Metric: From Small Indie Group To International Pop Rock Success

FFormed in the late 90s in Toronto, Canada, Metric is an indie rock group fronted by vocalist Emily Haines. The band started off with a modest following, recording their first album Grow Up and Blow Away in 2001, which only official got released in 2007. The band’s second album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? was released in 2003, but it wasn’t until a few years after their their album, Live It Out (2005) that things started changing for the group.

Metric

Metric

The quartet released Fantasies in 2009, which was nominated for several Canadian awards, notably winning Group of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year at the 2010 Juno awards. Their song “Black Sheep”, initially recorded for Fantasies, was instead used on the soundtrack for action-comedy film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2010. That same year, the song “Eclipse (All Yours)” was recorded for the soundtrack of Eclipse, the third film from the ever-popular Twilight Saga.

Another contributor to the band’s success is Emily Haines’ collaborations with other artists of diverse genres, which include The Crystal Method, MSTRKRFT, Tiësto, and Canadian musical collective Broken Social Scene. This is in addition to the launch of Haines’ solo album Knives Don’t Have Your Back in 2006, which is downtempo collection of songs written over several years, contrasting with Metric’s signature uptempo synthpop sound.

The band sought government grants over the years to help contribute to the growth and continuity of their musical creations. It has been reported that from 2003-2013, Metric received over $500,000CAD in funding through FACTOR, (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings). Many such grants are available in other countries as well, with the mandate of helping independent artists develop their music commercially. Metric launched their last two albums through their own label, Metric Music International, citing frustrations when attempting to approach major record labels.

In November of this year, Metric teamed up with developer Snibbe Studio to launch their own iOS app, METRIC Synthetica, named after their latest album. The app allows users to create their own remixes of the band’s songs through different finger gestures on top of landscapes and other 3D visuals.

The group ends their Synthetica tour with a show at The Powerstation in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 14, 2013.

Comments

  • The Legendary Frank

    Metric is one of my favourite bands so it’s no surprise to learn of their professionalism and business sense.

    This is what bands should be doing in the UK instead of whining oh woe is me blah blah. Metric sidestepped the big labels and more or less did their own thing.

    And you can bet they worked damn hard to get there which sadly can’t be said about many bands over here in the UK!