Thursday, July 18, 2019

Metric return to town for their biggest show yet

April 3, 2019 by Bo Essery, contributing writer

From the moment our conversation started, I could tell that Metric vocalist Emily Haines was an incredibly down to earth and professional individual. Metric is a juggernaut in Canadian music—when they roll through town this month, they’re headlining the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, with July Talk opening up—and extremely accomplished artists; however, regardless of their triumph, they are determined to give their fans the best of themselves. 

“I think a lot of the way that we approach it is… we’re just a very hard-working crew of people,” says Haines. “So I think it’s more like a lot of the time spent just fighting to get the job, you know? It’s such a long shot to have the good fortune of a life of a musician. So I think our attitude is more just continuing on and being like, okay, now we have this incredible opportunity, you know? How can I become a better singer every day, how can we write better and better material, improve our live shows, work with amazing people? I feel like I’m just getting started.”

Indie rockers Metric are focused on giving their audience the best of themselves (photo by Justin Broadbent).

Most people would assume life on the road as a musician is a non-stop party or a fairy-tale lifestyle, where rockstars in leather pants throw television sets out of hotel windows and lounge in expensive recording studios all day. But sometimes it’s much more real and fulfilling than that: it’s a mobile workplace, a community of people who are all working extremely hard to provide not only the best performance for the audience but also a stable environment to thrive as a team.

“I feel as though that’s sort of part of what the job is, and what the life is, is actually wrangling all that chaos into a smooth experience for everyone,” says Haines. “So, you know, there are stories, but now it’s much more about trying to use our energy and strength to just make everything go as smoothly as possible, including considering all the emotions and the mental state of everyone involved.” 

The members of Metric keep the notion of singles at bay while producing an album. Haines says that they perceive their body of work as a whole experience rather than a sequence of individual songs. They keep all commercial consideration on the backburner to stay as true to the creative process as possible and to provide their audience with a genuine experience. 

“We go into every album with lots and lots of songs and we narrow things down just based on, first of all, still being committed to the album format,” she says. “Kind of like you’re making a film and every song is a scene in that film or vignette in that film, and so paying more attention to that, of like, how do we give our audience the most amazing experience possible and how do we make every song true to itself? And then once it’s done, yes, all those conversations start to happen.”

It goes without saying that nothing worth having comes easy, and a true artist must adhere to their intuitive ethics in order to yield their maximum artistic potential, providing the listener with a genuine experience. 

“I can’t speak for anyone else; I can just speak for my own band and say that we do have a code of conduct that has defined the decisions that we’ve made,” says Haines, “and it hasn’t always been the easy road for us at all, but what we gain from that is the meaning and value of our lives and the meaning and value of the band.”

6:45 pm Wednesday, April 17
$36 and up, Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre

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