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Interview
Brian Perry - Bassist Brian Perry - Bassist (Ex-Prong and others)

Interview by: A.M. Sefic

11/7/03

Concert Photo by: Ryan Harkin

The Metal Refuge was curios to find out what happened to the band Prong, since they seemingly have vanished from the music scene. It is well known that the band has had a flow of players in and out of the band almost since its inception - which is an unfortunate thing because Prong has, and could potentially do quite well in the hard industrial rock and metal music scenes. This may never have the chance to come to fruition however, as the band has been without a full line up since the spring of 2003 when Brian Perry left the band. Brian is still listed on the website as current bassist for the band, but this is absolutely not so. It seems almost as if the webmaster has abandoned the band as well as the site has not been updated since July 2003.

After a bit of research, the Metal Refuge was able to hunt Brian down. He agreed to talk to us a bit about his past projects, his time with Prong, and what he is doing now with his music.

If you are interested in hearing recordings of his music, watch live concert footage with him playing on stage with Prong, photos, and finding contact info, visit his official website created and maintained by himself. Not only is he a talented bassist, but he also does very well with web design. Brian Perry's sound is very heavy, beefy, he has a style that is clearly all his own.

MR: How did you get your start in music?

Brian Perry: Well, my dad Bill Perry was a local musician, a piano player. My Uncle Tony played guitar, and bass. My brother played guitar. My cousins all played guitar, and sang. We had several instruments lying around the house. So when the holidays rolled around, and we all got together it was like one big jam session. So naturally I had to learn to play something. Hell, I thought everyone played at this point.

MR: And how old were you?

Brian: I was around 10 or 11 when I was first even allowed to touch the guitar. This was because I was a bit like Dennis the Menace or the Michael Myers character on SNL - you know the one kid who was on a leash with the protective helmet. Don't give me any sugar man...

{laughter}

MR: Did you want to solely be a bassist?

Brian: At first no, I didn't know what a bass was. We didn't have one of those lying around the house.

MR: Who can you list as some of your major influences?

Brian: Cliff Williams (AC/DC) Geddy Lee (Rush), Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Paul McCartney (Beatles),

MR: What style of music do you enjoy playing the most - or how would you describe your style as a bass player?

Brian: A: I really enjoyed playing the style that Prong came from - Thrash/Industrial.

B: Huge groove, major, major tone, dynamic, melodic, simplistic, beautiful, lethal, monstrous. Did I mention huge groove?

{laughter}

MR: What type of equipment do you use?

Brian: Ampeg (Amplification), Warwick, ESP, Washburn (Basses), DR (Strings) various foot pedals.

MR: What have been some of the projects you have worked on as a bassist?

Brian: I had started out on the East coast playing with a local band called Harpo. I moved to Los Angeles and played with several national acts - too many to mention. A few bands were Jake E. Lee (Wicked Alliance), and Flood, the best band you never heard of. We got a huge deal with Interscope and then they - the rest of the band - blew it, and then Prong.

MR: In the writing for the band Flood, who got the ball rolling, then where did you come in with your writing?

Brian: A producer by the name of Bob Marlette got us going. We had about 30 songs written in about 4 months time. Within 6 months we had a publishing deal, and every major label on the planet in a bidding war. We never even played a gig! It finally came down to the singer not being a star and that's what blew it.

The band name, and some of the songs were sold off to whoever wanted them, Coal Chamber did a remake of the song "Rowboat" on their "Dark Days" CD. The movie "Contact" and "Clubland". Some independent films. Yep, the biggest band you never heard of. Sheesh!

Flood was a very rhythmic band, a lot of the songs were written with the groove in mind, and then came the riffs to fit. Then melody and a bit of magic dust. If you build it they will come... {laughs}

MR: I imagine that the bass player and drummer need to stay very closely connected during song writing.

Brian: Yes, absolutely. You are only as good as your weakest player. To me the groove is everything. I have been blessed with having played, or jammed with some of the best drummers in the business. Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Dean Castranova (Ozzy Osborne), Craig Neilson (Flotsam and Jetsam), Eric Singer (Kiss), Ray Luzier (DLR Band), Mark Poland (Damn The Machine) just to name a few. Playing with people like these guys forces you to become a great player.

MR: When did you come into the picture with Prong?

Brian: I knew Dez from Coal Chamber. I asked if he could keep an ear open for me and within a week I got a call from Tommy.

Brian Perry - BassistMR: How long were you with Prong, and what made you decide to leave the band?

Brian: I was with Prong for about a year of touring in 2002. We headlined across the country and recorded "Prong 100% Live". We did about 10 weeks opening for Danzig. We also went to Europe and did some festivals. I left Prong after the New Year because during the time I was with the band I witnessed first hand how not to run a business, and decided to get out while the getting out was good. I believe this is why Prong could/will never keep a constant line-up, label, management or ever hit the heights that the classic Prong music truly deserves.

MR: Had you started writing any songs with Prong before you left?

Brian: Yes, several...

MR: Since you left Prong, what have you been up to?

Brian: I have been writing and jamming with drummers and other musicians just to keep the blood flowing. I have been looking for a substantial gig, but cant seem to find a good one.

MR: Out of all of the projects you have worked on, or people you have jammed with, which would you say was the most satisfying or memorable?

Brian: I think the Prong gig was the most fun because it had that air of being the innovators of the whole industrial rock/nu metal thing. Fans and bands all around the world recognized this fact and it was cool to be part of such an amazing phenomenon.

MR: How would you describe the music you are currently working on?

Brian: I would say it would be more along the lines of Damage Plan, Static X, Def Tones, big, big groove.

MR: What bands are you currently listening to?

Brian: Well, what's in my CD player at the moment is Amen, Six Feet Under, Deftones, and Killing Joke.

MR: Do you have any outrageous stories you can tell us about yourself? What is one of the craziest things you have done either on stage, or otherwise?

Brian: Well, one of the funnier things that happened to me was while I was going through the Dennis the Menace Phase. I got suspended in junior high school for breathing fire in the boy's bathroom. The sucky part was that my Mom was the lunch lady. Boy did I catch hell for that one... {laughs} Oh yeah, while playing in NYC at the Limelight I pulled a Spinal Tap. I couldn't find the stage and came out above the stage on the balcony. Good thing I was cordless. Hello Cleavland!!!

{laughter}

MR: I know you have toured on the regional and national circuit. Do you enjoy touring?

Brian: I love to tour. I think it was bred in me to be on the road. I love waking up on the bus at around sound check time, which is about 5 or 6pm, and asking someone where we are. Seeing the world is very exciting thing to me, and I cant wait to get out and tour again.

MR: If you could see yourself in a band right now, any band, even if they had a full line up, who would you like to jam with? What would make you happy as a bassist?

Brian: Well let's see. Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica, Killing Joke, Static X... Hmmmmmm. I would love to be with a band that really has their shit together. Someone who knows the game can follow through with the plan, and not screw it up.

The Metal Refuge would like to thank Brian for taking time out of his day to speak with us.  Lets hope we will get to see him on stage soon, and with a band that is worthy of his dedication and skill.

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