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Interviewed by
Benjamin Coley
Monday 14th December, 2015 11:05AM

Toronto’s METZ have been busy carving out a name for themselves since they released their debut record back in 2012. The self-titled album garnered plenty of positive reviews and was shortlisted for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize alongside the likes of Godspeed You Back Emperor (who won), Purity Ring and Tegan and Sara. The record also saw them touring the globe relentlessly, including a visit to New Zealand in 2013 for two performances.

Then earlier this year the noise-rock trio unleashed their second album, II,  through Sub Pop and have further cemented themselves as one of the most powerful live bands of recent years. Bearing a strong DIY ethic, the three-piece have teamed with California-based independent label Three One G to release a limited edition 7-inch, which will be out early 2016. The new year will also see METZ heading back over to our shores as part of Laneway Festival in February. UnderTheRadar dropped a line to vocalist and guitarist Alex Edkins to ask some questions about touring, DIY ethic and creating your own supergroup...

UTR: 2015 has been a big year for METZ, your second album II was well received and you toured a bunch. How do you think you have grown as a band this year?

AE: I think our waistlines may have grown? Too much beer. I’ve been getting in shape for the last couples of weeks before this next tour.

You have a strong DIY ethic, you tour lots and your albums are all self produced. Is this something that you set out from the start to do, or has it just come about naturally?

We don’t know any other way to do it. We like to be in control of our music/band and have always just done what feels right for the three of us. Our goals have always been quite modest so we’ve never felt the need to have anyone else make decisions for us. When we started releasing records on Sub Pop the sheer volume of shows was so high that we decided it best to hire a booking agent. So we certainly aren’t doing everything ourselves these days, but we are self-managed and have self-produced everything we’ve done up to this point. It really all comes down to the idea that, no one else can possibly care more about this than us, so why trust someone else to do the job? We aren’t trying to get rich from this, we don’t need a puppet master.

You have been touring relentlessly... do you get a chance to write material whilst out on the road or do you do it between tours?

We usually write at home in Toronto. It can be hard to find time on the road and most venues we play are not exactly conducive to long soundchecks or luxurious green rooms. Obviously, we get to see a lot of music and listen to a lot of music in the van so that can be a huge inspiration to the writing process.

If you could create your own supergroup - who would you have in it and on what instruments?

Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) -Vox
James Brown - Vox
Leonard Cohen – Vox
Billie Holiday - Vox
The Dalai Lhama – Vox
Howlin Wolf – Vox
Missy Elliot - Vox
Kerry King (Slayer) – Guitar
Sun Ra – Keys
Lionel Hampton – Vibes
The guy or girl who did the Seinfeld Theme – Bass
Benny Goodman – Clarinet
Lightning Bolt – Drums & Bass

You recently released the single 'Eraser' which will be out early next year on 7-inch through Three One G. How did that come about?

We’ve always been fans of Three One G and their awesome roster of bands (Arab on Radar, Swing Kids, Black Dice, The Locust, Spanakorzo, Unbroken). We just threw the idea out to Justin who runs the label and he was excited about it.

Were your label Sub Pop supportive with you releasing 'Eraser' through another label?

Absolutely, we have a bunch more things planned that will be with Sub Pop and other people. They are completely supportive of what we want to do.

You guys are heading back to New Zealand for Laneway Festival at the start of next year. Are festival shows something you enjoy or do you prefer the club shows?

They are very different animals. We’ve had some amazing experiences at festivals and we’ve also played fests where we’ve felt like the circus freak show that annoys people while they are trying to drink a $14 beer and listen to chillwave. Club shows are obviously more our speed but we are really excited for Laneway. If the lineups are eclectic and the crowds are open minded, festivals can be really cool.

Do you guys have any band rituals that you do in every city? Got any plans while you are here in Auckland?

We don’t really have any rituals. I’m looking forward to the beach, coffee, music, and meeting cool people.

What else have you guys got lined up for 2016?

We are going to Japan and China, and will be releasing and recording new music.

Watch the brand new video for 'Spit You Out' below...

METZ will be appearing at Laneway festival on 1st February, head over here for the full line-up and details.


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