Metric’s Rock And Roll Fantasies
Fantasies, the band’s forth full-length release, is scheduled to hit the streets next month. But you don’t have to wait until then to hear it. You can listen to the entire album right here!
For the new project, band members Emily Haines, Joules Scott-Key, James Shaw and Josh Winstead decided to depart from their usual recording process and take their time. Guitarist Shaw explained:
We allowed this record to take a year and a half whereas for Live It Out we didn’t let it take more than 10 weeks. We just allowed it to take its own process, and whatever that process was going to be, it was going to be, and we were relaxed about it. We wrote when we could – we would get together for a month and then take a couple months to do our own personal shit again.
The “personal shit” Shaw is offhandedly talking about would be considered full-time work by most people.
Besides her solo project, Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton, the band’s vocalist performs with Broken Social Scene and has contributed to albums by Stars, KC Accidental, The Stills and Jason Collett. During Metric’s latest hiatus, Haines also took a soul-cleansing sojourn to Argentina, which she says helped serve as inspiration for her writing.
For me, the major influences on the record were the places we wrote it: Bear Creek, this utopian farmhouse studio, and then our own studio in Toronto, which definitely brought in the electro, dance and rock elements because the city feels so good right now and so many of our musician friends were around.
And then for me, being in Buenos Aires, most of the songs I brought to this record came out of being in exile with just a piano and a guitar. And then in the final stages, mixing at Electric Lady in NYC brought everything around to where we first met Josh and Joules.
Shaw, who also works with Broken Social Scene, stayed in Toronto and built a recording facility, Giant Studio, with his neighbor Sebastien Grainger (Death From Above 1979). The guitarist said a lot of the work on the new songs was also done outside the studio.
We toured the new songs a lot, because you might play something 30 times live before you start to realize, ‘Why did I get bored every single time I got to the second verse?’ and ‘Why does the ending always suck?’
The songs went through a lot of surgery, and we really feel like we sculpted them and got the best out of them. I felt like I could hear the sound of the whole thing in my head — it was really big and really dreamy. There were images of chasing invisible butterflies and pterodactyls coming out of their shells and flying off prehistoric cliffs. The sound of the record was more based on the idea of soaring pterodactyls than on that of another band, or some ’70s sound.
Winstead and Scott-Key – who are both based in Oakland, Calif. – were hardly idle during Metric’s downtime either, touring with their own garage-rock side project, Bang Lime.
Now the band’s members are reunited and ready to deliver Fantasies to fans, both as an album and a live show; Plans are in the works for a headlining tour that will kick off in June.
Haines said getting everyone back together and moving in the same direction fits in with her goal for the new record.
Writing for me comes from a process of trying to piece things together. The function of music in my life is to help me understand what the hell is happening. This new record was about ending the fragmentation of my existence. Everything in the world right now — all the technology, the way we listen to music or watch films — everything has changed so much in my lifetime. People are allowed to have multiple identities — you’re somebody online, you’re somebody else in public — in multiple dimensions, scattered across the world… I wanted to bring all that into one place, one band, one record… I want to be one person.
Fantasies is out April 14, but you can pre-order the album now in several formats (vinyl, deluxe hardcover, digital, or limited edition) at ILoveMetric.com.