Interview with Metz at the CMJ marathon
Metz were definitely the band that we all came to hear on the Oh My Rockness show at Cameo Gallery on Tuesday night – the first night of the four-day CMJ marathon. The Canadian trio quickly gained popularity after their debut self-titled album got ranked 8.5 in Pitchfork, getting into the magazine’s exclusive “Best New Music” section. Martina Dechevska speaks with Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach after the show.
Chris: I don’t think it’s that much aggression as it’s just us having fun. We’re not angry about anything – we’re just having a good time.
Is having a good time for you always that loud and noisy?
Alex: For the three of us when we get together – yes.
Chris: Every single time.
How did you guys start the band?
Hayden: Alex and I lived in Ottawa for few years and then we moved to Toronto with the idea to do something but we didn’t have all the pieces together so we met Chris and it seemed like it all fits. We started the band four years ago.
What brings you to CMJ this year?
C: The main reason is that our new record came out last week, so we’re doing a bunch of shows. We’re going to the UK this weekend, then we’re doing a full American tour and we’ll be back in Europe in January.
A: Our band is just a project of the three of us sitting and working together: our inspiration is, this may be weird to say, but it’s just the way each other play.
Which are the bands you’ve always wanted to play with?
H: Oh man, you got to narrow it down – bands that still exist or bands that don’t exist?
H: No, you choose.
Ok, bands that don’t exist?
H: The Beatles.
A: Oh no, that would be awful. I don’t want to play with either one of these bands.
H: I would feel like an idiot.
C: Any show where there’s people who want to get together and have a good time that’s perfect for us, you know what I mean. Tonight was a great show – good people sharing the same kind of energy, smiling and hopefully having a good time. That’s all we want to do.
What kind of music are you listening to when you’re at home relaxing?
A: I like Lee Hazlewood a lot, Townes Van Zandt – a chill singer-songwriter, stuff like that. We all listen to a lot of 60s stuff too.
C: We all went to see The Jesus Lizard play about two years ago on their reunion tour. It’s not the best show I’ve ever saw, but it was the show that made my jaw drop the most because it was so amazing how well that band played together and how incredibly energetic David Yow was. We were all just standing with our jaws on the floor.
H: They didn’t skipp a beat. Doesn’t matter how many years went by without them playing, it seemed like nothing ever changed and it’s really hard to do it on a reunion tour.
Your debut album was rated 8.5 and sorted among best new music from such a respected magazine as Pitchfork… what’s coming up next?
H: We’re happy if anyone gets into what we’re doing, because we’ve been doing this for a while and for a lot of people it’s the first time hearing us. But we’ve always been about doing exactly what we want to do, not compromising for anyone, just the three of us – whatever we like is what we do. And it’s a real surprise, a real nice surprise that other people are into that too. We haven’t really expected it, to be honest. We made this record before we had a label to put it out, we had no idea what people would think, we didn’t really care, but the fact that people care (it seems) is a really nice thing. And from here on… we’re starting to write a next record, just moving forward, making more music…
A: We have bunch of stuff we’ve been working on, because this record has been done for a while. We have a lot of ideas, but none about which we can talk about.
C: Also we don’t think about what we’re gonna do before we do it – we can be in the middle of the winter, writing a song that is almost sludgy and slow, because that’s how we feel it.
A: I personally would like to write some slower songs so we don’t feel sick on stage, we could actually talk to the crowd, get some words down straight… (laughing). Yeah, some slower songs would be a really good idea, so we can breathe a little bit. There’s always a progress though. This record is very different from what we did earlier, so it keeps moving; I don’t know what’s gonna come out next, but the main ingredients of the recipe are going to be there.
How would you explain your music in few words, for someone who has never heard it before?
C: I think generally it’s just loud, energetic rock music in the most simple form. Or if you want to break it down to one word I would say we’re a punk band.
When we should expect your new record?
C: Our record just came out last week and you want a new one? It will probably be like in 12 years (laughing). We don’t want to operate with any time limits: when we have the new stuff ready we’ll put it on.
H: We love Toronto, but we haven’t been to too many places yet, so this might change when we go to Europe…
A: The scene in Toronto is amazing, so many good bands are coming out from there.
Can you name few Canadian bands we should check out?
H: Bands like Teen Anger, Adonis Adonis, Sub Cans, Young Mother, Moon King… There’s so much going on that I just tell people to keep an eye on Toronto.
I loved your video for Wet Blanket, what is going to be the next single?
H: The video for Wet Blanket that just came out was done by Scott Cudmore – a friend of ours and a really talented film-maker – we gave him total freedom of expression and we’re very happy with the result.
A: I think the song for the next single is going to be chosen by the “video treatment”. The short answer is we don’t know yet.
Metz are playing at The Hope in Brighton on Saturday 20th October, in The Library in Leeds on 21st October, Captain’s Rest in Glasgow on 22nd October, Manchester’s Kraak Gallery on 23rd October, and in London’s Old Blue Last on 24th October – for a free show.