ProCon
Gig Seeker Pro

ProCon

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Anti Hit List"

"...this Toronto duo has fully realized its mandate: creating electronic music that rocks. It's as though Peaches had convinced Annie Lennox to update "Sweet Dreams" after the pair had sung backing vocals on "Mama Said Knock You Out." ~John Sakamoto, Anti-Hit List - Toronto Star, John Sakamoto


"Anti Hit List"

"...this Toronto duo has fully realized its mandate: creating electronic music that rocks. It's as though Peaches had convinced Annie Lennox to update "Sweet Dreams" after the pair had sung backing vocals on "Mama Said Knock You Out." ~John Sakamoto, Anti-Hit List - Toronto Star, John Sakamoto


"ProCon "Kingmaker""

Kingmaker is the second full-length release from Toronto duo Procon, a dark, futuristic time warp apparently punctuated by evil geniuses, party people, unicorns and robots. Yes, that's right, unicorns and robots. Having shared bills with the likes of Kill Hannah, Shiny Toy Guns and Mindless Self Indulgence, and appeared as part of CMW and CMJ in NYC, Count Feedback and Countess Christsmasher's unruly brand of electro, with a generous dose of boisterous rock, is a perfect fit for Toronto's ever-expanding experimental/electro dance rock scene. Kingmaker will make you get up and dance, and if not dance then at least react. It's like a swift boot to the face administered by a thousand angry robots, with Peaches as acting supervisor. There is no passive listening here. From the spastic horns, manic synths and repetitious shouts of "Geiger/Listen Up Bitches!" to the almost epic vocal interlude amongst the driving beat and frenzied glitches of "Kingmaker," the album leaves its mark with an undeniable urgency. The standout track nod goes to "Delia," a melodic, intergalactic shout out to Delia Derbyshire, one of the greatest innovators of electronic. - Exclaim Magazine


"Electro Switch"

Electro switch
Tech-pop duo can't kick the synth habit
By BENJAMIN BOLES

In case you haven't noticed, techno and rock are crossing over again. On one side, you've got DJs creaming their jeans over guitars; on the other, indie rockers ditching guitars for synths and computers. Local duo ProCon fall into the latter category. Axe wielders Countess Christsmasher and Count Feedback were left cold by house music while doing time in the indie rock scene. But they succumbed to the temptation of the electro-pop beast after their last collaboration, the Helens, broke up.

"It was always there, and it was always something that we loved and wanted to incorporate," explains Countess over drinks before a shift DJing at the Bovine.

"In the end, that was probably what destroyed the Helens: some of us wanted to be a rock band, but some of us didn't.

"When we decided we weren't going to do the Helens album, we scrapped most of that material, and the other stuff Count and I had been writing on the side became Procon."

The success of folks like Peaches and Gonzalez, other Toronto indie fixtures who gave in to their electro impulses, made the prospect of pulling off a techno switcheroo more plausible. While they've mercifully figured out how to translate their tunes live without the ubiquitous laptops, Procon put their computers to use combing the Internet for synths to complete their collection.

"Buying synths on eBay is like a crack habit," Countess laughs. "Last year we saw an ad for Giorgio Moroder's DX7, which isn't a particularly impressive synth, but for us that's like owning Jimi Hendrix's guitar. And the story checked out! A guy who used to work with Moroder was clearing out all his old gear. So now we have it along with a bunch of cartridges of Giorgio's old sounds."

The Moroder influence is evident in Procon's sound, as is the new new wave of Fischerspooner and Adult, but there's also a healthy amount of punk rock attitude and even a hint of "white girl rap." While on paper that sounds identical to a lot of so-so electro stuff, their very strong pop sensibilities and clear, catchy hooks set Procon apart.

Even though the songs have only been available online, they still managed to snag the attention of producer David Norland. Norland, known for his work with Madonna, volunteered his services as an ace remixer. Countess says she welcomes the unexpected interest... as long as Procon's beats don't sneak up in some commercial pop without their knowledge. - NOW Magazine, Benjamin Boles


"Electro Switch"

Electro switch
Tech-pop duo can't kick the synth habit
By BENJAMIN BOLES

In case you haven't noticed, techno and rock are crossing over again. On one side, you've got DJs creaming their jeans over guitars; on the other, indie rockers ditching guitars for synths and computers. Local duo ProCon fall into the latter category. Axe wielders Countess Christsmasher and Count Feedback were left cold by house music while doing time in the indie rock scene. But they succumbed to the temptation of the electro-pop beast after their last collaboration, the Helens, broke up.

"It was always there, and it was always something that we loved and wanted to incorporate," explains Countess over drinks before a shift DJing at the Bovine.

"In the end, that was probably what destroyed the Helens: some of us wanted to be a rock band, but some of us didn't.

"When we decided we weren't going to do the Helens album, we scrapped most of that material, and the other stuff Count and I had been writing on the side became Procon."

The success of folks like Peaches and Gonzalez, other Toronto indie fixtures who gave in to their electro impulses, made the prospect of pulling off a techno switcheroo more plausible. While they've mercifully figured out how to translate their tunes live without the ubiquitous laptops, Procon put their computers to use combing the Internet for synths to complete their collection.

"Buying synths on eBay is like a crack habit," Countess laughs. "Last year we saw an ad for Giorgio Moroder's DX7, which isn't a particularly impressive synth, but for us that's like owning Jimi Hendrix's guitar. And the story checked out! A guy who used to work with Moroder was clearing out all his old gear. So now we have it along with a bunch of cartridges of Giorgio's old sounds."

The Moroder influence is evident in Procon's sound, as is the new new wave of Fischerspooner and Adult, but there's also a healthy amount of punk rock attitude and even a hint of "white girl rap." While on paper that sounds identical to a lot of so-so electro stuff, their very strong pop sensibilities and clear, catchy hooks set Procon apart.

Even though the songs have only been available online, they still managed to snag the attention of producer David Norland. Norland, known for his work with Madonna, volunteered his services as an ace remixer. Countess says she welcomes the unexpected interest... as long as Procon's beats don't sneak up in some commercial pop without their knowledge. - NOW Magazine, Benjamin Boles


"ALBUM REVIEW"

PROCON

Cochon ****

Getting right up in your grill and staying there with the five-alarm urgency of "Foxhole," the T.O. duo of Count Feedback and the wickedly dubbed Countess Christsmasher replace electro's all too typical aloof snobbery with a substantial dose of punk edge. ProCon bristle with purpose not posturing: the unabashed libido-fired "Rub and Ride," the hipster-baiting "My Technology" and the hip-hop flavoured "Pussy" abound with relentless energy, punchy, synth-based attacks and vitriolic verses juxtaposed with pop-laced choruses. ProCon land a much-needed kick in the pants to the legion of electroclash poseurs who had little more to offer than good clothes and bad attitudes. RW - Eye Weekly, Toronto


"ProCon in San Francisco"

The crowd was peppered with members of several other Cochon bands, like the exquisitely beautiful Jillian of Von Iva and Rhani of Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes, and members of Gravy Train and lots more fun folks. It was an especially effervescent crowd of people who were more than ready to hear this band do what they do best.
The male/female duo were definitely engaged and energetic, connecting with the crowd in a personable friendly way. Vocalist Countess Christsmasher belted out songs of sex, danger, drugs and rock with an athletic dexterity, setting the tone for a night packed full of females ready to throw down and slay with their undeniably full tilt vocalizations. Count Feedback wore a very cool red colored jumpsuit with lots of zippers. He left the keyboards for a wild turn on the guitar, complete with drops to the floor and other super-hero guitar postures, all the while sounding very capable with an axe in his hands. It was a great set.
Incidentally, my friend Allison, the super-beautiful roller-derby queen, got to talking with the Countess after their set and learned that she also wears the skates, rolling for a Toronto based all-girl roller-derby team. What a coincidence, a totally awesome coincidence—we love them derby girls.

By Don Baird - SF Bay Area Times


"No Power Shortage Here"

It’s a sweltering Wednesday afternoon, the temperature in Southern Ontario bubbling at over 36 degrees. Ontario’s hydro companies are again pleading with the populace to use major appliances with discretion.

And somewhere in Toronto, Count Feedback and Countess Christsmasher, known to fans as ProCon are holed up in their studio, hard at play with an assortment of electronic doodads and gizmos – and very much aware of the corresponding occupational hazards.
“That’s the scary thing about electronic music. If the power goes out, it’s all over”, Christsmasher notes. Until a couple of years ago, most music lovers might have argued that the very term “electronic music” is scary enough on it’s own.

But as more and more bands channel their inner disco dancer, it seems fun, frantic and fast electronic tunes are once again poised to rule the charts. Unless, of course, the power goes out. But that’s unlikely to happen to ProCon any time soon. Since the release of the duo’s hyper charged CD earlier this year, the Count and Countess have been attracting attention on both sides of the Atlantic for their stubbornly catchy tunes and energetic live shows.

It’s recognition that, according to Christsmasher, was several years in the making. “It was all about being very rock and using technology”, Christsmasher says of ProCon’s game plan. “We had a band that was already heading in that direction, but it imploded, eventually leaving just the two of us. The others just weren’t ready to go ahead with this.” Four years ago, few were. And the Count and Countess were shown many a record label door before the San Francisco based Cochon Records opted to take a chance and sign the duo in 2004.

“After we’d made this record we shopped it around in Canada…and no one really understood it. They were like, ‘You need more guitars’! They were stuck in the 70’s and I was shaking my fist saying ‘Dude, if it’s 1979 now, next year it’s going to be 1980!’”
Count and Countess should know…By their own admission, they spent some time living in 1979, toiling with a number of rock bands on the Toronto scene before seeing the flashing light. Christsmasher sees it as fate, to a certain extent, given a shared background of admiring Devo and Primal Scream as much as AC/DC. Countess recalls the first records she owned as Nina Hagen’s Fearless and the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bullocks. Which about sums it up.

The sound and the fury of ProCon’s CD reflects that determination to meld punk devotion with electronic experimentation. ProCon concede they “never really fit into the electroclash scene” and boasts that tracks like the intense “Foxhole” bring to mind The Ramones.

Of course, it’s not all mania with ProCon. Songs like “Drive On”, in fact, suppress that punk rock rage beneath a fetching radio-friendly gloss. Countess pleads guilty to loving pop as much as punk. “Drive On” was my answer to Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”, she says. “I thought that song was so perfect that I said, ‘I’ve gotta get me one of those’. I love that sort of well-crafted pop. Sometimes I don’t want to admit it, but I do!”

It’s okay. For ProCon, that too is an occupational hazard.

Allan Wigney

- The Ottawa Sun


"ProCon Live @ The Guvernment w/Peaches"

ProCon's recent spot as the opener at the rammed to the tits Peaches show in Toronto's Guverment proved that unlike most electronic based acts in this city, they can bring down the whole fucking house. Not content to tweak knobs and snottily program idle beats, ProCon whip out the 80s oldskool, anthem rock, and contemporary 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' dance dirges to create a super poppy, punked out, dancefloor sensation. Dressed as discarded porno royalty, the duo beat their machines into submission, riding the stage, and rocking the club with their first single 'Drive On'. This unexpected display left everybody asking, 'Are these guys from Toronto?'

- Katalogue


"ProCon on PunkTV"

Truly great artists are rarely respected in their own time. Despite having a sound that encompasses cutting edge electro with a sensibility of hook-driven rock choruses and even the odd element of trance music, electro-punk twosome ProCon had to venture far away from their hometown of Toronto in order to get a record deal. The good minds at Cochon records in San Francisco took a stab, and their self-titled release is now available in both CD and vinyl for the masses. Perhaps there is something to the old assumption that California is ahead of the curve. Although they will tell you they do not feel perfectly at home using their stripped live gear (which they dismissively refer to as skateboards), ProCon nonetheless delivered the pleasant surprise of the night at their show with Shiny Toy Guns at Kathedral. And one word of warning: if you just so happen to live in Cleveland, get ready for a territorial war when Count Feedback and Countess Christsmasher come to your town. Here’s how it went...

PunkTV.ca: So let’s talk about the CD here. How did it go?
Countess Christsmasher: That was a labor of love done over a couple of years. Pain, agony, defeat and success.
Count Feedback: And rejection!
Christsmasher: And love and awesomeness. We have a studio and we started accumulating crazy computers and gear and keyboards and vintage synths, muse synths and stuff, and we figured it out as we went along, and we wrote the songs, we recorded them, and some label in San Francisco was like ‘we like it.’
Feedback: After knocking on many, many doors here…
Christsmasher: Shh!

PunkTV.ca: Isn’t that funny how the West Coast is a lot more into the crazy synth/electro/vocoder thing?
Feedback: It’s weird it’s a bit of a hometown thing too. I mean, maybe if we were from Montreal it would be different, But I can’t complain, kids have been really receptive and we’ve been getting some good shows. We had to leave Toronto to get the good shows, but…

PunkTV.ca: Yeah, you were mentioning that onstage, how you don’t play Toronto much even though this is your hometown…
Christsmasher: People are scared of us, that’s why!
Feedback: They’re fuckin’ scared. Fuck, I’d be scared!
Christsmasher: I think it’s good to get out of town because it makes you appreciate it when you get back and play these shows hanging out with the kids at their merch table and stuff like that. It’s great, and I think every band has that where they are always taken for granted in your hometown.
Feedback: I bet you talk to a lot of bands and they say the same thing. You go out, and bang, you come back and people are like ‘oh I heard you are doing well now’ and all of the sudden people are interested in you. It’s real, it’s sad because Toronto’s got all the elements of a New York, of a Chicago, of all those things. It’s got the cool stuff but we have the second city mentality, we’re always looking for approval elsewhere.

PunkTV.ca: You released the effort on both CD and vinyl. Is the vinyl selling as well as the CD? Is there a split in demographics on who buys the CD and the vinyl? I assume the cooler kids are the ones buying the wax.
Christsmasher: It’s funny cause there is that split. Young kids, like this girl, she just ran to the ATM, had someone sneak her upstairs so she could get money to buy the vinyl and I was like that’s so cool to see young people get into that. And I mean DJ’s too, there’s a lot of club DJ’s who still only exclusively spin vinyl, and for us too I mean we grew up with that. The day the box arrived with all the records, the Countess shed a tear. I shed a tear of happiness and joy, and it’s great to be on a label that actually supports it. Like every release comes out on vinyl, that’s a real plus for sure.
Feedback: Even though the CD ideally is the perfect digital reproduction as pretty much the whole record was recorded digitally.

PunkTV.ca: Some people seem to also like the warmness of an LP.
Feedback: It’s a little more forgiving, it’s a bit hard sounding on the CD.
Christsmasher: The artwork is bigger too, so it’s just cooler to look at.

PunkTV.ca: You can also roll joints easier on a record cover than on a CD
Christsmasher: You know it! We tested, we road tested that theory before we let that album out! Can you roll a good spliff on it? Yes!

PunkTV.ca: You have to make sure it’s the right kind of cardboard.
Feedback: I think we wasted about a box of vinyl merch just on rolling alone.

PunkTV.ca: How did you two hook up to play together? Tell me your life stories.
Feedback: We met through a mutual friend, we were roommates from years back and lived in L.A. for a couple of years. When I moved back to Toronto to put the band together I gave him a call and he had heard about this singer Babs, doing all these crazy jam nights and stealing the show every time…

PunkTV.ca: A local legend, hey?
Feedback: And then we learn later she was opera trained. So I thought no, fuck that! But then I met her and she tur - PunkTV.ca


"ProCon at CMW"

"Pulsating synth pop with femme fatale overtones... an electronic band that delivers structurally sound compositions. ProCon play "song" songs with their synths, not dance loops. The vocals add some femme-friendly punk spunk, conjuring up fond memories of Rough Trade's Carole Pope and Romeo Void's Deborah Iyall...Rocked us so hard we peed our pants...look for this band to make waves in the near future." -Darrin Keene, Chart Attack - Chart Attack


"ProCon in Kick Magazine"

My Homeboys at Funk & Wagnall define “revolution” as “a drastic change in condition, method, idea, revolution in an industry.”

ProCon’s self titled album on San Francisco’s Cochon Records was release this past winter and is set to revolutionize the electro-rock world. Nowadays when people think of electro, they think of disco ripoffs, layered with monotone vocals that have less energy than an opium addict. ProCon is the antithesis of this rut Electro has found itself in. Every time I listen to Countess Christsmasher’s vocals, the passion carried with every note leaves me confused about whether I want to fight or fuck someone. The two pillars of life: sex and death.

ProCon constructs a neo-futuristic view of contemporary verse - chorus lyrically based songs, influenced by the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Devo and old school hip-hop. Imagine if Grandmaster Flash took some acid before jamming with the King of Italo Disco and five turbo nerds, then throw in a ninja and/or a velvet painting of a panther, add some vocals about firemen and you can start to imagine what ProCon is all about.

The two robots named Countess Christsmasher and Count Feedback will be performing at Death Disco in NYC on May 24th, at Supermarket in Toronto June 15th, and the Alternaqueer Stage during Toronto Pride festival on June 25th.

People who like to dance, synth geeks, sexual misfits, stamp collectors and those who were born to rock will all be please to know that in this world of laptop heroes, ProCon actually rock their synths and guitars live on stage.

In the future when all men are named Zargon and all women are named Gallaxia, the government will regulate all human fornication and those selected to reproduce will be chosen for the sake of the laws of Eugenics. In order to set the mood, the lucky couples chosen to do the nasty will be listening to ProCon

And remember this: even though I lied when I told your Momma that I loved her, I am not lying when I say ProCon is set to elevate Toronto on the global electro map. – A.C
- Kick Magazine


"ProCon on Missingtoof"

ProCon is an synth/punk duo from Canada whose music is bumpin' and whose lyrics are filled with sex, lies & electrical tape. I posted some ProCon in the "Black Girl"? post a while back. Get it if you missed it.

Since releasing their spectacular debut self-titled album on Cochon Records they've been busy doing remix work for some big names like Duran Duran and Mindless Self Indulgence.

If you've heard ProCon's first album you know that Countess Christsmasher has a set of pipes to rival god but they decided to add a Frampton-esque vocoder effect on the vocals of "Delia" and the result is nothing short of amazing. If you don't instantly fall in love with this track then check your pulse because aside from being a beautiful song, this shit could make dead people dance. - Missingtoof


"ProCon at CMW"

"Pulsating synth pop with femme fatale overtones... an electronic band that delivers structurally sound compositions. ProCon play "song" songs with their synths, not dance loops. The vocals add some femme-friendly punk spunk, conjuring up fond memories of Rough Trade's Carole Pope and Romeo Void's Deborah Iyall...Rocked us so hard we peed our pants...look for this band to make waves in the near future." -Darrin Keene, Chart Attack - Chart Attack


Discography

"EP"
September 2013
Indie

"Kingmaker" Full Length
Sept 2008
Ginchopolis Records

"ProCon" Full Length
August 9th, 2005
May 1, 2007 rerelease
Cochon Records

"Drive On" EP
Sept 2004

Photos

Bio

What do you do when you're two unruly rockers with a musical pedigree and a fondness for vintage synths? You start a duo called ProCon. You tour across the US and release two albums on amazing indie labels, Cochon Records and Ginchopolis. You tour some more, playing shows with Peaches, Les Georges Leningrad, Shiny Toy Guns, MSI and Princess Superstar. Survive Electroclash. Make a little home in the corner of the Blogosphere. Then you build a studio and remix other artists, like Mindless Self Indulgence, Duran Duran, Esthero and KidsOnTV. You spin DJ nights. All of a sudden, you realize dance and electronic music has become soulless frat rock. You're not so happy about it. You start coming back to the 60's garage, psychedelic and punk music you used to listen to. It sounds good next to underground 80's New Wave classics. Plus it's fuckin' fun to dance to. Enter Todd Lefever on guitar and Neil David McDonald on drums. Ever evolving, now we are Four. Older, wiser, and ready to kick out some serious jams about time travel, sex, and drugs. It's only rock and roll.

INFLUENCES
Devo, 60's Garage, Blondie, Nina Hagen, Daft Punk, Primal Scream, Air, Dead Kennedys, Queens Of The Stone Age, Pretenders, Vanilla Fudge, The Stooges, Tame Impala, Jesus and Mary Chain, Human League, Sparks, Kraftwerk, NEU, The Pixies, The Dandy Warhols, Blur, Giorgio Moroder...

BAND INTERESTS
Circuit bending, Nightclubbing and being Psychonauts.

CONTACT:
proconmusic@gmail.com

"Every time I listen to the vocals, the passion carried with every note leaves me confused about whether I want to fight or fuck someone. The two pillars of life: sex and death." - Kick Magazine