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Metric - The Metric System

Author: Nina Bertok
Monday, May 4, 2009

3D’s Nina Bertok explores the fantastical, if fragmented mind of Metric frontwoman Emily Haines, whose forth full-length is out now.

Emily Haines has an identity crisis. As the frontwoman of the much-hyped Canadian four-piece Metric, it’s taken years for Haines to put the pieces of her life together in order to form a whole. As a result comes the band’s fourth full-length album Fantasies.

“The role that music plays in my life is to help me figure out what I’m doing and what is happening to me,” Haines explains. “This album puts an end to my sense of fragmentation as a person, as well as the fragmentation we all see everywhere around us. It deals with putting the different aspects of my life together as well. As it is, I have a schizophrenic existence with touring and then trying to live a normal life, but on top of that I also feel like a bit of a freak because I’m a dual citizen of America and Canada so I’m a bit scattered.”
Born in New Delhi but raised in Toronto, Haines left India at the age of three where she went on to spend her adult life mostly between New York and Los Angeles – talk about multiple existences.

“I made a decision to stop running and kind of integrate all the different pieces of myself on this album,” Haines says. “It’s ended up being not just an exploration of the self but the record was also very much done on our own without too much outside help. We had some real choices when it came to major labels but we always came out of meetings feeling like we’d been talking to some fucked-up bank or something, so we chose to take a gamble and put out Fantasies worldwide our own way.”

Quite obviously, the band made the right decision. After self-financing the recordings, setting up their own global label operation and assembling a team to release Fantasies in major parts around the world, Metric soon went on to release their addictive single Help, I’m Alive, which tore up the Canadian charts and knocked Kings Of Leon off the number one alternative spot. Not that they’re strangers to success – with two platinum albums under their belt already in their home country, Metric have also had the privilege of opening up for The Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden.

“That was amazing,” Haines recalls, “but releasing this album is the biggest highlight for me right now. Before we even started, we knew in our heads how we wanted this album to sound – a little electro with some dance elements and lots of pop. We wanted it to be kind of moody, a little dreamy and as big as possible, and even though it rarely happens with a lot of bands, we actually ended up getting exactly what we wanted.”

WHO: Metric
WHAT: Fantasies through Inertia
WHEN: Out now