Lisa Johnson

For a few years now William Francis, dynamic frontman for Seattle rockers Aiden, has been winning over many new fans with a haunting electronic project called William Control. He has three albums under his belt along with a DVD and as we speak, the singer, writer, producer and engineer has taken his much talked about project out on tour with Black Veil Brides on their 'The Church of the Wild Ones' tour.

Noisecreep spoke to Francis from England where the weather was cold, and by all accounts, the shows with BVB were hotter than July.

William, this is a pretty interesting touring bill, you and BVB.

I agree. That's the thing with a lot of tours today. You'll get five or six bands that all kind of sound alike and are from the same genre. It can get boring pretty quickly for the fans I think, and that's one reason I'm so excited about this tour. There will be nothing boring about it.

You've known the guys in BVB for a while. Was this their idea?

It was. They made the choice and I think it says a lot about them. Look at it like this, they just put out a great record that made it into the top 10 on the Billboard charts and they have a lot of offers to take a lot of bands out on tour with them. And who do they decide to take? Me! I've been friends with them for a number of years now and I think they chose me because they like what I represent as a musician and that it's also totally different from what they do. It says a lot about them to take this kind of chance, it's a real opportunity for me and obviously I think they are just awesome guys.

It should be a real chance for you to interact with a different kind of fan base.

That's what I've noticed going on tour with a bigger band. The fans are usually there to see that band and that band only. But this is what is so amazing and cool about the BVB audience. There's so open-minded about everything that they give you a real chance and they want you to succeed. You know, it's not like, say Slayer fans who will sit there and chant 'Slayer, Slayer, Slayer - give us Slayer, everything else sucks!' [laughs]


Watch 'Speak to Me of Abduction' Video

Despite your success, electronic music it's not really your background is it?

No. I come from a really punk rock background. But I did like Depeche Mode and New Order growing up so I did have some exposure to this darker kind of, say, industrial sort of music. But it's really been a more recent thing for me and it's an amazing outlet that I really enjoy. Thankfully some other people seem to like it, too.

Was there a first concert that inspired you to become a musician?

Totally. The first proper show I ever went to was Nirvana on June 8, 1994, my 12th birthday. This was not long before Kurt Cobain killed himself. Some other bands played too but for me it was all about Nirvana. They were just the biggest band to me and it was an unforgettable first show. That's the concert that made me want to be a musician. I'll never forget the impact that Kurt Cobain had on me. It wasn't until I saw 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on MTV that I started thinking about what I might do with my life. I owe that to Kurt Cobain.

What you're doing now seems to attract lots of very intense fans.

I know. But I'm still such a fan boy myself that it feels weird when kids come up to me to tell me what my music means to them. Even though I'm older and more jaded it still feels strange having a kid connect with something I wrote in my basement. But what an amazing thing.

Pick up William Control's Live in London Town DVD at this link.

William Control tour dates with Black Veil Brides:

02/17 – Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock Cafe
02/19 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
02/20 – Chicago, IL @ The Castle Theatre
02/22 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
02/27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
02/28 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
03/01 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
03/02 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
03/04 – Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
03/05 – Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
03/06 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
03/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
03/09 – West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues