"I'm Simon. This is..."
"Milo, I'm Milo."
"To Prozzak's TV Tropes Page."
A Canadian virtual pop band comprised of hopeless romantic Simon and studly-but-silent Milo, known for their extremely bleak love songs.
According to the band's mythology, the two were originally the last surviving soldiers for opposing armies during a great European war. During their final confrontation, a great heavenly light descended upon them and decreed that they must walk the earth in search of true love before zapping them into the late 90s. Immediately putting aside their differences, the duo began writing and recording music to document their oft-vain attempt to find the girls of their dreams, with Simon always on the receiving end of a breakup.
The actual story behind the band lies with a different duo, Jason Levine and James McCollum, formerly of the neo-soul group The Philosopher Kings. Despite not getting along, they both agreed that they did not like the direction in which the band was going. Their proposal for a more traditional pop sound came in the form of "Europa," which Levine sang in a broad English accent that he often did to amuse the rest of the band. The rest of the band turned it down, but liked it and suggested that the two of them strike out on their own, with Prozzäk being the result.
The act's first two albums, 1998's Hot Show and 2000's Saturday People, were very successful in Canada upon release, after which they had a huge Schedule Slip, save for the title song to the Disney Channel movie Get a Clue where they were credited as Simon & Milo. They eventually returned in 2005 with the Darker and Edgier Cruel Cruel World.
After recording one more song for the Canadian children's show "Roll Play," the duo went on hiatus. Levine began recording under the name Today Kid and McCollum returned to Philosopher Kings while also occasionally touring with Nelly Furtado's live band.
Prozzäk reunited in 2015 for the Atomic Lollipop festival, giving their first live performance since 2002 and debuting their first new song in ten years. A fourth album, Forever 1999, an a tour to promote it came two years later.
A farewell tour began in November of 2019.
- Hot Show (1998)
- Saturday People (2000)
- Ready Ready Set Go (as Simon & Milo) (2002)note
- Cruel Cruel World (2005)
- Forever 1999 (2017)
"Ready Ready Set Tropes":
- Animesque: Downplayed due to the art style, but Simon's standard design takes some cues from anime art styles; particularly his Tareme Eyes. The "Get A Clue" video made the influence more explicit by giving him a slight redesign.
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: "Lonely American Nights."
- Aggressive Categorism: "Be As" is the deliberate antithesis of this. "Clothes We Wear" is a criticism of it.
- The Ahnold: Milo.
- Album Title Drop: Ready Ready Set Go is taken from the very beginning of "Pretty Girls."
- All Just a Dream: "Sweeping Romance."
- All Love Is Unrequited: Poor Simon.
- All There in the Manual: According to the band's SoundCloud, Simon's last name is Thornhill.
- Animation Bump: The video for "Get A Clue," funded by Disney, has the cleanest, most fluid animation of any of the band's videos.
- Animated Music Video: Considering that the band are animated characters.
- Art Evolution: The band has gone through a number of cosmetic changes throughout their history.
- The character designs for their first two albums largely remained the same, though the style in which they were rendered was different for both (Hot Show was done in pastels while Saturday People was digital). The animation in the music videos also got progressively better.
- The art for Ready Ready Set Go gave the designs a massive overhaul, making them both more youthful (and, in Milo's case, more conventionally attractive) to appeal to a Disney Channel audience. "Get A Clue," the band's one song where they were credited as Simon & Milo, has their best-animated video.
- The art and character designs for Cruel Cruel World were even more drastically different, completely overhaulting the colorful, cartoonie art of their previous incarnations in favor of a Darker and Edgier sepia-toned look to reflect the album's bleaker music. The designs also more closely caricatured Jay and James to how they appeared circa 2005. From this point on, all of the band's videos were animated in Adobe Flash rather than traditionally.
- The artwork for their 2010s reunion returns to their original designs, albeit slightly cruder, as it's drawn by fans now that Jay and James don't have much of a budget to work with.
- Art Shift: The artwork for Cruel Cruel World drastically redesigns the characters from charming and cartoony to graphic and moody, with the only colors being black and brown. The album's only promo video, "When I Think Of You," was the only one not to be traditionally animated, and was instead Flash-animated.
- Author Avatar: Simon for Jason Levine.
- Band Toon: An example of the cartoon being the band. Jay and James felt that two then-thirtysomething guys playing bubblegum pop wouldn't sell in an age of teen idols.
- Big Applesauce: "NYC."
- Big Ball of Violence: Simon gets into one in the video for "It's Not Me, It's You."
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Milo and Simon
- Bilingual Bonus: "Usted Es Muy Loco"(Translation: "You are very crazy" or "You're nuts!"). Doubles as Stealth Insult. And in the last chorus, "Repazar la noche conmigo" (a slightly mangled way of saying "Spend the night with me").
- Born Unlucky: Simon. For starters, he has no neck.
- Bowdlerise: Ready Ready Set Go was released under the name Simon and Milo because Disney was uncomfortable having an act on their label that was a drug reference. Despite this, none of the profane-by-Disney-standards content of the songs ("Sucks To Be You," the opening line about sexual frustration in "Strange Disease") was similarly scrutinized.
"I told 'ya 'bout Europa and me/And how she haunted every memory."
- "Tsunami" has one to "Europa":
"From the shores of the Mediterranean, all the way to New York City."
- The intro to "NYC" has one to "Mediterranean Lady."
- Canada, Eh?: Of the bumper crop of Canadian pop acts that popped up at the tail end of the 90s, suffice to say Prozzak was a definite standout.
- Cannot Spit It Out: "Pretty Girls" is all about the different careers Simon could have in order to tell a girl that he loves her because "pretty girls make him nervous when they're as pretty as you."
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: Their earlier work got progressively happier until Cruel Cruel World did a hard 180. When that didn't pan out, the band went right back to the lighter material with Forever 1999.
- Character Development: On "Sleep With Myself," Simon laments how intimacy is losing to the digital age ("Fax machines, computer screens/Seems like love is something of the past"). Their next album featured "www.nevergetoveryou," which is about Simon having an online relationship.
- Christmas Songs: "My Little Snowflake."
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Suck To Be You," due to the line "I'm a bastard if it's true" being the refrain.
- Concept Album: Their first three albums have some sort of underlying theme: Hot Show is comprised of songs about specific girls who broke Simon's heart; Saturday People is a pseudo-Rock Opera about the characters working their way through the young, hip weekend crowd of the UK rave scene; Cruel Cruel World is set in a Crapsack World devoid of love itself.
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: The additional verse in "Wild Thing/Poor Boy" changes an almost childishly simple rock n roll song about a pretty girl to one about a guy who expects a woman to love him just because he thinks she's pretty.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Jason Levine sings the female parts on "Strange Disease" and "Wild Thing/Poor Boy" in a falsetto.
- Darker and Edgier: Cruel Cruel World, as the name suggests, is easily the darkest album the band put out.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The opening line from "When I Think Of You.""When I get this feeling down below / I lock the bathroom door"
- A Day In The Lime Light: I Like To Watch (Milo's Night Out), as the alternate name suggests, is sung entirely by Milo.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jason Levine, as evidenced by his recent interview with Noisey.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Both the artwork and the backstory for Cruel Cruel World depict Simon and Milo in "a colorless world where love may not exist."
- Did Not Get the Girl: Poor Simon...
- Easily Forgiven: From being at one another's throats to forming a band within a matter of seconds after a time warp.
- Eyes Always Shut: Milo.
- Failure Is the Only Option: 90% of their catalog is Simon bemoaning how he Did Not Get the Girl.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Jason Levine and James McCollum didn't get along when they first joined The Philosopher Kings and their relationship only became more strained as they were cramped together into a tour bus traveling Canada. A one-change agreement over their love of bubblegum pop resulted in an entirely new band, bringing them closer together and making them True Companions.
- The Four Chords of Pop: The chorus of "www.nevergetoveryou."
- Funny Background Event: Simon is taken away by "Rick's Café and Asylum" in the video for "Strange Disease."
- Genre Roulette: Forever 1999 is probably the band's most eclectic album, featuring bubblegum pop and faux-Europop reminiscent of their first album, but also EDM, a millennial youth anthem, and a Rihanna-esque Caribbean pop.
- Get Back in the Closet: One of the characters in "Be As" is going through this."Lisa just had to get away/Nothing could make her stay/Tired of living under cover"
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The due, both in real life and as the characters they portray, are very much this.
- Ink-Suit Actor: While they don't resemble them exactly (save for Cruel, Cruel World, which still take plenty of liberties) the designs of Simon & Milo take some physical traits of the two musicians playing them, or are at least caricatures of how they envision themselves.
- Informed Attractiveness: Milo is ripped, but his face is pretty disturbing.
- Intercourse with You
- Kick the Dog: Most of Simon's dates don't let him down... gently. The worst probably being all of the girls in "It's Not Me It's You."Simon: "Minnie, if we don't make it out of this thing, I want you do know that I really did love you."Minnie: "I know, Simon. It's just that..."
- Lead Bassist: Jay is Type B. Simon is credited as this on the album, but is only depicted playing bass in the video for "www.nevergetoveryou."
- Lighter and Softer: Saturday People is MUCH happier than Hot Show. Similarly, Forever 1999 is more accessable and upbeat than the extremely bleak Cruel, Cruel World.
- Limited Animation: The "Love Me Tinder" video. If you want proof that the band's comeback is a No Budget independent project, compare one of their first videos to that one.
- Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with Milo, but Simon actually has two primary outfits. He's primarily shown with a dress shirt and tie, but also in "Saturday People" he has a T-shirt with long sleeves underneath.
- Literal Metaphor: As mentioned above, "Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat)" is actually about Simon's cat running away.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Simon currently has this in the form of his cat Miles, whom he showers with affection after breaking off his engagement. The unwanted attention causes Miles to run away one night. "Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat)" is about Simon lamenting the consequences of his actions as Milo goes out and looks for Miles, eventually finding him with a pack of coyotes.
- Love Martyr: Simon, especially in the "Get A Clue" video.
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Strange Disease," "Pretty Girls," "www.nevergetoveryou," and "Clothes We Wear."
- Lyrical Dissonance
- "Monday Morning" is a rave song about finding out that your best friend died.
- "Sucks To Be You" is a hot dance song about feeling guilty for treating a girl like crap.
- Meaningful Name
- When recording the first album, a friend of Levine's noted how much the process was helping him cope with his depression, as if the music was "like an antidepressant." Levine though this was A Good Name for a Rock Band.
- Their label, Left Hook Music, is named after an incident during the duo's time in The Philosopher Kings when James got mad at Jay and punched him in the jaw.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Simon's Final Though"
- My God, What Have I Done?: "Sucks to be You" is about Simon realizing how horribly he treated an ex-girlfriend and beating himself up over it.
- New Sound Album: Hot Show was primarily Europop with the occasional psychedelic rock song; Saturday People moved more towards pop/rock and rave; Cruel Cruel World was electro-indie; and Forever 1999 is a little bit of everything.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: In addition to being The Ahnold, Milo's bassy voice and indeterminable accent are based on that of Richard Fairbrass from Right Said Fred.
- No-Neck Chump: Simon, who's head levitates a few inches off his shoulders.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Levine's British accent for Simon varies from song to song. Most of the time it's exaggerated to Dick Van Dyke levels ("Usted Es Muy Loco"), while other times, it's barely there at all ("DJ-J-Vox").
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The video for "Get A Clue." See "What Could Have Been" on the trivia page.
- Precision F-Strike: From "Tricky":"Runnin' down the stairs and I kicked open the back door.Hit some guy and he called me a mofo."
- Putting the Band Back Together: Jason Levine admitted that the band's appearance at the 2015 Atomic Lollipop festival in Toronto required a bit of arm-twisting, as he wasn't sure if the act's music held up enough to draw a big enough crowd. When they got there, their show was so packed that it nearly caused a fire hazard, convincing him and James McCollum to start work on a comeback album, which eventually became Forever 1999.
- Random Events Plot: The video for "Sucks To Be You" begins with Simon & Milo entering a bar to get milkshakes, which somehow results in a brawl with thugs, who are defeated by Milo playing a guitar solo, intercut with fantasies/flashback of Simon failing to woo the female bartender. It ends with them going to a premier of their own movie.
- Real Is Brown: The artwork for Cruel Cruel World.
- Really Gets Around: Simon. Lampshaded in "Sleep With Myself."
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The "rave" music video for "Omobolasire" ends with a shot of Simon & Milo in a live-action mirror preparing to go onstage.
- Same Face, Different Name: Ready Ready Set Go, a failed attempt at an American crossover.
- Sampling: The chorus of "Love Me Tinder" includes an interpolation of Elvis's "Love Me Tender," itself based on the traditional song "Aura Lee."
- "Sesame Street" Cred: Their song "Chloe The Chicken" for the preschooler show Roll Play.
- Shirtless Scene
- Milo uses his shirt as a bullfighting cape in the music video for "Europa."
- Shout-Out: The skit that precedes "Introduction To A Broken Heart" has Milo telling Simon about how, once he finds true love, they'll buy that ranch that they always talk about.
- The Call-Back to "Europa" in "Tsunami" ("I told ya 'bout Europa and me") is one to the numerous callbacks to various Beatles songs in "Glass Onion."
- The line "And all the White girls say..." in "Tricky" is one to "Walk On The Wild Side" by Lou Reed.
- As mentioned above, "Love Me Tinder" is named after Elvis Presley's classic ballad "Love Me Tender."
- The Silent Bob: Milo, save for "I Like To Watch" and "Feed The Night".
- Silly Love Song
- Single Stanza Song: "Sucks To Be You," "If You're Ready."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Closer to, but not entirely, cynical.
- Sudden Anatomy: Simon gains a neck on the cover of Cruel Cruel World.
- Tareme Eyes: Simon.
- Technician Versus Performer: Levine and McCollum both consider themselves technicians rather than performers. That said, it's clear that Levine does more of the creative work while McCollum handles more instrumentation.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Milo
- Tropaholics Anonymous: "Love Fools Anonymous".
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Be As," "www.nevergetoveryou," "You Don't Love Me That Way," "Infatuation." "Get A Clue" does this in reverse (going from G to E in the last verse). "It's Not Me, It's You" has two.
- Unusual Euphemism: From "Tsunami":"And like the South China Sea, Tsunami rolled over me."
- Vague Age: The guys seem to be adults, but one of the videos has them as high school students.
- Virtual Celebrity: Played with. The music videos always feature Simon & Milo performing the songs and the albums credits all the writing and performing to the characters. However, live shows would not keep up the facade. Instead, Jay & James simply performed the songs in-character on top of busts of the characters.
- Vocal Evolution: Simon projects far more on Saturday People than on Hot Show, where he was more moaning than singing, and on "Get A Clue," he's practically shouting. His vocals on Cruel Cruel World are somewhere in between.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Milo. Lampshaded in the video for "Be As" where his tag at the UN lists him as "Somewhere in Europe."
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Usted Es Muy Loco."
- Yank the Dog's Chain: "Omobolasire." He finally finds a girl who loves him back (and African princess, no less!) and it's revealed that they can't be together for sociopolitical complications.