Hello and welcome to the second Artist Spotlight feature of the week. We told you earlier this month that we were focusing on developing our newer columns and that is exactly what we aim to accomplish with this feature. The first few spotlights focused entirely on the world of metal, but in this piece we talk about punk and electronic music, as well as the pros and cons of being a signed artist. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact email@example.com and share your thoughts.
Relationships are everything in the music business, and that is one point I cannot stress enough. Trends change, business models change, but the relationships you forge with others in the music business have the power to last and last. When the business side of things turns its back on you and you find yourself both broke and unemployed it will be the people you’ve met through your efforts that help you pick yourself up and piece your life back together. They will send you messages of support when your health fails or when you’re dealing with typical day-to-day drama that life tends to bring. It’s a rarely discussed, but deeply appreciated aspect of working in a tight knit global community that can (and likely will) change your life.
I cannot recall the first time I crossed paths with William Francis, the musician behind William Control, but it was not too long after he and his bandmates in Aiden signed with Victory Records during the mid-2000s. Our relationship was purely fan and artist at first, but over the years I began to more passionately pursue my interest in music and the dynamics of our relationship began to change. Instead of simply being fan and artist, we were also blogger and artist, or web video personality and artist.
It’s important to know that I was not the only one changing during this time. Aiden released a handful of albums, each featuring a distinct change in sound and direction, but ultimately went on hiatus so that the various members could pursue other projects. For William, that meant starting William Control, a synth-fueled electronic offering that dabbled in bondage and victorian literature. It was another clear departure from everything he had done before, but it also felt like the most honest expression of who Will was as a person, and many fans who loved his punk efforts continued to follow him.
By the time William Control was off Victory and thriving as an independent act I found myself out of college and working full time in the music industry. Seeing Will on the road was still exciting, but somewhere over the better part of the last decade our relationship dynamic changed once again to be friend and friend. We would still do interviews and we would still talk shop, but we would also catch up on life and wish the other well whenever they’re going through hard times.
When I started at Haulix I knew one day I would have the opportunity to share Will’s journey through the business with our readers, and I am beyond excited that day has finally arrived. He’s a friend and an artist I continue to admire to this day, but more importantly he is one of the smarted people I have met in my entire life. His unique perspective on existence and the way this business works is the type of thing that could fill volumes, but for now the few thousand words below will have to suffice.
H: Hey there. Before we dive in, please take a moment to introduce yourself:
W: Well hello to you sir, my name is William Control. I sing, write and travel the world.
"Have a great weekend
I’ve never shared this publicly but as a very young kid I struggled with obsession compulsive behaviors that were brought on from a crippling fear I had of death, the darkness and all things “spooky”. I would rationalize that if I were able to wash my hands enough times or run down the hall fast enough or count high enough quickly then I would in some way (don’t ask me how) stop the monsters or villains in my mind from getting to me and I’d be safe. This was something that was so constant and so difficult to deal with that I would completely withdraw from socialization with other kids and stay in my room..drawing, singing, creating. The odd thing is that despite my fear of the dark the only things I’d ever find myself wanting to draw were bats, ghouls, ghosts etc. And because of my deep love of KISS and in particular the Demon character that Gene Simmons portrayed I always associated rock music with “scary” imagery and in some way it attracted me to it even more. I was 11 years old when I found the Misfits and it changed my life. Here were these ghouls dressed in all black with scary makeup and costumes and yet they sang with fun and often doo wop style melodies…the combination of these things together was so profound that it changed my entire psyche. It made the dark FUN. It made all that I feared something that I wanted to sing along with. The Misfits changed my life. A few days ago I was able to get onstage and sing with Jerry, Dez and Eric and to say it was one of the greatest moments of my life would be an understatement. It meant everything to me. I am still that kid that doesn’t know exactly how to fit in and that is always made more obvious when the “popular” people (not unlike high school) poke fun at me or Black Veil Brides…in fact as I write this the singer in a band that many of you follow whom I don’t know personally has continued on that bully style teasing on his social media, but because of bands like the Misfits I learned that it’s okay to be misunderstood and weird. It’s okay to not always be well liked by your peers and it’s okay to sometimes be afraid of the unknown…often the greatest among us find themselves in that darkness and that is where they create their finest art.
Thank you Jerry, thank you Alternative Press and thank you to every one of you who reads this.
I wish you all a happy life, those who love me, hate me and in between because I know that have I found my way and it lead to me being on stage with my heroes, I know that you will all find yours as well.
We are the Fiend Club,
(photo by Matty Vogel)
William Control & victims. Winter 2012
Ashley wearing Keyhole- Peep Show t shirt by Tyson McAdoo
Does anyone know the lyrics William Control says in Where the Angels Burn after the song part and right before “I stood on the gates of Heaven and spat into the face of Saint Peter”? It’s really quiet and I can only catch a few words.
My euphoria turns to stone. Fists and rage and sorrow cannot bring me back to the glory that encapsulates your memory within my seething heart.