William Control

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William Control
William Control portrait.jpg
William Control live in Bristol, September 2016.
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Dark wave, synthpop, gothic rock
Years active 2008—present
Labels Control Records, Victory
Associated acts Aiden, Me vs Myself, Jeffree Star, FVK, Black Veil Brides, Obscure Pleasures, Ashestoangels, New Years Day, Combichrist
Website http://www.williamcontrol.com

William Control is an American electronic music project founded in 2008 in Seattle, Washington. It was the side project of Aiden’s William Francis before Aiden's hiatus, and he now operates as William Control full-time.[1][2][3][4] 'William Control' therefore refers to both the band as a whole and to Francis as his stage name. Francis was signed to Victory Records before starting his own independent label Control Records, and, as William Control, has released four full-length albums (Hate Culture, Noir, Silentium Amoris, and The Neuromancer), an EP (Novus Ordo Seclorum), two acoustic albums (Skeleton Strings and Skeleton Strings 2), two live DVDs (Live In London Town and Babylon) and a remix album (Remix). The first EP (The Pale) of the fifth studio album Revelations was released on October 14, 2016. This album will be split into 4 separate EPs released over a period of months instead of one single release.[5] The second EP The Black followed on February 17th 2017. Since The Neuromancer Francis has referred to his band as 'The Neuromantic Boys', and the 'Boys' currently consist of Kenneth Fletcher (who has been a part of the William Control project since Hate Culture), Ian MacWilliams, and Ben Tourkantonis.



William Control's debut album, Hate Culture, was released in 2008, and is, according to a Kerrang! magazine interview, the story of a character named William Control and his last night on earth before he kills himself. Hate Culture peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Electronic Albums chart and No. 43 on the Heatseekers chart.[6][6] The band released a video for "Beautiful Loser", the album's only single, and then toured with Escape The Fate on their This War Is Ours Tour in late 2008.[7] Their live debut was at Revolution in The Bronx, New York City, on September 26, 2008.[8]


In 2009, Control began working on a new William Control album, entitled Noir and this eventually surfaced on June 8, 2010.[6] He invited friends (including Ash Costello of Orange County rock band New Years Day and Jeffree Star)[9][10][11] and fans to come up to the studio and record vocals for part of the album. While it did not appear on Noir, a teaser video for the song Deathclub (a song that has only been released as a remix and has yet to be heard in its original form) was released on Control's social networking sites. The original track is actually an outtake from the Hate Culture sessions. The sole single from Noir was I'm Only Human Sometimes.

Later in 2010 Control released a series of spoken word tracks through iTunes, all works by Edgar Allan Poe. These were: Eleonora (July 13), The Tell-Tale Heart (September 13), The Oval Portrait (October 15), and The Raven (October 30). The band supported Black Veil Brides on their Entertainment Or Death Tour.[12]

Shortly after the release of Noir Control left Victory Records, and founded his own record company, Control Records, based near Seattle, Washington.[13] He now records all his music under this label.


On November 29, 2011 a new five-track EP entitled Novus Ordo Seclorum was announced.[14] On the same day Control published a second book, Prose + Poems, having previously published Flowers & Filth with Lisa Johnson.


On January 26, 2012, Control announced that the band's third full-length album would be released on April 2, 2012, and called Silentium Amoris. They performed on the Fight To Unite US Tour, with Brokencyde and Blood on the Dance Floor in April and May 2012.[15] In June 2012, William Control headlined their own New Faith Tour, playing shows in the UK, the Netherlands, and France. During this tour, they also headlined the Red Bull stage at Donington's Download Festival.[16] A music video for the only single off Silentium Amoris, Kiss Me Judas, was released on June 26, 2012 on YouTube.

In August and September 2012, William Control filmed their debut live DVD, Live in London Town, directed by Tim Bullock and produced by A Glass Half.[17] The film features a live show, shot at the O2 Academy Islington, as well as behind the scenes footage and interviews from two other dates. The twenty-track DVD was released in January 2013, with a new and previously unreleased twenty-first track Speak to Me of Abduction over the closing credits.

October and November 2012 saw the band supporting The Birthday Massacre on their American tour, alongside Aesthetic Perfection.[18]


William Control appeared as special guest on The Church Of The Wild Ones US Tour with Black Veil Brides in early 2013. Control also starred in the film Legion of the Black,[19] a movie based upon the Black Veil Brides album Wretched and Divine.

In March 2013, Control asked fans for donations to help fund his home recording studio, Hell's Half Acre. He later released the digital-only acoustic album Skeleton Strings, consisting of 9 original and cover tracks, including Noir and HIM's "The Funeral of Hearts". In November of the same year William Control headlined the Friday night at Whitby Goth Weekend,[20] after playing a support slot at the festival in April.[21]

On October 1, 2013 Control announced that the next studio album would be called The Neuromancer, and that it was slated for release in early December 2013, just before the start of the US Revel Without A Cause Tour.[22] Additionally, Control announced that his book Revelator Book One: The Neuromancer would be shipped earlier than expected and likely within the first two weeks of the month. The book was initially sold exclusively through pre-order, in a limited quantity of 500. However, the pre-orders sold so quickly that an additional 100 copies were made available shortly thereafter.[23] It is now available several sources both as a paperback and digitally.[24]


The Neuromancer was finally released April 4, 2014.[25][26][27] There were two singles from the album; Revelator and Price We Pay.

In spring 2014, and again from October–December 2014, William Control supported the aggrotech band Combichrist on both the American and European legs of their We Love You Tour.[28][29][30] In April 2014, whilst on this tour, the band recorded a live DVD at Bar Sinister in Hollywood. This DVD was released as Babylon, and featured Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides and Ash Costello of New Years Day. Once again, this DVD was directed by Tim Bullock and produced by A Glass Half[31]

William Control played a UK tour, entitled The Punishment Tour, in August 2014, with support from Ashestoangels and Bad Pollyanna.[32] An appearance at Alt-Fest 2014 was originally part of this tour, but the festival was cancelled.[33]

November 2014 saw the release of Revelator Book Two: The Hate Culture.[24] This was again initially through Control's own website, but it is also now available both in paperback and digitally from various sources. A second acoustic album, Skeleton Strings 2, followed on Christmas Eve.

It was around this time that the new William Control velvet rose logo was launched, inspired by lyrics from Adore (Fall In Love Forever), off The Neuromancer. It has appeared in various forms on releases and merchandise since then.

An album of remixes of William Control tracks (Remix) was also made available, as a free download through NoiseTrade.[34]


At the start of 2015 Control announced that he was starting his own screen-printing business, Control Merch, to give him creative freedom over his own merchandise. This was initially in a rented studio but in early 2016 he purchased his own shop, allowing for expansion of the business.[35][36] He also launched the brand Submit Clothing.

The Punishment Tour part 2 took place in April 2015 (UK) and May–June 2015 (USA).[37] Support came from Ashestoangels in the UK and Requiem and Justin Symbol in the US. The band once again performed at Whitby Goth Weekend, this time on the Sunday night, playing before The Damned.[38] The band did one final 2015 live show at Toronto's Aftermath Festival in August 2015.[39]


Control began teasing fans with snippets of new music from the 5th studio album in video clips on Instagram, Facebook etc., working on the album with Kenneth Fletcher and Axel Otero of Lay Your Ghost at his home studio in spring/summer 2016.[40] He embarked on a solo 5 date acoustic tour of the UK (The Skeleton Strings Tour) in July 2016,[41] supported by Crilly of Ashestoangels, and the full band returned to the UK in September 2016 for the 10 date Synths And Sinners Tour.[42] The Monster, the first single from the band's The Pale EP (the first of four that will make up the album Revelations) was released as a YouTube video on September 5, and pre-orders for the EP through the Control Merch site began on September 22, with iTunes pre-orders starting the following day. Several US dates for October and November 2016 were then announced, after the planned full USA tour fell through, including a performance on JBTV.[43][44][45] The Pale, completed by tracks Confess, When The Love Is Pain and Mother Superior, received its full release on October 14, 2016. A video for Confess, filmed by Fletcher in Edinburgh, Scotland whilst on the Synths And Sinners Tour, followed on October 26, as did a video for When The Love Is Pain on November 12. The Pale hit number one on both the Billboard Dance/Electronic album chart and the Heatseekers album chart.[46]

In spring 2016 it was revealed that a trilogy of films was to be made from the three Revelator books.[47][48]

November 2016 saw posts appear on Control's social media accounts about the third book in the Revelator trilogy, Revelator Book Three: The Hell Of Heaven. Pre-orders for the first edition went on sale on December 2, and sold out within a day.


The video for Mother Superior,the final track on The Pale, was shot in Seattle and released on January 25, 2017. The band then played several American headline shows under the Synths & Sinners Tour title,[49] before embarking on Andy Black of Black Veil Brides's Homecoming: The Curtain Call Tour as the main support act. This covered parts of both the United States and of Canada, and continued from early February into early March, finishing in Pomona, California on the 3rd.[50]

The video for the first track on Revelations: The Black, Analog Flesh In A Digital World, was released on February 10, 2017, and the EP followed on February 17. Pre-orders for the latter began through the Control Merch site on February 5. The Black hit number one on both the Billboard Dance/Electronic album chart and the Heatseekers album chart.[51][52]

In April 2017, the band completed a European tour supporting Aesthetic Perfection.

Band members[edit]

  • William Control - lead vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, production (2008–present).
The Neuromantic Boys

The Boys got their name from lyrics from the track Revelator, off The Neuromancer.

  • Kenneth Fletcher - guitar (2008–present), bass, backing vocals (2012–present), synthesizers.
  • Ian MacWilliams - keyboards, synthesizers (2013–present), backing vocals.
  • Ben Tourkantonis - drums, percussion (2014–present).[53][54][55]
Former members
  • Nick Wiggins - bass, backing vocals (2008–2012)
  • Keef West - drums, percussion (2012)
  • Philip Kross - bass, backing vocals (2012)
  • Crilly Ashes - synthesizers, keyboards (2014 (UK Tour), 2017 (European Tour))


Studio albums[edit]


Acoustic albums[edit]

Remix albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live in London Town (2012)
  • Babylon (2014)


  • "Beautiful Loser" (2008)
  • "I'm Only Human Sometimes" (2010)
  • "Kiss Me Judas" (2012)
  • "Revelator" (2014)
  • "Price We Pay" (2014)
  • "The Monster" (2016)
  • "Confess" (2016)
  • "When the Love Is Pain" (2016)
  • "Mother Superior" (2017)
  • "Analog Flesh in a Digital World" (2017)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Beautiful Loser" (2008)
  • "Deathclub" (2009)
  • "I'm Only Human Sometimes" (2010)
  • "Kiss Me Judas" (2012)
  • "Speak to Me of Abduction" (2012)
  • "The Velvet Warms and Binds" (2013)
  • "New World Order" (2013)
  • "Revelator" (2014)
  • "Price We Pay" (2014)
  • "Illuminator" lyric video (2014)
  • "The Monster" (2016)
  • "Confess" (2016)
  • "When the Love Is Pain" (2016)
  • "Mother Superior" (2017)
  • "Analog Flesh in a Digital World" (2017)

Soundtrack contributions[edit]


  • Flowers & Filth (September 9, 2009) – a book of poetry and photography by William Control (words) and Lisa Johnson (photography). ISBN unknown
  • Prose + Poems (November 12, 2011) – a book of poetry, short pieces and essays by William Control. It was initially sold through Control's own website, and PDF copies were available as part of some of the Silentium Amoris pre-order packages.[56] A couple of the passages were published on the Alternative Press website.[57][58] ISBN unknown
  • Revelator Book One: The Neuromancer (October 28, 2013) – the first in a trilogy of novels by William Control that explores the origins of the character of William Control.[59] The books mirror the story told across the course of Control's albums. Pre-orders were initially made available through Control's own website and limited to 500 copies.[60] A second and third editions were also released.[23] ISBN 978-1-304-40272-1
  • Revelator Book Two: The Hate Culture (2014) – the second in the trilogy.[59] ISBN 978-1-304-40272-1
  • Revelator Book Three: The Hell Of Heaven (2016) – the final part of the trilogy ISBN 669393822684


Guest appearances

Production work[edit]

  • The EP Revenge (2011) by Seattle band Girl On Fire.[72]
  • EPs The Ghost (2011) and Through The Rain (2011) by Seattle-based dark rock band To Paint The Sky (as Wil Francis).[73]
  • The album I Tried To Make You Immortal, You Tried To Make Me A KILLER (2012) by the New Jersey rock band A Midnight Tragedy.[74]
  • The album Mile End (2013) by the Austrian punk band Stupe-iT.[75]
  • The albums With Tape And Needles (2013), Horror Cult (2014) and How To Bleed (2016) for English electro-goth punks Ashestoangels.[76][77][78]
  • The album Unbreakable Hearts (2014) by English rock band Fearless Vampire Killers.[79]



  • Noir Tour - UK (July/August 2010) William Control with Mavricz and Octane Ok[80]
  • Live In London - UK (August/September 2012) William Control with Obscure Pleasures and Ashestoangels[81]
  • New Faith Tour - UK (May/June 2012) William Control with Fearless Vampire Killers and Obscure Pleasures[82]
  • UK Headliner - UK (April/May 2013) William Control with AlterRed[83]
  • Revel Without A Cause Tour - US (2013) William Control with Fearless Vampire Killers and Davey Suicide[22]
  • The Punishment Tour - UK/Europe (August 2014) William Control with Ashestoangels and Bad Pollyanna[84]
  • The Punishment Tour - UK (April 2015) William Control with Ashestoangels[38]
  • The Punishment Tour - US (2015) William Control with Requiem and Justin Symbol[85]
  • The Skeleton Strings Tour - UK (July 2016) Acoustic William Control with Crilly Ashes[41]
  • The Synths And Sinners Tour - UK (2016) William Control with Bad Pollyanna, Pretty Addicted and As Sirens Fall[42]
  • The Synths And Sinners Tour - USA (October and November 2016) William Control with MXMS (November dates only)[43][44][45]
  • The Synths And Sinners Tour - USA (February 2017) William Control with Palaye Royale



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External links[edit]