David Mitchell

"It relates to the music in that it’s done in pretty much the same way. It comes off the top of your head and you do it as fast as possible – which for me is really slow. The first idea that comes I just draw it and try not to censor anything. In a way that’s what I try to do with lyrics and guitar playing – try and keep it as fresh as the day it was written. Except with a song you’re got to repeat it – I don’t have to draw the same picture 5,000 times."
- David Mitchell, Planet Magazine, Summer 1993

1. David Mitchell is best known as a member of the 3Ds, a group that often sounded like they were wrestling with a tempest but were equally capable when whispering haunted intimacies. He has also been a member of Goblin Mix, Chug, Xpressways ‘supergroup’ Plagal Grind and The Magick Heads. All benefited from his expressive, at times brutal, guitar playing. The sound of total commitment and abandonment, of surrender to the song and possession by the moment.

2. Whatever band Mitchell has been part of he has always produced drawings and paintings. As would be expected these often adorn the covers of the LPs and CDs released by his various bands and have been used for gig and promotion posters. Occasionally he graced the pages of local comics publications with illustrations and the odd short strip.

3. Mitchell’s art is distinct in its ability to arrest your attention. Graven into his intricate line work is an almost supernatural intensity. A not so gentle reminder of the horrific and powerful things that are swimming around in the dark of your id.

4. Here’s Roger Shepard talking to Mitchell’s band mate Denise Roughan about We Bury the Living!, (early recordings that are well worth a listen). Before they can begin talking about the music Shepard is drawn into the cover art...

5. The Burry Man.

6. It is hardly surprising that David Mitchell is interested in the Burry Man. There’s an almost pagan feel to his illustrations, as if Mitchell is being influenced by something old and strange. Whatever is exerting that creepy influence it's the same thing that is skulking around the edge of 3Ds songs like 'Spooky', rustling cobweb skirts and caressing the vocals with ice cold fingers.
In an old Rip it Up interview, conducted by a clueless John Tait, David Mitchell talks of the need for the haphazard and unexpected to emerge when recording. There's a small shiver to be had when reading:
"If we were rigid and super tight it would work, but to the detriment of having, I dunno, unnatural input..."

- Kelly

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