Behind the Beat: Heartfelt Aggression

“I started The Prozacs in September, 2001,” says band vocalist and guitarist Jay Gauvin (aka J Prozac). “I was playing in The GrandPrixx, my first band, and things were on a steady decline. I initially wanted to just have some fun, write some lighthearted pop punk songs to keep busy and try out something a little more toned down.”

Now featuring a lineup consisting of Gauvin, drummer Matty Martinelle (aka Matty Prozac), guitarist Jon Kane (aka Punk Rock Jon) and bassist John Novak (aka Hollyweird), the Westfield-based Prozacs are doing a bit more than keeping busy. The band recently recorded two new songs, and in March released Is This How It Ends? a CD of split releases that spans the last five years and features artwork from local artist Eric Clarke.

The writing of material for the group’s fourth full-length album is ongoing, and a split seven-inch with a band from Chicago is also on tap. Not too bad for an act whose name was inspired by a song with lyrics concerning the ups and downs associated with the taking of a certain antidepressant.

Gauvin says, “The name was taken from a song by one of my favorite and most influential bands, The Mr. T Experience. The song is called ‘That Prozac Moment,’ and I was going to use the whole song name, but in fear of sounding too much like an emo band, I shortened it to The Prozacs.”

With a back catalogue full of fun, upbeat tracks like “Those Pants Would Look Better On Your Sister,” “Penguin Rock” and more, one genre The Prozacs’ easily avoid is emo. Eschewing slower tempos and overly confessional lyrics, the members of The Prozacs keep their songs light and infectious, though, according to Gauvin, such a pop-punk style does not keep the band’s newer material from possessing a darker edge.

“With a lineup that has nearly changed from record to record, each session gets a new little voice on it,” Gauvin says. “I guess at this point, you don’t always know what to expect from the next Prozacs’ song. [But] I feel there’s an equal balance of fun, heart and aggression that makes its way out.”

Though recording sessions for The Prozacs look to be keeping him busy for the foreseeable future, Gauvin also plans to release a solo record called J Prozac: Here Is My Heart fairly soon, as well as finish work on an album collaboration with an artist from Vancouver.

He says, “It’s been a fun, frustrating, crazy rock and roll adventure. I love playing music so much, and branching out seems natural at this point in life. As we get closer to completing the album, we will start hitting more local shows, as well as some spotted touring on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Stay tuned.”•

Author: Michael Cimaomo

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