Monday, December 11, 2017

Metz’s fury strikes a chord with larger audience

January 7, 2015 by Jason Schreurs, assistant editor

The fact that a band as noisy and chaotic as Toronto noise-rock three-piece Metz are even remotely popular is actually quite astounding. That they’ll be in town on January 20 opening up for Montreal’s Death from Above 1979 at a sold-out show with a nearly $50 ticket price? Even more astounding.

But Metz aren’t some hip, pretentious buzz band trying to sound loud so bros can spill beers over each other in the pit; this is bona fide grime and muck, born and bred in sweaty basements and illegal warehouse spaces, raised on a steady diet of The Jesus Lizard, Unwound, Drive Like Jehu, and probably some Pissed Jeans, too (all noisy bands). So, are Metz just as shocked as we are that they made it out of the underground and into the foreground?

“Totally, but I don’t think we’re out of that yet,” explains Metz guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins. “We still do basement shows and small shows, but now we also get the chance to do bigger shows, too. We kind of look at both as having their own pros and cons.”

Metz are disorienting Canada’s music scene with their abrasive take on noise rock (photo by Robby Reis).

Metz are disorienting Canada’s music scene with their abrasive take on noise rock (photo by Robby Reis).

One con would be that ticket price, for sure, but a band as riff- and distortion-heavy as Metz (not to mention Edkins’ pained howls and wails) getting exposure to a whole new group of music fans, the kind who frequent larger clubs and festivals over the DIY punk shows the band was raised on, can only be a positive thing, for the band and for anyone who comes across their impassioned noise fury.

“We definitely think it’s cool that we have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to play for more people. It’s definitely something that wasn’t expected when we set out to make this kind of music, that’s for sure,” laughs Edkins. “That never really crossed our minds, in any way, shape, or form; it’s been this slow growth over the years, and now it’s here, and we just plan to continue going until it doesn’t feel right.”

The key to the band’s relative success, says Edkins, is keeping things in perspective and doing everything on their own terms. Very content to determine their own fate, Metz continues to keep their band close to its humble roots in the Toronto underground.

“We’re a pretty self-running machine; we keep everything close and we do almost everything ourselves,” he says. “We have a booking agent and a label, but we make all of the other decisions ourselves. So we’re just doing it our way, and being honest with the music and the people we meet and interactive with, and trying to have as much fun as we can with it.”

Anyone misguided enough to think that Metz’s aural obliteration is some kind of gimmick needs to examine the logic behind such claims. If popularity were your goal, why on Earth would you play music as horribly awesome as Metz?

“It’s obvious to us, and I think it would be obvious to most people, that this is not some hair-brained scheme to be popular, because if it was, I think we’re doing everything wrong,” says Edkins. “The way we are approaching this is doing the things that we like, and we feel really fortunate that other people have latched onto it, but it is a surprise, and it was never our intention. But we definitely embrace it at this point.”

Metz (with Death From Above 1979)
8 pm Tuesday, January 20
$49.50 (sold out), Sugar
atomiqueproductions.com

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