MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Christopher Smith (singing, guitar, keyboards, songwriting); Erica Tyron (drums); Steve Folta (guitar, keyboards, various other items, arrangements); Eddie Zertuche (bass); Paul Kneejie (guitar, moral support).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
“Bikes, surfing, guitars and drums, walking in autumn through our lovely town, kissing,” says Smith. “Some of the songs I loved as a very young person were really dramatic and almost weapon-like, but it’s a general love-fest these days. ABBA. Queen. I think Beach House is absolutely to the max.”
“Beautiful movement.” Those are the two simple, pleasant words Night Control frontman and founder Christopher Smith uses in describing the philosophy (or concept) behind his once-upon-a-time solo project.
And it works. Now a full-fledged outfit, Night Control is Smith and his four bandmates creating skillfully layered compositions. Yes, there’s plenty of sound that commands attention. But that’s also what makes Night Control’s tunes so interesting, even endearing.
“It started by taking tapes played into computers, then back onto tapes, then onto computers again,” says Smith, divulging some of the recording process. “It’s tricky. That’s about as far as I’ll explain it at this point.” Fair enough.
Night Control was formerly known as Crystal Shards. However, “then everyone and their brother’s mother got famous using that word ‘crystal,’ so I dropped it for a more serious authoritarian tone,” says Smith. “What do you think? Is it working?”
We’d like to think so. (Truth is, an unnamed Weekly staffer erroneously referred to the band as “Night Command” in the office—better than accidentally dubbing it “Night Ranger,” right?)
“It’s basically the opposite of what I’ve been doing for years: Uncontrolling the night, as it were,” Smith says. “People in art school talk about opposites a lot, which may be more of a curse than a virtue.”
But there’s the control of Tuesday nights at The Press, part of the band’s month-long residency. Smith says that playing a residency is a challenge that he loves. “We’re all very happy to be able to play for our fans and hometown buddies,” he says. “In fact, it’s probably one of the best feelings ever.”
And it’s likely a familiar hometown audience, as Smith’s performed in the vicinity since the early ’90s. “I never would have chosen to live here with my bandmates if not for the connections I have to the environment that I grew up in,” he says. “It was all about being teenaged and taking risks. Now it’s all about kissing.”
Such love also extends to playing another area gig.
“I would love to play outside some place,” says Smith. “Mt. Baldy would be great in the spring.” Beautiful movement, indeed.
Night Control at The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; www.thepressrestaurant.com. Tues, 9:30PM.