easier to stay in California," Victor said. "The band lives here, and there's more rehearsal space, and finding places to store gear is easier."
Prong has released nine albums since 1988, the latest being this year's Carved in Stone.
It's no coincidence that perhaps their most famous song, Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck, released in 1994, was used by professional wrestler Justin Credible as his entrance song.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com