CNTRL was born out of a severe frustration with what the other bands in our city were delivering. All we see is tributes to the past. Be it in playing style, or the obvious bleed-through of things like game of thrones, or Vikings. Our observation of this begun a conversation which lead to discussing what we would like to see a new band materialize to change......leading ultimately to recognition that we had the ability to form this band. A band that will change the trajectory of everything going on locally. Before the album was even released we were met with hostility from other musicians. It was the haters that truly gave birth to us. CNTRL is the band that challenges the past and will defeat it.
2.Recently you have released your first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
We were looking for something truly original which would embrace a futuristic approach in every minute detail. While recording the focus was to push metal forward in every way. Performance, equipment, concepts, attitude, etc had to be beyond the norm of what the audiences here had experienced before. We focused largely on a detail that is completely missing in our musical scene until now. That would be darkness. Its totally invaluable to us that people know we have a wealth of dark energy to offer them. This is a very dark album from start to finish.
3.You refer to your music as being 'extreme blackened sci fi space groove metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
That term is a patchwork given to us by our fans, and our friends. It's closer to a nickname. Aside from the rules presented by our concept which dictates our lyrics we have no boundaries, so speaking for the entire band I would say that term is more of a guideline. We are CNTRL. And CNTRL is what we are.
4.Your lyrics also cover a lot of science fiction and horror themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
Our lyrics are how we flesh out the story to the listener. This album is a concept album dealing ultimately with the destruction of Earth. Growing up with things like star trek and Clive Barker films, and Stephen King books had a unmistakable impact on me. Science fiction and horror mean as much to me as heavy metal. I had to couple the two. Anyone who has heard the album, and offered feedback has only given us praise. We hear that our music provides a nightmarish alien soundscape. There is no better compliment.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'CNTRL'?
In the story the character of Father Control is a cult leader. He keeps hearing a voice telling him to " man a ship with my congregation." And to fly it into a black hole.
One day strolling through the devastation of the futuristic ruined city he happens upon a ship yard. A ship that catches his eye for the mission has 'CNTRL' stenciled down the side of the ship. He takes this as a holy sign and gains ownership of it, for their fateful trip.
The name CNTRL (control) is also an obvious statement.
We make no bones about our goal as a band.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
That lovely piece of art was created for us by a dear friend, and fan of the band. He studied design at Harvard, and before that he was the best artist I knew.
It's an indication of the lyrical content. You have the planet earth being absorbed by a massive skull. He didnt want to make the illustration too literal with respect to my lyrics, so he gave us the feeling of the album. That whatever is about to happen, will be very bad for everyone.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The live performances are still just many details scribbled in my notebook. We are a brand new band. We are searching for a rhythm guitarist to begin rehearsals. Progress has been frustrated by applicants' inability to play the music, and or lacking the appropriate gear to do so. We also have had one or two individuals who refused to wear makeup and appropriate costume. But surely one isnt playing in this band wearing cargo shorts and some random bands t-shirt. That's the type of thing we laugh at.
Live shows will be a fantastic display of horror. I have an actual stage show planned with all sorts of surprises. Each member is playing a specific character and will be acting as much as they will be playing. We calculate that we should be ready in May 2019. For now we've done the right thing by releasing a full length album for people to learn before we hit the stage. We see many bands here that just book a show with no album, no merch, no banner, nothing. Our live debut will be the full experience.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We love Quebec and Montreal. We have all played those places in other bands. And there is nothing like that crowd. They truly love metal there and they lose their minds. We will be headed there first, and probably hit all spots we deem worthy on our way back home to toronto for our debut here. Otherwise we will see what happens.
9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We are currently expecting to hear from someone. Our streams are flying everywhere. We are doing a non exclusive printing of the CD with a small label for April but that's just to get cds to people, we arent held down with a copyright.
Last year we received word from a significant label that they wanted to work with us, but their time frame and financial offer wasnt good enough at all. We had to refuse. So we are open to offers.
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
Everyone usually says, "holy shit!" That's the typical response. Someone told me they had recently lost faith in metal until she heard CNTRL, which was very nice to hear.
We've only had positive feedback regarding the music. We cant wait to bring this monster to the stage. We are going to knock everyone out of their skin.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are really into dynamics, so just like our songs, the albums will be different from one another. I have all the songs done story wise for the second album, but we haven't sat down to write anything. Arrival is still very new.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on the music of 'CNTRL'?
90s death metal is a big influence. Carcass, Morbid Angel, Death, Bolt Thrower etc. Some black metal. Satyricon is a band favorite. Meshuggah is an influence you'll hear from time to time on the songs. But again we are motivated to stand out from our "peers". We have a competitive edge that drives us to deliver what we think is the superior experience to metal fans. We want them to get the most out of their hard earned money.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I really want to thank the fans of CNTRL, and all the people who have jumped to do what they can to spread the word about us, and the album 'Arrival'. We will see you from the stage this summer!!!!
And of course thank you very much for the interview!!!
Until all are one!