If you haven’t yet heard of Brooklyn-based Control the Sound, get ready because their high-energy mix of funk, rap, and rock will have you bobbing your head and dancing while wondering, “Wait a minute, just how old are these kids?”
Elijah, Carter, Audrey, and Kai are basically all 15 (Audrey is 14 but her birthday is in October), and after seven years of jamming together, they’re winning over audiences. “We’re definitely getting more fans now than we were before,” bass player and singer Audrey Frechtman told Bedford + Bowery.
After their last live show, Maplewoodstock in New Jersey, a group of kids approached the band to swoon over them and request pictures. “It felt like a moment when we truly were being recognized,” said Frechtman. “It was really nice because it hasn’t really happened before like that.”
The weekend prior to that, they didn’t let a little downpour dampen their energy during a performance at Caracas Arepa Bar in Rockaway. They’ve played venues as varied as Brooklyn Bowl (opening for DJ Questlove), Littlefield, Brooklyn Museum, Rockwood Music Hall, the Queens Night Market, and even MCU Park in Coney Island.
As fourth graders, they were all individually into music. It was their parents who nudged them to start a band. Now, they’re “their own little friend possy,” said Steve Frechtman, Elijah’s father and the de-facto manager for Control the Sound. Steve helps organize the band and makes sure they stay focused, which is necessary because they’re, well, teenagers.
They get together to practice in the basement of drummer Carter Nyhan’s home in Park Slope. They’ve made it their own little music studio; signs and posters about festivals and gun violence are plastered on the walls, and cables crisscross the sound-absorbing carpet. A motivational message scribbled on cardboard with a black sharpie catches the eye: “Anyone can be cool… but awesome takes practice, yes it does.”
The close friends are tied together in various ways. Audrey is Elijah’s cousin, and Carter and Elijah are so close Elijah drops by Carter’s house unannounced. Trumpet player Kai Blanchard is a self-described introvert who is grateful that the band has forced him to step up and be more confident. “I struggle with socializing,” he said. “I feel like I’m getting better at it.”
According to Elijah, who plays guitar and is the lead singer, the off-stage synergy between band members has really started to pay off this year. “I can tell when Carter is going to hit a stop just by the way he moves his arms,” he told B+B. “You just develop this connection which is almost psychic, when the band can just stop on a dime without really rehearsing it and it’s awesome. It’s so much fun.”
Asked what excites him about drumming, Carter says, “Something is very appealing about banging on sticks when you’re a little kid; it just kind of tumbled from there and I’m still playing today.”
Watch our video, above, to hear more from Control the Sound.
Photos and video by Jo Corona.