By Kristin Kent and Meaghan Bent
Here’s a quick chat with Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric.
Kristin: Iâ€™ve hear you refer to the touring versus recording components of your career as schizophrenic.
Emily Haines: Yes, well first youâ€™re in a studio and youâ€™re in one bubble. And then youâ€™re on the road and then youâ€™re in that bubble for an indefinite period of time where you donâ€™t do any writing or do any recording. So what weâ€™ve tried to develop as musicians and as just human beings is a lifestyle that just allows us to be less schizophrenic. So, you tour some, you do some shows and come into studio and write a couple songs. When we were writing Fantasies, we were very open about writing our songs with our fans. So when we were on the road, we were road-testing things, getting reactions from people, feeling it out and making the â€œliveâ€ part of our life part of the writing as well. Like so many things for so many people in their lives, people will tell you that things are supposed to be done one way. But if you ask questions and do a little research as to why those rules are in place, no one can tell you why.
James Shaw: Itâ€™s like no one bothered to try and redefine the rules for the last 35 years. Thatâ€™s the way itâ€™s done and thatâ€™s it. Youâ€™re either running for 6 months straight or standing still. Weâ€™re just trying to find a way to walk a few hours a day.
KK: So weâ€™re at Polaris, what about this prize works for you guys.
Emily: I think itâ€™s an amazing idea, concept, and what it represents. Itâ€™s been compared to the Mercury Prize, which has obviously been around a lot longer. But if those are the goals of what Polaris would like to become I think thatâ€™s great. Metric as a band has always been called to mainstream for the underground and too underground for the mainstream. So now weâ€™d like to say weâ€™re too underground for the Junos and too mainstream for Polaris. Thatâ€™s kind of our new spot.
KK: If you were to vote for someone, anyone including yourself, who would it be?
James: Obviously thereâ€™s going to be a winner, but if I had to be the one to decide it Iâ€™d run away. Iâ€™m not into choosing people,
Emily: Ya, we donâ€™t do favourites.
James: To say one record is better than the other, you know? There are however many judges and they all vote. And if you chose a whole other group of people, [the result] would be totally different. I just like to make music and I like that everyone else is making music too.
Meaghan: In your traveling life, do you get a chance to listen to much Canadian music?
James: Ya, totally, all the time. Youâ€™d be surprise how many hours youâ€™re just sitting on your ass waiting for something to happen.
Emily: Weâ€™ve been listening to Flash Lightening which is a band that Jimmyâ€™s been producing in our studio, Giant, here in Toronto. So thatâ€™s been on the speakers a lot. Itâ€™s been on headphones trying to figure out how the hell weâ€™re going to finish this record.
MB: Let me guess, if you had 20,000 dollars itâ€™d go to expanding the studio?
Yes, some in this room and some all over town use the studio. We build it in the hood where everyone lives.
Emily: Itâ€™s the affordable music studio for musicians by musicians. So if we win the Polaris Prize, the money will go straight to that.