Prozzäk may be performers, but their main act is more theatric than rock star.
Dynamic duo James Bryan McCollum and Jay Lovine of Prozzäk recently released their first album in more than a decade.
To celebrate, the pop-rock band is touring across Canada, coming to the Kelowna Community Theatre on April 12.
“It’s such a win already. The people who care about it and there’s some new people out there,” said Lovine. “It’s the best time, ironically, because we really have entirely other careers so it’s just such a bonus to get out there and do this, it’s a lot more pure fun.”
The pair created characters back in the 1990s which follow the endless love story of Simon. voiced by Lovine, a depressed individual obsessed with finding a lover, but in all the wrong ways.
McCollum plays Milo, Simon’s friend who provides support to an obsessed Simon with his depressed desire for love.
On stage, the pair sing like regular musicians while the characters play out the songs on video, similar to the Gorillaz.
They decided to reunite for the fans. At an Atomic Lollypop comic-con show in Toronto about a year and a half ago, “we were just so surprised people were there. I thought it was going to be my mom and close friends but 4,000 people showed up and were singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs,” said Lovine.
They started writing new material and released their album Forever 1999 on March 31.
The album features the single Love Me Tinder, which follows Simon as he desperately tries to meet women on the dating app Tinder.
This isn’t the first time Simon has turned to the internet for love. In 2000 the song www.nevergetoveryou discussed an online relationship Simon experienced with a lover.
“With the mobile and apps and different technology… the notion that there’s something better around the corner every minute, you can swipe a 100 people a minute, that’s a different psychology that plays really well into Simon’s sex and love addiction.”
Simon and Milo were created by accident, but Simon was a reflection of Lovine at the time.
Hiding behind a cartoon and a character and an accent is a really easy way to be hyper-honest for me, at least. I had this funny impression I used to do… this aging British rock star… it came super easy to me in a lot of ways,” at the time Lovine was a part of The Philosophy Kings, a jazz band he rebelled against.
“My influences were music more rounded than that,” he said.
His parent’s divorce and failing relationships fuelled Simon’s character.
“I have endless material to draw on with messing up good relationships,” he said. “There’s an endless supply of material.”
But will Simon ever find love? Lovine doesn’t know.
“I suspect he’ll need a lot of therapy to get to a good place,” he said.
Prozzäk will be singing live with Simon and Milo performing on screen. Lovine thinks he looks more like a classical composer/lawyer than a rock star, so he leaves the part to Simon.
The tour has been going well for Lovine so far. “We’re surprised people care.”
Moving forward Lovine plans to develop Simon and Milo into a theatre project.
Lovine runs two labels out of New York, has been working on a musical which is set to come out in the fall, and also develops artists.
Hailing from Toronto, he spends his time in Los Angeles and enjoys his time back in Canada.
Tickets can be purchased online through selectyourtickets.com.