Control is a four piece New Jersey-based collective that focuses its writing towards mid-90’s post-hardcore and emo. A sound that incorporates a contemporary style for this generation based on erstwhile sounds and aesthetics some years ago. Their music’s influence resonates strongly against bands such as The GetUp Kids, Quicksand, and Fugazi. An inherent take away that many should come to hear upon their first listen. More importantly if I may note, is that this quick demo presents itself with a modern sensibility that neither constricts them towards nostalgic listening or prevents their music from adhering to modern demands.
Hailing from Ogdensburg, New Jersey this band is comprised of members from Earth Stood Still and the former hardcore outfit, Captives. The original intent of this project was “playing hard, melodic, post-hardcore music with a complete DIY ethic” so we can see how this local act has strong roots towards creating original and impassionetly driven music. With a full length and several EP’s under their belt their newest release, entitled The Lonely, is one that will separate themselves from their past discography.
The Lonely is a jaded self-realization that our problems aren’t necessarily as bad as they seem. A proclamation fueled by self-loathing that says we are all destined to die and to die alone. Clocking in at just eleven minutes, this third EP and the first bit of music since 2015 is one that is nearly a decade in the making. It is both an easy listen and a deep delve of conscious thought as the lyrics are underlined by poignant melodies and a saddened prose.
An endearing appreciation goes out to Bedside Manner Collective for bringing this talented act to light to my own regards and self-interest. This is a New Jersey based record label that centers its ethos around a DIY perspective while producing limited run batches of records, tapes, and discs. Great label for those that are keen on local acts and collecting limited and small batch records. Definitely, keep in line with those guys as they are sure to bring that ear candy.
Interview Set with Mike Belveduto
HEAD WALK: The maturity and emotion within The Lonely seems more developed and fulfilling compared to your previous endeavors. Would you say this project has grown from its original consideration as just a post-hardcore outfit into what it is now?
Mike Belveduto: Totally! I’d say we have grown as musicians and as people in general. It can take some time to find yourself and it could take even longer to find your musical style, or groove if you will. You may never find either! (Laughs)
But really a huge part of our writing, in the beginning, was influenced by our former drummer Kevin Carafa. Kevin is such a great talent and it was a lot of fun to write with him over the years. He’s one of those guys who plays a ton of instruments and really gets how to write music. Most importantly, he listens and sees the big picture. After he left we sort of just threw in the towel for a bit until we came back with our good friend Kellene and our buddy Ryan. Our style has definitely changed a bit due to the changing of drummers but also our own influences have changed a bit as well.
HW: The lyrical content is one that strikes a chord of interest for myself as it reflects keenly on what a great “emo-tional” record ought to sound like. Where, if any, do you find your artistry towards writing and with that; what track stands out the most in terms of personal appreciation?
MB: As I have gotten older, I feel as if my writing and lyrical influence has changed quite a bit. I used to write about books I’ve read or something I may have seen on the news, or mostly towards some science fiction thing I was watching on television. Lately, I have unintentionally been writing about things like loneliness, anger, depression, a pinched nerve in my neck (that one I wrote about intentionally). I may have some built up feelings brewing inside that hopefully won’t explode one day. I have never seen a therapist before so I would say music is my therapy. Writing, listening, it’s the cheapest and most effective therapy I can think of honestly.
As far as a favorite song? I can’t really say. I kinda dig all three as a whole. There have been times I could pick a favorite easily, not this time.
HW: How was the recording process for The Lonely?
MB: It was a great, fun, and tedious process (laughs)! We tracked drums and bass over at Portrait Recording Studios in Pompton Plains New Jersey with our buddy John Ferrara. Then we took the tracks back to our home studio to track guitar and vocals. It’s always a fun experience being at Portrait, and then it’s always hard and tedious work finishing it up at home (laughs)! I’m just so damn picky when it comes to my vocals and I really don’t consider myself any kind of “professional singer” so it would really cost us an arm and a leg with all the time I take to do my vocals. We had it mixed by our old friend Chris Badami at Portrait Recording Studios. He’s our guy and we love him. Then we had it mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio. This has been our formula for our last two releases and we are very happy with it.
As far as guitar gear we used our own stuff. Either an Orange AD30 or a Marshall JCM 800 head alongside some Marshall 1960 cabs. Not too many pedals get used because we are a pretty straightforward band. On this last one, I think all we used was a Boss Chorus and a Boss DD6.
Back in the day, we used to track everything with our drummer Kevin. He would mix and master it all. Our first couple EPs and Obsolete Through Automation were done like that as well.
HW: Control has been a band for nearly a decade now. Being the well-seasoned band that you are, how would you say being a local level act has been over the years? Is it easier or harder to play shows as the years go by?
MB: I’d say it’s about the same. I’ve been playing in local bands for about 18 years now and I’ve always given it my all. Regardless of whether it be a big crowd or small crowd. I feel like playing music is pretty much like everything else, the more you play the more you learn. I’ve always felt the key to “success” is just showing up with a positive attitude. If you keep showing up, playing your heart out, and continue doing your best? Someone will wanna see you.
HW: What can we expect from y’all this summer and have you any plans for tours or announcements you’d like to publicize?
MB: As of now there is not much going on this summer. We really wanna focus on writing and actually making a plan for the future. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that. Sometimes life can really get in the way of the things you love to do, that has been the case lately.
HW: Lastly, shout outs and final plugs.
MB: #defeatthemainstream #listentocontrol