Prozzäk is back with a new album and tour. You can catch the duo when they take over the Algonquin Commons Theatre tomorrow night at 8pm. I recently spoke with James (Milo) about the new album and the band’s upcoming tour.
Prozzäk has been on a 12-year hiatus as James and Jay pursued other projects.
“I’ve been doing a lot of writing and producing with other artists I was in London for 5 years. Jay moved from New York to LA, and then came back to Toronto. So, Jay and I hadn’t done anything together in that time. Which is kinda crazy, but it made sense cause we were living in different cities,“ shared James
The band actually first reunited about 2 years ago when they were asked to play at the Atomic Lollipop festival in Toronto.
“It was such a bizarre event. It was part music fest, part rave, part anime/cosplay conference. It was really cool. We figured if there was any event Prozzäk should come back to do, that would be it. It was such a great gig and we were surprised that more people than just our parents showed up. It was sold out. That just kinda kicked my and Jay’s butt into getting inspired to writing some new music for Simon and Milo.”
When James and Jay get together, the two seem to have a musical connection and the creative juices begin to flow.
“That’s the beautiful thing about the project. Whenever Jay and I get together to do anything for Prozzäk, it’s just pure fun and musically it comes from a part of my brain that I rarely use for anything else that I do.”
The latest album picks up right where the duo left off back in 2005 both musically and lyrically.
“Simon, I think is eternally going to be looking for love. I don’t think that could ever change for the project to really work. He’s doing it different ways now. He’s online now. Still no luck,” noted James.
Writing for the album happened pretty quickly. When the 2 found themselves together in Toronto, they got together over 10 days with the goal of writing a song a day. Thanks to technology, the album got finished passing tracks and ideas back and forth. The duo produced it themselves.
“We prefer if we can just to be in a room together with a guitar and just write. That’s still the most fun. While they didn’t all make the album, a good portion of them are on the album. So that was an intense writing period which was a lot of fun.”
James also added, “We’ve always produced our own stuff. Jay and I, we both had a vision of how we wanted it to sound and were able to make that happen.”
The album features a couple of guest appearances by Catey Shaw and The Wackyboyz.
“We had Catey Shaw do some of the female voices. Jay had been working with her on her own project. The Wackyboyz are the only other guests on the album and they happen to be my kids, who are very talented.”
James was happy to work with his kids, but added with a laugh, “They were not as excited as I hoped they would be. The song Ooh La La, was actually started by a song of theirs, but we loved the hook so much, that we thought we could do it for Prozzäk and we gave it a new twist and they were happy about that.”
The Wackyboyz will be joining the duo on stage for their Toronto performances. James stated, “As a dad, it’s pretty damn cool!”
Realizing they were starting the tour ahead of the album release, the guys recently put together a short instructional piece on some of the new music so fans would be able to sing along, despite not yet having the album in their hands.
“As performers we want to give people what they want, so we’re not going to do an hour and a half of all new songs. We are gonna do some of the new ones, cause Jay and I are so excited about it and I think everyone’s gonna love them!”
Both the album and the tour are called Forever 1999. I asked why that year really stood out for them.
James answered, “That’s when Prozzäk blew up. So it’s pretty important for Jay and I, and I guess a lot of our fans. When we started doing the reunion shows, a lot of people said it was the first cd they got, or the first concert they ever went to, and so Jay and I we’re kinda taken a back. We’re pretty surprised that it made such a big impact. It’s a little bit surreal.”
As for the future?
“We definitely want to make it out to the east coast later in the year. And we’d like to come back and do some more shows later in the year for sure.”
The guys have been busy getting ready for the road. They’ve always been pretty hands on when it comes to the bands image and visuals.
“We have to create this whole video show to coincide with it on screen while we perform. So that’s been pretty time consuming. We’re excited to see how people will respond to that. There’s going to be lasers and big inflatable Simon and Milo heads that Jay and I will perform behind. We have Catey Shaw who’s going to be our DJ and hype person and singing all the female parts too, so she really adds a lot of energy to the show. “
It sounds like it will be a fun show. Come check it out for yourself tomorrow night! If you don’t already have your tickets, grab them online.