METZ: Album Number II and the Alex Edkins Interview

Been been raving about METZ for a long, long, long time on here. Since the 12th of November 2012, actually, but that feels like star systems ago.

Since then I’ve seen Alex Edkins, Chris Slorach and Hayden Menzies raging in Vancouver, in Seattle, and in Barcelona. We’ve become friends, shared cigarettes, shot photos by the ocean, watched bands together.  They are, without a doubt, one of the fiercest live bands in the world and if you’ve not seen them yet and you like your music with a wallop, your life has thus far been unfulfilled.

They are punk as fuck, loud as war, driven like Jehu and friendly as Canadians, and tomorrow, SubPop releases their hardcorel-y titled second album “II” to the masses. In this short-little bombastic nugget of aggression, you’ll also find some pretty well-crafted tunes, too. Here’s singer Alex talking about it.

The songs on II seem to be quite differently crafted this time out. There’s more structure, different layers n’ loops, and it’s warmer…but no less intense. You talked about taking more patience with it. What does “patience” actually look like in terms of time, approach or mindset?

This time around I think we were a little more confident in our songwriting and production. We wanted to stretch out the songs and let them breathe compared to the first record. I think its noticeable in songs like Acetate, Spit you Out and Kicking a Can of Worms. We weren’t in such a rush and I think the songs are better because of it.

Album two is sometimes the one where bands tend veer way off the path – but this one shows that you’re further down the road, rather than an about-face from the debut. What were the biggest learnings you took away in doing this album?

Just be yourself. We wanted to make something that we loved and could be proud of regardless of whether it was successful or not. The only reason we started this band was to have fun and make music that we love. We wanted to stay true to the original motivation.

You toured the shit out of the debut, a full two-plus-years on a very aggressive sked, and played a metric fuckton of festivals. Did you do that by choice or was it a sort of “dudes, If you want to make it, this is how it’s got to be” situation?

Haha. No. It sort of just happened. There was no one telling us what to do. We kept getting offers we couldn’t refuse. Hey you want to tour with Mudhoney in EU and South America?” Yes, yes we do. We feel very lucky to have been in that position. It was literally a dream come true.

How’d you keep it fresh? And not blast your voice out?

The voice has never been an issue. It just seems to be there every night. We really love playing music together and luckily the songs from the first record stood up pretty well night after night. I don’ t think there was ever a point where we hated playing those songs. We were definitely excited when the time came to make the second record though! New music is always good.

You’re going to be playing shows with Protomartyr, FIDLAR and Bad Breeding – but who would your dream festival bill have on it?

Redd Kross, Guided By Voices, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth, Brainiac, Hüsker Dü, DEVO, Born Against, N.W.A., Unwound, Swell Maps, Six Finger Satellite, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Bikini Kill, The Beatles, Fugazi.

(Editor’s note: I would buy a ticket to this.)

Also from a tour perspective: what were the highlights the last couple of whirlwind years? Bands you saw, things you did? I recall a big goofy grin on your face as we watched Built to Spill at that SubPop anniversary, but what else?

Yeah that was fun! There have been so many highlights. We’ve been lucky enough to travel to so many cool places (Greece, Australia, Iceland, South America). Every night that we get to play our songs for people we feel very fortunate and it always feels quite surreal. We never expected to have this opportunity and we do everything in our power to not take it for granted and play the best show we possibly can.

TIPS: who are you guys listening to that might surprise us? Or inspiring you? Or folks we should know about?

New Fries is a great band from Toronto. You should definitely check them out. Listening to Obliterations “Posion Everything” too!

What’s the thing that excites you the most about this album hitting the metaphorical shelves today?

Its the best thing we’ve made so far. I think the only goal we have is to improve and grow over time. We are excited to move forward and make new tunes. We’ve already finished some new stuff that we hope to release this year.

Well, then, as you were, chaps. Proceed to tear up the place.\m/

Band photo credit: David Waldman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *