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Metric

Metric are a band with an eclectic, adventurous outlook, whose music encompasses elements of synth pop, new wave, dance-rock, and electronica and whose hometown has vacillated between Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and London over the course of the group's existence. Metric's story began in 1998, when vocalist/keyboardist Emily Haines met guitarist James Shaw in Toronto, Canada. Although born in New Delhi, Haines -- the daughter of Paul Haines, a Canadian-American poet best known for his collaboration with jazz artist Carla Bley -- had moved to town by the age of three. While studying at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, a high school for aspiring artists in Toronto, she met fellow students Amy Millan and Kevin Drew, future members of Stars and Broken Social Scene. After attending university in Vancouver and Montreal, she returned to Toronto in 1997 and eventually crossed paths with the British-born Shaw, who'd relocated to Toronto following three years of study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Haines and Shaw discovered they were musically simpatico and began writing songs together.

During a sojourn in Montreal, Haines and Shaw began recording demos of the material that would become Metric's debut EP, Mainstream. After its release in 1998, the two relocated to Brooklyn, New York, and collaborated occasionally with Torquil Campbell and Chris Seligman of the group Stars, which later included Amy Millan. After cutting more demos using synths and a drum machine, they were scouted by representatives of a major music publisher who flew them to London to work with producer Stephen Hague. Haines and Shaw combined the London-recorded tracks with material they cut in Brooklyn, and the results formed Metric's first full-length album, Grow Up and Blow Away. In 2000, Metric returned to the United States to sign a deal with Restless Records, but shortly before the album was scheduled for release in 2001, Restless was bought out by Rykodisc, and under the new ownership the Metric album went onto the back burner. Around this time, Haines and Shaw met drummer Joules Scott-Key, a Michigan native who'd relocated to Brooklyn after attending a music school in Texas. Scott-Key was soon invited to join Metric, as was bassist Joshua Winstead, who had attended the same Texas school.

Metric's members moved to Los Angeles while trying to sort out their deal with Restless, with Haines and Shaw returning to Toronto for a spell to work with their old friends Amy Millan and Kevin Drew in the group Broken Social Scene. Once they reconvened in L.A. and began working with their new rhythm section, Metric decided that the pop-oriented, electronic sound of Grow Up and Blow Away was no longer representative of their music. Metric subsequently parted ways with Restless and took the masters for Grow Up with them. In the fall of 2003, the Canadian independent label Everloving Records (later re-baptized Everloving) released Metric's second "debut" album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? The album, which was also picked up by Last Gang Records, became a major critical and commercial success, especially in the band's native Canada. It was followed in 2005 by Live It Out, another successful release, and the group embarked on a lengthy international tour before taking a hiatus.

During the break, Haines went on an extended vacation in Argentina and made guest appearances on albums by the Stills and Jason Collett, in addition to releasing two records with her solo project Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton. Scott-Key and Winstead moved to Oakland, California, and formed the band Bang Lime. Shaw headed back to Toronto and opened a recording facility, Giant Studio. A revised edition of Grow Up and Blow Away received a belated release in 2007, and Metric regrouped one year later, after Haines decided she'd had enough of the downbeat music she'd composed with the Soft Skeleton. Now based in Toronto once again, the group began working on a new album, Fantasies, which was self-released internationally in April 2009 following a drawn-out negotiation with Last Gang Records, who agreed to release the band from its roster. Fantasies became the group's most successful album to date, selling 250,000 albums in less than a year, going platinum in Canada, and spawning a Top 20 single on the American rock charts without the benefit of a label. The album's success led to them winning 2010 Juno Awards for Band of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.

They also made a splash in the world of cinema, scoring a prime spot on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with the theme song "Eclipse (All Yours)" and contributing a song (the unreleased track "Black Sheep") to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley actually took inspiration from Haines and Metric when creating the character Envy Adams in the books; in the film she and her band the Clash at Demonhead (with actress Brie Larson singing over the original backing track) play "Black Sheep." In 2011, the band teamed with Academy Award-winning film composer Howard Shore on the soundtrack for David Cronenberg's adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis. The movie premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, right around the time the group's fifth album, Synthetica, was released on the Mom & Pop Music label. It became their first album to hit the Top 50 in the U.S., all the way at number 12, and climbed to number two in Canada. During a scheduled break that followed touring, Haines began writing on acoustic guitar while on retreat in Nicaragua, while Shaw worked mostly with his synth in Toronto. They came together at the Adam Yauch-founded Oscilloscope Labs to record the LP Pagans in Vegas, which was released in September of 2015. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Pagans In Vegas

1. Lie Lie Lie

2. Fortunes

3. The Shade

4. Celebrate

5. Cascades

6. For Kicks

7. Too Bad, So Sad

8. Other Side

9. Blind Valentine

10. The Governess

11. The Face, Pt. I

12. The Face, Pt. II

x

Track List: Synthetica

1. Artificial Nocturne

2. Youth Without Youth

3. Speed The Collapse

4. Breathing Underwater

5. Dreams So Real

6. Lost Kitten

7. The Void

8. Synthetica

9. Clone

10. The Wanderlust

11. Nothing But Time

x

Track List: Fantasies

1. Help I'm Alive

2. Sick Muse

3. Satellite Mind

4. Twilight Galaxy

5. Gold Guns Girls

6. Gimme Sympathy

7. Collect Call

8. Front Row

9. Blindness

10. Stadium Love

x

Track List: Grow Up And Blow Away

1. Grow Up And Blow Away

2. Hardwire

3. Rock Me Now

4. The Twist

5. On The Sly

6. Soft Rock Star

7. Raw Sugar

8. White Gold

9. London Halflife

10. Soft Rock Star (Jimmy Vs. Joe Mix)

x

Track List: Live It Out

1. Empty

2. Glass Ceiling

3. Handshakes

4. Too Little Too Late

5. Poster Of A Girl

6. Monster Hospital

7. Patriarch On A Vespa

8. The Police And The Private

9. Ending Start

10. Live It Out

x

Track List: Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?

1. IOU

2. Hustle Rose

3. Succexy

4. Combat Baby

5. Calculation Theme

6. Wet Blanket

7. On A Slow Night

8. The List

9. Dead Disco

10. Love Is A Place

x

Track List: Cascades (Single)

5. Cascades

x

Track List: Fortunes (Single)

2. Fortunes

x

Track List: The Shade (Single)

1. The Shade

x

Track List: Too Bad, So Sad (Single)

7. Too Bad, So Sad

x

Track List: Youth Without Youth (Single)

1. Youth Without Youth

Comments

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i am sayin' iZombie sountrack
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YES!!! I LOVE' EM!!!!!! Top 10.
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firehawktt
Metric always puts on a good show. I've seen them 3 times.
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LOVE METRIC!!!!!!
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if you like metric, check out "tegan and sara" and "the bird and the bee" on pandora.
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Metric!! This band always brings a smile to my face, and makes me feel 10 years younger...
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ive seen them twice live and i cant wait to c them again!!!!! i f**king LOVE METRIC
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Just saw them live. Amazing!
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ddwithey
Bleh. Was Amy responsible for the tetrameter in this band's only memorable work?
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I relate so much to the song help I'm alive so so much omggggg
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Anytime I hear Gold Guns Girls, I feel pumped to achieve more!
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Thanx pandora... hearing a bunch of different trax from Metric.. And They R GOOD!!
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Jamming to "help I'm alive" loving it!
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sunkisedbrun e t t e
Love Metric!!!!!
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nr298
i lovvvvvvvvvv v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v e it
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I like when bands pay tribute to other bands that came before and had so much influence!
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mariahdauph
Just got into them
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Huge fan, but pagans in Vegas was sincerely dissapointin g
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Help I'm Alive....Gre a t tune, gets my head a bobbin'
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I love metric!!! It was my fav band since I was 7!!!!! And I'm still love them!
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OK there good I have to admit.
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lightningstr i k e 4 9
they were awesome as Imagine Dragons opening act in Portland, OR
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Wish I could go see them tonight in FL. I bet it would be a great concert!
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this band is f**kin sweet just found out about em really cant f**k with emilys voice
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They're newest song "The shade" is f**king fantastic. I hope the rest of the album gets better and better.
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Hey MikeBailey20 0 0 , if you're looking for other bands comparable to metric I'd try the yeah yeah yeahs (my personal fave) and santigold, she's good. I also love tegan and Sarah.
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Amazing banddd
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This has been my fave band for about 2 years now. I keep trying other bands, but I keep coming back for just one more listen to Fantasies and Synthetica. Metric forever! :-)
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I F**king Tried! So Random
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yayhorses1
http://onlin e y o u t h j o b . c o m / ? u s e r = 8 4 5 7
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I live in MURICA! We don't cotton to no fancy metric system 'round these parts. INCHES, FEET, MILES or NOTHING! The rest of the civilized world be dammed!
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Why did Metric cross the road? I don't know... It's a stupid f@cking question.
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I'm gonna go see them in July along with imagine dragons. I.can't wait!!
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....Keep me closer .....; )
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Metric is one of my favorites! Love these guys so much it's ridiculous. One of my exes introduced me to there music.
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I love love LOVE METRIC!!
Xoxox.
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Nice!
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My ex girlfriend hated Metric... emphasis on the Ex
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Metric is 9 million metric tons of awesome! She/they are truly great! I couldn't love them more, is how much I love them.
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I ♡ sythetica
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I love this song!!!
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is this their new album?
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Awesome
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jadl1997
All the music by metric is so beautiful it's hard to decide a favorite
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Love this freaking Song!!!!!!!!
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Like the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs better. Karen O's voice is so much more penetrating. Love her on the Led Zepplin Immigrant song remake by Reznor for the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Awesome video!
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Help I'm alive, is a great tune. getting into this band!
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hydrology81
Why is this not the opening theme music for Walking Dead?
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