Interview: Tony Campos (Prong, Possessed, Asesino)

Tony Campos looks like a mean guy but he’s actually really nice, not to forget that he’s a great bassist and vocalist.

Tony plays (and played) in lots of bands, including Ministry, Dia de Los Muertos, Attika, Possessed, Asesino, OtepBuck Satan & the 666 Shooters, Prong and the band he started his career with: Static-X.

Check out my interview with him, where we talked about Asesino, his involvement with Possessed and his epic beard after the jump.

Dose of Metal: Hi Tony, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. What have you been up to lately?

Tony Campos: I’ve been working on a lot of different projects. Most recently, I finished up writing songs with Tommy Victor for a new Prong record. A few months ago, I co-wrote and played on several tracks for the upcoming Otep record. Last year, I played bass on an Al Jourgensen record for a Country project called Buck Satan & the 666 Shooters. Right now, I’m writting with Dino Cazares and Emilio Marquez for a new Asesino record.

DoM: You’ve recently been announced as the new bassist of Possessed. Is it difficult trying to win over fans of such a legendary band and how exactly did you get the gig?

TC: From what I’ve read, there’s only a few people upset that I got the gig with Possessed. They hold the whole Static-X thing against me. I’m o.k. with it. The day I do something everyone likes is the day I’m doing something wrong. What they don’t know is I was listening to Possessed while they were still swimming around in their father’s balls. I used to have Seven Churches on vinyl when I was a kid. I’d still have it if a friend turned meth addict hadn’t stolen it from me. Luckily, I still have my Eyes of Horror on vinyl.
Emilio, who has been playing drums for Possessed for quite some time now, asked me to try out. I went in not really expecting to get the gig. I was so busy with the Prong stuff, I really didn’t prepare like I should have. I even told Jeff, “Hey man, even if you don’t go with me, it’s just really cool to be here jamming with you and getting to ask you how you played all this shit.” I’ve been listening to the songs for decades, so I knew them more or less. I asked him about some of the parts and I picked them up quickly. I guess that’s what he liked about me and gave me the gig.

DoM: Is this supposed to be a touring-only job or do you plan to hit the studio aswell?

TC: As of now, there’s only been talk of doing shows. If Jeff wants to do a record, I would love to be a part of it. You’ll have to ask Jeff about that.

DoM: Your beard is epic as fuck. How long did it take you to grow it?

TC: Not sure. I lost track after 10 years. I’ve been told I look a lot like Kerry King, to which I always say, “It’s his fault. He taught me how to grow the thing.” I ran into him back stage at a show in L.A. one night, and he told me, “You’re growing that wrong. You need to grow it from back here.”. He lifted his chin and pointed to the back of it where your chin meets your neck. I took his advice and, well, you can see the results.

Tony playing with Prong

DoM: What do you look like beneath the beard? Are you hiding something?

TC: I’m not sure anymore. It’s been so long. I’m not hiding anything in there now, but I have hidden bits of food or marijuana in there.

DoM: You’ve been working with Dino Cazares of Fear Factory on and off for Asesino. Are there any plans on returning to the studio to record a third album?

TC: We’re writing songs for a new record right now. We’ll see how many we can get done in the next few months. Hopefully, we can get into a studio and do an album before the end of the year.

DoM: Which Asesino song is your favorite and why?

TC: I guess it would be “Maldito” off of Cristo Satanico. It has a lot of the elements that I like about the band. Blast beats, skank beats, heavy breakdowns, epic mid breaks. I like the lyrics I wrote for that too. Pretty brutal. I’m going to hell for the lyrics I wrote on that album.

DoM: Which Asesino song is your least favorite and why?

TC: It would have to be “Perro Primero” off of Cristo Satanico. The riffs are great on that song, but I wasn’t really happy with the lyrics I wrote for that. I didn’t really like the story I came up for that one.

DoM: What do you prefer, just playing the bass and providing backing vocals (like you did in Static-X) or singing lead vocals?

TC: If I had to pick one, it would be playing bass. I like doing vocals, but I can only do so much. I can’t really sing, so all I can do is aggressive style music. Playing bass, I can explore a lot more musical avenues.

DoM: What have you been listening to lately?

TC: I’ve been listening to the last Fireball Ministry record a lot. One of my favorite bands. Just straight up, no bullshit rock.

DoM: Who is the coolest Mexican to ever have lived?

TC: I’d have to say Vicente Fernández. He’s this Mexican mariachi singer who’s in his 70’s. His voice hasn’t lost a step. Still powerful as fuck. He still does shows, doing shots of tequila in between songs. He’ll do like an hour and a half to two hour sets. They have to pull him off stage most nights cuz he just doesn’t want to stop. I hope I can still be jamming when I’m his age.

Vicente Fernández. The coolest Mexican ever.

DoM: You played in several bands so far and for most of your career, Static-X was your main band. Which one do you consider your main band currently?

TC: Right now, I consider Prong my main band. Even though I’ve been doing Asesino for almost 10 years, it’s still just a side project. I feel really strong about the material Tommy and I have worked on and can’t wait to get it out.

DoM: When I first listened to Asesino, I was surprised that you’re such a badass vocalist. Did you ever consider starting a full-time band with you on vocals, unlike Asesino with whom you just play every couple of years?

TC: Thanks. I’ve thought about it, but right now, I’m having fun doing a lot of different projects. I’ll keep that on the backburner for now, but I’ll do it one day.

DoM: Is there anything else you want to tell your readers at doseofmetal.com?

TC: Thanks to all the fans for their support throughout the years. Keep an eye out for new records from Prong and Asesino. I’ll see you all out on the road soon. Come say “what’s up” and have a drink. You buy. Salud!

DoM: Thank you for your time!

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