The Procession
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The Procession

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"Musique Magnifique," The Procession's first full-length recording, is due out this Fall on V2/Nude Records (U.K.).

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The Procession: Bio

When lead vocalist and pianist J. Paul Zawacki met up with multi-instrumentalist and longtime friend John F. Schreffler Jr. in the fall of 2003, they had no idea that they would be forming a band the following year. Initially, the pair joined forces with little more in mind than making a short demo for fun. Zawacki, then an English student at the University of Michigan, was hoping to use the demo to fulfill part of an application requirement for music school. Schreffler, already an accomplished solo musician with a deep interest in recording, was merely hoping to add a few more hours to his tape machine. What they got, instead, was a five-song melodic-pop masterpiece, and numerous offers to release it nationally.

“The whole thing sort of came as a surprise to me,” recounts Zawacki. “I certainly was pleased with what we had created, but I couldn’t get my mind past the fact that the E.P. was recorded entirely on an eight-track machine. At the time, I was fairly convinced, if anything, that this would hinder any chances we might have at drawing label attention.”

Despite Zawacki’s convictions, the demo persevered. In late 2004, the duo decided to sign up with Los Angeles-based indie label Retone Records (formerly Leftwing Recordings), and officially became The Procession. The following year, they signed on as pop-rock writers for their current publisher, Peer Music Group. Most recently, they have welcomed their live bassist-- British multi-instrumentalist, Greg Jong--to the line-up and have landed themselves a two-album deal with V2/Nude Records in the U.K.

The band has since relocated from metro-Detroit to Los Angeles as well as made some necessary upgrades with their recording equipment. “We are now using a sixteen-track machine,” jokes a grinning Schreffler, a die-hard analog apologist.

Needless to say, they have also opted to rerecord the material from their original E.P., along with five additional tracks, constituting what will be their first full-length recording: Musique Magnifique--to be released in the U.K. this Fall on V2/Nude Records.

The Procession’s sound leans heavily upon melody, often conjuring up sonic images of Squeeze, E.L.O., the Beatles, early Weezer, and the Beach Boys, to impress its unique niche upon the pop world. There exists a real sense of craftsmanship in the songwriting that is seldom found in today’s highly produced, cookie-cutter pop. Though undeniably modern, the songs invoke a sort of nostalgia, nostalgia for a time when tape machines ruled and bands performed live when in the studio, a time when pop felt less forced.

No strangers to the stage, both Zawacki and Schreffler have performed hundreds of concerts together in previous musical endeavors, and Jong’s performance resume reads much the same.
“We’ve played all types of music in the past, but never anything we could really call our own,” remarks Zawacki, “Now that we have that opportunity, we really intend to make the most of it.”

Currently, the band is all smiles as they perfect their energetic live show. Catch them as they gear up for an impending U.K. tour to support the release of Musique Magnifique this fall.

--July 2006