CTRL is best described as electronic music with an edge. Subtle vocals collide with swirling melodies and beats that flirt with darkness, but push their way into the light. This Industrial/Synth trio is becoming a house-hold name in the world of electronic music. So join me as I discuss the past, present, and future of CTRL.
Opening Statement (Matt GC): I am pleased to have you guys join me for an interview with Grave Concerns E-zine website. Thank you so much for joining me.
Opening Response (Alex & Jason): Glad to be here! Thanks!
Matt GC) Tell me about yourself. Give me a music timeline? Tell me about previous bands and your current role with CTRL.
Alex - I moved here to the U.S. in the late Spring of 1991. Originally I'm from Geilenkirchen, Germany. For the first 8 1/2 years I lived in Oklahoma City. It was there that I started writing music and collaborating with friends in a few music projects. In 1999 I moved to Austin, Texas. I started going to some local shows and seeing some very talented acts that were coming out of Texas. One of those bands was Provision. I had chatted and become friends previously with Breye of PV over the course of a few years. One day the idea came up that I should perform live with them as a guest vocalist for a show that they were playing with Imperative Reaction. I was very nervous never having performed before but I ended up pulling it off and soon after joined the band as vocalist and also for live keys later. I was with Provision for about a year from Sept 2002 to about August 2003. Because I was wanting to do other things as well musically I ended parting ways with PV.
2 short months later I joined up with the lads of CTRL. We started hanging out and they were playing some of the demos for what would become "Lose the Image" for me. I was really into everything they were doing. In Sept of 2003 CTRL was playing a show alongside Texas acts Provision and Solemn Assembly. As far as I knew I was just going to do this 1 live performance with CTRL, playing keys. We had so much fun onstage and there was a good chemistry. In October I was asked to join the band full time. Since then my roles in CTRL include songwriting, programming, keys, lyrics and vocals.
Matt GC) You guys have written some pretty decent songs. Can you explain the song-writing process within the band? Do you guys write together or individually, or both? How do you go about it individually?
Jason - (note: a-c aren't necessarily in order) a)jam an idea. b)brad programs. c)someone builds a sequence. d)people add instrumentation. e)someone has lyrics, adds vocals. f)mix, produce, master. virtually like all other musicians who record.
Alex - Jason pretty much covered that one. Most songs seem to just come to life thru jam sessions.
Matt GC) What have been some of your most gratifying moments as a musician?
Alex - I must say one of the highlights so far has got to be August of 2003. I had the opportunity to open up for The Human League at the Verizon Theatre in Houston, Tx. It really was a great night and I will never forget the feeling of being on that stage in front of all those people.
The most gratifying thing for me personally as a musician though has got to be when I am performing at a show and I see people just totally into what we are doing and getting down. Its the best feeling in the world. Not to mention having the chance to talk with the fans afterwards
Matt GC) How would you describe the music of CTRL to someone who has never heard your music before?
Jason - electronic pop and ebm
Alex - Again Jason pretty much summed it up right there. We have many influences and like to incorporate a lot of different things. Sticking with one particular sound is just not something we're into. I guess you could say we like to keep people on their toes. You just never know what we might do next ;)
Matt GC) Describe the album “Lose The Image”. Is it a departure from previous works? How is it different from previous albums? How does it expand upon the CTRL sound that fans have become familiar with?
Jason - LTI was about reconstruction, while stepping away from what we've done previously, yet an amalgamation of all we'd learned. it's better produced than the previous albums as well. lyrically and musically, it's fairly self-explanatory. wait until you hear the new one.
Matt GC) What equipment are you guys using in the realm of production? What are some of your personal favorite machinery,synth, software etc. to play around with?
Jason - one should never give away trade secrets. other musicians with decent ears can usually pick out what machine made the sound. we neither endorse any one company, nor are we sponsored. if it makes sound, we'll try it.
If it works for the mix, or achieves our goal in sound, we'll use it and experiment. Do not get locked into one sound, unless you're AC/DC, Motorhead or the Ramones, of course.
Alex - The list would be too long. There are many synths that I like out there.
Matt GC) Any new material in the works. What can we expect to hear from CTRL in the future…(New Material, Shows, video, etc.)
Jason - as far as a musical promotional video, that's never been in the interest of the band. we tried our hand at it, and it turned out decently, but we felt it just wasn't us. if you're discussing a live video installation, a multimedia show, we've done that in the past, more times than not, though we've gotten away from that recently. it is something we're currently reconsidering.
Yes, a new album is nearly completed, and sounding better than ever.
We're aiming for better distribution this time around. hopefully, we'll be able to line up a tour too. though it is almost certain we'll be playing in the region. if you thought LTI was a departure, then you'll be surprised with this one...yet an even bigger departure, while staying true to who we are. people had some legitimate concerns with the last one. we took some of those criticisms to heart, and made some adjustments for the better. at times, it does take a smack on the head. other times, you just have to tell people, "go pound sand."
Alex - I personally can't wait for the new album to be released!
I am very excited about all the new material we have and I think the fans and critics out there may be in for a pleasant surprise.
Either way we are very proud of this album and the direction we have taken with it.
As far as shows are concerned. We will definitely be playing some shows here and there in the region. A tour has also been talked about already though I will say that it will still have to wait a bit. We'll definitely let everyone know though once we are ready to hit the road!
Closing Statement (Matt GC): Thank you very much for joining us today at Grave Concerns.
Closing Response (Alex & Jason): Anytime and thank you again for having us!ctrlmusic.com
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