“I just want to craft something that will last… I can recall moments throughout my life where lyrics in songs hit me, like they were written just for me. That’s what I’m striving to accomplish.”
Influences that are as broad ranging as Townes Van Zandt, Pink Floyd and the Weakerthans; Mike channels these disparate sounds, drafting material that tips its hat to rock, folk and early country sounds… Johnny Cash by way of John Lennon, if you will.
Informed by his life in Kenora, Ontario, and a quick wit: He draws in UFO’s, low rent hotels, while a collection of broken hearted characters form the cast. Mike works with these elements to create relatable stories to meet his modern interpretations on classic sounds.
“I sometimes consider lyrics as short stories, or vignettes… They should be able to stand as a narrative on their own, while enhancing the music, they need to be strong, or, at least clever…”
Independent, and prolific almost to a fault, Mike has eight releases in his catalog, including a poetry chapbook entitled: “An Octopus, Eventually.” After releasing two albums in 2013, “unemployed polaroids” and “Party at the Moon Tower”, in December of that year, Mike began writing his newest record…
“I needed to shake up the process, it was becoming formulaic. I wasn’t demoing songs.
I’d write and record them, overdub everything but the drums, bring in a drummer at the very end,
and release the album… It had been a long time since I’d interacted with a band, and I missed it.”
Mike kept working on a small batch of songs, testing them out in solo shows, tightening them up,
and eventually reaching out to Ken Siira, and Rob Lindstrom, drums and bass, respectively.
Sending out demos for them to learn, they’d meet up in Mike’s home studio assembled in a small circle with
a handful of mics, and run the songs down, capturing them live off the floor… keeping the live vocal takes whenever possible, and adjusting the arrangements to bring out the best in each cut.
Over two sessions, three keeper tracks were laid down, that Mike began some overdubs on.
“We were lining up our third session, when we got the email that Rob had passed away… I packed everything up in the basement. Mics, guitars, keyboards all went into the closet. I didn’t know if Ken would want to continue, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue…”
After a months time, Mike and Ken reassembled, bringing aboard Bryan King a solo Kenora musician to play bass,
soon after, Cole Zabloski lobbied for a part in the project, bringing his guitar along. When the opportunity to preview the material live arose, the band adopted the moniker “Mike Procyshyn & Lonesome Boxcar” as an homage to the sounds they were creating.
Part of changing the process meant handing off instruments that Mike usually played, calling on friends to come in to lay down tracks. “It used to be, that if I needed banjo, I’d make a call and borrow a banjo, put the track down myself, and be done. Which, was serving my ego, but not always the songs. I wanted parts better than what I could do, things that I wouldn’t think of, again, more interaction with people.”
With thirteen songs all told, “I’m attempting clever” stands as some of Mike’s sharpest work to date… lyrically, and musically. Songs have been refined and distilled into a sound that acknowledges his influences, while coming out uniquely his own. Due for release in June of 2015.