Metric are a Canadian rock band founded in 1998 in Toronto. The band consists of Emily Haines,
James Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key. The band started in 1998 as a duo formed
by Haines and Shaw with the name "Mainstream".
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Indie rock, new wave, synthpop
Emily Haines explained:
"It came from a song that Jimmy [Shaw] and I were working on back in Toronto in the early days,
like '97 or '98. Jimmy had a song that involved a sound he'd programmed
into his keyboard and called 'Metric'. When we saw that word on the keyboard's LED screen it looked
so electro. It had a no bullsh*t vibe. It was a little cold and standoffish and we're down with that.
It works for us.
Some people think it has something to do with the fact that we're from Canada -
which uses the metric system. That was coincidental, though at the time we were into arty electronic
stuff that was coming out of European countries that also use the metric system. But if we'd wanted
to use a name that evoked Canada, we would've called ourselves the Toques or something."
Broken Social Scene
Emily Haines – lead vocals, synthesizers, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, piano
James Shaw – lead and rhythm guitars, synthesizers, theremin, backing vocals
Joshua Winstead – bass guitar, synthesizers, backing vocals
Joules Scott-Key – drums, percussion
Did You Know:
• Emily Haines was born in New Dehli, India and raised in Canada
She is the daughter of poet Paul Haines (best known for his lyrical collaboration with Carla Bley in the 1971
jazz opera Escalator over the Hill)
But its crazy—like ten percent a year increase of children taking @#$%& anti-depressants. Pre-schoolers are like, the most prescribed. That makes me so mad!
I mean that's really depressing man. Of course, the kids are freaking out. They watch cartoons and sit in front of the television and their parents are just probably yuppies who focus their entire lives around the child. The child has no sense of context, no sense of what world they are inhabiting—just like this Disnified bag of Cheerios reality. Don't give them a @#$%& pill! God! Take them out on a canoe already! You know what I mean?
We're taking some time off before we start touring again at the end of September. James and I are just here doing work with Broken Social Scene and some soundtrack stuff. Last year was constant touring. So I'm really excited for this to be sort of the last North American tour, we're going to do Canada and the U.S. And then we'll get down to making the new record in the new year, and probably go to Australia and Japan in the new year also.
Years before this incarnation of Metric, I was very much in the school of indie rock of asexuality -- the more like a guy you were, the more a real musician you were. But now, the direction I've taken it in terms of performance is acknowledging the part of me that is a girl… which probably doesn't sound good in print. Not pretending that I'm a guy -- I'm a chick for sure.
I have an identity crisis which is not resolved because I'm a dual citizen. My whole family is American, and I was born in India but I was raised in Canada. But all my extended family is American, I've held an American passport and I've spent my whole adult life in between New York and LA. So I feel like an American… and I also feel like a Canadian! I wish more people were dual citizens and then I wouldn't feel like such a freak.
The last record, and the way that James and I have worked traditionally is that I write sad, slow songs on the piano, and he would hear them another way, sort of adapt them to the sound of the band, and flesh them out, and then we'd play them with the rhythm section. But songs like "Dead Disco" he wrote the music to, and "Combat, Baby" we wrote together. It's a combination of ways that it happens. But a lot of it starts as just songs on the piano. I'm actually going to release some of that stuff. I don't want to say solo record because that sounds gross but just some songs that are in that form on the piano, I think I'm going to let them out in that form.
I know I could give a better interview, but I'd rather just have a conversation with you. I don't feel like being clever with it or something.
Much Music Video Award for Best Independent Video "Poster of a Girl"
Canadian Indie Music Award for Favourite Pop Artist/Group
CRIA Certifications (Canada):
"Live It Out" (Label: Last Gang / Universal Music) Gold Album (March 2006)