In the heated air of his live shows, William Control conducts the crowd, nearly an imposing figure who at any second appears as if he could scold you or delicately kiss the back of your hand. The audience is instantly captivated by and wants to obey his every command as he directs them to scream, subsequently expresses his disappointment in their levels to be rewarded in decibels from the churning, twisting of the pit in some grimy rock venue that has become a dance floor for the night. It takes a level of self-assurance and fearlessness to receive such a response. They’re the qualities it takes to start and to lead a movement, which is exactly what William Control’s latest artistic venture entails.
It’s from Control’s punk foundations, that The Neuromantic Movement has risen. It’s the punk lifestyle–one that provides a haven for the disenfranchised to spit on the norm–that compels he and bandmates the Neuromantic Boys (Kenneth Fletcher, Ian MacWilliams, Nick Rossi and Adam Crilly) to manipulate that long-held attitude and to provide new sanctuary for the outcast. Here, in The Neuromantic Movement, you’ll find no spit, but rather sensual salivation over exposed flesh and a novel way to dance—not to taunt, but to court death.
Evelyn Hollow described this movement perfectly: “Neuromantic music is digging up all the good shit everyone’s parents got into in the ‘80s and giving it to this generation. Everybody is angry and wants to be a part of punk music, and people think that’s cool. Punk is always going to be cool, because it’s dangerous. Neuromantic music has turned that violence into dancing. It’s made dance music dangerous again.
There are a lot of kids holding onto darkness, and that’s usually expressed with violent behavior, aggressive clothing and loud shouting. The Neuromantic movement takes that same energy and refines it—it gives it a champagne glass instead of a broken beer bottle. It gives it a well-cut suit instead of cut-out jeans.
And there’s nothing more dangerous than violence draped in the skin of refined beauty.”
Punk music itself is not necessarily what inspires this darkwave band (though Control counts Dave Vanian of the Damned as a major influence), but its independent ethos, which compels them beyond the obstacles they’ve faced over their past 8 years as a band.
“For a long time, nobody fucking cared about us,” Control says. “Instead of just sitting around thinking, ‘Well, I can’t get played on radio; I can’t get a tour,’ I just decided I was going to fucking do this shit myself and make it happen. I took my punk-rock ethics and just applied it to this band.”
With each release, the band have taken on the mantle of at least one new aspect of the music industry. From recording, to mixing and mastering, to printing their own merch, Control and the Neuromantic Boys do it all themselves, because, “At the end of the day, no one cares about William Control as much as William Control does. No one cares about this band as much as the Neuromantic Boys do.” Their attention to detail in their craft and experience they’ve gained as an autonomous entity is evident in the band’s most recent Revelations EPs and their success.
What Control describes as once-snubbed “dark, moody, New Order-ish ‘80s synth-pop with fucking Frank Sinatra vocals,” formally became impossible to dismiss as the cult fanbase and subculture formed around it drove The Pale all the way to the No.1 slot on the Billboard Dance/Electronic charts.
Remember that time the Control Recs family briefly dethroned the Chainsmokers as leaders of the the Dance/Electronic charts? Oh, yeah! Excerpt from Forbes: The Chainsmokers’...
Last fall, William and Neuromantic Boys frontman Kenneth Fletcher stopped at the Alternative Press offices to discuss their careers and mistakes made along the way on the–ind...
Drive west young man, through the swamps and heavy air of Louisiana. Stop and let the blanket of humidity drape around your shoulders. Stop and listen to the sound of crickets and ...