Up in Roscoe Village, towards Southport, broods a little hipster mecca known as the Beat Kitchen. It’s here where I’m meeting with the Sound of Urchin. Urchin, who spent a couple years signed to RCA, are sublimely difficult to categorize. Which is exactly how they like it. Tomato, the frontman, who does most, or all, of the talking in our interview, is a unique creature unto himself. His hair is white, long, but bare on the very top of his head. He’s a smaller guy, a full head shorter than me, but his personality carries the room (as anyone who has been to an Urchin show before will tell you). The closest comparison I can offer is a sort of mating between Ween (they have collaborated before) and The Offspring. I guess? Maybe. I don’t know. There’s a reason they left RCA, and you can hear it in their totally unique artistry, which spans anywhere from metal to country to reggae. You can also read it on their tour schedule. They’ve pulled up from Lawrence, Kansas, just a an hour or two ago before their show, after spanning New York to Seattle with a show pretty much every other day. This is how they are able to survive, and it’s a disposition of integrity that, in the Spotify age, is refreshing.
He’s accompanied by Reverend Bill, the guitarist, who I don’t think said one word during our chat. The Reverend keeps to himself mostly, does not drink, but when on stage, absolutely shreds. He’s like a big metal teddy bear.