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MusicWe're Prozzak and our first album in 12 years 'FOREVER 1999' is out today. Ask Us Anything!

Mar 31st 2017 by prozzakofficial • 24 Questions • 179 Points

My short bio:

My name is Matt Cameron. I think about, write about, and practice immigration law nearly seven days a week. I have been a licensed attorney for twelve years as of September, and the managing partner of a three-attorney law office in the Boston area for the past seven years with a special focus on deportation defense and mitigating the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. I teach "Immigration and Urban America" at Northeastern University's School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, am a member of the board of the Student Immigrant Movement, and regularly contribute background and commentary to local, state, national, and international media on American immigration matters.

I am here for you to AMA because there is probably no other major public policy issue in the U.S. with such a massive gap between the realities of the current policies and what Americans seem to believe the policies actually are. While the other big issues du jour like healthcare and climate change usually touch on things that we all have to live with, immigration is not an issue that most U.S. citizens ever have to personally confront in their own lives. (This, among many other things, might explain why we just elected a man who ran on the ugliest and most determinedly nativist platform in a century or more of American history while willfully failing to inform himself as to the system that we actually have.)

I thought an AMA might be one easy thing that I could do right now to do my part to fill the gap. For as long as I have been studying this issue, I have always seen people ask counterfactual questions like "why don't they just get in line?" or "why can't you fill out the forms like everyone else?" or "what part of legal immigration don't you understand?", and I thought this might be a good way to provide concise, factual answers to these counterfactual inquiries that could be useful to anyone who is genuinely trying to understand this stuff as well as to gain the benefit of the experience of discussing all of this with people beyond my immediate and extended social circles. (And to be clear: any and all of those three questions are absolutely welcome for further discussion, as are any others at all so long as they are made in good faith. Trolls will starve.)

I will keep my answers as objective and factually-grounded as possible, but full disclosure: I do have a strong pro-immigration (and pro-immigrant) bias, and am well past the point where I can study or work within the American immigration system without recognizing that it is foremost a function of centuries of historic racism and colonialism. So I won't pretend that I don't have my own ideological approach to this... but I also truly believe that immigration should be a non-partisan issue, and one which deserves an adult, open-minded dialectic.

I WILL NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE LEGAL ADVICE here, so please no questions requesting a complete review of possible options once your H1B has expired or if your arrest record could cause current or future immigration problems or if you have all of the right supporting documents for your marriage visa or whatever. I am more than happy to answer those questions--on the phone or in person--for money.

My Proof:

1) My MA ID and bar card: http://imgur.com/gallery/kUenPeW

2) My FB page, in which most of my public posts are about immigration issues: http://facebook.com/mattcameronlaw

3) Twitter: @matt_cam

4) A recent piece in The Baffler on the realities of the American deportation machine: https://thebaffler.com/outbursts/strangers-in-a-cruel-land

5) Boston Globe story on three of my cases this week: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/03/27/vermont-activists-set-post-bond-immigration-charges/eIcbvNUSCoXJqI4SQDeU5I/story.html

6) Interview this morning on Democracy Now: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/31/is_ice_targeting_undocumented_activists_for

Q:

Does it still suck to be you ?

A:

Boston's WBUR just reported on Immigration and Customs Enforcement detaining five individuals who had "final orders for removal". They had shown up for interviews as part of the process of applying for a green card.

ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants In Lawrence, Signaling Shift In Priorities
http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/03/30/green-card-ice-arrests-lawrence

What are final orders for removal?

And, care to comment on this new development and, objectively, what it means for the various stakeholders (persons, people, government, etc.) as well as those on the spectrum of the immigration debate (both those for and against deportation of illegal/undocumented persons)?


Q:

I still can’t seem to figure out how to hold onto love.  I think I do everything right but as usual the initial excitement of a new relationship always has disaster around the bend as outlined in our song Can’t Lick this Love thing on the new album. - Simon

A:

This was big news in the local immigration law community this week... heard the rumor by email and I was actually on a panel a few hours later with Lawrence's (awesome) new state rep Juana Matias who confirmed early details.

A "removal" order is just the legal name for an order of deportation. Showing up to an immigration office with an old deportation order over your head is kind of like showing up to a courthouse with an old outstanding warrant... there's always a chance you'll be held. As with warrants, though, there are quite a few people out there living their lives who do not know or understand that they have these orders--which typically come either from being caught at the border and immediately returned, or from missing a scheduled immigration court hearing.

But just for perspective, this was a totally routine practice before Obama. It's only making news now because (1) it's been more than eight years since it was done anywhere and (2) Trump.

The bigger question for me is how the local USCIS district director (who is known to be firmly against allowing ICE to enforce on USCIS property) allowed (or was made to allow) this to happen.

I will say that immigration lawyers (myself included) got complacent under Obama. Although his administration was far from soft on deportations, it ended these kinds of inhumane enforcement tactics. Walking a client with an old order into a USCIS interview (always risky and never advised) is now only one of many chances that we can absolutely no longer afford to take.


Q:

I'm Ethan, I use to comment on your MySpace profiled long after anyone else as I've always wanted more music from you guys. You've always been one of my favorite bands! A life long goal of mine was to go to a Prozzak concert but was a poor collage kid back in 1999. This Sunday, I'll get to accomplish that dream by being at your show in London, ON! My question is, will there be more albums coming our way? 5 year's ago, I never thought I'd see today, another Prozzak album release. But here we are and I'm thrilled! Thank you so much for making today possible!!! Now I hope this will not be the last! :)

A:

keep my answers as objective

Then don't call him Drumpf. I'm pro-immigration too but unflattering nicknames are not helpful for persuading those who are not.


Q:

Thanks so much Ethan. We're super excited about this body of work and playing the songs in concert. Whenever James and I are inspired to breath life into Simon and Milo we find a way to make it happen! See you in London.

A:

Agreed--although it's more historical than unflattering--but this wasn't intentional. I still have John Oliver's "Make Donald Drumpf Again" Chrome plugin (and don't ever plan to remove it) and it automatically changed the name when I copied and pasted this comment after an edit. Fixed.


Q:

Why haven't you made in album in 12 years?

A:

[removed]


Q:

James (Milo) and I have been living in different cities> I was in NYC and now LA and James was in London and now Toronto working on many different projects. We were inspired to get together and write another album after the amazing response we got at the Atomic Lollipop festival in Toronto (summer 2015) and also because Simon had so many life experiences and emotions to express after such a long time.

A:

Well said! The policy disconnect that I was talking about above is inevitable when a country continues to tell itself the story of how it is a welcoming place and how immigrants have made it great while simultaneously embracing and enacting policies which if in effect at the time that my great-grandparents and others came here would have resulted in a very different country.


Q:

I've had a great time catching back up with Prozzak (I saw a live performance last June in Toronto, unfortunately had to miss out on this tour...) Thanks for coming back for the fans - I hope you're have fun on the road again.

For a question: You have both been very heavily involved in the music industry for (the majority of) your adult lives. Do you think there will need to be a change in the way Simon & Milo connect with modern audiences? What about the lapse of time throughout your careers has impacted your writing and inspiration most significantly?

P.S. Congrats on the engagement Jay - I don't recall if a wedding date was set and passed or is in the future.

A:

What would be the best way for attorney's who don't have a background in this area to help out?


Q:

I'd very much like to do a Prozzak musical theater production and I think the project could translate well in that medium.

A:

This doesn't seem to be a popular answer whenever anyone asks me this... but my first response is that if you are an attorney who does not practice immigration law, there is a much better chance that you are earning a decent living and could be in a position to help to fund the work of dedicated immigration attorneys and advocates. Consider becoming not just a donor, but a regular sustainer of a local or national organization (other than the ACLU, which I love but is doing just fine without you) which does immigration-specific work that you believe in.

I would recommend one of the following:

The Student Immigrant Movement (full disclosure: I'm on the board), which is helping DREAMers organize to protect DACA and one another: http://www.simforus.org

Kids in Need of Defense provides attorneys for minors in deportation proceedings who are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status (a rare path to citizenship with several moving parts that most of us can't afford to do in full pro bono): http://www.supportkind.org

The National Immigration Law Center (http://nilc.org) was on the front lines of Drumpf's travel ban and has provided invaluable litigation support and resources for attorneys around the country.

Here in MA, the PAIR Project (pairproject.org) helps to set interested attorneys up with pro bono immigration cases while providing basic training and support for them. If you want to help, you may have a similar organization in your area that could use your time, money, and/or talents.


Q:

Legend has it you guys didn't get along that well in a previous band. Was there a reason behind this and how did you get past it?

A:

As a US citizen, and someone of Italian decent, I know I can claim Italian citizenship "by blood".

Is that worthwhile? What would the positive and negatives be?


Q:

It's true we were at odds when we were in the Philosopher Kings. I was not happy in that band because I thought the music was really lame and boring and we were all doing way better projects on our own. I had a pretty cutting sense of humor and James had enough one night and I took a very well delivered punch in the jaw which in retrospect I deserved! But Prozzak brought us together and we've been great friends ever since .

A:

Italy has one of the broadest laws on this in the world, and I've had a number of clients go through this process. I've heard it takes some time, but it's a unique opportunity and I would do it myself if I had any claim to citizenship in another country. I can't see anything but positives here... your new EU citizenship would allow you to live and work in any EU nation and have a safe backup from a country with a deeply uncertain future.

One other thing: The U.S. doesn't particularly care about dual citizenship (with almost all countries anyway), but we are one of very few countries which require its citizens to pay taxes no matter where in the world they live and work. If you were to emigrate from the U.S. and had a substantial amount of money that you wanted to protect, you might even want to consider giving up your U.S. citizenship to avoid the lifetime of IRS remittances you'd be facing otherwise. It's becoming more and more common. Just a thought.


Q:

What do you think seperates Prozzak from other Canadian pop groups from the late 90's/00's that faded pretty hard after their first big break? Looking at you, Moffats, Skye Sweetnam, Sugar Jones, Remy Shand, Sky, B4-4, Love Inc, Serial Joe, Bran Van 3000...

A:

I'm a citizen and my partner is from the UK. We are getting married in a few months in NZ. How long is the process to get her in and able to work? (She's a qualified teacher)

Follow up: Is that process thought to be under threat by Mr. Trump's administration?


Q:

I'd love to hear your answer to that question...

A:

Generally: There are a few other factors I'd have to know about, but in most cases anywhere from 6-12 months. And anyone who immigrates to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident is immediately authorized to work regardless of occupation.

Marriage (together with visa petitions for minor children and adult parents) will always be the fastest and simplest way to immigrate. I've never heard of a single proposal to limit or alter that process.


Q:

I just want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You were the first concert my brother and I ever went to back in 99 I believe. I was 11 years old. After that I was inspired to start playing around on a Casio keyboard my mom bought me from a garage sale. Fast forward to now I'm still fiddling around with synthesizers and making music. Hearing you on CBC the other day excited me for the new music. Can't wait to see you on tour!!

If you could collaborate with anyone alive or dead who would it be?

A:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/qualified-teacher-status-qts#teachers-qualified-in-australia-canada-new-zealand-and-the-usa

Seems a bit mean for the US to have such stringent requirements when the UK accepts US teachers off the bat. You just apply for an equivalence recognition.

Then again, I suppose our teaching qualification is only a year.


Q:

Good question. I'd love to do a full score for a Wes Anderson film.

A:

I should also add that when you are meeting with prospective lawyers, listen and watch their body language closely. Are they giving you a sales pitch and making impossible promises to try to get that retainer ("guarantees" and/or "percentages" are a bad sign), or are they giving you a straight answer--even if it's the one you don't want to hear?


Q:

I know James worked with Nelly Furtado, but have the two of you ever thought about becoming one of those one-stop super producer duos? I think you could write amazing songs for today's pop vocalists.

A:

Is time to apply for my H1B but my OPT I don't have my OPT EAD card. I have applied for it and it has already been approved. My card was sent to be 2 days back but have not received it yet.

Can I still apply for H1B even if I do not have the card in hand? I am really worried about this.


Q:

We do that sometimes but James and I truly connect on all things Simon and Milo.

A:

NOT LEGAL ADVICE, but generally speaking if you are in a valid immigration status and otherwise qualify you are eligible to apply for an H1. You should consult a qualified immigration attorney for questions about your particular situation, though.


Q:

I loved you guys back in the day and got a tape with all of your music videos for my birthday. I watched it so much to the point where it didn't work. Do you have any lying around that I could have?

A:

Hello. My wife is Scottish and I am a US citizen. We got married in South Carolina about six months ago. We live on a cruise ship together and got married while she was on her valid C1-D visa before boarding the ship. We have submitted the I-130 paperwork and and listed her status as not in the country because we were on the ship at the time. We also submitted affidavits from family and friends.

Is there any reason we should run into problems getting married on the C1-D, or the fact that we don't have an addressed shared residence? Is there anything we should do to prepare for the hopefully approaching interview?


Q:

thats awesome. I don't have any unfortunately :(

A:

This is a little unusual, and there are a number of things you haven't told me here that I'd need to know before providing direct legal advice... which I really can't (and don't want to) do in this forum. You should be sure to consult with a qualified immigration attorney before filing and/or interview on this just to be totally sure, though.


Q:

Will a physical album of Forever 1999 be released?

A:

How much money do you make?


Q:

Not at this time. We'll see if there's a demand for physical copies. Possible vinyl.

A:

A few things before I answer the question directly:

I really don't like money, so I'm in the right practice area for that.

It's very hard for me to tell someone who is legitimately in fear for their lives (as most of my clients are) that they will have to spend most of their extra earnings on my bills for the next several years. So I don't.

Remember that there is no appointed counsel in the immigration court, and no buckets of grant money for well-meaning attorneys who want to do asylum and deportation defense work. We don't get paid unless our clients pay us. (This is why almost all immigration attorneys work for private for-profit entities.)

I voluntarily decided at the beginning of my practice to set out to do things "low bono," significantly lower (typically at least 30-40%, often much less) than my colleagues in the Boston area so that I could serve the local Central American population who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford a lawyer. But I also believe in trying to pay my exceptionally talented staff at least slightly (if not more) above market wages, so there's a natural push/pull there.

Let's start with what I probably "should" be making as someone who has been a licensed attorney working full-time in a specialized practice area for more than eleven years and running a three-attorney practice for seven: probably well over $250,000 gross in individual income. (Although TBQH if you are making that much as an immigration attorney who specializes in asylum and/or removal defense work I'm sorry to say that you're doing it wrong. Come at me.)

But, no. I worked extra hard in 2015 (virtually nonstop, and including my course at Northeastern) and my total income was about $70,000--my highest ever, more than twice as much as I made in any year of my first seven as an attorney. (And TBH I honestly feel some guilt even about making that much.) I haven't filed my 2016 returns yet, but I expect it will be more this year. But: Boston has a significantly high cost of living and a big chunk of my extra earnings go to student loans (which I may not fully pay off for many more years), paying off debt from years of running a de facto non-profit (while still occasionally paying taxes), and reinvesting into my business in one way or another. (I buy lunch for everyone every day, for example, and do not write this off. I know, I know.)

I actual went to a counselor to try to talk through my issues and guilt around money. After giving me the usual speech about how I have to survive financially and will be unable to help anyone if I'm constantly worried about my finances and/or bankrupt, he paused and said:

"Matt, I really think you're just a socialist operating in a capitalist economy. There's no cure for that."

Something like that, I guess.


Q:

I just bought the album from iTunes and would gladly buy it again if a physical CD was released. I have your other albums on CD and it feels wrong not adding this one to the collection that way! Perhaps a limited edition run, for those of us who still buy CDs?

A:

You should definitely expense lunch. That is a no-brainer. You have a legal mind and a legal staff. If you can't remember to do it, delegate.

If your clients can't pay, consider having them contribute work. They can bring food, clean your workers' offices and home, garden, provide massage services to your staff, etc. or, if not arms-length enough, have them donate their labor to a local charity.

That said, if you haven't done it, consider working for a charity that can pay you.

Lastly, I've updated my notes on my stance against further immigration, and will update more later.
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/62qvgp/i_am_a_practicing_attorney_in_boston_an_expert_on/dfooifd/


Q:

Yes but we'd have to charge 100 dollars a CD :)

A:

I just don't.... care? I guess? I know I should, but I don't. And yes, we've traded cleaning/painting/handyperson/food services for legal services in the past. It feels good to barter, as long as both parties come out feeling like they got comparable value from the exchange.

Given the total lack of state or federal grant money for this kind of thing mentioned elsewhere in this AMA, there are only a small handful of non-profits in my area (or anywhere) which can afford to have practicing immigration attorneys on staff. There are maybe 5-6 of these jobs total available in all of New England. I was actually just yet again discussing with a friend last night how we could formally convert this office to a non-profit, which is probably the more logical direction.


Q:

What's your favorite Pavement song?

A:

Based on your post, it would be safe to assume you are against President Trump's temporary travel hold until our broken immigration system is fixed. Every expert in the matter agrees that the system is broken, in fact, the list of countries President Trump is using for a temporary hold is the list President Obama compiled of countries that needed increased vetting.

My question is, why are you against a temporary hold on immigrants from certain countries that unquestionably lack the proper vetting procedures?


Q:

What does that mean?

A:

I've come to realize that people can mean very different things when they talk about our "broken" system.

I have to disagree with almost everything you wrote, but I'm just going to hit the highlights here.

In fact, our refugee screening system is the world's most thorough and advanced. I was absolutely opposed to Drumpf's repeated attempts to suspend the entire refugee system for six months (more from me on this here: https://medium.com/@mattcam/this-ban-isnt-a-headfake-it-s-a-shot-on-goal-69a673979e27?source=placement_card_footer_grid---------0-44)

Very important point: the "list of countries" you referenced was only to impose one additional requirement for people who would otherwise be able to temporarily enter the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program (the highest privilege in any immigration system, reserved only for our closest allies) if they had recently visited one of the seven listed countries. It's a far cry from that to a full ban on all visas from those countries. There has been a significant amount of (almost certainly intentional) misinformation on this point.


Q:

How does it feel now that your fans are now in their 30s and 40s? See you Sunday.

A:

I did not mention the word refugee once in my post. You really a lawyer?

The main purpose of President Trump's travel hold was on immigration, not the refugee process (though it is included for Syria specifically).

You have still failed to answer my question. Why should we not implement a 90 day temporary hold on new immigrants from these countries that have issues with vetting?

I'll ask a follow up to that. Did you oppose President Obama when he implemented a 180 day ban on any immigrants from Iraq? That's twice as long as President Trump is proposing.

I would also like to give you a chance to provide a solution of your own, since you are against President Trump's solution. What do you think should be done to ensure we properly vet new immigrants to protect Americans?


Q:

It's a real validation for me that we did something that had an impact on a certain group of people that survived the test of time. Very grateful.

A:

Both versions of the ban included a full suspension on all refugee admissions along with the visa bans. I don't feel like I want to continue this conversation unless we're talking about the same thing.

Also, the Obama Iraq suspension was in direct response to an actual known threat. There's nothing like that here, at all, and your summary of the issues with the current system is not an accurate reflection of the agreement of most experts.


Q:

What was your favourite memory from 1999?

Can't wait to see you in Calgary! What are the chances of hearing Lonely American Nights live?

A:

Lol, you must be a lawyer, you refuse to answer direct questions. There was no more of a threat during the Iraq ban than there is today.


Q:

We don't have room in the set for that song but we are playing 4 songs from Saturday People. Memory from 1999: Breaking out of less than perfect musical situation into a project that was truly me! What's your 1999 memory?

A:

I try not to engage too much with people who haven't made a good-faith effort to understand the subjects we're discussing.

And this:

"The Obama administration’s 2011 review came in response to specific threat information, including the arrest in Kentucky of two Iraqi refugees, still the only terrorism-related arrests out of about 130,000 Iraqi refugees and SIV holders admitted to the United States. Thus far, the Drumpf administration has provided no evidence, nor even asserted, that any specific information or intelligence led to its draconian order."

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/30/sorry-mr-president-the-obama-administration-did-nothing-similar-to-your-immigration-ban/


Q:

Will there be more continuation on the Simon and Milo story like videos this time around? Cruel Cruel World left us on such a cliffhanger especially when the way they changed their look so suddenly.

EDIT LMT has such a great throwback to flash videos when that was the rage. Props for that!

A:

I am well aware that they were both admitted as children and radicalized in this country.

The Tsarnaevs traveled to Dagestan for training

Dude, do you work for CNN? This Tsarnaev case seems to be the perfect example to support the kind of travel ban Trump proposed. Yet you claim local "close enough to hear the bomb" cred and then try to use it to further your dismissal of the OPs seemingly genuine question.

I'm glad my immigration status isn't depending on your skills in dealing with hostile parties, your credibility seems to be evaporating quickly here.

My wife immigrated from another country and I am familiar with the background checks conducted on her, as well as how easy it would have been for her to buy clean local criminal records. Another quite drunk friend shared how he purged very sketchy war-crimeish military records. I'm not at all convinced the US can effectively "screen" immigrants, especially from war ravaged primitive countries like Syria. I have friends from there too.


Q:

Thanks ! Yes there will be more!

A:

You are a hostile party. I was hoping this could be more of a conversation than an argument.

And I am sincerely baffled by your take on the Marathon bombings. You're going to have to explain what that link has to do with the travel ban, or your point, or anything. You don't seem to know anything about the perpetrators or their immigration history.

"Buy" clean criminal records? Did you immigrate before 1965? This is a serious question.


Q:

There was a brief moment when Simon grew a neck. Did he borrow it from someone? Did it cost him his heart?

A:

As a DACA recipient wanting to leave the country, what is your advice when filling out the paperwork and leaving? I have no real reason to exit the US except to visit my family. Also, how does the future look for dreamers in your opinion?


Q:

I think if you look closely at that image it's really just a zipped up collar not a neck. but if it is there's going to be a big shake up on our animation staff!!

A:

NOT LEGAL ADVICE! It is certainly possible to have advance parole approved to visit family (although you might want to have a lawyer look it over), but AP is a much bigger risk now than it was before the inauguration. I am strongly cautioning clients against it, as are many other immigration attorneys. I have certainly heard of many accounts of DACA recipients and others still able to re-enter with it without too many issues (e.g. http://www.immihelp.com/experience/view-1-4-advance_parole.html) but you should know the risks.

And this is just one lawyer's opinion, but I believe that if Trump were going to revoke DACA he would have done it by now. My best guess is that he's waiting for Congress to pass BRIDGE or something similar to provide yet another temporary fix for DREAMers so that he can revoke it and brag to his base that he has canceled yet another unlawful Obama program.


Q:

I loved prozzak growing up, any chance there is a backup somewhere of the old flash game hot show hot rods? Any plans to ever visit the maritimes?

A:

Hi Matt,

Can someone who is the spouse of H-1B (H-4 visa) who is not allowed to work in the US, form an LLC as a "passive" member? Whats the proper language that should be in the LLC agreement to clarify that the person's role is passive?

Is it necessary to mention why the person has equal interest [33%] (e.g. contributed contacts)? Is it Ok if every member has no salary and all profits are distributed equally among members?

Anything to keep in mind to avoid problems with future green card application for the H-1B holder (spouse)?

Thanks in advance!


Q:

Hi there. Oh I loved that game. We may develop a new one. Yes we are coming out east after this tour at some point.

A:

You are seeking incredibly specific legal advice, and I'm guessing from context here that you can afford to speak with a qualified immigration attorney to get the answers you're looking for. Good luck!


Q:

I never imagined I'd ever see a new Prozzak album again, and couldn't be more thrilled about Forever 1999. It sounds great, thank you.

Can we expect more new Prozzak music in the future, or was this album your goodbye to your hardcore fans?

A:

Do you think with this new administration, will the timetable for applying to be a citizen of you're a green card holder will be longer or shorter?


Q:

Not a goodbye at all! Simon and and Milo must live! I'm deep in the church of Simontology

A:

I don't think it will change unless Trump takes steps to defund or scale back USCIS. This is certainly possible given that (no matter what he says) it is clear that he is also intending to limit legal means of immigration. But for the moment USCIS seems to be running as usual.


Q:

What music have you been digging lately? Have there been any artists that have influenced your sound?

A:

This may or may not be within your grasp of law. I want to give my friend Omar 2% in my company but he is from Pakistan. How do I do this?


Q:

Milo: Miles Davis , the Smiths and Jimmy Hendrix

A:

You're right, I don't really feel qualified to answer this. Good luck to you both.


Q:

I finally found the love of my life but there is another person who keeps trying to tear me away! (I'm not going anywhere, though) how would Simon and Milo act if the girl they finally got, was trying to be ripped away by a horrible tone deaf villain?? also I was at your concert last night and I have to say you guys are amazing~ my brother thanks you so much for the video <3

A:

In terms of immigration, don't customs officers really have the absolute final say regardless of how thorough the paperwork you do is on the backend?

Like as thorough as you are, all it takes is that one customs officer to deny it for whatever reason they want?

EDIT: talking as someone who was denied a work visa

EDIT 2: spelling


Q:

If you were to learn from Simon's mistakes than you would do the opposite of what he does. He would toy around with the person who was trying to tear his new love away because he wouldn't have the guts to make a strong decision to love one person and cut the other one off in case he may be making a mistake. So don't do that.

A:

Not exactly. They can't turn you away because they don't like your Nickelback T-shirt or whatever (although, maybe flag this for future immigration reform?) but if something comes up at the time of admission that indicates that the visa was fraudulently obtained or that you intend to do something in the U.S. on it that you're not supposed to do (usually working) they can cancel it and turn you around. (E.g., you provided documentation to the consular officer in support of your tourist visa that you'd be staying with your aunt, CBP calls the "aunt" and the person who picks up doesn't know who you are. Or you're entering on a valid student visa and explain to the officer that you have a really good job waiting for you when asked what you plan to do during your stay in the U.S.)


Q:

My brother and I grew up listening to your music (quite fondly while playing hours and hours of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64). We lived in a small town in BC, far from any major city, so we never had an opportunity to see you live.

Until of course last year when you guys performed at the Rickshaw in Vancouver! I'm proud to say I was able to get in on the first batch of tickets before they sold out because I'd only been waiting for this for a decade and a half :P and we're jazzed to see you guys again in April at the Commodore!

Now my question. It's been many a year since Milo and Simon were first created, and while we did see a slight style shift with Cruel Cruel World, so far you guys seem to be sticking with the original design and art. Has there been talks about updating the art, especially with the new album and a full tour? Not that I don't love you guys, but I do think there is an opportunity to bring them into the now and potentially even get new fans! I'm not sure if you guys have thought a lot about the future of Prozzak past this album and the tour, but just something that's been on my mind.

On a side note, as an artist, it's definitely been floating around my creative brain. Would you be interested if I managed to throw something together? I figure it's the least I can do for the years of awesome music and sibling bonding you provided <3 cheers and good luck on the tour!

A:

For all I know (and for all you know) every single one of them is perfectly legal. It's not my job or concern to check their immigration status, any more than it is to check yours. They are my neighbors and entire families should not be living in a single room. I'd like to assist them if I can. Please post the rest of whatever you have to say in T_D as I'm sure this gentleman doesn't value you in his AMA.


Q:

thanks for those observations. We had overwhelming feedback from our fans that they identify with the look of the character's original design so that will remain consent as our music evolves.

A:

All children deserve a safe and stable place to live. But there is no excuse for this kind of poverty in one of the world's most prosperous nations. Blaming immigration--especially immigration driven by our disastrous economic and foreign policy, and encouraged by employers relying upon an exploited underclass--for these problems doesn't seem like the best place to start for me.


Q:

My wife wants to know...where is Milo from? She's never found anything other than "somewhere in Europe"

Also, apparently your music shaped her life in grade 8; thanks for that from the both of us.

A:

I am a green card holder and have committed some crimes due to mental illness. I'm now applying for USC. What is the process of applying for USC and what are my chances of obtaining it?


Q:

Milo doesn't know the answer to that. They didn't keep very good records in the 1500's and he was orphaned at a very young age. His earliest memories are of playing an early version or checkers using fish heads as playing pieces in the bowls of a Bavarian tall ship.

A:

That depends entirely on the charges, as well as the timing and nature of the dispositions. I couldn't possibly advise you until I had complete arrest and conviction records in front of me. Proceed with extreme caution and do not file your naturalization petition until you have consulted with a qualified immigration attorney in your area.


Q:

Hey guys! Thanks for playing such a rad show last night. My boyfriend doesn't normally do concerts but I had to drag him to this one. As a young gay growing up in a small town "Be As" meant the world to 13 year old me...it was my first exposure to music about gay being okay. Getting to hear it live with my first long term boyfriend 11 years later meant the world to me. So thank you.

A question I guess...What's your favourite song to do live?

Also shout out to Catey for bringing the energy on stage! You all look like you're having so much fun. :)

A:

Sorry to hear that...the important thing is that you're making a positive impact in your community and in our country and helping others in a meaningful and very real way.

As for your physical and mental health, remember to get 7-8 hours of sleep and get outside to exercise daily. You only get one body and one life to live.


Q:

Thanks so much for that. I love that that song helped people be proud of who they are! Live right now I'd have to to say All of the Feels is doing it for me the most but they are all fun to play.

A:

I appreciate that, thank you. Just as many people think I'm somehow doing my part to bring the country down.

Insomnia is probably my single most persistent health problem. I'm trying.


Q:

Any chance we could Forever 1999 or any of your other albums released on vinyl? That would be fantastic!

A:

If cities choose to be sanctuary cities, doesn't that put them in conflict with Federal law regardless of their feelings as a community? Couldn't this be construed as a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection? "Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States." Isn't wilfully ignoring federal law "rebellious"?


Q:

we may do vinyl .

A:

I can't tell if this is a serious question, but it's fun to think about so:

States and local governments are in no way required to work with ICE. Sanctuary cities still allow ICE to operate freely within them, they just choose not to use state and local resources (especially already-overcrowded jails) to help them do it. And there's no mandate whatsoever that they do.

That said, it's not totally unimaginable that things could get there. If cities and/or states began ordering local law enforcement to actively block ICE from making arrests or to otherwise interfere with their investigations, I could certainly see a "rebellious" mayor/police chief prosecuted under this provision (especially if his orders risked violence against ICE from local law enforcement or the public).


Q:

This brings me much joy. Was confused for a sec at the proof pic. In my mind, you are just cartoon men.

A:

in my mind too


Q:

Do you guys produce (engineer+mix) all of your songs yourselves? Do you have a favourite vocal mic in the studio? Also most useful/favourite plugin? What daw do you generally work in?

A:

Yes we do produce and engineer everything ourselves... I use ProTools. James uses Logic. sure SM7 mic - factory compression extra squashed, TLA vocal and always a double.

We don't mix thats a whole other mystery skill.


Q:

What can we expect for the concert experience aside from hip-shaking tunes ?

A:

Simon and Milo will be there up on the screen. James and me will be playing the roles below the screen in case someone chooses to glance down from the screen! Catey Shaw will be playing the tracks and extras on her fancy space aged DJ/computer rig while taking instax pics of us and throwing them into the audience.. etc etc


Q:

Any chance y'all are coming to Texas?

In the early 2000s, I introduced my girlfriend to Sucks To Be You and she loved it. She and I eventually broke up, but we still talk to each other, 15 years later. She'll be happy to hear that y'all have a new album out.

A:

We'd love to come to Texas. No plans to do so yet though :( Nice that you guys are still buds.


Q:

Although debatable now, at the time prozzak/hot show seemed to be a band marketed towards kids (cartoonesque; with innocent lost love stories). How could a track like "i like to watch" end up on the album? #iLikeToWatchYourHotBox

Edit: obligatory "big fan" comment. You guys were one of my first napster downloads :)

A:

We didn't try to be for kids. Cartoons aren't always for kids of course. I'm sure you can think of many examples.


Q:

Hey there guys. Be As was is one of my favroite songs of all time wth its message of inclusion. Was there a specific inspiration for creating that song? In addition, I recall my local radio station at the time in Winnipeg did a "local" cut of the song with a different set of submitted Be As messages in the bridge, is there any interest n perhaps doing a modern re-cut of that with a new set of fan-sent messages?

A:

we did an updated production but no I wouldn't change the composition or lyrics. The inspiration was. umm. duh. whats the big deal with owning who you are. Pretty simple.


Q:

Hi guys! I saw your show last night in Ottawa and it was great!! Thanks for Sticking around for photos afterwards. It was probably the most fun show that I've been to. I'm absolutely loving the new album and my favourite tracks would have to be Forever 1999 (I love the nostalgia references) and If We Were in the Jungle.

My question for you is.... What are Simon and Milo's respective musical influences?

Thanks for all of the amazing music :)

A:

Jay (Simon): The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, The Cure.


Q:

I see you're Canadian (apologies). Has Justin Bieber been a large influence on your music?

A:

NO, although I think his music is good.