May 2003
interview by Ian C Stewart

John Mitchell is a busy guy. Between appearances with Arena, John Wetton and Aussie soap star Nick Friedman, and producing albums for Thirst and No Connection, he's the singer/guitar player of the Urbane, a band that first appeared in 1994 as a studio project. In 1999 they released the album Neon, which featured the services of Simon Hanhart, whose previous work Mitchell greatly admired. Mastering followed and was conducted at Abbey Road with engineer Nick Webb. Reviews place the Urbane betwixt Catherine Wheel, Foo Fighters, and U2. Kerrang gave them four Ks and said "Anyone partial to Radiohead at their most commercial will be transfixed by 'Immaculate' and 'Staring At The Sun,' each is infused with pure class. The mark of a band with a future." Rounding out the Urbane, drummer Scooby also adds backing vocals, Martin Raggett plays bass and keyboardist Paddy Darlington wants "To be the Richard Barbieri of the Alt Rock/Nu Metal generation."

Where did the band's name come from?
By opening the English dictionary on a random page and using the famous eyes shut/pencil routine. Thats true by the way.

Are you active in your local music scene?
Yes, very active. And I record and produce a lot of the local bands as well.

How do your songs come to be?
I write them in my bedroom on my acoustic guitar and then the other guys butcher them to death!!

This is the inevitable part where I ask the inevitable question about your inevitable influences.
The Police. Because they are timeless, melodic and Sting is way too talented for his own good. Oh, and the ladies loved them as well.

What's the biggest show you've played so far?
Holland. The Paradiso. 900 people.

And you're all probably very well-behaved when you're in other countries, right?
If you happened to be walking down the Utrechtstrasse in Amsterdam at about 2AM on the 14th January last year and you were hit on the head by a couple of Burger King Whoppers, we do apologize. We had ordered too many and were sadly rather lacking in any decorum and we couldn't afford a telly.

What's next for the band?
The new album Glitter will be out in a couple of months time either on Golf, Verglas or Inside Out. No one has decided yet, but time is running short.

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