Little by little, controller.controller came together in the fall of 2002 when then-guitarist Ronnie Morris put out a call. Colwyn Llewellyn-Thomas heard first; then came drummer Jeff Scheven. After deciding to add a second guitarist, Morris moved to bass to make room for longtime friend Scott Kaija. The final piece of the puzzle tumbled into place with the addition of frontwoman Nirmala Basnayake. Basnayake was a friend of Llewellyn-Thomas’ who hung around during early controller.controller jam sessions before stepping to the mic.
Hardly romantic; hardly mysterious. Pretty real.
With a few practices under their belt, controller.controller shakily played their first gigs in the early months of 2003. Despite this humble beginning, c.c did something few manage; they got a Toronto audience to dance.
controller.controller’s sound is an energetic, rhythmic post-punk rock, taking a cue from late 70's/early 80's bands like P.I.L., The Slits and Joy Division, but departing significantly from there. It's about tension and opposition, juxtaposing discordant and jagged rhythms with disarmingly pretty melody and counter-melody. They wed propulsive, angular rock structures with minimalist death-disco accents and grooves that seductively embrace sometimes sweet and sometimes barking vocals.
Since that inaugural show, controller.controller significantly stepped up its live presence. Their propensity for playing low-key sets in off-the-radar locales, a dark red backlight practically shielding them from view, lends them a quiet confidence. Audiences choose to participate. Think about it. It’s hard to be a voyeur when you have to squint your eyes and thrust your whole body forward just to get a better view.
Strictly off those live shows, the band captured features in Toronto street weeklies EYE and NOW, critics’ picks during their hometown’s massive NXNE music festival and several mentions in the The Globe and Mail newspaper. In a cross-Canada survey, Calgary weekly FastForward named controller.controller one of the country’s “best unsigned bands.” And then there was Paper Bag Records...
Kind of like that first show on that late winter night, controller.controller has quietly signed with upstart indie label Paper Bag Records and will release their first album, HISTORY, on February 24, 2004. Paper Bag has been the launch pad for the likes of Broken Social Scene, Stars and Matthew Barber.
Not much of a mystery, only History now. This is controller.controller.
For more information please contact:
Amanda Newman : 416.817.5212
Paper Bag Records
50 Linsmore Crescent
Email: [email protected]
Distributed by Universal Music Canada