Tim Mrak, the colorful frontman of San Antonio rock band the Psychoholics, has died

Mrak led the group for roughly 30 years and was known for turning its live shows into a humor-filled spectacle.

click to enlarge Friends described the late Tim Mrak as a tireless creative force. - Courtesy Photo / Jojodancerphotography
Courtesy Photo / Jojodancerphotography
Friends described the late Tim Mrak as a tireless creative force.
Tim Mrak, the longtime frontman and songwriter behind San Antonio rock band the Psychoholics, died this week at age 58, following a lengthy battle with kidney disease.

Friends described Mrak — who led the Psychoholics for roughly 30 years — as a tireless creative force and a beloved underdog in the local music scene. The band specialized in a catchy and energetic power-pop, and its live shows were known for silly spectacle including members performing in animal costumes and Mrak strafing the audience with a homemade gun that fired fake eyeballs.

For one recent performance, he blew $100 of his own money to make sure the band could give a carnation to everyone who showed up, said Sarah Flatten, a longtime friend who spent more than a decade as rhythm guitarist and backup singer in the Psychoholics.

"He always wanted to make an impression, and he always did," Flatten said. "He knew how to make grand entrance."

Levity was a key part of any Psychoholics show, and songs such as "Mystery Meat," "She-Hulk" and "Be My Bimbo" are as funny as they are catchy. However, Mrak was also capable of heartfelt, often self-deprecating, compositions that looked at loss and loneliness. His song "This Blood's for You" was about the three-times-a-week dialysis treatment he needed to keep his body functioning.

Mrak was a fixture at North Side rock venues, where he had a reputation as a witty and well-read raconteur able to carry on deep conversations about anything from pop culture to politics to economics. Many who knew him were unaware of his severe medical issues. Friends said he didn't like for people to think he was a burden or someone to feel sorry for.

Although the Psychololics didn't tour and often spent long periods between releases, the last few years had been productive for Mrak and crew. The band released the full-length album 20/20 in 2021, and it had been in the recording studio working on a new EP at the time of Mrak's passing, according to Flatten.

Flatten said Mrak had been thrilled about the new recording and his recent batch of compositions, which he felt were stronger than his funny "Peter Pan songs."

"There were less of the silly songs," Flatten said. "He was really proud of the of music we'd come up with and was excited for people to hear it."

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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