Metric: The Political Gets Personal, and Vice Versa

Hear an Interview and In-Studio Performance

fromWXPN

Set List

  • "Rock Me Now"
  • "Empty"
  • "Hooks"
Metric

Metric. Edwin Tse/Courtesy of Metric hide caption

itoggle caption Edwin Tse/Courtesy of Metric

Vocalist Emily Haines and guitarist James Shaw formed the beginnings of what would become the new-wave/indie-rock band Metric in 1998. Haines learned about music from her father, avant-garde jazz musician and poet Paul Haines, while Shaw acquired classical training from the Juilliard Music School. In 1999, they decided to call their partnership Metric, named for a synthesizer beat that Shaw used on his sampler, and released Mainstream E.P. Soon afterward, Metric grew to a four-piece and developed chemistry as a live band.

In 2003, Metric released Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? to favorable reviews and excellent sales in Canada. Two years later, it released Live It Out, which was nominated for the 2006 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian Album of the Year. An unreleased album from 1999, Grow Up and Blow Away, was finally released this past summer. All three discs find the band mixing the personal and political in ways that make them seem virtually indistinguishable.

In this segment, Metric's members talk about their transition from using computerized background sounds to becoming a real live band, and they describe the challenge of matching their live sound to the computer-generated one.

Purchase Featured Music

Grow Up and Blow Away

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Grow Up and Blow Away
Artist
Metric

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Live It Out

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Live It Out
Artist
Metric

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.