Prozzak: Lessons Of Love From Canada’s Iconic Cartoon Pop Band

Many things can lead to creative breakthroughs — A search for love, a failed romance, even a little sexual frustration. This is the case for Canadian electro-pop legends, Prozzak, who hail from Toronto, Ontario.

The group made a national splash in the late 90s. Their upbeat dance tunes layered with downtrodden lyrics about a seemingly endless search for love connected with thousands of lovesick teens across the Great White North. This resulted in four Juno nominations. Prozzak can be credited in aiding the rise of a sound that defined the late 90s and early 2000s, and pioneering the idea of writing, recording, and touring as cartoon characters, an idea that would later be borrowed by groups like Gorillaz and Dethklok.

Prozzak, on the forefront, is an animated duo consisting of the small, hopeless romantic high schooler, Simon, and his muscular, adult, instrumentalist partner-in-crime, Milo. Each music video released by the group is a new journey or comment about heartbreak. The characters are portrayed by songwriters Jay Levine and James Bryan McCollum. ]

“Jay always says that having Simon as an avatar in the band allowed him to really be more honest than he ever could if he was the frontman,” says McCollum, the guitarist of the band, and voice of Milo. “We have always seen ourselves more as the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain and Simon and Milo, who are the real stars.”

Troubled romance is a consistent theme in the world of music. However, Prozzak spoke in a raw, total honesty about their troubles. It was delivered in a way that connected with teenagers, perhaps partly due to the character Simon being a high schooler himself. Perhaps an expression of Levine’s, at the time, not so distant past. 

“Jay was that single guy getting his heart broken constantly,” McCollum explains. “But everyone goes through heartbreak in life and I think that’s the reason why Simon connects so strongly with our fans. I have found as I get older that you’re always going to run into problems with love. You can run from one relationship to another or you can just work them out with that one lover. Our advice to heart broken teens would be: I feel you, I’ve been there and don’t give up, one day you will get over it. With a little help from your friends.” 

Now, two decades after releasing their popular debut, Hot Show, the band is set for one final bow with their Never Get Over You Farewell Tour, named after their smash hit “www.nevergetoveryou” before letting Simon and Milo “rest in their cryogenic chambers” for another few hundred years.”

“I learned so much from this project, McCollum concludes. “First, great things can come out of forgiveness and willingness to try something new. Second, when you write songs that are from the heart, they usually connect with people the most. And lastly, You never know what song or what project is going to be a hit. When we started Prozzak it was for fun and we laughed every step of the way. It ended up being the biggest project I’ve been involved with.”