A Musical Life: Mike Coykendall

Dec 25, 2015

Credit Michael Bordelon

Mike Coykendall’s latest recording is Half Past Present Pending. A native of Norwich, Kansas he has been recording music since the 1980s with acts such as Klyde Konnor, The Old Joe Clarks and as a member of M. Ward’s band. He has recorded with or engineered albums for acts such as Blitzen Trapper, She and Him, Richmond Fontaine and others. He lives in Portland, Oregon. This segment features elements from an interview recorded in 2013.

“I like real instruments. I like to hear people playing together. I like to hear people not playing to a click track. Leave the mistakes in. Play it again if you can’t live with ‘em. I like to hear interaction. Human interaction. I also like to hear people saying something that’s not stupid. Now I understand, I liked a lot of stupid stuff and I still write stupid stuff. If it’s about feelings, great. If it’s about having a good time, great. There’s a little bit of room for all of that. I just like to hear something where I feel like somebody’s putting themselves on the line and just trying to be a good human being and convey something.

There’s nothing super glamorous about being edgy for edgy’s sake. You don’t have to destroy yourself to be a good artist.

I’d like to do a record with strings. That could be fun. I think I could do some good string arrangements. It’d take a lot of discipline and time. I’ve been working very haphazardly lately. For the last seven years I’ve been working haphazardly and enjoying it. Intentionally working haphazardly. I’d probably like to do something that’s more planned out. Just for the fun of it.

I carry a bag with my lyric book and maybe my computer. It’s something I can take anywhere. For every page of stuff that I write that gets used there’s 50 that are not used at all.”

Mike Coykendall was featured on KMUW's Currency Exchange on October 8, 2013, which can be viewed here:

Recorded at Track House, Wichita, KS, on October 8, 2013
Jedd Beaudoin - Host, Strange Currency
Jon Cyphers - audio engineer/production
Fletcher Powell - camera, video production