The Canadian band talks with us about the changes experienced over more than two decades together, their recent album and the upcoming concerts they will offer in Mexico.
It was a day like any other of the week for me, but for Emily Hainesvocalist of Metric It seemed like a quiet morning, despite having a schedule full of calls. The autumn scene unfolding behind her outside a cabin contrasted with the arid place in which I found myself. She mentions to me that the simple act of being there and witnessing the color change in the leaves takes her to an emotional state.
The albums Formentera I and II They were made during the pandemic period, taking advantage of the absence of live performances and the advantage of having their own recording studio. The first part was released in the summer of 2022 and, as the band describes it, the title refers to that place that we usually associate with an escape from problems when facing reality.
It feels like we’ve been living on the island of Formentera, our imaginary version of Sonic Escape, deeply over the last three years. I don’t know what my next destination will be, but I’m still very much in Formentera“
Its sequel will be released on October 13 through Metric Music International/Thirty Tigers. The singles have already been released from this new album “Nothing is Perfect” and “Who Would You Be For Me“. The group was always clear from the beginning that they wanted to transmit their work in the form of two albums.
There are 18 songs and they were all created during the same three-year period, which happened to be the pandemic. We always knew it would be these two albums; We just didn’t know which songs would go on which album. We definitely didn’t want to release it all at once, so it was fun to have a surprise in the second half. Songs like ‘Days of Oblivion from the second album were the first ones we wrote for the entire project. It’s about how they fit together. Now, we hope someone can close their eyes, put on headphones, start from the beginning, use a zoom slider, and go through this whole journey, ending with ‘Go Ahead and Cry’. Maybe they can process some of what happened to all of us in those three years.”
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haines mentions that both albums complement each other. There is no disconnect between them nor the possibility that the new album will be completely different from its predecessor.
I feel like they’re like companion songs. For example, ‘Descendants’ is connected with ‘Doomscroller for me and ‘Go Ahead and Cry’ is connected with ‘Nothing Is Perfect. Don’t know; They all connect in unique ways, which is why we made it to Formentera I and II. It’s just one big thing; it’s not like the second one is a completely separate piece. It’s definitely the second part.”
The way these albums relate is similar to the dynamic that has sustained the band for more than 20 years. Where the leadership of James Shawtheir guitarist, has been essential for the group to continue evolving while enjoying creating music.
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that jimmy He’s, you know, very much our leader with his sonic skills as a producer. He has been instrumental in building our studio, selecting the right equipment, understanding the equipment, and is also responsible for writing and playing all the instruments. Many times, he writes everything, and then Josh and Jules They come to touch what jimmy wrote. I think having one person driving this way, while we all participate, is an important factor.
Also, it just happened that we all really liked how it has evolved. We seemed to enjoy it and no one bothered about moving more towards synths and dance music. Everyone sincerely enjoyed that transition. Then when we went completely back to rock and roll with Art of Doubt, everyone was in the mood for it too. The four of us get along very well, so I think that shows.”
The launch of Formentera II coincides with the twentieth anniversary of their debut album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, which has been reissued in a special edition on vinyl and is now available through their website. Despite the time gap that separates these last two albums from her first work, the performer points out that they seem to form a natural continuation of it.
“It’s really fun because we’ve been playing those songs again for the first time in a long time since Old World Underground, and because two things are happening at the same time, the new album and the 20th anniversary celebration, we’re playing those songs right next to each other. So this question works really well for me because it’s so awesome. It sounds incredible, but I just feel like we’ve found a way to express a lot of what we were trying to do on that first album. In fact, we are doing it now in Formentera Also, how to be able to have these songs from several sections.
When you hear the first song on Old World Underground‘IOU’, or even ‘Hustle Rose’ Also, you can hear what we were trying to do. They are quite unusual themes; They’re not like your conventional love songs. They’re about things like child soldiers and in ‘Hustle Rose’, it’s like a disco. It’s not like, ‘Hello, darling, I love you,’ TRUE?…”.
…So I feel like it’s really a continuation and for some reason it fits now. If it were the 20th anniversary of Old World Underground and we would have launched Art of Doubt, It would seem like a long way we would have traveled or a different direction. But it turns out that Formentera I and II are closely related to Old World Underground. So I just feel like they sound like the same people, and I feel the same way. It’s so strange; singing ‘Combat Baby and I feel like it’s in my throat and it’s been there the whole time. It’s exactly the same. It’s so strange. How is it possible 20 years later? But that’s how she feels. So yeah, I feel like it’s the development, the progression, that’s what you hear.”
The band originally from Toronto, Canada, has stated on other occasions that they enjoy their visits to Mexico. In 2019, the group collaborated with the Mexican band Zoe, which resulted in a tour to various parts of the United States. The great experience of this synergy keeps them open to the possibility of collaborating with another compatriot.
I would love to have the privilege of going to Mexico and working with someone there. That would be really cool, and I don’t even know where to start. I would need you to make me a list of people I can contact and see if they want to work with me. It was really great with Zoe, because we all became friends and toured the United States together. Especially with Sergio, we became very good friends. This is how things usually play out in my life. I think I need to spend more time in Mexico, make more friends and start doing collaborations. That’s a great plan for next year.”
Metric He will arrive in Mexican lands to present his new album and celebrate the anniversary of his first album with two dates; The first presentation will be on November 21 in Mexico City, while the second will take place on November 22 in Monterrey.
We just want to throw a party. So that’s what people can expect.”