Interview | Metric has emerged from the crisis


The pandemic was tough for Metric and his singer, Emily Haines. After completing his longest career tour from 2018 to 2019 in support of the album Art of Doubteverything stopped for the Toronto group.

Posted at 10:00 yesterday

Pierre-Marc Durivage

Pierre-Marc Durivage
The print

“Are you serious? Emily Haines answers us unfiltered when we ask her if the pandemic has been difficult for her.

She wasn’t one of those musicians who took advantage of confinement to work on individual projects or to materialize ideas that had been on the sidelines for too long. “I understand that some have found ways to take advantage of it, but I have lost loved ones at the hands of COVID,” explains the 48-year-old musician. She continues to be a world turned upside down for musicians. But we tried to make the most of it, which is why we wanted our music to be what we want to hear after a crisis. But others are already emerging. We really live in unstable and unpredictable times … ”

Going back on tour with his band does him a lot of good, especially from the last album, Formenterait was first recorded in the absence of American colleagues Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key, the bassist and drummer unable to cross the border.

“Giacomo [Shaw] and I did the full demo of the album before I could play the songs with Joshua and Joules, ”Emily Haines tells us. Under the circumstances, the creative duo of Metric chose to create a free zone by relocating their Toronto studio to a purchased church in rural Ontario. So, if the beginning of the album testifies to the environmental anxiety of the beginning of the pandemic with titles like Doomscroller And Everything crashesthe subject is brightened on the following tracks.

“I hope the record helps people understand what is happening, because we are all coming out of this crisis a little bit upset, believes the Canadian-American artist. We learn to overcome it, which is why we see the album as an oasis for lies, to better accept what we cannot control. ”

Unexpected success

Musically, we recognize Metric’s signature, with a return to the fore of keyboards, at least compared to Art of Doubtcertainly the most rock album of the quartet formed over 20 years ago.

“Jimmy and I play all the instruments, so it’s fun to see people wondering about the presence of keyboards and guitars,” Emily Haines tells us with a laugh. We also did a small internal survey to find out people’s reactions, because for us, Formentera it is more balanced. A bit like their first albums, Old Underworld And Live itlaunched in 2003 and 2006.

We never think we are inspired by the past, because we like to take risks. But I admit I felt a certain connection with our first album, 20 years suddenly feels like a blink of an eye! However, we have aimed for the higher level with Formenteraespecially with Doomscrollerwhich takes more than 10 minutes.

Emily Haines

Emily Haines points out that she never created with the aim of appealing to the masses, although she is delighted with the album’s success – the song Everything crashes it remained at the top of the Canadian rock charts for five weeks reaching number 1 on Sirius XM’s Alt-Nation channel. “There is something going on, the singer acknowledges. But we’ve always made music that looks like us. What we want is for it to resonate with the right people. For my part, I have never tried to multiply knowledge, I rather desire meaningful relationships; the same goes for the group. ”

For Metric and Emily Haines, Montreal is just one of these significant relationships, as the singer studied at Concordia University from 1995 to 1996. “Montreal contributed to my education as a human being. Those years allowed me to know who I really was. It’s like traveling back in time when I get back here. So I’m looking forward to being in Montreal. ”

The audience present this Monday at MTelus will know how to give it back, for a moment there is no doubt.





Metric Music International

Metric will be at MTelus this Monday at 8pm, with the opening of Bartees Strange.


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