Pros & Icons
(From left to right) Band members Lenny Morales, Joseph Mastando, and Nicholas Yurisak. (Photo courtesy of Pros & iCons)

by Carrie Victoria

Take the pros and cons of life and fuse them with an unbridled passion to become icons in the music industry and what do you get? The electrifying and sultry sounds of local Poughkeepsie, New York City, and Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) band Pros & iCons.

Three aspiring college students comprise the band’s members, including MSMC senior Joseph Mastando, Ramapo College graduate Lenny Morales, and Five Towns College and former MSMC student Nicholas Yurisak.

“I really like how we formed because there was no pressure or struggle to make the band happen,” Morales said.

Morales and Yurisak met in January 2013 at Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC). They began playing guitar together and, one day, decided to write a song; however, they still needed a singer. Yurisack knew Mastando sang and asked him to join them.

“When I sang the song for them, Lenny and Nick immediately thought that the combination of our talents would make for a great band,” said Mastando.

While forming the band might have fallen into place easily, its members agreed that coming up with the band’s name was a long and difficult process. It took a couple of months to decide on the name.

“After tossing around good and not-so-good band name ideas, we all thought about what we were doing with music,” Yurisak said. “What did the music we wanted to create reflect? Understanding that life and music is a roller coaster, there will be ups and downs, pros and cons, no matter what.”

Mastando suggested “Pros & iCons” to his band mates one night and the name stuck. “It was punny, it was short and sweet, and most importantly, it was ambiguous and meant something different to each of us,” Mastando said.

Pros & iCons has faced some other challenges as a new band. Morales said that their long-distance relationship and college budgets have been obstacles. It’s also been a challenge to gain support from people outside their immediate friend and family circles.

“The people of the world want something spectacular,” Yurisak said. “We are working hard to deliver that.”

And what is it that Pros & iCons delivers exactly?

Pros & iCons writes rock-based music infused with pop elements. Individually, the band members listen to a wide variety of music, but when it comes to the band itself, they look to artists such as One Republic and The Script for inspiration.

Pros & iCons released its first original acoustic song “Raining in June” on their Facebook page at the end of September and it has since reached nearly 400 views.

“We have been getting excellent feedback from friends and family, but also strangers online,” Yurisak said. “Genuine fans have found our music, and their response is great.”

Pros & iCons plans to share another acoustic original called “Torn” when its Facebook page receives 500 likes.

Pros & iCons has recently started an online fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. They hope to raise $3,300 by Dec. 12 in order to record an extended play (EP) CD. “The goal we’ve set is pretty high,” Mastando said. “We’ve remained hopeful, though.”

The band members have high hopes for their future. They hope for the EP to be released and for the band to continue writing music together. “I would love to get one of our songs on the radio,” Morales said. “All our songs are radio status, and I believe they are hits.”

Pros & iCons has been invited to play at MSMC’s Different Stage’s Coffee House this semester.  The group also has been offered to play local shows in the Beacon and Poughkeepsie area.